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What Are the Advantages of a Guinea Pig as a Pet?

B. Miller
B. Miller

There are a number of advantages to choosing a guinea pig as a pet. They are frequently thought of as great introductory pets for kids, but they can make good pets for people of all ages, especially those who live in a smaller home or apartment, or do not have a great deal of time or effort to devote to a larger pet such as a dog. It is important to remember that even if a guinea pig is purchased as a pet for a child, the parent should always make sure that the animal is being cared for properly.

The first benefit to purchasing a guinea pig as a pet is that it is relatively inexpensive. One can be purchased at pet stores, or - even better - adopted from an animal shelter. Guinea pigs should be kept indoors in a cage, but should be taken out regularly to run around and play, as they are social animals. This is another reason they make good pets. It generally does not take long for them to become used to being handled, and they will generally be very friendly and may just enjoy sitting in their owner's lap.

Guinea pigs make an inexpensive pet.
Guinea pigs make an inexpensive pet.

Unlike other small animals, such as hamsters, guinea pigs are not nocturnal. This means that a guinea pig will be awake during the day and asleep at night. Not only does this make the animal more fun to have around, but it also prevents the animal from keeping people awake at night by making noise in its cage. Since this animal is also bigger than a hamster, a guinea pig as a pet may be a safer bet for households with younger kids, who might accidentally squeeze a smaller animal too hard, or even step on it. They are typically very clean animals as well, though it is important to regularly wash out the cage, and, of course, provide fresh food and water daily.

Guinea pigs are typically kept in a cage.
Guinea pigs are typically kept in a cage.

A guinea pig is also a great option for people who live in small homes or rent apartments where cats and dogs are not allowed. Most landlords will not have a problem with this type of pet, since it is kept in a cage. Busy people who work a lot, but still want a pet may find that a guinea pig is a better option for them as well, although people who will be leaving their pets alone a great deal of the time may want to purchase two guinea pigs instead of one.

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Discussion Comments


Way to provide wildly inaccurate information. Guinea pigs are not 'very clean' animals and require frequent cleaning. Guinea pigs are not 'inexpensive' pets as they require a specialised diet and specialised medical care. And keeping a guinea pig by itself in that tiny cage is barbaric. Guinea pigs need a lot of room to run around in and friends of their own species. Guinea pigs are neglected enough as it is; they really don't need more lies about how they can be treated like toys.


How many different kinds of guinea pig breeds are there? I have seen three or four different kinds at my local pet store but surely there must be more than that.

I am reluctant to buy from that store because I have heard that guinea pigs for sale at pet stores are more susceptible to disease because of the environment they are kept in. Any truth to this?


I had a guinea pig as a kid named Barnaby. He was so cute but he escaped during a family vacation and that was the end of Barnaby. After that we got a dog.

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    • Guinea pigs make an inexpensive pet.
      By: Belkin & Co
      Guinea pigs make an inexpensive pet.
    • Guinea pigs are typically kept in a cage.
      By: mariesacha
      Guinea pigs are typically kept in a cage.
    • Guinea pigs are typically very clean animals.
      By: Magalice
      Guinea pigs are typically very clean animals.