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.
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.
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.