20 answers

Guinea Pig Vs. Hamster

We would like to get a small pet for our daughter for her birthday. We currently have 3 cats, 2 chickens and a fish. We are considering either a hamster or a guinea pig. I've heard guinea pigs make better pets, but would love to hear from some pet owners to verify this. My brother had a hamster growing up, and it seemed like a decent pet. I think she would love a bunny, but I hear they are not the best of pets. Thanks for your help!

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I vote for rats. Smart and interesting. Guinea pigs are cute but dumb as wood. I don't think hamsters are that interesting either. I think they might be a little more lively than guinea pigs.

3 moms found this helpful

Guinea pigs hands down! They are better for little kids cAuse they are more social pets. But keep in mind a little more upkeep such as they are prone to colds and need extra vitamin c. Also if you can get 2 they would be happier :) they like company. Yes they are noisy but they are just so gosh darn cute when they "whee wheee" I should add that my 5 year old son had 2 that we got from a rescue and he did very well with :) he knees to be gentle, and helped feed and water them daily. So they can be good for younger children if you supervise them.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Guinea pigs hands down! They are better for little kids cAuse they are more social pets. But keep in mind a little more upkeep such as they are prone to colds and need extra vitamin c. Also if you can get 2 they would be happier :) they like company. Yes they are noisy but they are just so gosh darn cute when they "whee wheee" I should add that my 5 year old son had 2 that we got from a rescue and he did very well with :) he knees to be gentle, and helped feed and water them daily. So they can be good for younger children if you supervise them.

3 moms found this helpful

I vote for rats. Smart and interesting. Guinea pigs are cute but dumb as wood. I don't think hamsters are that interesting either. I think they might be a little more lively than guinea pigs.

3 moms found this helpful

I LOVED having Guinea Pigs. They were my first pets and are very good animals to keep. I recall they were pretty affordable, they are affectionate, friendly, and we did not have trouble with them with our cats, although we only let them out with supervision and outside if they were in a grazing ark.

I also had rabbits and found that it is hit or miss with personality, but most of the time a single rabbit makes a great pet. I had a very sweet male rabbit and a super-snuggly female, and one psycho female. The psycho one, of course, was the exception. Rabbits are nice because you can box-train them, they get along pretty well with other animals including cats, and are relatively low-maintenance as well.

I do not like hamsters and have never owned one, so can't help you there. :)

3 moms found this helpful

Hamsters are nocturnal - active at night which is NOT the best behaviour if you want to get any sleep around them. Guinea pigs are most active during dawn/dusk so that would work out better. They are also social, so it might be good to have 2 of them.

2 moms found this helpful

We vote for piggies!!! But it depends on the age of your child... and it depends on how much work you want to put into them. And how much you're willing to spend for food and bedding. They do require more than changing their bedding and feeding Short haired ones require less care, and you do need to be comfortable trimming their nails. I think they are perfect for kids around 6 or 7 and up (with parent help).

Do your research first though... they do need space and they do much better when they are paired with either a same sex sibling or bonded with another. We have 2 males (more than 2 will fight). We built our cage easily with wire racks and sign board. It gives them plenty of room to move around and we don't have a problem with odor with regular weekly cage cleaning.

Please check into getting your piggies from a foster person or a rescue if there is one in your area. We contacted a woman in our area and told her exactly what we were looking for and the ages of our kids and she gave us the perfect pair for our family. We also got them knowing that they had been handled a lot and were tame (don't get a baby unless you plan to handle it A LOT.) We knew ours were healthy and without nutritional deficiencies or mites.

If your child is young (and won't really handle a pet) or if she's just interested in watching it run on a wheel, a hamster could be a good choice. They don't require as much food or space or care. But if she wants to be able to hold it, piggies are much more social and rarely bite. And piggies are entertaining, make sweet noises (and squeals when hungry or lonely)!

Good luck!!

2 moms found this helpful

Guinea pigs need a lot of space. When we were looking into getting a guinea pig for my niece, all the information we found, said minimum cage size standards of 7.5 or 10.5 square feet. (You can look at http://www.guineapigcages.com/ for that info. They give great info on the environments guinea pigs should live in.) They are VERY lonely being an only, they really need a (same sex) cage mate. Their health can suffer from not enough playtime and interaction. They don't like the heat. They need to be kept an an area that does not get hotter then 75-80 degrees. They are prone to heat stroke. Really, you need to get two guinea pigs not one. If your children won't give them A LOT of floor play time, it's not the best pet.

I don't know much about hamsters, other then we've never had problems with them. They don't live as long as guinea pigs, but they require less space. The tiny (dwarf) hamsters are always so mean. We've always had a teddy bear hamster, and they've always been nice.

2 moms found this helpful

I vote no to a hamster. We had one once. It's awake at night and noisy with chewing and scratching and running on it's wheel. The noise drove me nuts at night!

2 moms found this helpful

Guinea Pig!! They are far more personable. I had one for 8 years during childhood, and he was like a little puppy! I also had a hamster for awhile, and it was just, well, a hamster in a cage with a wheel -not so great to me.

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