Do You Own a Guinea Pig? If So, Please Tell Me Everything About Them.

Updated on September 04, 2012
T.B. asks from Key West, FL
21 answers

My children want a guinea pig. They got a book from their school library and they are reading about them and trying to "sell" the idea to me and their daddy. I just don't want to have to take care of an animal. Our cat of 18 years died two years ago and we are a family of 6 and we are busy. I have grown quite accustomed to not having to take care of a pet. My oldest daughter, 12 years old, promised she would care for a guinea pig and I really have no idea what is involved in caring for one.

So here are some basic questions I'd like to know:
1. How long do they live?
2. Is it expensive to feed them?
3. What kind of cage they require?
4. What do they eat? How often do you feed them?
5. Are they nocturnal? (the cage would have to stay in my daughters room and if they are noise making animals, this could be problematic for sleeping.
6. How bad does it hurt when they bite? (I've had hamsters as a kid...hamsters have razor sharp teeth)
7. Are they high maintenance animals? (do they require a lot of exercise outside of the cage?)

Any other info you can provide, I would love to hear about it. I promised that I would prayerfully consider this for my daughter.

Thank you!

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So What Happened?

I cannot thank you all enough for taking the time to respond! Such wonderful and honest testimonies and answers, I really appreciate them all. I know my daughter is anxiously waiting for me and her daddy to give her an answer. The truth is, after reading everyone's responses, I feel in my heart that getting this type of animal may just not work for our family at this time. But, I promised to prayerfully consider it so I am taking my time. My oldest is 12 and shares a room with her 10 year old sister and IF (a big IF) we got two, the cage would be too big for their room. My 6 year son might then resent that his sisters have pets and he doesn't...and the 16 month old, well, I am just too busy to be a "mom" to an animal at this time so I have a lot to think about. We had a cat for 18 years and he was our "first" baby and over the years as his health declined and I was his "full time meow-ma," it was just so hard for me to take care of him.
Thank you again for all of you who took the time to respond.

Featured Answers



answers from Boca Raton on

You had several really good responses. The only thing I would add, from my memory as a kid, is that guinea pigs can be somewhat fragile even though they're bigger than hamsters and gerbils. It's very bad to let them fall.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

We had them as kids, for a month! Mom got rid of them because they are very messy and stink. If you are not the kind of person that just loves to clean an animal's cage every day this is not the pet for you.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

A lot of that can be answered from a good online site (I second that resource!). Much of the information in books is 1. outdated, or 2. geared toward breeders who have a different POV about them.

1. 5-7 yrs and often longer with good vet care.
2. It can be, if you use quality feed and hay. I used to import my hay in 40lb boxes. Quality feed = less vet visits for things like tooth problems and bladder stones.
3. Bigger than a store cage. has info on how to build a cage that is better and less expensive than the store cage. For $35 I built a huge cage, vs the $100 I wasted on a big store cage. Larger cage also means less smell (if you sat in your own pee you'd smell, too) and fewer cleanings. Cages should be cleaned at least once a week and don't use cedar shavings.
4. Feed them daily. I fed them 2x a day, giving them pellets and hay and fresh veg (a cup a day per pig). Plus water.
5. They can be up at night though they are not truly nocturnal. If she is bothered by things like water spouts clinking, or them running around, then you have to move them. Frankly, being tucked away in a kid's room is not ideal.
6. It hurts plenty. They don't often bite, but if they are scared, mishandled or have mites (easily treated, btw), they can bite.
7. Yes. They require floor time (just like you'd take a dog for a walk) and they are exotics so their vet care is not cheap, and they need the same routine grooming a cat or dog does (brushing, nail trims, ear cleaning).

They are herd animals, so please consider two - same sex (don't let people tell you boars can't live together - many can. Mine never got that memo) or one neutered. There are a ton of rescues out there. Check PetFinder. They are higher maintenance than most people think they are, but they are wonderful animals. If you are willing to take on the equivalent needs of a dog or cat for 5 or more years, then check them out. I've had guinea pigs off and on almost all my life and I adore them. However, right now I don't have the funds or time for them and choose not to have any because it wouldn't be fair to them - same reasons we don't have a dog and only have 2 cats. Your 12 yr old should be old enough to handle most of their care herself.

THANK YOU for doing your research first. You and your child and the pet will all be happier for your increased knowledge.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

We adopted two pigs. I don't find them problematic at all. The biggest issue is that they kick bedding out of their cage sometimes and that has to be swept up. Not a big deal in our household.

1. 4-8 years.

2. We buy basic guinea pig pellets. A bag is approximately $5.00 and lasts a minimum of two weeks. We also give them timothy hay. A bag of that costs approximately $7.00 and lasts about a month. We supplement their food with fresh fruits and veggies. A bunch of parsley costs $1.00, likewise a bunch of coriander. They love baby carrots and bell peppers. We often give them scraps that would have otherwise gone to the garbage disposal.

3. They like space. Those tiny cages in pet store really are not adequate. 7.5 square feet per pig. They are social so one pig in a tiny cage isn't a happy pig. You should have at least two pigs.

4. See number 2.

5. No. They are diurnal. We don't have a problem with any noise at night.

6. I have never been bitten. They kind of nibble when they want to go back into their cage so they can poop or pee.

7. Not really. You should get them out once a day.

We use aspen bedding or pine bedding. The aspen is approximately $4.00 per bag and we use one bag a week. We only put it in two areas of the cage and have other areas for food and toys.

A 12 year old can easily take care of a guinea pig (or two). It isn't difficult to clean the cage and it only takes half an hour or less.

So, our total cost is approximately $500/year.

Some links for you:

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I didn't read the other responses, so sorry if this is repeat info. Here's a terrific site:

We have 2 piggies and adopted them (rather than buying them from a store) from a wonderful lady who fosters and adopts them out. I would highly suggest this if you have a place or person in your areas that fosters. These were the first pets for our (at the time) 4 and 6 years old kiddos. We told her exactly what we wanted 2 bonded, (but not necessarily siblings), same sex, short haired ( long haired ones are more work). And most importantly, gentle and calm and able to be held by young children (with supervision).

By getting them from the foster person, we knew that they were well cared for, and free of disease or mites, had their nails trimmed and she was a great resource for building a cage, and any other questions we had along the way. And she knew their personalities for being a good fit for our kids.

We LOVE our piggies!! They have never bitten the kids. They do not smell if you get a cage big enough for them (the biggest mistake people make is getting a cage too small) and if you change their bedding regularly. They are sweet, gentle, funny little animals... much more social than hamsters.

They can be noisy at times. The squeak when they are lonely or playing, and they make little trilling noise and grunty noises when happy and playing. My daughter has had them in her bedroom and has had little problems sleeping, HOWEVER, she is a heavy sleeper.

We made our cage out of sign board and wire racks zip tied together to raise it off the floor. The sign board is a snap to clean and it doesn't rust or retain odors.

They are not high maintenance animals, but they do need attention. The are social which is why it's highly recommended that you get a pair. Their food is not expensive, but it definitely adds up. We feed ours a dry pellet mixture that includes, alfalfa, various seeds dried veggies and fresh veggies like kale,parsley, baby carrots, apples. (Be sure to look up what they can eat in terms of fresh food... some veggies are harmful to them). The most important part of their diet is timothy hay, which they also love to play in and sleep on. We feed ours in the morning and evening.

They also need their nails trimmed regularly. My husband is a vet tech so he does this for them with no problems. I have no idea what a vet would charge, but it is a necessity.

I think a 12 year old would have no problems taking care of guinea pigs (except for maybe lifting the bedding to pour into the cage. We buy large "bales" of bedding), and I think they are a great pet for children!

Good luck!
I also wanted to add that like, Kris S. we have lots of other pets too. 2 cats, a frog, a corn snake, and 3 fish tanks. We love pets and the joy we get from them outweighs the trouble and time it takes to care for them.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Guinea pigs are social animals so you should get a pair of the same gender so they have a buddy.

A bigger cage is best...ours is about 3 feet by18 inches and has a platform on one end where they can climb a ramp (I would consider our cage to be a minimum size for 2 pigs, wish we had bigger). A proper size cage new runs about $100 so try to find a used one or build your own as AV suggested. The cage needs to be cleaned weekly. After dumping the old bedding, washing the bottom out with vinegar and water, we dry it and then we layer the bottom with a little baking soda then newspaper, then loose bedding like aspen wood shavings and/or shredded paper bedding. Your 12 year old should be perfectly capable of cleaning the cage.

Food: Grass hay, guinea pig pellets and lots of fresh greens, other fresh veggies, and a little bit of fruit. They require supplemental vitamin C since, like people, they do not produce their own.

Cost: I haven't calculated the cost of bedding and food, but it does add up.

Our guinea pigs have never bitten us, they are much nicer than hamsters and gerbils. They do need run around time either outside or in a pen inside. We do both. My son gets them out about 2-3 times a week either out on the lawn if the weather is nice or into a 3' x 6' area we have penned off with a baby gate in a guest bedroom dormer(we taped down plastic sheeting, then newspaper, then an old bed sheet).

They are not nocturnal, but they do move around at times during the night and the day. They don't disturb my sleep but I know my BIL didn't like when they had some in their bedroom.

I find guinea pigs to be very charming, wonderful pets. I grew up with dogs and guinea pigs as pets. At 8 years old my son was at a good age to get ours (adopted from a school classroom that didn't want them so the cage and the pigs were free) but he still needs guidance and reminders from me. We also have 2 cats, 2 frogs, and 2 fish so we are a pet centered family.

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answers from Columbus on

1. Approximately 7 years.
2. We have two -- so we spend approximately $30-40 in guinea pig specific food, plus we add in vegetables and fruits. In addition, if you use store bought litter (you can't use cedar chips) you will spend another $30-40/month in that (I would guess). We use fleece blankets instead of litter, because after the initial investment in towels (we used old ones) and fleece, you just wash them every few days, so it's cheaper (but a bigger pain in the butt).
You need at least 7 square feet for a single pig, but most cages are either very expensive or too small. You can build one pretty easily (google coroplast guinea pig cage) for little money, but it takes up some real space.
4. We feed daily, change water every few days. Change cage at least once a week.
5. They are diurnal, so they are quiet at night (unlike hamsters).
6. We've been nipped by accident only a couple of times (they thought it was food) -- never broken skin.
7. Ideally, they should be played with daily -- they can be very social and have much more personality than a hamster. We have two -- one is very social with us and loves to be held, the other sits quietly and doesn't interact with us much. We only got two because they were brothers and I was told they are very social and love to be together and do well if they are raised together. But when the boys hit puberty, they started to fight to the point of drawing blood (one bit the other in the testicles and after that the victim never let the other forget it and would attack him whenever possible!) So after that, we had to build two cages.

My 10 year old does rather well with caring for hers, but my eight-year-old does not get his out to play with as much, can't do the cage by himself and has to be reminded to feed him. As a result, I do almost all the work. It's truly a pain, I have to admit. We got the pigs from a friend for free, but I often regret my decision. One wouldn't be so bad, especially if it were just the really social one (he falls asleep on me and cuddles -- he even fell asleep on my hand when he was two days old, so he may have bonded with me then) But many of our friends have pigs from the same family (they keep having litters!), so the kids enjoy that they're part of the gang!

Good luck! Let me know if you have other questions.

ETA: they have several different noises they make (you can google that, too, and hear them) but the whistling is only when they're hungry or want attention and only if they know you're there. They chirp softly when they're happy and interacting with you, they purr when they're curious, they chatter when they're angry. Our pigs are very quiet at night, although they get a burst of energy around bedtime and run around. They also "popcorn" when they're really happy and excited, jumping straight up into the air and squeaking. I will say, I hated having hamsters as a kid because they kept me up, but these guys are pretty quiet -- neither kid complains (they each have a cage).

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answers from Charlotte on

Your 12 year old is old enough to take care of the guinea pig. However, that's not enough. You have to be the mama of the guinea pig. You have to be the boss of your kids where the guinea pig is concerned. If you aren't willing to delegate out the responsibilities and keep an eye out, it's not fair to the animal and you shouldn't get one.

That said, guinea pigs are wonderful little critters! They are NOT like hamsters or gerbils. They have little personalities and can be loving and domesticated. But the way to ensure this is to get one that has either lived with a family before and is handled all the time, OR get a little baby, and I mean LITTLE. They have to be handled all the time from the beginning, or they are just scared little animals that are afraid of their own shadow.

YOU have to handle this pet, as in hold it, love it, pet it, feed it, over and over. It has to get to know YOU as the "mama". It's not a hardship, TB. You need to talk to it to. Use your "guinea pig voice" and call it's name when you do. That way, it learns it's name. Guinea pigs actually figure out cues from where the food comes from - like when you open the frig door, it makes a sound, and that's where the lettuce comes from. (Or you can shake the cellophane the lettuce is in so they can hear it to produce the same response.) Then when they hear the frig open or the sound of the cellophane, they whistle to ask you for food. If they know there is lettuce in your hand, you and your kids can train them to stand up on their hind legs for it.

They make a darling purring sound when they are happy and when you pet them. Your kids will love that. (We called that "tribbling" because back then, we watched Star Trek and loved that episode about the tribbles.)

They live for around 5 years unless they catch a cold. Colds are pretty deadly to guinea pigs, and even a vet can't help them with that. Don't put the cage near a drafty place - that's just asking for them to catch cold.

I had lots of guinea pigs growing up because my sister was allergic to other animals. We saw babies being born, and we saw our guinea pigs die. We loved them for years and enjoyed their many personalities. We learned to hold them securely and treat them with love and respect. We learned to change their cage (which is what your 12 year old MUST agree to be responsible for before you agree to buy one) because a stinky cage is bad for your family and very bad for the guinea pig. (Urine smell is very strong.) You have to do it together for a while so that she learns how to do it, and you want to change it twice a week at least.
You need to make sure that you only buy guinea pig food - not rabbit food, as far as the dry pellets are concerned. Some alfalfa is very healthy for them. (Only buy small amounts of alfalfa at a time because it sours if you buy large quantities.) Buy the BIG bags of shavings in order to save money. Make sure he gets veggies everyday because he needs plenty of Vitamin C so that he doesn't get scurvy. (You can give him lettuce, celery tops and carrots - they love that!)

If your kids are careful and loving with them, don't hurt them, don't yell at them or try to scare them (little kids sometimes do this), and if the guinea pigs are handled a lot and loved a lot, they will not bite. I generally found that I liked the personalities of the male guinea pigs best. However, they are a bit more stinky than the females, and they do get bigger. You need to buy the biggest cage the store has, even when they are babies, so they have plenty of room when they grow into their space. I lined the bottom of the cage with newspaper so that it would soak up the urine and protect the bottom of the cage - it just made it a little easier.

When we were girls, we would sit in a circle on the floor with a thin washable blanket on the floor, and touch our feet together, making a circle. Then we'd put the guinea pig in the circle and let him run around while we talked to him and petted him as he came around. It gave him some exercise and we delighted in watching him jump in the air and make noises and all that. He gave us hours of enjoyment.

I would not call guinea pigs "high maintenance", but I WOULD say that if you only want to "look at them" walking past the cage, that guinea pigs are not for you. You HAVE to hold them and love them every single day, a lot, if you want them to be interesting and actual pets, instead of little animals that run away from hands in the cage, or trying to run away from you when you walk past the cage. He needs to be out in the open around the entire family, and treated like a family member. They are NOTHING like gerbils and hamsters, and you cannot think of them like these other animals.

PetSmart is a good place to buy all the acoutrements you will need. (If you buy the guinea pig there, make sure they just got it - wait until they get a new litter in, so that you know that it hasn't just been sitting in the store for a couple of weeks not being touched by anyone.

The pellets should be in the cage all the time. Eating them helps keep their teeth short, since their teeth continue to grow all the time. Feed the lettuce and greens a couple of times a day - your kids will love doing that! Have fresh water in their water bottles constantly. You don't want them to get dehydrated.

They do make some noise during the night, but if you have them out with the family during the day, they will stay awake during the day more, and sleep at night. If your guinea pig is holed away in the bedroom, you are going to ignore it all day and the guinea pig will be afraid of you all. Don't put him in the bedroom. You need to talk to him and pick him up and love him. Being out of sight and out of mind is not conducive to having a domesticated pet - it keeps them wild and frightened of you.

I've written so much here - sorry it's so long. I loved these little animals so much that I even had them when I was an adult and got them for my own children. If you decide to take the responsibility as a mom for having them (which you must do - kids, no matter how much they think they can be responsible, cannot just be on their own with guinea pigs), then I think you will end up loving them too.

Good luck,

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

After much research, I got two guinea pigs as pets for my (then 4-year-old) daughter. (We recently rehomed them due to her lack of interest and me not having time to take care of them...long story...) They do make good, gentle pets for young children, and the usually do not bite (especially females). Guinea pigs typically live between 5 and 8 years. A guinea pig who lives to be 8 years old is considered quite old. However, I have heard of young piggies dying, too. There's no guarantees, and they tend to hide their illnesses, so by the time they exhibit any symptoms, they are already pretty ill. It is not expensive to feed them. They eat pellets (Oxbow is a very good brand.), hay, and many vegetables and fruits. They eat almost constantly. When I had my 2, they had a constant supply of hay & pellets, and they got veggies once or twice a day. (Fruit a few times per week as a treat) The best cage for them is a C&C (short for Cubes and Coroplast) cage (see Guinea Pig Cages store online at the Guinea Pig Zone). They are not nocturnal; during the day they are active, but they alternate between active and rest/sleep periods. Ours were very quiet at night, but I've heard of others (especially males) who were noisy. I have never been bitten by a guinea pig, but an adult who bites can draw blood (however, this is not the norm). I did give my piggies 'floor time' or time in a piggy playpen, but if the cage is big enough you don't really have to do this too often. I recommend 2 females for beginners - 2 because they are social animals and tend to do much better with at least 1 piggy buddy. The only real downside for me was cleaning the cage. We used PiggyBedspreads fleece cage liners, but cleaning was still a bit of a nuisance. If you'd like more info or have any more questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you. Guinea pigs are really very sweet animals who make good pets.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I loved my guinea pigs but I'm pretty sure my parents' advice to you would be: don't buy one that is pregnant. We woke up to a surprise one day!

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answers from Baton Rouge on

We had one years ago, and she was a wonderful pet. Can't tell you how long they typically live because ours developed ovarian cysts that ruptured and killed her when she was about 2.

We fed ours pelleted guinea pig food from the pet store combined with bits of whatever vegetables we were having for dinner. We filled up her bowl with pellets every morning and that lasted her all day. Not expensive to feed at all.

We kept her in a wire cage about the size of a medium dog kennel, with a wire bottom and a tray underneath, and cedar shavings for litter.

Most rodents are nocturnal but they aren't as noisy as gerbils or hamsters.

Ours loved to be held and petted, and never bit us. But a bite from any rodent is going to hurt. The trick to no being bitten is to handle them often from the time they are babies. Most rodents bite out of fear.

My daughter trained her guinea pig to walk on a leash, and we also had a kiddie wading pool that we would would put her toys in and let her play indoors. We didn't want her running loose because we were afraid that she would chew electrical cords, plus you can't housebreak them.

We changed the shavings in her cage about once a week.

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answers from Columbus on

GET FISH!! lol!!!

It's not that guinea pigs are hard to take care of but they DO need a lot of attention - in my opinion!! My daughter had two - one died a few weeks ago and I have no idea what happened. Felt like she had some type of tumor (growth) on her neck. Anyways, they need food, water and a clean cage - of course. We have the wood shavings for bedding and it needs to be cleaned out quite often - at least every other day if you don't want it to smell.

BUT, if you really want them to be calm, you have to play with them A LOT!!! They are adorable little pets and can be very friendly IF you play with them A LOT!!! Have I stressed they need to be played with A LOT!!! lol!!! Otherwise, they are so skittish they just aren't any fun. We've never been bitten; thank heavens!! They can live for several years.

We have a large (wood framed wire) cage - about 1-1/2 feet by 2-1/2 feet and she's able to run around and get exercise. Then sometimes my daughter will take her out and let her run around on the floor when she's doing homework.

She has a bowl of pellet food and a bottle of water at all times; then twice a day (that is if my daughter remembers) she gets a couple pieces of apple, carrot, lettuce, or just about any fruit or veggies we have on hand.

They are relatively quiet altho they do squeal and squeak if they're disturbed or feel scared/threatened. They are quite loud when chewing on a carrot! That sometimes drives my daughter nuts if she's trying to sleep since the cage is in her room!

My daughter (14) really REALLY wanted guinea pigs but doesn't always take care of them; I am often the one changing the water and feeding her. Other than that, the only problem we've really run into is needing someone to take care of them while on vacation. Really can't leave her for more than two days at a time.

Good luck!!!

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answers from Dallas on

I had a guinea pig as a kid, and consequently, we will never have one. They whistle. Loudly and often at night. Even in sixth grade when I was completely enamored with "Bandit" it drove me nuts!

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answers from Des Moines on

I'm with s.b., I too had them as a kid and will never be getting one. All I remeber is how messy they are with the litter and smell if you do not keep up with the cage. And I mean really smell. I honestly cannot remember one good thing about having them. They weren't even fun to play with.

We had lots of pets as kids....finches, hamsters, guinea pigs, dog, cat, parakeets, and a salt water aquarium. Maybe that's why I have no pets, well besides my 4 monkeys I like to call my children. That is enough for me.

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answers from Washington DC on

I scanned all your answers and they are great. Make sure you give your piggy a vitamin C supplement OR feed him/her a very fresh and high vitamin C diet. They get scurvy (vitamin C deficiency)this is very common for them. We used to see them all the time at the exotic veterinary practice I worked for. Do not get a long haired pig, they get poop stuck in the back end in hair matting. You need to keep their toenails trimmed or keep a close eye or they can become ingrown, they can get something called bumble foot if you do not keep the cage clean, their feet get infected and swollen.
I had pigs all my life up until 4 years ago when I got preggers, they are fun but keep need frequent cage cleaning and they do kick out the mulch all over the floor. Mine NEVER bit anyone. I probably had about 7 pigs throughout my life. One lived to be 9!!! I've had one live to 3, still not sure what happened to her.
They love, love, love crinkling noises, like a plastic grocery bag. it makes them squeal and jump.
I second the oxbow, more expensive but worth it because the bags are smaller and the pellets will contain more vitamin C than old pellets from those huge bags that are not really resealable.
all in all they cab be pretty skiddish pets if you do not pay them any attention so make sure your kids play with them everyday.
Yes they do run around and squeal sometimes at night but usually if they hear someone. The water bottle clinking and clanging in the middle of the night is fun too! mine used to get really mad at 3 am if it was empty and start aggressively chewing at the bottle....! They have personalities!
eta: none of my pigs liked being out of the cage on the floor. They used to run under the cabinets and hide when I would put them on the kitchen floor but if you started from a young pig they would probably adjust.
-all my best C.

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answers from Kansas City on

We had two Guinea pigs when our kids were home. They were in a cage that had wire, can't remember the size, ate Guinea pig food, some vegetables and were very nice pets. The kids got a leash that is very light weight and would walk the Guinea pigs up and down the drive way and around the yard. They loved it. I can still see one of our sons walking around outside with the one Guinea pig on his shoulder. He loved it. Unfortunately we got one given to us and thought it was the same sex and it wasn't so we had cute little beautiful babies. They did bite but were so sweet. One of the parents died from a heart attack when our Collie came near the cage to look at him and he was sitting out on top of the cage. The dog didn't touch him but they are very easily frightened and die of heart attacks if scared. I was not aware of this until after it happened. So we took the Mother and babies to the pet store and they said they don't pay for Guinea pigs but when they saw our they said they were so beautiful they paid me. The kids loved them, especially the boys. I would recommend them but just be sure to not scare them. They are NOT like Gerbils or hamsters. They are much more people animals and like being played with.

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answers from Boston on

We had them at the school I went to and when I was 11 or 12 I got to "babysit" one of them over a vacation break for a week. I couldn't get it back to school fast enough. It was loud, it was messy and it smelled. I personally would never have a rodent as a pet. A cat is much much easier.

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answers from Chicago on

When I was a teen, I had a guinea pig, and every evening he would run around the cage making lots of noise, as soon as I turned off the light (not sure if they are supposed to be nocturnal, but this one seemed to be). Be aware of this if yours is going to be in a room where someone is trying to sleep.

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answers from Tampa on

1. They live 6-8 years
3. We actually made her cage out of the bottom of 2 dog crates then put playpen wire around it. You can get this at Walmart in the pet section. I think its for hamsters not really sure. We had a 2 story cage. My husband took a piece of pvc pipe & made a tunnel for her he put grippy stuff on it so she wouldnt slip down. She loved it.
4.Fruits & veggies especially romaine lettuce. She would squeal every time the fridge opened. Also grain that you buy at the pet store as well as timothy hay.
5. Yes, she would pull on the wire cage & make music especially when she wanted to eat lol. They arent as bad as a hamster though
6. It hurts but I dont think it is as bad as a hamster but usually they only bite if scared.
7. It depends on what your idea of high maintenance is. We have cats & at that time a dog as well. I dont think she was any more high maintenance than a dog as if you go away you have to get someone to come over & feed them. Most people dont know how to take care of a guinea pig so you will have to show them.You can get more info online just by typing in guinea pig or cavvy as they are called
So to tell you a little bit about our pig. Her name was Kissy because she liked to give you kisses.My daughter got her from the humane society she worked at. We didnt know she was pregnant we just thought she was getting fat. One morning my daughter comes in & says umm mom theres a problem with Kissy. I was thinking omg shes gotten out & running around the room lol. I go in there & here is this little brown baby. SO CUTE. So when you go to buy them make sure they are seperated so hopefully that wont happen. I didnt want her at first but I grew to love her. She would snuggle up under my chin & purr & it would put me to sleep. Until of course she peed on me ugh lol & they do that ALOT so be prepared to change clothes. All in all though they have their good & bad just like any animal but they are not for little kids as they are very hard to hold onto & catch& will bite if they feel threatened. Hope this helped & good luck. One more thing as for the bedding do NOT use pine shavings this is not good for them. We used paper bedding. It comes in a green bag I think at petco or petsmart. Its made from recycled paper pulp or something like that. The companies used to throw it away years ago. Its the best thing for the & easier to clean up the urine as it soaks it up kind of like cat litter.

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answers from Phoenix on

My son has the "cool" teacher this year for 4th grade. He has about 40 guinea pigs in his class and I don't know how many he has at home. His class takes care of them and then enters them in the fair. The kids learn all about them all year long. They love it, obviously!

My daughter also had him for 4th grade. They get to bring the GP's home on the weekends, IF the parents allow it. So we have had them on weekends. And now its starting again this year. lol

AV gave a lot of great advice. We only babysit them on the weekends, but it was enough to know we did NOT want them full time as pets. (Even tho the kids continue to BEG us! lol) They are a lot of work and our kids are gone every other weekend and on those weekends, my husband and I are not home alot. So we didn't feel like we could take on a pet that needed a lot of attention.

Good for you for checking it out before you make that decision. So many parents don't. Good luck!

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answers from Kalamazoo on

You can get one at the pound. You can also get a guinea pig 'starter kit' at the pet store with a cage and everything. We empty the cage and change the bedding about once a week. We buy the more expensive bedding doesnt stink. The food is cheap, you can just buy bags of guinea pig food and they can have some fresh fruit and veg for a treat. Ours doesnt bite, it is very tame. The more you handle them, the friendlier they will be. overall, it has been a fairly low maintence pet. They live 3-4 years, but if you adopt one from the pound theres no way to know the age, so Im thinking more like 1-2 yr commitment if its already an adult when you get it.

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