Why Guinea Pigs make a great first pet for kids

Guinea pigs are a type of short-tailed, rough-haired, animal of South American origin.  Guinea pigs are traditionally a popular pet for families, and are often chosen as a first pet for a child.  We at GuineaPigs.ie can think of lots of reasons why Guinea Pigs can make great pets for kids, but here are just a few!

Guinea Pigs are very friendly.

Guinea pigs are big characters, despite their small size, and although some may look the same, each one has its own personality traits.  It’s a good idea for your child to spend a little time with a guinea pig before choosing one as a pet, as your child may prefer a boisterous and outgoing piggy, or indeed one that is shy and reserved.   Your child will get instant feedback when their pet is happy, as guinea pigs purr, just like a cat!

Guinea Pigs don’t bite.

Guinea Pigs are, in general, gentle animals and in our experience at GuineaPigs.ie, they are extremely unlikely to bite.  Even an accidental bite to your child’s finger, thinking it’s food, is very unusual because guinea pigs don’t like to try new foods!

The same goes for your home and the guinea pigs hutch.   The great thing about your pet guinea pig is they won’t destroy your furniture or chew on their hutch as they don’t tend to bite.

Guinea pigs want to be cuddled.

Compared to other small pets like rabbits and hamsters, young kids can find it easier to handle guinea pigs. Guinea pigs like to be handled, while rabbits prefer to be down on the floor and can be hurt if trying to jump from a child’s over-enthusiastic grasp!  Hamsters and gerbils can be skittish, while guinea pigs are less nervous.

However, as with any pet, we recommend supervising younger children around guinea pigs, to ensure they are both kept safe.

Guinea pigs are highly entertaining!

Guinea pigs are full of energy and are highly entertaining to watch, but will always come to their owner for a cuddle too.  You may notice that your pet guinea pig displays some interesting behaviour when they are happy or excited, commonly called “Popcorning”! They may jump up straight into the air over and over, or perhaps run forward and backward quickly, while others may kick out their front and then back legs. This behaviour which is unique to guinea pigs, is super fun to watch!

Guinea pigs are hardy pets and easy to care for.

Like all pets, guinea pigs need care and attention.  But if your guinea pig has the right diet of hay, fresh vegetables, fresh water and small amount of pelleted food, they can live long and happy lives.  Most little piggies will live for between 4 and 7 years, while hamsters live about 2-3 years.

Like us humans, guinea pigs don’t produce Vitamin C, so to keep them from falling ill, its best to choose a pellet food with added Vitamin C, and to provide plenty of dark, leafy greens such as kale, parsley, cabbage, spinach and dandelion greens for an extra Vitamin C boost!

Your guinea pigs home will only need to be cleaned about once every 1-2 weeks and is very easy to clean.  Click HERE to see our range of Guinea Pig Hutches with pull out trays for super easy cleaning.   At GuineaPigs.ie we also stock starter packs if you are getting a guinea pig for the first time, as well as food supplies and accessories to keep your little piggie happy!

Please feel free to leave us a comment below with any questions you have about Guinea Pigs!