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Video:Guinea Pigs as Pets

with Phil London

Guinea pigs make great pets, but it's important to know what you are getting into before you add one to your family. Learn what kind of pets guinea pigs make, and see how much active care and attention they require.See Transcript

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Transcript:Guinea Pigs as Pets

Hi, I'm Phil London, form Pet Guy Central in Suffern, New York. Here for About.com. Today I'm going to tell you all about guinea pigs.

Guinea Pigs Sociability

They're very social type animals. Relatively mellow in nature most of the time. And do get to enjoy being handles and hanging around with their handler. A lot of time they'll learn how to get litter box trained with a lot of time and effort and patience on your part. A lot of people also enjoy the fact that guinea pigs are a very vocal animal. Where they will kind of make noises for the fact that they're happy or they're upset. Love noises, purring, kind of like a cat would make noises around its owner. They're really mellow, so they're great around kids as a starter pet.

Introducing Guinea Pigs Into a Home

Just like most other animals and people, once you first get your guinea pig home they're going to be a little bit stressed out because of the move. You want to give them a little bit of time to more or less settle into their new environment and need a little time to get to know everybody and get to know your personality - as well as you get to know their personal personality. Every animal happens to have its own unique personality. It also goes with some of them are a little bit more introverted, some are extroverted.

Some people will find that their Guinea Pigs act a lot like them. It also happens to be that a lot of the time you spend with the animal is a lot of what you get out of it. The more you hang around and enjoy the company of your guinea pig, the more your guinea pig will also hang around and enjoy your company.

Guinea Pigs and Time Constraints

They're not one of those types of animal, generally, that are demanding on time, where you always have to playing with them. Otherwise, they're not going to enjoy being around the family. It's more of they're not used to being handled, so they'll be a little bit more skittish. But they're always as long as you give them a little bit of attention – they're not one of those animals who are starved for attention. Like a cat or a dog or a sugar glider, where you always have to be there with them as a part of the family.

Longevity of Guinea Pigs

If you wind up getting your guinea pig when they're a baby, generally, as a baby I'm talking they're almost about 3 months old, just weaning from their mother - eating real food, solid food on their own, you should expect to have your guinea pig for another 8 to 10 years after that. The general care and maintenance of a guinea pig is extremely easy, besides the amount of time that you end up spending with them - which is according to your own schedule.

Guinea Pig Maintenance

But, most of the maintenance is, you're going to end up giving them fresh food and water every day and most people have a tendency to clean their cage about once a week. Guinea pigs for the most part are kind of what they consider on the lower maintenance side because they don't have that extreme need to be part of the family and a lot of training. They're not extremely active animals in their nature, so they would be kind of ok sitting in a cage most of the time and just coming out to stretch their legs if you don't play with them a lot.

Guinea Pig Exercise

You should put in an exercise wheel if you don't let them get out or exercise a lot so they can get the added advantage of the exercise wheel so that they don't get too chubby. They are one of those few animals who can pack on a lot of pounds.

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