Buying a Guinea Pig: A Pet Guide

Guinea pigs make wonderful pets! People choose to keep Guinea pigs for many different reasons. They are very calm, rarely bite, and are very clean. The average Guinea pig lives five to seven years but they have been known to live to ten plus years. There are a few things that you need to remember when you pick out your Guinea pig.

There are several different places you can go to get your new Guinea pig. Go to a breeder if you want a specific breed or a Guinea pig with a pedigree. If you are not concerned about breeding, you can go to either a pet store or the local animal shelter. If your are planning on buying your pet from a store I would personally suggest Petsmart, I have never been disappointed at the Guinea pigs if have gotten from them.Where ever you go to get your new pet you need to first be sure that you have everything you will need to take care of them.

Here is a check list of things that you will need.
-A cage to hold them. The ASPCA recommends a that your Guinea pig has a minimum four square feet of space to roam. They also recommend not to use a wire-bottom style cage because this could cause injury to their feet.

-Plenty of bedding for their cage.

-Plenty of food, Guinea pigs eat pellets but to stay healthy they need hay and fresh greens as well.

-Wooden chew toy

-A salt lick

-A water bottle

-A covered sleep box

Now that you have everything that you need it is time to chose your Guinea pig. When choosing a Guinea pig you need to be on the look out for signs of medical problems such as sneezing, coughing, and runny discharge from their eyes, nose, or ears. Next take a look at how they interact with the other Guinea pigs around them. What are you looking for as far as personality? A Guinea pig who stays away from the others and doesn’t seem to play with them will most likely be calm and peaceful. A Guinea pig who is on the middle or the crowd and runs around a lot will most likely be active and playful. The last thing to consider is how dose the pig act when you try to pet or handle them. A little nervousness is to be expected, be they should not have be paralyzed with fear.

The last thing to remember is to get your new Guinea pig is to get them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. It is best to identify and health problems as soon as you can. If your new Guinea pig is seriously sick then you should contact the breeder, pet store, or animal shelter to see what their policy is on sick animals. You may be entitled to either a refund, an exchange, or financial assistance to get them well again.

A new pet is a big responsibility but if you follow these steps you will be sure that the process of getting your Guinea pig is as smooth as possible.

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