10 reasons why guinea pigs make great pets

10 reasons why guinea pigs make great pets – by James Alston writing for ExoticDirect

ExoticDirect offer pet insurance for guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, mice and other small pets. They also insure parrots, reptiles, tortoise and even pygmy hedgehogs! Learn more about them and what they do.

Guinea pigs are pretty easy to look after

Guinea pigs are a perfect pet for someone who wants an animal that is affectionate and playful but can’t offer the level of care required for a higher-maintenance animal like a dog. But it’s not only that. All pets are prone to diseases, but guinea pigs can be relatively healthy when compared to other species of animal. As long as they’re given the right TLC. The most common health problems are often dental disease and digestive problems – so the correct diet, regular exercise and regular medical check ups are really important. With all these requirements ticked, guinea pigs can be quite hardy, giving you lots of love over the years.

Guinea pigs live longer than other small pets

Most guinea pigs live four or five years, but they can live longer, with some having been known to last right into their teens. Of course, this means it’s no small commitment to purchase a guinea pig, but of course, it’s nothing on a tortoise!

Guinea pigs live off a diet of hay (hay is mega important), vegetables, and special guinea pig pellets. Their bodies also can’t produce vitamin C, so they’ll need special supplements to remain healthy. But don’t give them a Barocca!

Check out what you can feed Guinea Pigs in ExoticDirect’s diet advice article.

Children love them

Guinea pigs are a common pet for children, seeing as they’re relatively easy to look after and have reasonable lifespans. They’re also very docile around humans, so they aren’t usually a danger to children’s fingers, and they’re generally not as delicate as rabbits and not as skittish as hamsters and gerbils.

Owning a pet as a child can also help children to learn empathy, responsibility and, when the pet comes to the end of its life, deal with grief in a healthy way. But aside from the serious stuff, owning a guinea pig can just be really good fun!

They’re fun to watch and play with

Guinea pigs are sociable around humans, and when excited in their homes they do a thing called popcorning. This is when they run, jump, and backflip around like crazy! Once frequently used in lab experiments, the slang ‘human guinea pig’ is used when people feel they’re the subject of tests or trials. Guinea pigs are actually quite smart, too and can navigate paths to food and some have even been litterbox trained.

Check out what setup Guinea Pigs need in ExoticDirect’s best setup article.

They’re social animals – which means more guinea pigs!

Guinea pigs live in social groups of up to 10, and guinea pigs – especially female ones – thrive in groups of two or more. Guinea pigs will groom and play together, and they learn to recognise each other and bond. In fact, in Switzerland you’re not allowed to own a lone guinea pig, as it’s seen as detrimental to their health!

Be careful if you have other rodents—it’s generally advisable not to house gerbils or hamsters with guinea pigs, as they can carry infections and get each other sick. As long as you house them separately, though, you should be fine. If you want to, you could turn your house into a veritable zoo!

You can rescue guinea pigs from the RSPCA just like you do rescue dogs

Some people prefer to go to a breeder to get their pet. However, many pets are abandoned every year, and sometimes, people simply cannot afford or are unable to look after their pets any longer.

Guinea pigs need love and attention just like any other pet, and one of the best things you can do is to adopt one and give it a loving home! The RSPCA offers a service to find a pet near you that needs a home, and this includes guinea pigs. Head to https://www.rspca.org.uk/findapet to find out more.

They’re very active, so there’s always time to play

Aside from popcorning, guinea pigs don’t have much of a regular circadian rhythm. This means they sleep for short periods and are awake a lot of the time, sometimes for up to twenty hours a day.

Guinea pigs can be ‘active’ in other ways too, so make sure you only house guinea pigs of the same sex together, especially after they’re a month old. (Yes, that early!) Bear in mind too that boars will have to be neutered if they are housed together, otherwise they may not get along. Sows and neutered pigs are generally fine, though.

It’s easy to go on holiday, as long as you have someone to look after them

Like all animals, guinea pigs need to be looked after if you go away on holiday or if you’re just out of town for a few days. Their cages will need daily spot cleaning and to be cleaned completely at least once a week, and of course, they need fresh food and water regularly, as well as social interaction – remember, they’re very sociable! Your guinea pig won’t mind not going to Magaluf with you, but it still needs food and water!

Guinea pigs love humans

They might not seem it at first glance, but guinea pigs are often very affectionate with humans. Some may squeal or climb up their cages to meet you, and of course, they love being held and petted. It’s not only other guinea pigs they love!

There are even clubs dedicated to the showing and breeds of guinea pigs. The British Cavy Council governs clubs in the United Kingdom. You never know, you may just own a prize winning pig!

Most important, they’re cute!

Guinea pigs come in a wide range of breeds, each with their own specific traits and colours. Some may have simpler coats whereas others can be very brightly coloured. Guinea pigs come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from 700g to two and a half kilos and usually measuring between 20 and 25 centimetres long.

Whatever shape, size or colour your guinea pig is, one thing’s for certain: they’re very cute, and they make brilliant pets.

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Symphony for Our World

This Earth Day (April 22), Nat Geo WILD is airing a special commercial-free musical event, Symphony for Our World. It’s a beautiful hour-long special that has zero narration, and pairs breathtaking wildlife footage with original music created by rock band X Ambassadors + Hans Zimmer’s Bleeding Fingers Music. It airs Sunday the 22nd at 8/7 Central time.

It’s breathtakingly beautiful, not just in images but the music pulls you through as we visit the 5 places unique to our earth. We start in the sea, with underwater creatures that will capture your imagination, and then move on towards the shore, land, mountains, and eventually, the sky. There are animals you may never have seen before, and sights that are hard to believe are real.

Revillagigedo, Mexico – Here, whitetip reef sharks, Pacific creolefish, barberfish, and Moorish idols populate the reef in this rich, sea habitat. (ENRIC SALA/National Geographic Creative)

You can even see the symphony in person in certain venues around the world! An inaugural performance will be held at the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall on Earth Day, April 22. For performance dates and ticket information, visit natgeoevents.com/symphony. I can only imagine how beautiful the music would be performed live!

Another way that you can participate is by joining the conversation on social media. Nat Geo WILD is partnering with the National Geographic Photo Ark for this Earth Day event. Founded by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, the Photo Ark aims to document every species currently living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, inspire action through education, and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts. Share your selfies on social media with the hashtag #SaveTogether.

You can learn more at PhotoArk.org, there are many ways to help.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania – A small herd of giraffe trek their way across a plain, backlit by a multi-colored sunset (MICHAEL NICHOLS/National Geographic Creative)

Tune in and enjoy the beauty of our planet this Earth Day. You will be so happy that you did.

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The Sibley Guide to Birds #ChewyInfluencer

I received this item free of charge from Chewy in exchange for my honest review.

Spring is finally arriving in my part of the world, and with it, the return of many birds! Because we usually have a lot of snow and cold winters, a lot of birds leave for warmer climates before making a return when the weather warms. Robins are always the first to come back, but there are many birds that we see that we haven’t known the names of. Luckily all that can change this season as we look at the birds with our new guide, The Sibley Guide to Birds!

This guide is amazing, beautifully illustrated, and full of information. I love how each page has a map showing where you can see each species. This is a book that covers all the birds in the world, so you could certainly take it with you on a trip! From the birds we see all the time, to the very rare species, they are all included. I also like that it includes information about their behaviors, and their habitats.

If you are looking to get into bird watching, be sure to visit Chewy to find this volume and other great books to help get you started.

Posted in birds, wildlife | 1 Comment