“I am a human guinea pig and a professional dilettante.”
Tim Ferris, Author
Pros and Cons of Owning a Guinea Pig
You think about getting a guinea pig but are not entirely sure whether this is a good idea or not?
Great! This article is exactly for you since I show you all pros and cons of keeping guinea pigs in the following chapters.
After reading this blog post, you will have a much better idea of what keeping a guinea pig looks like and can decide if you still want to get one or if you want to get other pets instead.
Table of Contents
Advantages of Getting a Guinea Pig
- Guinea pigs are relatively small
- Easier to rent a flat
- Guinea pigs are rather quiet animals
- You don’t need a big home for keeping guinea pigs
- Guinea pigs are cute
- Nice for small children
- Guinea pigs are rather cheap pets
- Your guinea pig may become a real family member
- You can cuddle your guinea pig
- Guinea pigs can have positive therapeutic effects on humans
- You don’t have to go for a walk with your guinea pig
- You can find purpose in life
- Can help you overcome difficult periods in your life
- You will become more responsible
- You can get a guinea pig from the shelter
- Caring for guinea pigs can help you satisfy your altruistic needs
Guinea pigs are relatively small
One important advantage of guinea pigs is that they will stay relatively small.
While cats and dogs are small as well while they are still young, they usually grow quite fast and will become much bigger over time.
In fact, many pet owners greatly underestimate how big their pets really get once they become older.
In turn, many people no longer want to care for their pets once they get bigger since they either don’t have enough space or since their pets just don’t look cute enough anymore.
In turn, many pets end up in the shelter every day.
You will not have to worry about this too much if you get a guinea pig since guinea pigs will stay rather small during their lifetime and there will just not be unpleasant surprises in this regard.
In turn, chances may be bigger that you will keep your guinea pig instead of giving it away sooner or later.
Easier to rent a flat
Since your guinea pig will stay rather small and will also not do that much damage to the furniture, you will also have an easier time finding an apartment to rent compared to a state where you keep a big dog or other exotic pets.
Thus, if you have to find a new place to live and have to compete in a market where it is quite difficult to find rental apartments, getting a guinea pig instead of bigger pets can make apartment-hunting much easier for you.
Guinea pigs are rather quiet animals
Another upside to keeping guinea pigs is that they are rather quiet animals and will not be noisy most of the day.
This can be quite important, especially if you work from home and need a quiet atmosphere to focus on your tasks and to really get things done.
In such a case, having a guinea pig at home is much more convenient compared to other animals like cats and dogs since other pets will likely distract you much more by barking, meowing or emitting other sounds that can be annoying if you want to focus on important stuff you have to get done in time.
You don’t need a big home for keeping guinea pigs
If you want to keep a hamster or a guinea pig, you will also not need a big home.
Since guinea pigs will stay relatively small, you can also keep them in small flats if you like to.
Of course, the bigger your home, the better your guinea pig will feel since it can move around and explore its surroundings.
Yet, you can still keep guinea pigs in small flats much better than dogs or cats that have to get much more exercise and room to play around.
Consequently, if you live in a rather confined space right now and don’t have enough space to keep other animals, getting a guinea pig can also be great in this regard.
Guinea pigs are cute
Keeping guinea pigs can not only be great from a practical standpoint, but they are also just quite cute pets.
In fact, not only your children, but also adults will enjoy the company of guinea pigs since they just look funny and can lighten up your day, even though you may have many problems to deal with right now.
Nice for small children
Keeping guinea pigs can also make sense in case you have small children at home and don’t want to get bigger pets like dogs.
In fact, many people worry that those big dogs may hurt their kids sooner or later, even though it might not even be their intention.
By getting a guinea pig, you don’t have to worry about those issues since guinea pigs will be too small and will not have enough power to seriously hurt your kids.
Sure, accidents can still happen when your guinea pig scratches your kid’s face.
Yet, compared to keeping other pets, guinea pigs are just not that dangerous and you will be able to leave your kids alone with a guinea pig for a certain while without having to worry about serious problems.
Guinea pigs are rather cheap pets
Compared to other pets, guinea pigs are also rather cheap.
Not only the purchase price will be lower compared to most dog and cat breeds, but you will also have to spend less money on food.
Hence, guinea pigs can be great pets for people who are on a budget right now but still want to enjoy the company of a pet.
Your guinea pig may become a real family member
For many people, their guinea pigs are more than just pets.
They become real family members over time and are quite important to the whole family.
In some families, guinea pigs even eat when the rest of the family eats.
In the long run, you may be able to develop a real connection with your guinea pigs and some people even claim that they can read the mind of their guinea pigs.
You can cuddle your guinea pig
Another upside to getting a guinea pig is that you can also cuddle your little friend.
You may come home after having a hard day and work and may just be frustrated and done with the world.
In such a case, your guinea pig can give you great emotional support since you can cuddle it and the world may look much friendlier after that.
In fact, you will realize that many things that we think are important are in fact not and that it rather matters how we care for each other and for our loved pets.
Guinea pigs can have positive therapeutic effects on humans
It has also been shown by many studies that guinea pigs can have a significant positive effect on humans.
Especially people who suffer from depression or other mental problems can benefit from the company of guinea pigs since those pets can help to overcome their issues and to get more motivation to carry on.
Of course, you should not only rely on pets to cure your emotional issues but you should also see an experienced psychologist who can help you out in case of emergency.
Yet, keeping pets like guinea pigs can also greatly help you overcome your issues as complementary measure.
You don’t have to go for a walk with your guinea pig
Another advantage of having a guinea pig at home is that you will also not have to go for a walk with your guinea pigs.
While dog owners have to go for a walk no matter what the weather looks like, you can sit inside your four walls in a convenient environment while dog owners will have to leave their home also during rain or snow.
You can find purpose in life
Many people who own guinea pigs also report that they have found true purpose in life by caring for their little friends.
This is especially true for older people who often don’t have that many social contacts left and who feel like they are no longer needed in society.
By caring for guinea pigs, they often get back a purpose in life and chances are that those people also live much longer compared to people who have nobody and nothing to care for at all.
Can help you overcome difficult periods in your life
Getting a guinea pig can also be helpful if you currently have to deal with serious issues and don’t know how to handle those situations in a proper manner.
In such a case, having a pet on your side can be really helpful since pets like guinea pigs can give you great emotional support and give you the strength to get your problems out of the way.
You will become more responsible
Caring for a guinea pig will also make you more responsible.
You will know that your guinea pig will not be able to survive without your support.
In turn, you will learn how important it is to feed it on time and to take additional measures to make living conditions for your guinea pig as nice as possible.
Consequently, not only will you become more responsible when it comes to keeping pets, but you will likely also become more responsible in various other parts of life and getting a guinea pig can therefore greatly improve your chances to succeed in life in general.
You can get a guinea pig from the shelter
You also don’t necessarily have to get a guinea pig from a store or a local breeder.
You could also get a guinea pig from a shelter.
In fact, this would be a great idea since you can relieve animal shelters and also provide a better home for guinea pigs at the same time.
Caring for guinea pigs can help you satisfy your altruistic needs
Many people also want to keep pets since they want to care for others and want to satisfy the altruistic part inside them.
While you can do good for other people, you can also satisfy your altruistic needs by getting a guinea pig and caring for it in the best possible manner.
In turn, you will feel much better since you know that you do a good job and that you make your guinea pig happy.
As you can see, there are definitely many advantages of keeping guinea pigs as pets. However, there are always two sides of the medal.
In fact, there are also many problems with keeping guinea pigs that I want to show you in the following chapter.
Disadvantages of Owning a Guinea Pig
- Keeping guinea pigs costs some money
- You may have to see the vet sooner or later
- Getting a guinea pig is a long-term commitment
- Guinea pigs are vulnerable to predators in your garden
- Your guinea pig may escape
- You will have to clean your home more often
- Your children may lose interest in playing with your guinea pig
- Keeping guinea pigs can be time-consuming
- You may be allergic to guinea pigs
- May prevent you from going on vacation
- Guinea pigs are not that responsive
- You will not be able to teach your guinea pig exciting tricks
- Nothing is forever
Keeping guinea pigs costs some money
One disadvantage of getting guinea pigs is that you have to invest some money.
Sure, guinea pigs will not be as expensive as dogs or cats and you will also not have to spend that much money on feed.
Yet, keeping a guinea pig will still cost you a few hundred dollars a year on average and you should make sure that you have this money and don’t have to take on debt.
Hence, if you are on a tight budget right now and your financial conditions are quite bad, you may not want to get a guinea pig but rather wait until your financial situation gets better.
You may have to see the vet sooner or later
You should also not expect that your guinea pig stays healthy forever.
Sooner or later, your loved guinea pig will get sick and you will have to see a veterinarian.
This will not only be time-consuming, but it can also be quite costly.
Thus, make sure that you get proper insurance so that you are covered in such a case.
Getting a guinea pig is a long-term commitment
Even though they are rather small and don’t look that resistant, guinea pigs can get quite old.
In fact, guinea pigs often reach 7 years or more and you should therefore make sure that you are willing to care for those pets for an extended period of time.
Consequently, before you get one of those little friends, you should take your time and make sure that you really want to have a guinea pig at home for many years so that you can avoid giving it away to the shelter.
Guinea pigs are vulnerable to predators in your garden
If you want to give your guinea pig the option to play in your garden, you should also take additional safety measures.
Since they are rather small, guinea pigs are quite vulnerable to predators and will not be able to defend against martens or other bigger animals that may try to feed on your guinea pigs.
Thus, make sure to install a fence or to take additional safety measures to minimize the risk for your guinea pig in your garden.
Your guinea pig may escape
If you are not careful, your guinea pig may also just escape sooner or later.
Especially if you are not careful and leave the garden door open, chances are that your guinea pig will explore the outside world and may just leave your property.
In such a case, you will often have a hard time finding it again and your guinea pig may also be run over by a car.
Hence, make sure that you are careful and that you always look after your guinea pigs to avoid those issues.
You will have to clean your home more often
Another downside of keeping guinea pigs is that you will also have to clean your home more often.
In fact, guinea pigs can lose plenty of hair and you will be the one who has to deal with this issue.
Your guinea pig may also not be housetrained in the beginning and this means that you may also have to remove unpleasant poo in the first weeks.
Your children may lose interest in playing with your guinea pig
While guinea pigs may be exciting to your kids in the beginning, children often lose interest in pets pretty soon.
Hence, make sure that you don’t solely get a guinea pig for your kids but that you are also interested in keeping one since you will be there for your guinea pigs even though your kids may no longer want to deal with them.
Keeping guinea pigs can be time-consuming
You should also not underestimate the time commitment that you make by getting a guinea pig.
You will have to feed it, bring it to the vet once it gets sick and also have to clean your home more often.
All those things take time and especially if you work at a job right now that is quite challenging and where you have to work long hours, chances are that you may just not have the time to care for your guinea pigs in a proper manner.
You may be allergic to guinea pigs
You should also make sure that you are not allergic to guinea pigs before you actually get one.
Otherwise, you will be forced to give away your guinea pig quite soon and chances are that it will just end up in the shelter.
May prevent you from going on vacation
Another problem with getting a guinea pig is that you may also be less flexible when it comes to going on vacation.
You will have to find someone who is willing to care for your guinea pig while you are away and this may not be that easy.
If your guinea pig gets sick, you may even have to cancel your vacation plans.
Guinea pigs are not that responsive
You should also not expect guinea pigs to be as responsible as other pets.
If you talk to a guinea pig, it will just look at you in a rather strange way and will just not know what you want from it.
In contrast, other pets like dogs are just much more responsive and will better understand what you want to tell them.
You will not be able to teach your guinea pig exciting tricks
While other pets like dogs will also learn nice tricks in a rather short period of time, guinea pigs will just not have the same learning curve and you will also not be able to train guinea pigs in a similar manner.
Nothing is forever
While guinea pigs can get quite old, you will still have to say goodbye to them sooner or later.
In fact, nothing is forever and saying goodbye to your loved pet can be heartbreaking, especially for your kids.
Top 10 Guinea Pigs Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Guinea Pigs Pros||Guinea Pigs Cons|
|Guinea pigs are small pets||You may have to see the vet|
|You don’t have to spend much money||Keeping guinea pigs can be time-consuming|
|Guinea pigs are quiet pets||You will have to feed your guinea pigs|
|Can give you emotional support||You have to clean your home more often|
|Keeping a guinea pig can give your meaning||Problems for your vacation plans|
|Good pets for small children||You may be allergic to guinea pigs|
|No problems with your neighbors||Guinea pigs don’t learn tricks|
|You don’t have to go for a walk||Guinea pigs are not that responsive|
|You can satisfy your altruistic side||You may lose interest in them|
|You will become more responsible||Guinea pigs are a long-term commitment|
Should You Keep A Guinea Pig As A Pet?
Now that I showed you all the advantages and disadvantages of getting a guinea pig, it is on you to decide whether you still want to get a guinea pig or if you rather want to get other pets like dogs, cats, rabbits, mini pigs or an aquarium.
About the Author
My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.
In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.