Guinea pigs are easy going, low maintenance pets, but there are many things that should be considered when aquiring a pet of any kind. We are concerned about these things because over the years we have found that it is quite easy to find people to take a guinea pig or two, but quite difficult to find people that will keep them and value them, for more than a year or so. Although we have tried to keep our requirements to a minimum, we have found the following to be consistant conditions with our long term adopters.
1) Cages do not belong in bedrooms
There are several good reasons for this.
a) A child spends very little time in their bedroom, especially as they grow older. Your guinea pigs should be part of your family and this is not going to occur if your pets are isolated in a bedroom.
b ) A child should be helping care for their new pet, but they should not be given sole responsibility for a living creature. An adult needs to oversee that they are fed and watered daily, handled with care, and kept clean.
For more reasons why this is not a good idea go to... www.cavyspirit.com/nocagesinbedroom.htm
2) Cages should be placed in a room with frequent family traffic, such as the family room.
NO guinea pigs in basements unless it is a finished basement that serves as a daily family area. No guinea pigs in garages or living in outdoor hutches.
3) We do not adopt to children, but we do adopt to families.
Parents must want to have guinea pigs too, as they will ultimately be the primary caregivers. We have also found that when parents are actively involved with their pets, children tend to also be involved, and remain interested in their pets. These adoptions are also much, much more likely to succeed.
We haven't just noticed this once or twice, but it proves true in almost every instance.
4) We adopt out our guinea pigs in non-breeding pairs or trios, or to families that already have a guinea pig who needs a friend.
Guinea pigs are social animals and do much better in pairs or trios. They are more active and interesting pets when sharing a cage with a companion.
Having two guinea pigs is really no more work than having one!
6) You may need to suppy care by a specialized veterinarian at some time during your pet's life.
Guinea pigs are hearty little creatures, and many will never need to visit in vet during their life, but there are certain condions that can arise that would require special care. Many vets do not treat guinea pigs, and some that will, do not have experience dealing with them. Most people do not think of guinea pigs as exotic, but their ailments and needs are quite different to those of other animals, and that is why they do fall into the exotic pet catagory. Guinea pigs need to see a specialized exotic animal vet when seeking veterinary care.
Many things can be prevented or treated at home, but some can not. If a condition is painful, preventing your pet from eating, or your animal is near the end of it's life and suffering, you need to seek the help of a vet.
For a list of local exotic animal vets go to Jodie's Local Friends section.