Guest Post: Adopting a Guinea Pig

The prospect of getting a new pet is exciting no matter what age you are! Remember that before you think about getting a new pet, pets are a serious commitment. Can you afford a pet? Are you committed to taking care of it?

Fruity & Pudding, Photo by Allison
Fruity & Pudding, Photo by Allison

If you’re adopting a guinea pig, please be aware that guinea pigs require a great deal of food options and care, socialization, and attention. One useful guide to check out is Guinea Lynx Info. This is a trusted resource among guinea pig owners.

Make your guinea pig feel at home!  A guinea pig deserves the finest things in life such as:

  • cage
  • pigloo to hide in
  • hay buffet
  • water bottle
  • fresh fruits and veggies
  • proper bedding
  • toys

The list can go on forever, but this can help you get started.  You want your guinea pig to feel at ease and generally happy.

If you help your guinea pig get acquainted with you, you’ll both benefit by being more relaxed around each other.  Don’t try to pick up your guinea pig during this transition period, but periodically sit next to and talk to your guinea pig.  Ask your guinea pig how it’s doing or even simply have a conversation near your guinea pig. The more your guinea pig hears your voice, the more comfortable it’ll be around you.

Socialization is very important for you guinea pig. If it’s too lonely, it could get depressed and even die.  We had two guinea pigs and, when one of them died, we thought we were going to lose our other guinea pig too due to how sad it felt.  We made every effort to spend as much time with our one guinea pig as possible and it helped a lot.  We did not spend 24 hours a day with him, but we made sure to be home more often. While we were home, we had him out of his cage, running around with us, getting stroked, etc.  If for some reason, you can only have one guinea pig at a time, please spend a lot of time with it.

Bumblebee & Fruity, Photo by Allison
Bumblebee & Fruity, Photo by Allison

It’s possible that you may have another pet and your guinea pig will be new to them. Curiosity will be intense! When you first bring home your new guinea pig, it’s going to be scared and so it’s not a good idea to introduce them to any pets at that time.  Give your furry pig a few days to adjust to its new home. It’ll keep your guinea pig calm and help with its adaptation to your home.  One useful guide to check out is Omlet.

Make sure that you research about exotic vets in your area, if you’re thinking about getting a guinea pig. A regular vet is not fully equipped to treat exotic animals. Taking your guinea pig to a reputable exotic vet could mean life and death for your new pet.

Treat your new guinea pig like family!  Eventually, your guinea pig will be so acclimated to its new home that you can pick it up, talk about the day’s events over coffee, and more. Enjoy your new guinea pig and remember: Adopt, don’t shop!

Written by Nikki Harbeston, Creative Stuff, for LAA Pet Talk. She resides in South Carolina with her husband and dog. Her blog features Diary of a Chubby Piggie and Into the Journey of Dog. Copyright August 2013-March 2014.

If you are a pet owner with writing skills, Lincoln Animal Ambassadors would love to hear from you! We’re especially looking for content about birds, exotic animals, and horses. Content may take the form of an advice column or how-to articles. You may even simply wish to act as an expert consultant. If you are interested, please post in the comments and we’ll be in touch.

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