The past week I’ve been petsitting my coworker’s guinea pigs named Ginger and Pumpkin while he’s away on his honeymoon.
They generally get along pretty well except when Ginger exerts her dominance over Pumpkin to get to food first or push Pumpkin out of a spot Ginger wants to be in 😀
Here are some interesting facts about guinea pigs!
They get lonely when they’re kept alone.
In the wild, guinea pigs usually travel in large herds and are very social creatures. When you only have one guinea pig as a pet, unless you have a ton of time to socialize with your pet (or even if you do), your guinea pig may become lonely because they are missing the companionship of other guinea pig friends! I used to have a single guinea named Spuddy, who I adopted from the local shelter but eventually had to return because he became depressed being alone and I wasn’t at home often enough to really keep him company :(.
They eat a lot.
Guinea pigs loooove to eat. The most active Ginger and Pumpkin will get is when they hear the sound of rustling bags or the fridge opening, both sounds that indicate food might be on its way. When they hear these kinds of sounds they start squeaking really loudly and run around their cage, which is fun to watch but also kind of lame because I wish they would get excited to just spend time with me – ~ – .
Guinea pigs really like eating hay (suggested amount is an “endless supply”), leafy greens such as lettuce or cabbage, and the occasional sweet treat such as sweet potato or a small piece of fruit. Watching them eat is quite cute and gives me a sense of satisfaction, hahaha.
They are considered good first pets for kids or people new to small animals.
Guinea pigs don’t usually bite, unless they feel super threatened or are uncomfortable and uses biting as a last resort, so they’re generally considered good first pets for people new to small animals. They are also relatively low maintenance compared to a dog or a cat, and I don’t think allergies to guinea pigs are as common as allergies to dogs or cats, which might be an important factor for some people when considering alternative options for pets.
My coworker gets back from his honeymoon in a week, so he’ll be picking Ginger and Pumpkin up soon, but in the meantime I’ll enjoy watching them eat their bodyweight in food and feeding them little fruit treats 🙂 !