Are you thinking about bringing home a guinea pig this Christmas? Have your kids been pestering you for weeks or months to let them have one?
You're not alone.
At a Creative Memories scrapbooking event this weekend, I sat at a table with several mothers who between them have seven kids under the age of eight. The conversation turned to Christmas wish lists and pets, and two of the moms said their youngsters had been pestering them for guinea pigs.
"I don't know if it's a good idea," said one mom. "We have a golden retriever that always chases rabbits and squirrels."
"I can't take care of one more thing," said the other. "I have four kids and a cat. I know I'll end up taking care of a new pet, and I'm not always sure I'm giving the cat as much as I should."
Mentioning that I work with this rescue, I asked them some of the questions from our questionnaire...and it only took two or three for them to realize that a guinea pig and its unique care needs were not going to fit easily into their household at this time.
If you (or someone you know) are considering a guinea pig for your home, we invite you to check out Are Guinea Pigs Right For Your Home on our main Web site. Below are the critical questions you need to ask yourself:
- Are you willing to adopt a pair of pigs?
- Can you make the lifetime commitment (as many as 8 years)?
- Do you have time for the daily and weekly care routines?
- Do you have space for the proper-sized cage?
- Can you provide a safe environment?
- Can you interact with them daily?
- Can you afford the costs of care?
You can find detailed explanations for each question on our site. You'll undoubtedly think of other questions to ask yourself as you read, but it's better to ask these questions now rather than later when an animal has settled into your family. And, as always, you're welcome to ask us for more information!