My kids are begging for a pet and I just don’t think that we’re quite ready for a dog or cat. We’re interested in guinea pigs, but I hate the idea of buying one from a pet store when there might be guinea pigs who need to be rehomed. Is this even a thing…guinea pig adoption?
Getting a Guinea Pig in Garden Oaks
Dear Getting A Guinea Pig,
Not only do guinea pigs make fun, loving pets but yes, there are very often guinea pigs in animals shelters who are awaiting their fresh start in life! In fact, March is Adopt-A-Rescued-Guinea-Pig Month and many shelters in our area have guinea pigs ripe for the picking.
Before adopting your guinea pig though, make sure that you’re prepared for the special needs and circumstances that owning a guinea pig might require. For instance, guinea pigs live, (on average) five to seven years so, while not quite as long as a dog or cat, a reasonable life span. Make sure that you’re prepared to own (and love) your piggie through the next stage of life for you and your kids. Also, guinea pigs are social creatures. While you certainly can have just one, they are exponentially happier if they have a buddy. If you introduce guinea pigs as babies, you’ll increase the odds of finding a harmonious partnership, but two adults can certainly learn to get along. Even better? Adopt an already bonded pair from your animal shelter.
When planning on your piggie’s habitat, don’t get a hamster-size cage for your guinea pigs. Guinea pigs need a bit more room to run. Luckily, guinea pigs tend not to be escape artists, so a homemade enclosure that is size-appropriate can be an affordable option. Also, guinea pigs aren’t always quiet. Their noises won’t disturb the neighbors like a barking dog, but they do make their own “wheeking” noise that you’ll learn to love. So, take that into consideration when planning on where your guinea pig might live. For instance, in the bedroom of a child who needs a good night’s rest might not be the best place to keep your guinea pig.
With careful planning and thought, bringing an adopted guinea pig into your home might be the best decision you’ve ever made. Guinea pigs are smart, trainable and affectionate pets. Many people don’t plan ahead when getting a pet guinea pig–acting on impulse at the pet store–which results in guinea pigs ending up in animal shelters. Their loss can certainly be your gain when you adopt a guinea in need from your local shelter.
Do you have a question for Tabby? Email her at deartabby firstname.lastname@example.org
Pet of the Week
Meet Emmi Lovabull! It isn’t a coincidence that Emmi’s middle name is “Lovabull”–this 5 year old lab/pittie-mix is the sweetest thing you’ll ever meet. Emmi has impeccable manners, she’s house trained, crate trained and is loving and affectionate. One of her favorite hobbies is snuggling on the couch, so if you have space in your heart (and on your couch) for Emmi Lovabull, she’d be ever so appreciative! To learn more, go to www.k9angelsrescue.org.