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Hamster vs Guinea Pig

My son is turning 5. I would like to get him a pet for his birthday, and he has asked in the past for both a hamster and a guinea pig. Not sure what one I should chose.

PLEASE NOTE: I would be getting him one in the next few months anyways. It just happens his birthday is soon. The pet would have been gotten anyway, it is NOT just a "oh this is a cute idea"

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Asked by calebmama at 1:51 AM on Apr. 30, 2011 in Pets

Level 7 (168 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I've never kept hamsters but there was a post about them a while ago and they sound kinda gross. You have to remove the male or he will eat the babies?

    I have kept guinea pigs, though, and they are AWESOME! Just don't keep two males together or they may fight to the death. But they're sweet and cute and cuddly and can be trained a little bit. I just love guinea pigs.

    Answer by judimary at 2:05 AM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • When my siblings and I were very young (I think I was 6 years, my sisters were 7 & 9) we got our very first guinea pig. I'm now 20 and we've had 8 different once since then :P We also had 3 hamsters, however they were very hard to hold on to, and they could bite little fingers and one killed another, while another escaped into the furnace :\ I say guinea pigs all the way, they're easy to care for depending on which type you get and make the cutest sounds. Much less fidgety than hamsters. :)

    Answer by EdwinsMommy at 2:19 AM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • Definitely a Guinea Pig!! A decently socialized GPig loves to be held and cuddled (however interestingly enough, most don't like the feel of being picked up...) and they rarely bite. They are lazy, so they don't need or want all the tubes and such that the littler rodents do. And they make these absolutely adorable chirping/whistling sounds. My 5yo DD just got her first GPig yesterday. His black and brown and she named him "Purple Wolfie." LOL

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 8:31 AM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • The best rodent pet I've ever had is a rat! I know people get grossed out by them but they are very sweet and they love to be held. You can also train the to do tricks! I would recommend getting that. If you do, I would also consider getting 2 (of the same sex unless you want a million little babies). They are very social animals and like to have "friends"!

    Answer by MrsMWF at 8:32 AM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • Don't ever buy just one guinea pig. Here, any decent pet store or breeder will not sell you a guinea on its own unless it is going to be introduced to one at home. They are incredibly social and are LOVELY pets. They need decent quality pellet food (to prevent selective feeding), fresh hay available at all times, and fresh water and greens (carrots, cabbage etc) daily. We have 3 left, but the most we have had is 6 at one time...they are lovely pets. We have only had girls, but that was because we kept bbuying and introducing more so had to keep to one sex! Never buy just will be so lonely!

    Hamsters are fun too, but for a five year old i would suggest a guinea. We have several hamsters (different cages) and whilst they can be tamed and are wonderful little critters, they are fragile and my 5 year olds prefer the guineas as they are a bit bigger. They love to watch the hamsters though!

    Answer by little.knickers at 9:45 AM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • A Guinea pig is the way to go- they bite WAY less often, if at all, and they are really neat little guys. They even 'talk' to you! Hamsters can be mean little beasts. Rats are great too- I had one that would get out of his cage to come and sleep with me! So neat :) They are very affectionate and sweet- just make sure you don't get a giant feeder rat- EVIL! lol

    Answer by lovingmy4babies at 9:57 AM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • I much prefer guinea pigs for several reasons. Hamsters are nocturnal- they tend to be cranky when woken up in the day. Guinea pigs are daytime creatures and more social. Hansters are nocturnal by nature. We have guinea pigs, and they are very nice pets. They are great lap pets, very tolerant of the kids, and will 'wheek' for food, which the kids usually comply with! Guinea pigs do need a decent sized cage and good quality food- they need a vitamin C fortified pellet, unlimited hay, and fresh veggies/fruits for treats. They are also very social and are much better kept in pairs or same sex groups. A lot of the fun is seeing the interaction between the animals- they definitely have a relationship to each other as well as to the owners. If you've got any more guinea pig questions, feel free to send me a message... we love ours!

    Answer by Freela at 3:08 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • I had hamsters and guinea pigs. GPs suck. They aren't personable and they can really hurt when they bite. And the bigger the animal, the more poop and pee.

    Hamsters are better, but they are very nocturnal.

    Rats are the best choice. The are very intelligent and social. They also like to be tickled and played with.

    But with any of them you have to make a point of playing with them every day so they recognize and bond with you.

    Answer by MyMyOhMy at 3:32 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • We have 8 guinea pigs and they seem to do well with the kids. I've had them since my oldest daughter was 7 and my son was almost 2 and the kids have never tried to hurt them. My guinea pigs are the size of a small puppy and they curl up on our laps and cuddle. They are sweethearts. I had to have one put to sleep last week. They are good animals but they are not the type of pets you just want to put in a cage and forget about. They love to be held, they love to run around, etc. Like PPs have said, they need a companion.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 3:52 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • My vote is guinea pig, they bite a lot less than hamsters! I have had several of both.

    Answer by spottedpony at 5:50 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

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