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Guinea pigs....

My 3 year old DS asked for a guinea pig from Santa. How he knows about them I have no idea. I was thinking about getting him a pet for Christmas anyways b/c all of our fish died. Are they difficult to take care of?


Asked by angiemgiu at 11:13 PM on Dec. 19, 2008 in Pets

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Answers (8)
  • I was a supervisor at Petsmart for 6 years so I have been around them a lot. They are actually the ONLY small animal recommended for children under the age of 8 because they typically don't bite. That's not to say they won't, but they typically do not. That said... they can be quite a bit of work. Their cage needs to be cleaned almost daily as their urine has a very strong ammonia smell. They MUST have vitamin C daily. They are the only animal that does not store or produce it naturally in their bodies, so it must be provided. Cont'd

    Answer by mcginnisc at 7:37 PM on Dec. 20, 2008

  • I would say too much for a 3 y/o, since they can be very skittish and resist being held, plus bite. I have heard of some being very affectionate, but it takes a lot of patience and handling to get them that way.

    Answer by mamapotter at 11:28 PM on Dec. 19, 2008

  • when i was younger, we had 3. 2 were sweet as can be and one was meaner than shit..if you get your son one, i would not just pick the cute one, id let it pick you. kinda like a dog or any other animal..they can be very matter what animal you get your son right now, you're gonna have to help take care of it.. one pet thats very calm and playful is a ferret!! but they are illegal in alot of states..and stinky so you'd have to clean the cage Alot..GL!

    Answer by tnteaton at 12:04 AM on Dec. 20, 2008

  • We have rats and they are so much better than guinea pigs! it seems like their all affectionate (at least all the ones I've had) and They are very easy to take care of! They just need food and water and to have their cage cleaned maybe once a weeks we have 3 in the same cage so it's a little more often but when we only had one then it was only about every other week so I'd go with a rat if your not scared of them. Good luck :)

    Answer by Heidikans at 1:31 AM on Dec. 20, 2008

  • Guinea pigs are not the ideal pet for a 3 yr old.. they are too exciteable. They can actually have a heart attack from their high state of excitement and as previously mentioned, bite. A rat is a much better choice, or try a chinchilla. Rats and chinchillas are much calmer and chinchillas cannot penetrate the skin even if they were to bite. Try to get a young one, so it can grow up with your child. Be sure you read up on it or talk to a pet expert before you just decide on any of them! I am not familiar with ferrets, so don't feel I am discounting them, I just think they stink in the literal sense of the word, lol.

    Answer by KnoxvilleDoula at 10:09 AM on Dec. 20, 2008

  • If you're unsure about it, then I say don't do it. The 2 guinea pigs I had lived 7 years. If you were to get one and decided later it was a bad idea, you'll be stuck with it a lot longer than you would another small animal (assuming you don't give it away to someone else).

    I have had 5 pet rats over the years (I have one right now) and have never been biten. They don't live nearly as long, especially coming from pet stores. If you go with a rat, I recommend getting 2 so they have a buddy--otherwise you'll need to be sure to play with yours everyday to give it the attention it loves. They are VERY social animals.

    Hamsters always bite me, so I'd never get one of those, lol.

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 10:17 AM on Dec. 20, 2008

  • Continued....
    This can be done through drops in the water, orange slices, and baby carrots. Also, they need to eat Timothy Hay in addition to their food. They drink a ton of water. Guineas are very sociable, but they are also extremely skittish, so not ideal for a small child that would like one to hold and cuddle. Small animals typically don't like to sit and cuddle. Remember they can't talk so their only recourse is to bite if they feel threatened or don't feel well. Their life span is 8-10 years. I hope that this helps.

    Answer by mcginnisc at 7:42 PM on Dec. 20, 2008

  • We had a guinea pig and she lived to be 6 and half years old. She was a good pet. She was took out of the pen and petted daily. We gave her watered down orange juice for her vitamin c a couple times a week, and she loved lettuce. Oh, we could go to the fridge and wrattle that lettuce bag, and she would go crazy . But the smell was strong. Her urine smell would smell up the house if we didn't clean out her cage every couple days.

    Answer by toyota at 12:26 PM on Dec. 21, 2008