Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Guinea Pigs for Kids?

While I know there are a great amount of people who buy guinea pigs for their childrens' amusement and take perfectly great care of them I wanted to bring this topic up. We have taken in far too many guinea pigs (as other rescues have too) that have come from families saying: "my kids don't play with them anymore". I try not to be sarcastic and I tell people I understand, and I do. I understand that children are CHILDREN and they lose interest in everything.

We as parents like to entertain them, give them what they want, etc. But we have to be prepared to take care of the animal and love it, etc, when the kids are done being excited about it. Think of it this way... I don't like taking care of the cages, I dislike the poo and pee getting on me, or the stuff getting on the floor, it's a pain. The smell sucks. Now I'm an adult and I can force myself to do it regardless of how much I want to. A child is not going to do that, they lose interest and they don't want to take care of a pet for 5+ years.

While I don't recommend a family not get one just because they have kids who will lose interest. I would like to see families that want to adopt as a whole, not just the children. Moms and or dads who don't mind taking care of the pigs and will spend time with them. Compared to other animals these guinea pigs are very easy. You don't have to walk them, buy huge bags of litter, etc. They require daily handling and food, water, hay, vitamin C.

I just wanted to put the idea out there that while other websites say how great of a first pet cavies are, or that they are great for children, yes they are, but be realistic and adopt if YOU want to be responsible for it. Not a child, or anyone under the age of 18(ish).

3 comments:

  1. I asked for a guinea pig when I was a kid, and took care of him..after he died, my mom kept bringing more guinea pigs home, without asking us, and she never intended to care for them herself. I think I might post a similar article on my site..it's the #1 reason people give up their guinea pigs.

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  2. Great article, and very true. I didn't mind getting our first guinea pig for our son, because I already knew I'd likely be doing most of the care-taking. I like animals, and don't mind the routine care chores. But I knew there was no way our son would do 100% (or even 50%) of the work of taking care of his pet over time. He was 8 1/2 when we got his first guinea pig, Henry. As parents we have to be realistic, and expect to do most of the care for the cavies while our kids are younger.

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  3. Jen, you are welcome to copy my article and post it if you want.

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Special Notice:

Guinea Pigs are very social animals. If you are considering adopting one, please consider having more than one for improved health and personality.