We’ve had guinea pigs since Payton was seven. She got Cottonball for her seventh birthday.
Cottonball lived four years at least, which is the life expectancy of a guinea pig ( 3 to 5 years). She was a super sweet easy going guinea pig. She went to school for a show and tell moment one time and was a big hit there.
When Cottonball passed away and many, many, tears were shed, we took a couple of weeks before we got Hope and Buttercup.
Buttercup lived just long enough for us to realize the pet store had made an error and given us a boy and a girl guinea pig. Buttercup was a good guinea pig and a great GP Dad. Sometimes they warn you to move the Dads from the cage because they can get rough with the babies. But Buttercup was sweet and protective.
For a time we had five guinea pigs. That was a shock because we thought we had two girl guinea pigs. Also guinea pigs breed fast and gestation time is speedy. We left the house to go away to Toronto for the weekend and when we came back Hope was twice her normal size. Two days later a litter of adorable guinea pig babies was born. I wrote about that here once.
Then happily that one Christmas the sweet babies found a home with some awesome new children. Again there were many tears shed, but the kids also made a few dollars from the sale and that helped a bit.
This past year Hope, my favourite piggie passed away and again there was much crying and sadness. Pet ownership comes with grief and sadness too, so be prepared to help your child work through that.
Right now, we still have two funny little creatures. Skittles is in the top photo. She is a spazz. She is pushy and noisy and she thinks the world revolves around her. She always shoves the other guinea pig, Nugget, out of the way when it is eating time and she gets her food first. But she likes to cuddle and she really likes having company in the cage. Nugget shares the cage with her. Ainsley likes to play with Skittles.
Guinea Pigs: Ownership
Guinea pigs are good pets for kids. They are pretty easy to manage and can be left for the weekend with water and food in a cage and they will be just fine. They are, in fact, one of the lower maintenance entry level pets for kids. They even enjoy cuddling and socializing a bit. Our old girl Hope used to enjoy sitting on Payton’s lap being petted as we read books out loud. Skittles is not that GP. She just likes eating and occasionally likes cuddling.
Products We Love For Guinea Pigs
There are several different types of bedding that you can buy but the one that is wood shavings is super messy so we don’t recommend that one. Kaytee and CareFresh are the best in our opinion.
Go with something that is not too expensive because they eat a lot and poop a lot too. This guinea pig food is higher end and higher quality. Also honestly, you might as well order it all on Amazon. It’s just easier. You will also need a Food Dispenser for the hay.
This combo starter pack is a good place to start. Of course you need water bottles and cages too.
Listen, we went through 5 of these before we found the right one that DOES NOT LEAK all over the cage making it a wet mess of stink. This Living World Guinea Pig water bottle is the only one we like.