Are Guinea Pigs For Me? - Wannabe Owners' Helpful Information

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Guinea Pig Wannabe Owner's information collection
Here is quick overview on the most important areas you should consider before getting guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs as a species in their own right
Guinea Pig Facts - A Short Overview
Guinea Pigs And Rabbits - Why Not

Guinea pigs as family or classroom pets - important aspects
Children And Guinea Pigs - A Guide For Parents
Children And Guinea Pigs - Age Appropriate Interaction And Responsibilities.
Guinea Pigs as Classroom Pets - Why Not
Guinea Pig Names: considerations, solutions, inspiration and resources

Choosing the right guinea pigs for you
Guinea pigs are prey animals that live in groups. They are not wired to be kept as singles!
Companionship
Boars, sows or mixed pairs; babies or adults?

Housing
Getting Guinea Pigs? Items You'll Need To Buy?
Cage Size Guide
All About C & C Grid Cages Around The World
Sourcing Conventional Cages And Hutches
Bedding For Guinea Pigs - Overview
Ramps in Cages

Diet
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diet
A Guide to Hay for Guinea Pigs

Behaviours and interaction
Please be aware that guinea pigs are social prey animals and not animated cuddly toys!
Most shop and breeder bought piggies have had no friendly human interaction when they are uprooted and thrust into a home as pets. It takes time and patience to bring out piggies. Have you and especially your children got that patience without losing interest?

What to beware in new pet shop or breeder guinea pigs
What to check for in new guinea pigs (vet checks, sexing, parasites, ringworm&URI)

Settling in and human interaction
Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig Safely

Understanding guinea pig behaviour and caring for guinea pigs
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)

What health problems to look out for in new guinea pigs
Vet cost and insurance information
Vet fees can quickly mount into the hundreds of pounds and dollars if you run into serious illness or require an operation. In many countries vet clinics require upfront payment. Vet cost is going to be the largest budget post in any pet's life. Freedom from pain and any unnecessary suffering is one the basic animal rights for domestic animals.

Please always make sure that you double-check the gender of any new guinea pigs. Mis-sexing is sadly not at all uncommon. Never get guinea pigs from a place that does not separate the genders! Any boar over 3 weeks is potentially able to make babies.
Young pet shop or breeder piggies often come with some health issues as their immune system is not yet strong enough when they are ripped away from their group and their lives are upturned several times with hardly any friendly human interaction before they are sold into a home where they are expected to instantly function as a cuddly, friendly pet.
What to check and look out for in new guinea pigs (vet checks, sexing, parasites&illness)

You need to factor this into your weekly or month budget, whether you get an exotics insurance (not available in many countries) or save up for a vet fund, so you can afford vet care at any time, especially in an emergency!
Please be aware that it is one of the basic animal welfare rights to have access to medical care and be free from any pain and suffering.
veterinary fees - some important information

Good standard guinea pig rescues
Good standard rescues are by far the safest place to get guinea pigs from without the risk of any unpleasant surprises.
Please be aware that there is no licensing or welfare control for either rescues or breeders, and that the results can accordingly. We have listed the vetted places we can guarantee that you are in safe hands for several countries.

Recommended good standard and safe to go to guinea pig rescues with a mandatory quarantine/health care, pregnancy watch, careful bonding and adoption policy for a worry-free start into guinea pig ownership.
UK: Guinea Pig Rescue Centre Locator
US and some other countries: Guinea Lynx :: Rescue Organizations
 
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