Guinea Pigs As Pets: Tips To Consider
It’s happened before: After popular movies like Marley & Me and Beverly Hills Chihuahua debut, public demand becomes huge for the movie’s featured pet stars — then after a few months, an influx of Labs and Chihuahuas are surrendered to shelters because they do not act like the well-trained movie actors.
The Disney movie G-Force, which launched last week, shows a squad of specially trained, computer-generated guinea pig spies coming to the world’s rescue. Although guinea pigs are great pets, the American Humane Association encourages people to do their research before getting a guinea pig as an impulse buy after seeing the movie.
Some facts about guinea pigs:
· Guinea pigs are not good “starter pets” for young children. They are very fragile and should not be confused with action figures as seen in G-Force.
· Guinea pigs can live up to seven years or more, and grow to a length of about 8 to 10 inches.
· Guinea pigs are social who love attention and play time, and most require a moderate level of attention on a daily basis. They are also happiest living in pairs.
· Guinea pigs cost about $40 a month. They need food, hay, bedding, etc.
· Guinea pigs need to be seen by an exotic-animal veterinarian annually and need regular nail trimming.
· Guinea pigs require large cages that need to be cleaned regularly.
After families have done their research and believe they are ready for the responsibilities of a guinea pig, American Humane encourages them to look into adoption from guinea pig rescue groups and animal shelters. There are usually many small mammals available for adoption.
Guinea pigs do make great pets, but as with any pet, it is important that people do their research before making such a big commitment. All animals, big or small, deserve plenty of love, attention and care.
American Humane’s Film & TV Unit was on set to award G-Force with the “No Animals Were Harmed”® end-credit disclaimer, and worked with Disney to create special messaging regarding pet adoption on the G-Force website disney.go.com/disneypictures/gforce/.