Guinea pigs are very interesting and we all enjoy their company. Children especially love guinea pigs, but you must be wondering if it is good for the elderly to keep guinea pigs.
Are Guinea Pigs Good Pets for Seniors?
Guinea pigs are good pets for seniors because they are easier to keep and care for than other larger pets. Guinea pigs can be an interesting experience and help the elderly to have an occupation in their old age.
In today’s article, you will find out what are the advantages and disadvantages of seniors people keeping guinea pigs, how the elderly can take care of guinea pigs more easily, and similar issues.
Are Guinea Pigs Good Pets for Seniors?
Guinea pigs are good pets for seniors because they do not need to be walked outside, nor will they have the same difficulties as they would with larger animals, such as dogs.
There are certain advantages and disadvantages that seniors would have when keeping guinea pigs.
So let’s look at the pros and cons of keeping guinea pigs.
Advantages of keeping guinea pigs for the seniors
If seniors keep guinea pigs, they will have better socialization, easier cleaning, lower costs, and other benefits. So let’s take a closer look at all these advantages.
Guinea pigs are excellent pets for seniors as they will provide them with better socialization.
Since guinea pigs can understand their name, they know how to make popcorn when they are happy and various tricks will make the elderly feel better.
They will be able to play with the guinea pigs and pet them, which will be good for both them and the guinea pigs at the same time.
Elderly people often feel lonely, so guinea pigs will help them feel better and reduce their sense of loneliness.
Easier maintenance of hygiene
Guinea pigs are very clean animals, which will be an advantage when they are kept by adults.
For adults, maintaining the hygiene of the guinea pig will be reduced to a minimum, they will not need to be bathed because they groom themselves.
Guinea pigs when in a cage will not make a mess in the rest of the room which will be great for the seniors, unlike other animals like dogs that require a lot more cleaning when keeping them.
Cleaning the cage once a week is also an advantage when seniors care for guinea pigs.
There are no big expenses
Keeping guinea pigs is a relatively low cost for their maintenance and can be afforded by seniors, which is another advantage for keeping such pets.
If we compare keeping cats or dogs, it represents a significantly higher cost for their maintenance.
Another advantage to guinea pigs and keeping them by seniors is their lifespan.
Guinea pigs live about 5-8 years and are unlikely to outlive their elderly caretakers.
Seniors keeping guinea pigs will not leave a commitment to other loved ones in the family if they are unable to care for their pets due to old age.
Guinea pigs are small in size and easier for older people to keep.
Guinea pigs do not require an outdoor space which will make the task easier for the elderly and they will not have to be taken outside for a walk every day.
It is enough to hold them in their hands or just talk to the guinea pigs while they are in the cage.
Disadvantages of keeping guinea pigs for the elderly
In addition to the advantages, there are also disadvantages that can make it difficult for seniors peoples who want to keep guinea pigs.
Here are some of them:
- they are too loud
- they can suddenly jump out of your hands
- they should be let out of the cage sometimes
Therefore, let’s take a closer look at these disadvantages that can be a problem if the seniors decide to keep guinea pigs.
Sometimes they are very loud
Guinea pigs are very active throughout the day and this can affect the seniors and make it difficult for them to care.
For example, guinea pigs can be very loud and make noises that can be annoying to seniors, especially when it’s time to sleep.
When guinea pigs are hungry they can make noises during the night and wake up their owners.
They may jump unexpectedly
Guinea pigs are calm animals by nature but sometimes they can jump unexpectedly while you are holding them.
This is especially possible if at some point they sense some danger in the environment.
For the seniors, it can be a little more difficult to hold them and they can slip out of their hands, fall and injure themselves.
Sometimes they need to play outside the cage
Although guinea pigs spend most of their time in the cage, they sometimes want you to let them out of the cage.
For the seniors, this can be a big challenge if they are not able to supervise them.
Guinea pigs need someone to supervise them when they play outside the cage so they don’t get hurt.
An easier way for the seniors to take care of the guinea pigs
Seniors with some things can care much easy for guinea pigs, so certain steps should be taken that will help them in this goal.
Here are some of them that will make it easier for seniors to care for their little guinea pigs.
So that the seniors do not have to frequently clean the cage from pooping and peeing the guinea pigs, it is necessary to do training.
If the seniors teach the guinea pig to use a litter box then cleaning the cage will be easier.
They will not have to remove their feces every day, they will be able to do it once or twice a week, which will make it easier for them to keep and care for their pet.
If the seniors set up an automatic food dispenser specifically for the hay because it is the main food for the guinea pigs, it will be easier for them to keep their pets.
With the automatic hay dispenser, the guinea pig will always have enough food available to eat and will not go hungry.
Easier bedding change
Guinea pigs poop and urinate frequently, so the bedding needs to be changed frequently.
But for the seniors, daily changing of bedding can be a problem, especially if they use wood shavings, hay, or something similar.
To make it easier to change the bedding, you can use a mat made of canvas that can be easily removed and changed.
Guinea pigs can be an interesting experience for seniors and allow them to keep such pets even in their old age.
Guinea pigs, unlike other animals, are easier to care for and keep and are great companions for seniors.
For the seniors, guinea pigs, apart from being easy to keep, are also good so that they don’t get bored and don’t feel lonely.
In any case, guinea pigs are great pets for seniors to keep and can make their lives, even more fun and interesting.
Read more: How to Bathe a Guinea Pigs? Complete Guide