South Bend, Indiana, United States
Posted Dec 23, 2018
I inherited a couple of guinea pigs from a cousin who no longer wanted them. They were a couple of years old when I received them, and lived for several more years, so overall I think they lived about 7ish years.
These little guys are adorable, but can be a bit noisy. Mine would squeal every morning when someone was in the kitchen (we kept the cage in the living room) so they could be fed. Alas they were quite fat when I received them so they were on a bit of a diet and exercise regime to get them down to proper size. One thing to note: these little guys do not produce vitamin C, so it has to be provided. Most guinea pig pellet feed is fortified with vit. C, so it shouldn't be a problem. They can also be supplied with fresh fruits and veggies, just do it in moderation as fruit has a lot of sugar.
My vet also told us we could supply our guys with Tang (the orange powder drink mix) for vit. C. Our guys LOVED it. They would squeal for it every day.
Maintaining a clean cage for guinea pigs is very important. They can really produce quite a bit of urine and poo. Be sure to use the proper type of bedding, because they have sensitive respiratory systems and don't need the extra dust. I had my guys in quite a large cage (it was close to 2'x4' ish, probably larger) and I would spot clean all the time and then dump the entire thing every other week. Obviously this can get quite pricey, but it has to be done. Mine used one area of the cage as the "bathroom" so it made cleaning relatively easy.
They also need quite a bit of exercise. I had a little folding-fence thing that I could use to give them an enclosed area to run around, especially while I was cleaning out their cage. They seemed to enjoy it.
Overall these guys are great little pets. Also note, if you run into any medical issues you will need an exotics veterinarian to handle them, so be sure to know where one is locally. Better safe than sorry!