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Share Your Critter Knowledge 2012 Contest
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I have had 5 Guinea Pigs total in my life, 3 of which I currently have:) I adore them; however, Guinea Pigs are definitely NOT for everyone. This being said, 1 of the most common misconceptions that I always see & hear is that they make great first pets. Guinea Pigs are extremely sweet, loving, hardy, & well-mannered animals & I think this is why people (& even Pet stores like Petco) regularly state that they are great first pets for children. However, this is very FaLsE. Guinea Pigs can easily be classified as some of the planet's most sensitive animals... even if they aRe sweet about it. Guinea Pigs have many specific needs & are extremely sensitive to many things. One of the major things that they are highly sensitive to is Sound. They hate loud noises to the point where it actually hurts them. They also do not like sudden movements & there is a very specific way in which they all must be held. All 4 of their legs must ALWAYS be supported & if they are moved, dropped, or bent a certain way, it can be fatal. As we all know, children cannot help that they are sometimes quite loud, sudden, & all over the place. Unfortunately, these characteristics are not good or suitable for Guinea Pigs at all. When a child matures & gets to be around 12 or 13 & knows more about what caring for a Guinea Pig entails, this would be a more appropriate time for them to adopt one rather than just throwing a Guinea Pig into a kid's care &/or slapping a careless sticker on the store's Guinea Pig cages that they are 'great first pets'. Also, Guinea Pigs must be taken out of their cages atleast once per day for around an hour so that they can get proper exercise & so that we can properly handle them & show them love. :) Their food & water must be attended to daily & their cages must be changed at LEAST once per week to ensure proper health. School takes up a lot of a child's day & so usually the Guinea Pigs end up being the parents' responsibility even if they did not want it to be which can lead to even more carelessness. Guinea Pigs are some of the best & most loving animals in the world & this is why we must try to ensure that they all get the best possible care that they can. :)
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Share Your Critter Knowledge 2012

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Good luck to all!
Shamrock Gang!, Harrisburg, IL
Posted: 1/8/2012 4:53:19 PM
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