|Lifespan:||Short (Less than 8 years)|
Guinea pigs are kind and unassuming rodents, and they are usually a good option for families looking for a smaller pet with relatively easy care needs. If you're looking for an animal you can hold, you should know that guinea pigs may sometimes nibble, but they rarely bite (unless they do so out of fear). Out of all members of the rodent family, the guinea pig is probably the best option for kids, seniors, and anyone else who could benefit from a loyal, furry friend for at least five to seven years.
Don't be too quick to buy a cage marketed for guinea pigs at a pet store. In fact, the majority of these cages are much too small, resulting in a confined and unhappy pet. Bigger is definitely better, with a good option being Cubes and Coroplast (C&C) cages. These allow you to build your own cage by snapping together wire cubes or grids, and you can continue to add on as you feel necessary. Also, when feeding your guinea pig, the most important thing to remember is that they get an adequate amount of Vitamin C, which their bodies can't produce on their own. Guinea pigs like to graze, so make sure you provide them with fresh pellets, vegetables, and fruit at least twice daily. And, as always, check with your veterinarian with any questions you have about the health or care of your guinea pig.
For more information about guinea pig ownership and care, check out the Humane Society of the US.