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Q: Guinea Pigs vs. rats

January 18, 2009 | By amanda s. | 11 answers | Expired: 2004 days ago

amanda s.

I already had rats but I want to know about guinea pigs because they live longer. I would like to know if people would suggest guinea pigs or rats for a family with a 10 year old girl and 13 year old boy. I know more about rats but I've heard guinea pigs are just like them except that they live longer. I would really like to know what people who know about animals suggest about it.

Readers' Answers (11)
noel h.
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Jan 18, 2009

well..... iv had rats and guinea pigs. rats r fun and playful and smart. well..... guinea pigs stink really badly and u have to clean there cages alot. with rats the dont stink badly at all and u dont have too clean there cages as much and they are much funner to play with. so.... I would say rats because they are more easyer to take care of and more playful.

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Kavykeeper
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Jan 18, 2009

I have 6 guinea pigs and volunteer with a guinea pig rescue. Aside from the difference in life span, I would say the major difference is odor. Guinea pigs have little or no odor as long as you keep their cage clean. Occasionally males might give off a scent when they mark their territory, but that's usually if you have females nearby. If you get one or more, I would suggest same sex so they don't breed like rabbits. There are many available for adoption at shelters and rescues. Please go that route as there are guinea pig mills, just like other pet mills. Get the largest cage possible or build one out of coroplast. It's easy to make and cheaper than a store bought one. They need guinea pig pellets which are fortified with vitamin C. Without it, they can develop scurvy. They need fresh water daily in a drop bottle, fresh veggies, minimal fruits due to the sugar content. Never use cedar bedding as the aromatic oils are dangerous to them. Carefresh is best, but expensive, aspen is good, dried pine is good as long as there is no odor which means the oils are dried out, but it is dusty. Their lifespans are usually 5 to 8 years. Three of mine are more than 5 years old right now. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. I'd be glad to answer them. Guinea pigs are wonderful pets!

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Jessica P.
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Jan 18, 2009

Rats are MUCH better. Rats are more interactive, less likely to bite. Can be trained to do many different things. Are very clean and quiet. Guinnea pigs make lots of noise, are very messy. Very hard if not impossible to train, and are often skittish. If you are looking for an alternative small pet to a rat (which is my first reccomendation for anyone) then think rabbit (holland lops are my personal favorite).

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