Guinea pigs and ferrets are both adorable little critters that are a good addition to any family.
Both of them have very different characteristics but do not compare them to cats and dogs because their behavior is unlike any common domesticated animal.
So, should I get a ferret or a guinea pig? The answer to this question comes down to what you want in a pet. Ferrets are playful creatures and need a lot of supervision while on the other hand guinea pigs are these cute little munchkins that are less active as compared to ferrets.
It is high time you learn the difference between the two pets and then you can feel free to choose the pet that you want to keep at home!
Check out this article for more information!
Things you should know before getting a guinea pig
It all depends on the amount of time you have to invest in your pet. If you have a busy schedule, then getting a guinea pig would be better for all parties involved… but if you want to spend a lot of time playing with your pet, then ferrets are the way to go.
Guinea pigs need a large cage
These little creatures require a lot of floor space and the ones you find at your local pet stores are way too small for them, especially if you are thinking about getting two guinea pigs.
You would actually have to prepare a cage before you bring the guinea pig home.
Guinea pigs do not actually require a fully enclosed cage like other pets.
And contrary to popular belief you really do not need to bother with turrets, exercise balls, elaborate tunnels or wheels, as these things do more harm than good and most guinea pigs cannot even fit into them anyway.
Guinea pigs should have at least 7.5 square feet of space.
That is a lot of space, but do not worry; you can actually make a suitable and safe guinea pig cage at home using corrugated plastics and wire shelving.
This kind of cage is known as a C&C cage, which is short for cubes and coroplast.
This kind of cage does not only cost less than the ones in the pet store, but it is also much healthier.
Consider your time and the lifespan of the guinea pig
Do not adopt a guinea pig if you do not have the time to spend with it and later send it back to the shelter.
They love interacting with their human friends, even if it means just watching TV.
Guinea pigs also need time outside their living quarters in order to exercise daily.
If you take proper care of your pet and provide it with lots and love and attention, it can actually live up to six or seven years.
Teach your children regarding guinea pigs
These little creatures are naturally timid and fragile.
Instead of just gifting your child the guinea pig, adopt the piggy as a family and also teach your kids about the responsibility that comes with caring for such a fuzzy little critter.
Infants and toddlers can harm the guinea pig as they see it as a toy, so always supervise the interaction between your child and the guinea pig to make sure that no one gets hurt.
Guinea pigs require vitamin C
Guinea pigs apart from humans, are another few kinds of animals that are unable to manufacture vitamin C themselves.
Hence they need a diet that contains vitamin C.
Selecting high-quality food and providing guinea pigs with a variety of fresh foods is vital for their health.
The best way to give your Guinea pig with the vitamin C it needs is by adding vitamin supplements to its water.
Guinea pigs are social
Guinea pigs enjoy living with other guinea pigs because they are very social creatures.
If you do not want any unwanted litters, then you can keep same-sex guinea pigs.
Unlike most animals, you can easily keep two female or two males together without any major issues.
Rarely there are personality differences among the guinea pigs and they end up not getting along.
The best way to create a bond between guinea pigs is to introduce them when they are babies, although introducing them as adults is fine too.
Guinea pigs are easy to tame
Guinea pigs seem skittish or nervous at first when they are brought to a new home, but with consistent gentle handling, they almost always become tame without much hassle.
The important thing to know is that guinea pigs need to be handled very gently and with a lot of care.
Children should be supervised when they are interacting with them, but there is no need to worry as guinea pigs do not bite when they are under stress.
Things you need to know before getting a ferret!
Ferret proofing your home
Before bringing a ferret into your home, ferret proofing your house is very important as ferrets are born escape artists and they easily get themselves stuck in dangerous situations.
According to the size of your ferret, you need to block all the holes that are over ½ x 1.
You have to particularly cautious around cabinets, kitchen appliances, and ventilation and heating ducts.
Protect the electrical outlets and plugs.
Block all your doorways with wood or Plexiglas pieces slotted into the door frame or specially designed safety gates.
And be sure to always watch your feet and ferrets have a tendency to play underfoot.
You have to be very careful to safeguard your drawers and their contents and also your cabinets to prevent the ferrets from opening them.
Keep items such as cleaners, medicines, soaps, deodorants, and shampoos out of the reach of your ferret because they steal everything that is not nailed down to the floor.
Supervise buckets, bathtubs, and sinks every time they are filled with water and remember to close the toilet lids to prevent any drowning accidents.
Aquariums should also be covered.
Furniture is another major area of concern. Remember to not allow your ferrets near sofas, beds and sofa beds as ferrets love to nest.
Fasten thin plywood or heavy fabric across the bottom of the sofas.
And you need to take care of the springs or levers inside the reclining chairs and the sofa beds. Ferrets have a tendency to nibble on floor fabrics so you may have to cover them with plastic carpet protector.
Plants are another story. Some plants can be dangerous or toxic for ferrets, so you need to check all the plants at your place before allowing the ferret to roam freely. If you want the ferret to stop chewing on your good plants, then coat the leaves of the plant with sour apple cider vinegar or any such nontoxic solution.
You also need to protect your ferret from getting suffocated just like small children. You need to keep your ferret away from suffocation hazards such as drapery cords or plastic bags.
Furthermore, you also need to protect the ferret from items such as cardboard tunes that hold wrapping paper, paper towels and toilet paper, etc. You might be tempted to use them as inexpensive toys, but they will cause serious problems for your fuzzy friend.
Ferrets need a diet that is high in protein and fat plus a lot of fresh water. Ferrets are omnivores, but their diet is predominantly carnivorous.
Most owners just end up feeding their ferrets high-quality kibble as there is not much ferret food available. The thing you need to remember is to avoid fish flavored cat food or fish itself as it may cause an odor problem in the litter box.
Under any circumstances do not feed your ferret dog food as they will fill your ferret up but will not provide them with the nutrition it needs.
Human food is mostly indigestible and toxic for your ferret so avoid feeding it human food. Avoid tobacco products, ice cream, coffee, milk, tea — Colas, caffeine, chocolate, and onions.
Ferrets do require a diet that has a variety of components and they will do almost anything for a little treat. You can teach them to roll over, beg, walk on their heels and sit up by making use of treats. Companies such as Ferret fiesta do offer ferret food and the flavors range from peanut butter to carob raisins.
Can guinea pigs be found at a shelter? Many shelters have guinea pigs that are looking for a new home. The guinea pigs in shelters are very easy going and social and so it is easier to bond with an older piggy.
What kind of diseases do guinea pigs normally suffer from? Guinea pigs can suffer from obesity if they do not get enough exercise daily. This could, in turn, lead to dental problems, respiratory problems, and even stroke. You have to make sure that your guinea pig is hygienically sound by taking care of its teeth and its ever-growing nails. Guinea pigs do end up with vitamin C deficiency so be sure to provide them with ample vitamin C supplements.