Hamster vs Guinea Pig: Which pet is right for you?
For both children and adults, hamsters and guinea pigs make wonderful small pets. They are frequently suitable for first-time pet owners. Both of these pets are small, fluffy, and take up less space than cats or dogs, but they differ significantly in some important ways. If you’re thinking about getting one of these small pets, knowing how guinea pigs and hamsters differ in terms of health, care, and costs can help you decide which pet is best for you.
Hamster vs Guinea Pig: Behavior and life span
Due to their small size, hamsters are a popular choice for new pet owners. Although hamsters can be affectionate and cuddly with the right training, handling, and socialization, they can also get aggressive with one another, so it’s best to keep just one hamster per cage. Guinea pigs sleep a lot, both during the day and at night, and are typically active in between. If you have trouble falling asleep, you might want to keep your hamster in a room that is more like a living room than your bedroom.
Hamsters do not live very long, which is unfortunate. Children may find it difficult to say goodbye to a pet after such a brief time because most only live two to three years.
With an average lifespan of four to eight years, guinea pigs have much longer lives than humans. Since they are also very social, you can keep piggies of the same sex together in the same cage. Guinea pigs need a larger cage because they are bigger than hamsters. Your guinea pig can learn to sit contentedly in your lap or appreciate spending time with you with socialization. Being nocturnal themselves, hamsters will likely be running around on their exercise wheel and making noise at night.
Hamster vs Guinea Pig: Care requirements
Both guinea pigs and hamsters require daily care, such as fresh food and water as well as a lot of love and playtime. Small aquariums or even hamster cages that are readily available in stores are suitable smaller enclosures for hamsters. You’re in need of hamster food. For more information, look at our guide. Particularly if you have several piggies, guinea pigs need larger cages. To prevent odors and maintain your pet’s health, schedule cage cleanings at least once per week.
For both types of pets, exercise is a crucial necessity. Hay is another food item that guinea pigs require, but hamsters do not. Guinea pigs will also play with toys, but they will also benefit from spending a lot of time outside of their cage to explore and exercise.
Both hamsters and guinea pigs have an innate urge to gnaw, and they require access to chew sticks or toys to grind their teeth down so they can continue to feel comfortable and function properly. Guinea pigs also require routine nail trimming.
Hamster vs Guinea Pig: Overall costs
The price of each pet is a key distinction between owning a hamster and a guinea pig. Guinea pigs are more expensive, typically costing between $20 and $40 per animal, while hamsters are typically $10 to $20 cheaper. Because they are larger than hamster cages, guinea pig cages cost more as well.
Guinea pigs and hamsters can both eat commercial food, but guinea pigs consume more and have higher food costs. Hamsters frequently engage in indoor play with toys and exercise wheels.
A guinea pig requires veterinary care, which is more expensive than it is for hamsters. To keep an eye on his health, your veterinarian might advise having your guinea pig get a wellness checkup every year. Vet care for hamsters is more constrained, and vet visits for wellness exams are uncommon. If you own a hamster, you’ll probably only visit a veterinarian in an emergency, but bear in mind that even one visit to the doctor could be pricey.
Choosing the pet that’s right for you personally
Hamsters and guinea pigs make wonderful pets. Many families and pet owners find them to be the perfect size and price. Both of them are adorable and entertaining to watch as they play and explore. However, there are some differences, such as hamsters’ nocturnal habits and the ability to keep multiple guinea pigs together, that make it important to consider carefully which pet is best for you. Inquire about the following things:
- Do I have enough room in my house?
- How long do I intend to keep my pet?
- How much time will I spend interacting with my pet?
- Should I get a nocturnal pet?
- How much do I have to spend?
You can bring a pet into your home that your whole family will enjoy and love for years to come if you have the answers to these questions, along with some research and careful thought.
Which one will you choose? Add a comment below to let us know!
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