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Everything You Need to know About Guinea Pigs for Kids in Brisbane

Fluffy, bubbly and affectionate, guinea pigs will steal the heart of almost any child.

Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, are squishy little fluff balls with two big front teeth and large doting eyes. No wonder children find them hard to resist! Although guinea pigs have been around for a long time they are gaining in popularity due, aside from their cuteness, to their relatively low maintenance costs, and their contentment to chill out at home (without turning your house and garden upside down)!

So if your kids are interested in befriending their own little cavy – or two, as your next family pet, there are a few things you might like to find out to ensure they are happy little piggies.

Buying a guinea pig in Brisbane

Guinea pigs are sold at most pet stores, including Pet City and Our Vet or online at Gumtree and Guinea Pig Finder , and on average the price of a short hair will range from somewhere between $10-$40. There are also long haired guineas that range from $60 + but keep in mind that they will need regular brushing in order to keep those long locks luscious. If you are interested in rescuing a pre-loved guinea check out The Cavy Cottage located in Geebung (right near the train station), QLD Guinea Pig Refuge, Gold Coast Guinea Pig Rescue and Cavy Angels Guinea Pig Rescue to give a surrendered cavy a new home and help put an end to irresponsible breeding.

Families Tip: If you decide to take home more than one guinea (and you probably should as they like to have company) just be sure that they are both female (or two tame males) as guinea pigs can start breeding from 4 weeks of age turning 2 into 6 within a few months. (If you really want a male and female de-sexing can be arranged at vets trained in small animal care for under $100).

How to care for your guinea pigs

guinea pigs

Guinea pigs live on average for around 5-7 years so you will want to make sure that their living environment will sustain them. Choose either an indoor home with a removable bottom tray for ease of weekly cleaning, or an outdoor cage providing space to access fresh grass and a hidey hole for napping.

They will live a comfortable life when their cage is kept stocked with fresh straw or litter for bedding, and their food supply consists of grass, Timothy Hay, seeds, pellets and fresh fruit/vegies and with access to fresh water (changed daily).

Our family have a family of guinea pigs now and one of their favourite jobs is to take the bucket of fruit and vegie scraps, as well as their aforementioned Timothy Hay out to the guineas every afternoon. These gorgeous little pets must have an adult supervising their overall feed, accommodation and safety, but children will enjoy participating in their care as well!

Guinea pigs are also very social animals and if handled daily will enjoy the company of any loving family. They also enjoy the company of other guineas as they usually live in packs so keeping them in two’s, when possible, is the best way to go. (They are extra cute when they are happy too, and can make some very funny crooning sounds as they bounce about happily like popcorn- this may be why enthusiasts call this behaviour popcorning).

Remember that guinea pigs, like all pets, may need ocassional trips to the vet so please DO consider that when adding these fluff balls to your family!

Showing off your guinea pigs in Brisbane

If you ever feel like showing off your new family addition or you would like to take your kids out for some fun, visit one of Brisbane’s guinea pig shows. Your kids will marvel at the wide variety of colours, hairstyles and sizes on display and enjoy seeing the awards that some of Brisbane’s cutest cavies have accrued.

Want more ideas for small pets? Check out our guide to pocket pets for kids.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

5 thoughts on “Everything You Need to know About Guinea Pigs for Kids in Brisbane”

  1. I agree with Annett. Do you eat vegetable scraps? If that’s all you feed your pigs then they need a better home.
    They deserve fresh fruit and vegetables straight out of the fridge.

    • Hi Ainsley – thank you for your comment but no where in this article does it say to ONLY feed your guinea pigs scraps. I have four guinea pigs and we feed them all the things mentioned in this article including fruit and vegetable scraps which means apple cores, peelings from sweet potatoes and carrots, the core of capsicums, broccoli and cauliflower stalks etc. Nowhere does it say to feed them rotten food – just the left over bits of fruit and vegetables that we may not eat AS WELL AS the other appropriate guinea pig food such as hay and grass. Our guinea pigs are over 4 years old and friendly and healthy with vet checks every year.

  2. Please, please, please do not encourage families to get guinea pigs “just for the kids”. They require a responsible adult to care for them with kids acting as assistants.

    These little creatures are not cheap and easy to maintain as you make out. Their vet bills are the same as any cat or dog or even more.

    They need more than just the vegie scraps. Do you eat the scraps? Well then neither should they.

    Please contact the Qld Guinea Pig Refuge for more info about what is really involved and who should be responsible for the care of your pets.

    • Hi Annett – we’ve made a few amends to the article and includeded a comment about vet bills! (And I know about guinea pig vet bills, our last trip with our little brown guinea cost me just over $500!)


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