My animals regularly feature on my blog, I've written about Bertie, The Guinea Pigs and all the hamsters I have ever owned. The last post I did was about when I lost Basil and sadly last week Mouse died in my arms. My team is now just me, Rocky & Bertie.
I'd always considered myself to keep fairly "normal" domestic animals, however what I found out fairly recently is that guinea pigs are considered an exotic animal. I will openly admit that before I adopted Basil and Rocky I had no idea just how messy and much work they would be. After owning many hamsters over the years and Bertie being a house rabbit, I didn't think they would be much different.
I feel I need to add here that I did do plenty of research before adopting them!
As part of the RSPCA's #TropicalChronicals I thought it would be fun to round up 10 things that I have learnt since owning Guinea Pigs.. or should I say, from them owning me!! Most of these points I learnt from the both of them, so I'll still say them/they etc, even though Basil is no longer here.
1. They are feisty little beings.
Rocky is one hell of a diva, he will regularly click his teeth at me if he's not happy and he has been known to bite a couple of people!
2. They are quite possibly the messiest animals I have ever owned.
I have never known animals to poo quite like a guinea pig. Despite spot cleaning everyday, it mounts up. Literal poo mountains.
3. They eat like no other.
Your weekly shop will include vegetables for you AND for your guinea pigs - settling for scraps will just not do!
4. You won't be able to open the fridge quietly again.
Squealing and wheeking as soon as you touch the fridge door is a thing. Especially when you live in a flat. Consider them a fridge alarm, you'll never be able to sneak a late night snack again. Ever.
5. You will literally be shouted at if something isn't right.
I'm not talking about if they squeal when they are in pain, I mean I get shouted at if I give the rabbit a treat before them.
6. They will act like you are trying to poison them when you give them medicine.
Basil would give me this look every time it was his medicine time. He looks like he thinks I was trying to kill him, except I was trying to save his life! I'm sure he was a little bit grateful.
7. When things go downhill, they go downhill fast.
Guinea Pigs are really good at hiding that they are ill and with two it's just that little bit harder to spot when one stops eating as much. They seem to hang on for ages and then when it gets bad - it's really bad.
8. They are actually exotic animals.
I'd also considered exotic animals as the scaly or feathered kind, but nope my boys are exotic and I think there needs to be more awareness about this. It's campaigns like the RSPCA's #TropicalChronicals that are so important to raise awareness - I didn't know and I'm pretty clued up on these things. Luckily I was able to adapt very quickly to their needs (even after weeks of research!).
9. They will give you so much love and joy.
Nothing else to add, they are amazing.
10. When they pass, they take a piece of you with them.
Everything will be so much quieter and you realise that despite all the money and mess - you'd do it all over again.
If you own an exotic pet tweet me, I'd love to find out more!