Have yourself a guinea piggy christmas...
We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘a dog is for life, not just Christmas’ and this should ring true for any furry or feathered friends we might be considering offering a new home.
Owning any pet is a large undertaking, but can bring great joy and companionship and is also a great way to give youngsters a first taste of responsibility.
So if you are thinking about introducing a new member of the family and are certain it’s the right thing for you, why not consider a guinea pig as a possible option?
It needn’t cost the earth and a local rescue centre could be the perfect port of call for all your guinea pig needs and info.
Fieldview Cavy Rescue, not far from Retford and Gainsborough, was established in 2014 after Kathryn Mangles got the idea when she looked after her friends’ guinea pigs for the first time.
From housing just a few animals at the beginning, Kathryn’s rescue centre has grown substantially over the past four years, and says that guinea pigs can be highly rewarding and loveable members of the family.
“I think guinea pigs make fabulous pets as they are very interactive, have amazing individual personalities and can be kept indoors or outdoors,” said Kathryn.
“I’m currently housing between 60 and 70 but have had as many as 127 in the past.
“Before committing to guinea pigs as pets you must take into account they are naturally herd animals, so do prefer to live in pairs or groups.
“You must commit to daily care come rain or shine and source a good local business where you can get a good food, hay and bedding choice.
“They need regular nail trimming and mite prevention treatment. An appropriate cage size should also be researched if you’ll be having more than one living together.”
Kathryn lives at the rescue centre with her partner of 18 years and eight-year-old son and in addition to the guinea pigs owns a variety of aviary birds, a Shih Tzu, a rescue cat, goldfish and stick insects.
“My piggies are my passion, they are amazing little animals that are so characterful and intelligent, especially when they greet you with a loud ‘wheek!’ every time you appear,” added Kathryn.
Laura Wood from Bracebridge Heath near Lincoln has three guinea pigs which all came from Fieldview, the imaginatively named Forest, Ren and Baz.
She said she’d never go anywhere else for her guinea pigs in the future.
“They’re lovely little animals and really quite cute – I didn’t realise they made such a variety of different noises until I owned them myself,” said Laura.
“Fieldview is great because Kathryn can give you a lot of advice and guidance on how to take care of them and always looks after her guinea pigs extremely well.
“I was so impressed with the rescue centre when we went to collect them, it is very clean and all the animals seem happy.
“If you’re thinking of rehoming a guinea pig then look no further than Fieldview – you really can’t go wrong.”
Dad of two Jonathan Fitzgerald, an Environment Agency worker who also lives in Bracebridge Heath, agrees that guinea pigs can make perfect pets.
“We’d had a few hamsters before but the children mentioned guineas, so we decided to go for it around 18 months ago – and we haven’t looked back,” said Jonathan.
“As well as being incredible pets for teaching William (nine) and Emily (seven) about caring for animals, we’ve also found them to be fantastic fun and therapeutic for mum and dad too.
“Our piggies have their own brilliant personalities and if you’re prepared to do some research on how best to look after them, you’ll find them so rewarding.
“You won’t believe the excited ‘wheek!’ when you rustle food bag. They’re a lovely part of our family now.”
Alternatively search for ‘Fieldview Cavy Rescue’ on Facebook.