If you’re looking for a small, furry pet that doesn’t take up a lot of room, Guinea pigs and hamsters are two obvious choices. Each has their pros and cons depending on your unique needs and available time to care for your small pet.
Space Need a larger cage to be happy and can live indoors or outdoors if weather permits. Guinea pigs can also do well with other animals so you can keep one with a rabbit, for example, allowing you some more variety in pets.
Guinea pigs tend to be active when you as are as they aren’t crepuscular like hamsters. If you decide to keep only one, you need to interact with it daily and provide it with lots of enrichment for when you’re gone. Guinea pigs need a daily diet that includes pellets, fresh vegetables, and hay.
They do best in pairs so you’ll need to have space for a hutch big enough to fit two comfortably. Guinea pigs can be very messy so you’ll need to plan on giving their cage bedding daily quick cleanings and a good scrubbing once a week. Depending on the breed you get, you may need to groom them regularly to keep their coats healthy.
Like Guinea Pigs their care requirements may or may not be a good fit for your lifestyle. Hamsters don’t live as long as Guinea pigs (two to three years compared to ten to eleven) so they are not as much of a long-term responsibility. Hamsters tend to be most active early in the morning and at night so they’re a good choice if you’re at work or school during the day.
Hamsters are omnivores and have a more varied diet than Guinea pigs, which can include pellets, fresh vegetables, hay, and insects. Hamsters must be kept indoors and in a secure metal cage. Hamsters can carry some zoonotic diseases, such as salmonella and lymphocytic choriomeningitis, so they should not be kept in homes with humans with immune system deficiencies.
Ultimately which pet you choose is based on personal preference and while their care needs differ, they also have many similarities.
Which is better a hamster or a guinea pig?
Typically, hamsters are far more temperamental than guinea pigs. And because they are smaller and more fragile to handle, they are more likely to nip or bite. If you have very young children in the house, a guinea pig is probably a better option.
Are guinea pigs or hamsters more affectionate?
Personality – Hamsters are more quiet and solitary than guinea pigs. They can become more affectionate and bite less after daily handling and interaction to build a bond. These little guys are also nocturnal and will be much more active at night and early in the morning.
What is the difference of guinea pig and hamster?
Guinea pigs are bigger and heavier than hamsters, roughly 2-4 times bigger and can weigh around 1.5 to 2.6 lbs whereas hamsters only weigh around 1 to 10 oz. This means guinea pigs will require a much bigger habitat with more room to play, and more food than hamsters (which leads to more cleaning up to do).
Both hamsters and guinea pigs can make excellent small pets for kids and adults, and theyre often well-suited for new pet owners. While both of these pets are tiny and fuzzy and take up less space than cats or dogs, there are some key differences between them. If youre considering bringing home one of these small pets, understanding the difference between hamster and guinea pig health, care, and costs can help you choose the pet thats right for you.
Guinea pigs live considerably longer , with average life spans ranging from four to eight years. Both hamsters and guinea pigs need daily care, including fresh food and water and plenty of attention and playtime.
Guinea pigs, too, will play with toys, but theyll also benefit from plenty of time out of their cage to explore and stretch their legs. Both hamsters and guinea pigs will instinctively gnaw , and they need access to chew sticks or toys to grind down their teeth so they stay comfortable and functional. When you own a guinea pig, youll also face vet care costs that arent as common with hamsters.
But differences like hamsters nocturnal habits and the ability to keep multiple guinea pigs together mean youll want to think carefully about which pet is right for you.
Hamsters and guinea pigs are both rodents, but in term of character and requirements they are very different creatures. Deciding which one to bring home as a pet requires careful thought. Here are some of the most important things you need to consider:
Guinea pig basics: : They require lots of daily care, and are a bit on the timid side, but they make great pets.
Pros and Cons of Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs are adorable pets but owning one isn’t as easy at it looks. They do have some care needs that might be an issue for you depending on your schedule.
Pros and Cons of Hamsters
Hamsters are a good pet for children as they’re easier to care for although adults should always supervise their care. Like Guinea Pigs their care requirements may or may not be a good fit for your lifestyle.
Hamster vs. guinea pig: Care requirements
Both hamsters and guinea pigs need daily care, including fresh food and water and plenty of attention and playtime. Hamsters can live well in a smaller enclosure, and commercially available hamster cages or even small aquariums work well. Want to know what to feed hamsters? You can take a look at our guide to get informed. Guinea pigs require larger cages, especially if you have a pair of piggies. Plan to clean cages at least weekly to minimize smells and keep your pet healthy.Exercise is an important requirement for both types of pets. Hamsters will often play with exercise wheels and toys right in their cage. Guinea pigs, too, will play with toys, but they’ll also benefit from plenty of time out of their cage to explore and stretch their legs.Both hamsters and guinea pigs will instinctively gnaw, and they need access to chew sticks or toys to grind down their teeth so they stay comfortable and functional. Guinea pigs will also need regular nail trims.
Hamster vs guinea pig: Overall costs
One significant difference between hamster and guinea pig ownership is the cost of each pet. Hamsters cost an average of $10 to $20, while guinea pigs are more expensive, typically ranging between $20 and $40 each. Guinea pig cages are also more expensive, mainly because they’re larger than hamster cages.Commercial food is available for both hamsters and guinea pigs, but guinea pigs eat more and will have higher food bills. Guinea pigs also need access to hay, while hamsters don’t need this extra feed element.When you own a guinea pig, you’ll also face vet care costs that aren’t as common with hamsters. Your vet may recommend that your guinea pig have an annual wellness exam to monitor his health. It’s uncommon for vets to see hamsters for wellness appointments, and vet care for hamsters is more limited. If you own a hamster, you’ll probably seek out a vet only in an emergency, but keep in mind that even a single vet appointment can be expensive.