Getting a pet is a big commitment, choosing the right one is essential. Once you have brought your new pet home, you are responsible for its care and keeping it happy and healthy. Therefore, it is important to compare the pros and cons of any pets you consider. If you prefer smaller animals, then two of your options include hamsters and guinea pigs. There are both similarities and differences between these two animals and these will give you an indication of the better option for you.
As both hamsters and guinea pigs are rodents, there are some similarities between the two. These include:
- Diet- Both guinea pigs and hamsters have a very similar diet. They both eat predominantly dried food that is topped up with fruits and vegetables.
- Care costs- The two ongoing costs of keeping hamsters and guinea pigs are food and bedding. These are very similar between the two as they both need cleaning regularly and they eat a similar diet.
- Care needs- The care needs of hamsters and guinea pigs are very similar as daily they will need feeding and the soiled bedding removing, a complete bedding change once a week and a thorough clean of their habitat monthly.
There are also several differences between guinea pigs and hamsters. These include:
- Size- Guinea pigs are significantly larger in size than hamsters and this means they also need a larger habitat.
- Initial outlay- Although both guinea pigs and hamsters are relatively cheap to buy, there is a difference in the initial outlay in terms of the habitats and accessories you will need. As guinea pigs are larger they need a bigger habitat, and this will cost more than a small hamster cage.
- Diet- Although the basis of their diet is the same, guinea pigs will eat more fruits and vegetables than hamsters.
- Interaction- Hamsters are very grumpy creatures and do not like a lot of interaction with their owners. They are especially grumpy if they are woken from their sleep. On the other hand, guinea pigs are very sociable creatures that enjoy interacting with their owners.
- Living situation- Hamsters prefer to live in solitude and guinea pigs enjoy living with other guinea pigs.
Who Should Choose a Hamster?
Hamsters are the better option for those who have limited space in their home for a pet as they take up much less space than a guinea pig. They are also a better choice if you need an indoor pet. Although guinea pigs can live inside if you have the room, the space they need means they are better suited to outdoor living.
Who Should Choose a Guinea Pig?
As guinea pigs are more sociable with their owners and enjoy interacting with humans, these are the better option for people who want to handle their pets regularly. They are also the better option if you want to keep several pets as they like to live in pairs or groups.
There are pros and cons to both guinea pigs and hamsters, so which you choose will depend on personal preference. They can both make fantastic pets for different groups of people but learning more about each animal to decide if it is well-suited to you is essential.