It’s a sad story from the RSPCA today, with their research showing that there has been a significant increase in the number of guinea pigs needing to be rehomed.
Latest statistics show more than 300 of the animals have been left to them, which is more than triple last year’s figures.
Between January and August this year, 338 guinea pigs were rescued by RSPCA officers compared to 112 the previous year.
The animal charity is concerned that families are just not putting the necessary research into pet ownership before buying them, believing they are simple animals for first pets.
RSPCA’s scientific officer for companion animals, Dr Jane Tyson said: “Just because these animals are small in size does not mean that they are any less of a commitment. They have their own specialist needs and require lots of care and attention”.
“Guinea pigs need access to a secure shelter and an exercise area for them to run around and play,” Dr Tyson added.
“Guinea pigs are highly social animals and in the wild live in close family groups of up to ten individuals. As pets they prefer to be with at least one other piggy and can develop abnormal behaviours if they are left without company.
“They communicate using around eleven different noises and chatter their teeth as a warning signal which could mean they are feeling angry, unhappy or frustrated and may need more space.”
For more information on how to look after guinea pigs, visit: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/rodents/guineapigs
To rehome any of the charity’s animals, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/findapet