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  Why I think guinea pigs are the best pets
Updated 24 September 2004, 14.48
Urban pigs Travis and Paul enjoy a snack on their balcony
Hannah reports on why she thinks guinea pigs are the best pets.

"Cats and dogs have been the most popular pets for many years, but apparently rabbits and ferrets are giving them a run for their money.

The problem with cats and dogs, however, is the amount of care they need to be happy.

Sadly Elliot passed away in March 2004. He was a good pig
Elliot snuggles into a jumper
Dogs need a walk at least once a day and, although cats are generally happy to be alone, it really isn't fair to leave them at home all day on their own.

So which sort of pet is best for a busy family who has young children but just can't afford the time or money to get and care for a dog or cat?

The answer - a guinea pig!

Get your pig a friend

Travis is a lovely pet piggie
Travis is a lovely pet piggie
Guinea pigs cost approximately 20 each, and can live for up to 8 or 9 years if they are well cared for.

They live in a hutch, and are usually alright to have a rabbit as a companion, provided it is not one of the larger breeds.

Alternatively they can live with another guinea pig. Two males will fight unless they're brothers and a male and a female will breed, so it is best to get two females, who will live agreeably together.

It's best to get professional advice on this when buying your pig.

Pigs love fresh veg

To feed guinea pigs, just give them a bowl of dry food, some water, and a few vegetables to eat each day.

And you don't have to bother selecting special carrots or runner beans for your pet - just give them carrot peelings, the ends of beans, or any other bits of veg lying around!

Guinea pigs love dandelion leaves and grass but you shouldn't feed them rhubarb or a lot of lettuce - these make piggies sick.

Outdoor exercise

Guinea pigs like exercise so get them a run - you can leave it in there for several hours every day while you are at school but make sure it's safe and secure with some shelter.

So, consider my points. Do you agree with me that guinea pigs are cute, cuddly pets suitable for small children and grown-ups?"

Hannah, 11, Dorking

Why don't you write us a Press Pack report - and get it published on the site?!

It can be about anything that's happened in your local area - or your views on the news.

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