Picking the Perfect Pet

Guinea Pigs: For Cuddly Kids

Manners & Responsibility: Raising Responsible Pet Owners
Manners & Responsibility: Raising Responsible Pet Owners

Unlikely to bite and awake for most of the day, these rodents are ideal for social kids who have a lot of time to spend with their pet. "Guinea pigs are affectionate and love to be held," says Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Adoption Center in New York City. "They often make a cute whistle when they see their child-friend. It's immediate gratification for a first-time pet keeper."

But if your house is empty most of the day, consider a different pet or buy two female guinea pigs so they'll be able to keep each other company, says Buchwald. You'll need a minimum of 4 square feet of cage space per pig and you should take them out as much as possible for exercise and stimulation.

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