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Tiny, lovable, Guinea pigs

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If you are looking for a smaller pet, you might think, "hampster." But they're nocturnal creatures, so they hide out most of the day. Instead, why not try a guinea pig?

Not only do guinea pigs keep a more human sleep schedule, they do a lot of the things that most of us look for in pets.

"They love to be cuddled," says Meg Kirsch, of the Flint Township Pet Smart, "They'll sit in your lap."

You can even potty train guinea pigs, Meg says, "Most rodents will go in the same spot. So if you put a little litter box in the corner, they'll go in there."

In fact, Meg adds, guinea pigs are pretty smart little creatures. "Yes, very smart, very personable little animals."

If you are considering a smaller animal- in the rodent family- guinea pigs are especially family friendly, too.

"They're generally a lot better for children," Meg adds, "They're a little bigger and easier to handle. Tgey are also a lot friendlier."

In terms of maintenance, guinea pigs eat pellets, as well as some fruits and green vegetables.

"You just want to avoid anything with high water content. You don't want to do anything like iceberg lettuce or cucumber," Meg tells me.

You will want to make sure you keep fresh hay handy for their crates, Meg says, "They'll usually destroy it in a day. So you just have to keep adding it because they'll go through it really quickly."

They also make guinea pig chew toys, and you can furnish their homes with little huts.

Meg says the huts are a little "get-away" for the lovable creatures, "They'll sleep in there. Or, if they need somewhere to go and feel safe, they'll go in there."

They love to play. And, you can even take guinea pigs for walks. They make little harnesses and leashes for them.

Just in case you are wondering, these little cuddle bugs live about 6 to 8 years.

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