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Will G-Force Cause the Next Pet Fad?
This Time Guinea Pigs

By Alicia Graef on Care2.com

Weíve seen pets become fads before, generated by movies like Marley and Me and 101 Dalmations, or even by celebrity influences like Paris Hilton causing purse dog mania. Unfortunately, many people donít realize the commitment, expenses and special care thatís involved. When they give up, that can result in these animals being dropped off at already overflowing shelters.

Animal lovers and rescue groups are now concerned that the new G-Force movie, featuring highly trained guinea pig spies, will lead to guinea pigs becoming the next pet fad.

Some guinea pig rescue groups have posted requests to those who might head out to purchase one for their kids - asking them to say no, while others are hoping parents have enough common sense to do their homework first.

"I can tell you, every single rescue in the United States and abroad took a look at that movie trailer and said, 'Oh, God, here we go,' " said Whitney Potsus, vice president of the Critter Connection in Durham, Conn.

Thatís not to say that guinea pigs donít make great pets, but proper research needs to be done before getting one. Prospective owners also need to consider the time and cost commitment the little guys will require.

American Humane, who monitored the movie for animal welfare reasons, would like people to consider the following facts about guinea pigs:

  • Guinea pigs are very fragile, which means they are not good ďstarter petsĒ for young children who do not know how to remain calm around animals and consistently handle a pet gently.
  • Real guinea pigs should not be confused with the action figures seen in G-Force.
  • Guinea pigs can live up to 7 years or more, and grow to a length of about 8 to 10 inches.
  • Guinea pigs are social animals that love attention and playtime, and most require a moderate level of attention on a daily basis. They are also happiest living in pairs.
  • Guinea pigs cost about $40 a month for food, hay and bedding.
  • Guinea pigs need to be seen by an exotic-animal veterinarian annually and need regular nail trimming. Guinea pigs require large cages that need to be cleaned regularly.

No matter how small they may be, pets are a big responsibility, and getting one should be a well-planned decision along with the understanding that it will mean caring for an animal for its entire life.

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