Many animals are not used in isolation. They can get lonely without socialization and they can even die, at least for the guinea pigs. This is why Switzerland introduced a law back in 2008 to take their welfare seriously.
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Many pet owners are fond of guinea pigs simply because they are sweet, snuffly little animals. They can be great pets for those who wanted tiny animals to play with. However, they can also get lonely especially when they are alone. Guinea pigs value companionship. Thus, Switzerland made it illegal to own just one guinea pig because they are vulnerable to getting lonely. Unilad, a British Internet media company and website owned by LADbible Group, reported that the country passed an animal rights law to grant ‘social rights’ to pets prone to loneliness.
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Dr. Jane Tyson, a rodent expert from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), stated that guinea pigs are one of the UK’s most misunderstood pets. This is because they are largely seen as an ‘easy, first pet’ for children. However, they also have complex needs just like other animals. In 2008, the 24-hour cruelty line of RSPCA received 1,337 calls from people expressing concern for the welfare of guinea pigs. “Guinea pigs are sociable, active animals. They need to live with at least one other friendly guinea pig and benefit from enrichment so it’s important to give them a large space where they can play and explore together,” she said.
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Thus, rent-a-guinea-pig services have become a popular way in the country to keep these animals happy. The RSPCA also suggested that pet owners must keep their guinea pigs stimulated and entertained. For instance, they can provide them with tunnels and scatter their food to hunt it. “It can also be very fun to come up with unique ways to help your guinea pigs stay entertained and expend some energy. As well as being great for their wellbeing, playing with your pet piggy can also strengthen the bond between you and your pets,” Dr. Tyson added.