What Not to Say To A Guinea Pig Lover
When talking to those in the pet industry about guinea pigs, I sometimes find I feel as misunderstood as my beloved cavies. I wanted to share with you some of the things that were said to me by people I’ve met in the past few days at Global Pet Expo. Keep in mind, I don’t think they were intending to be rude or hurtful, but didn’t understand where I was coming from.
When discussing guinea pigs with a dog owner -
“Jeanie Pet Today? Oh, Guinea Pig Today! Ha ha. Guinea pigs. My pet could eat your pet!”
When asking someone if they had any new guinea pig products -
“Guinea pigs are great entry level pets. People take them home, they die in a couple weeks, then we get to sell them one of these other animals and their product line. We don’t focus on guinea pig products.”
When sharing my goals in guinea pig welfare -
“Your site works with guinea pig rescues? So how do you generate revenue? …Yes, but what are you selling? …Ok, where is the money? …I have to go. I have an appointment.”
When addressing packaging design on guinea pig products -
“We’re not doing new packaging for the guinea pig supplies. They’re brightly colored and targeted to children because guinea pigs are a child’s pet.”
Lastly, a comment I hear at nearly every event I attend -
“Guinea pigs? You know they eat them in some countries, right?” Some countries eat dogs and cats but I don’t feel a need to bring it up when discussing pets.
I’m polite because I want to form relationships with some of these folks that lasts longer than a few minutes. In general, when dealing with a pet owner, be respectful of the pet they hold close to their heart. Usually the situations improve after a few conversations.
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