Guinea Pigs… One of the most adorable animals you’ll ever see. Capturing your hearts with their sweet and unique features and appearances.
What’s more, they are outgoing and fun, loving creatures. They are well-loved by many tiny animal enthusiasts because of their quirks and personalities!
If you are fond of small pets and an adventurer, you must know more about these adorable fur babies.
Today, we will guide you on all you need to know about Guinea Pigs!
What are Guinea Pigs?
At the pet store, you might see a tiny, adorable, furry creature with a cheeky face and little hands. If yes, then it might be a Guinea Pig!
These fur babies have distinct features with their tiny feet, stout and round bodies, large heads with no tail, and round to oval eye shapes. They also have short and thick legs!
They can live from 6 to 10 years, weighing 2 to 3 pounds.
They vary in many colors; according to The American Rabbit Breeders Association, there are over 20 American Guinea pigs, including beige, lilac, white, golden, red, black, chocolate, buff, slate, and cream! The rarest Guinea Pig color would be called the white-crested.
Their eyes are also unique, being round or oval-shaped with different tints such as brown, black, and blue, having an alert expression.
It can sometimes be hard to predict the exact appearance of Guinea Pigs because they all have unique markings and patterns.
Their plush-looking fur is usually short and smooth.
Their hair can also vary from their breed type as the Peruvian guinea pig breed is said to have the most extended hair of all species covering their eyes.
There are also breeds, such as the most common or the American, also called the short-haired, Sheltie, or Silkies; the long-coated, the Abyssinian, or rough-coated.
The Sheba Guinea pig has excellent facial hair and the Rex with short wool-like fur.
You cannot forget the unique Baldwin Guinea pig with hair on its head.
And there are many more, with over 13 breeds recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association or the ACBA.
Some can have messy hairstyles, so breeds having long hair might need more grooming than others.
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Origin and A Little History Of Guinea Pigs
You might think Guinea Pigs came from Guinea, but they are not. Also, they are not pigs.
They just got their name from the squealing sounds they make!
The Cavia porcellus are rodent animals belonging to the Caviidae family.
According to studies, they were originally from South America, specifically in the Andes, descendants of the Cavia cutlery.
They were used as livestock as a source of meat for tribes in the Andean region of South America in the early 5,000 BC.
But over time, they were recognized as domestic pets bringing love and joy and serving as a great companion to many.
Temperament Of Guinea Pigs
Along with their endearing looks, they are sweet, friendly, and outgoing!
They are very entertaining because they have high energy levels, are very active, yet so clingy, and love being with their fur owners.
They love to be snuggled and cuddled.
They like human interaction and are social with many animals. They wanted to be stroked and petted.
But knowing the limits and correctly petting a guinea pig is essential because they are very gentle animals.
They are also not overly loud pets and do not bite.
However, they might be more fragile than other animals and do not like big noises because it scares and stresses them.
They are funny, lovable, and gentle pets that can also be great emotional support animals!
Training Your Guinea Pig
Guinea Pigs can also be intelligent and trained with simple tricks and commands. Through calling their names, standing, jumping, and turning!
It is so adorable when they do these commands and tricks. Make sure to have treats when you are training with them!
Guinea Pigs require their little homes. A cage would be the most common area for them to have their little nook at your place.
Cages advised should be made of a durable material such as wire with stainless steel without toxic chemicals on it, and durable and sturdy glass or plastic housing with proper ventilation.
They also require a large area to explore and wander around because they are active and energetic.
Beddings are also a must! Wood shavings are not advisable because they can harm the respiratory system, and the chances of having unnecessary wounds are high.
It is said that paper beddings are safer!
Furthermore, since they are active pets, they like playing with toys such as hanging toys, chewing toys, hiding areas, and many more!
It allows them to be entertained and active.
It is essential to clean their cages every other day to avoid bad smells and even to check if any wire mesh could harm them if not properly cleaned.
Cavies also have nutritional requirements. They need loads of Vitamin C and a constant supply of vegetables, fruits, and hays for their digestive system.
You can also give them pellet foods specialized for guinea pigs!
Water is also essential, just like any other animal, to keep their bodies functioning well and to avoid dehydration.
Hanging a water bottle in their cages would be great!
They are advised to be brushed once or twice a week.
In regards to bathing, they do not like being wet, so you need to bathe them if it is not too cold outside, possibly giving them chills.
Soaps and shampoos are also safe for your cavies at pet stores.
It is also vital to clip their nails regularly, at least once a month.
There are also health issues common with Guinea pigs, such as Vitamin C deficiency, tumors, lice, mites or fungus infections, inflammation, bladder stones, urinary tract problems, diarrhea, respiratory infections, pneumonia, injuries, and more.
Drooling, Hair loss, unnecessary bumps and lumps, reduced appetite, change in usual behavior, changes in breathing, weight loss, or gain.
Watch out for these possible signs, and go to your local vet to check in with your cavies!
Guinea pigs are very lovable pets. They run around a lot because they are very active and energetic.
They are great companions to reduce stress and to have a cuddle partner! They are also small yet very friendly, significant for many people of all ages!
Guinea pigs are one of the most popular small animals kept as pets, and with good reason – they’re cute, social, interactive, and relatively easy to care for.
If you’re thinking of adding a guinea pig to your family, there are some things you need to know before you bring them home.
This article covers what guinea pigs need regarding food, water, bedding, and toys.
We hope it has helped you better understand these charming creatures and answered any questions about keeping them as pets.