Guinea pigs, also known as the Cavia Porcellus (scientific name), are a species of rodents originating from the Andes on the west coast of South America. These indigenous critters of the highlands were first popularized as far back as the 16th century when European traders first introduced them into western society as a household pet.
By the mid 1800’s, guinea pigs were used as research and test animals in laboratories, thus coining the term “guinea pig” for that brave friend of yours trying something out before you do. Although this sounds like a cruel fate for such docile and cute rodents, guinea pigs were responsible for helping us discover crucial vitamins and cures to diseases! I’m happy to say, no guinea pigs are being experimented on today.
Guinea pigs come in a variety of species and breeds, however, there are only around 10 breeds that are relatively common among owners. The most popular breed is the American Guinea Pig, followed by the Abyssinian Guinea Pig. No matter what breed, a guinea pig will always be loving, kind and possibly the best pets ever.
Guinea pigs weigh roughly 1 to 3 pounds as an adult cavy and have a lifespan of 4 to 8 years depending on many factors that include, cage conditions, nutrition and breed. The coat of a guinea pig will vary in colors, including rare tricolor coats. Some breeds will have curls, while other breeds will have straight hair on their coat. Both long-haired and short-haired guinea pigs are available, but short-haired breeds are much easier to groom and take care of.
These tail-less rodents are surprisingly very vocal, similar to a dog. While a dog will bark, the guinea pig will wheek. In fact, there are so many different kinds of guinea pig sounds you may hear when you’re around them. Each guinea pig noise will have an unique and different meaning to them. They’re quite smart in communicating to humans! And,if you’re lucky, they may even chirp for you like a bird.
Why Choose a Pet Guinea Pig?
Guinea pigs make excellent pets for both small children and adults, depending on the breed you get. These little critters are adorable and love to be around people (especially their cavy parent). But don’t be fooled, they are a very clever species of rodents that may sometimes be a little mischievous as well.
A big reason why they have grown so much in popularity is because they are more similar to dogs than you might think. Guinea pigs can actually recognize their pet parent and will initiate certain sounds as a way of seeking affection and attention.
Imagine your brand new cavy sitting in your lap. There’s a good chance it may purr when you gently stroke it on its back. If they’re excited to see you, don’t be surprised if they start to wheek out of excitement! All of these noises make them (in my opinion) interactive and fun pets to own.
Guinea pig care is not rocket science, nor does it take a ridiculously large amount of time and effort. Short-haired breeds require little maintenance, which make them ideal for small children learning the responsibilities of taking care of their first pet. They can also be excellent for adults that enjoy the company and affection of a guinea pig, but are busy with a day job. No matter how you slice it, guinea pigs are ideal pets for just about anybody.
Guinea Pig Care
This site is dedicated to individuals that want to learn how to care for their guinea pig. I have been raising guinea pigs for over a decade and want to share my knowledge with others alike. Feel free to browse through the care articles section to learn more about these furry pals.
Don’t worry, guinea pig care is pretty simple, especially if you have a short-haired guinea pig breed. The longer the hair, the more time it’ll take for tasks such as grooming. However, most guinea pigs don’t actually require baths and spend their whole lives without one. It really depends how curious your little critter is. And although guinea pigs are low maintenance pets, that doesn’t mean you should neglect them.
A guinea pig’s diet is also pretty simple. They require at least three things for their nutrition.
1.Guinea Pig Food Pellets
If you just picked up your first guinea pig, congratulations. You are about to go on a rewarding journey in life. Whether you just got your new pet or you need to learn more, here are the steps and guides you should go through. And if you have any questions for me regarding guinea pig care or guinea pig information in general, feel free to ask us through our contact form.
Guinea Pig Breeds – Decide which guinea pig breed is perfect for you.