Guinea pigs as pets
So you want a guinea pig . . .
Here are some interesting information that you may need to know.
Guinea pigs, also known as cavies are small furry animals which was said to be a native to South America. They make gentle and friendly pets as long as you give them lots of love and attention.
No one knows for sure how guinea pigs got their name. Some think that it is because they used to be sold one guinea , an old British coin.
They don't grow very big. An average adult guinea pig is around 25 cm or 10 inch long and weighs about 1.2 kg. or 2 ½ lb. They usually live for up to seven years.
Guinea pigs and aren't related to pigs at all- they belong to a family of animals called rodents, which has long teeth for gnawing. Mice and rats are rodents.
SEEING - Guinea pigs can't see details well, but they are good at spotting movements. Their eyes are high up on their heads so they see things above them best.
HEARING - A guinea pig's sensitive ears can hear many sounds that yours can't. Don't make sudden noises near your guinea pig, as they might cause it to panic.
SMELLING - A guinea pig's sense of smell is much better than a person. It helps it to identify friends and enemies or to tell if it's in an area that belongs to another animal.
What do they eat?
Guinea pigs have healthy appetites. In the wild, they spend up to 20 hours every day munching grass. Your guinea pig will also spend a lot of time eating.
Wild guinea pigs are herbivores which means they eat plants but not meat. You must feed your pet vegetables, fruit and grass, along with dried food. Never give a guinea pig sweet things such as chocolate or it might become very sick.
Your guinea pig should eat fresh, green vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage every day. Avoid giving it lettuce or spinach, it can cause upset tummy. Make sure every kind of vegetables you offer is clean and not rotten.
Some guinea pigs are fussy eaters. When you give your guinea pig a type of food it hasn't tried before only offer a small amount. If it ignores the food or doesn't eat much it probably doesn't like it.
Guinea pigs are playful and curious animals with lots of energy so they need plenty of exercise and playtime. Pet stores sell toys for guinea pigs although household objects such as boxes with holes cut in them also can provide hours of fun.
Make sure that you clean out the guinea pigs cage or hutch two or times a week and keep its bedding fresh, a dirty and smelly environment can make the guinea pig sick.
Guinea pigs are naturally clean animals and groom themselves regularly. They lick their fur and run their teeth and claws through it like a comb. You can help keep your pet in tip-top condition by brushing and combing and washing it too.
As long as you take good care of your guinea pig and feed it with the right food it should stay healthy. But if it looks very poorly you should take your guinea pig to the veterinarian.
Guinea pigs are ideal house pets, they are practically odorless and very cheap to feed and maintain and easy to handle and rarely bite. It is always advisable for the parents to supervise young children when they handle a guinea pigs.
Did you know?
A group of wild guinea pigs are called herds.
A male guinea pig is called boar.
Female guinea pigs are called sows.