After watching the “G-Force,” having guinea pigs as pets has become a childhood dream for many. If you’re also one of those but wondering how it would be to keep guineas as pets, you should definitely go for it. Cause guinea pigs make excellent pets, and they’re delightful to have. Moreover, they are effortless to take care of, provided you know enough about them and their nature. Here in this article, we are going to discuss guinea pigs and all the aspects of keeping them as pets to let you know all the required information. So, let’s get started without any further delay.
Guinea Pigs: A Quick Guide
Guinea pigs are one type of rodent. They are social and entertaining animals with rounded compact bodies, short legs, and no tail. According to history, guinea pigs originated from the grasslands and lower slopes of the Andes mountains in South America. While the origin of this name is unclear, they are commonly known as ‘Guinea pigs.’ Although neither the name came from Guinea nor these pets are biologically related to pigs, they still own this name. Moreover, they are also known as cavies or domestic cavy.
Though they all have the same name, Guinea pigs come in various colors, and coat lengths, with different breeds and varieties. Generally, they are classified into three types: the short-haired domestic, the Abyssinian, and the Peruvian. If you are interested to know which breed is the most popular as a pet, then here is the answer. The short-haired guinea pig is the most common and popular breed as a pet. Its short and smooth coat makes it easy to have for children.
Alternatively, if you’re a beginner, the Abyssinian can be an excellent choice as a first-time pet due to its loving nature. Among the huge guinea pig population, they’re interesting and unique for having a long body with a small face. Though they have messy, tangled hair, they require very little maintenance. Whereas, if you want to keep an uncommon breed that’ll envy everyone with its coat, you can keep a Peruvian guinea pig as your pet.
You can say it is the Rapunzel of the cavy world! Cause, just like our Disney Rapunzel, they have long silky hair. And due to their long hair, these cute piggies are unfit to groom themselves properly. They need daily grooming to grow up. So, if you’re a busy person, you should consider that having this Peruvian breed might cost you time.
Though the breeds are different from each other, their life expectancy is quite similar. They live several years, on average five to seven years, and sometimes even longer. Of course, we know it’s a shorter life than cats or dogs, but it is still a considerable commitment. So, be prepared to take care of your little friend for a more extended period in your favorable space. Because, unlike most other pets, guinea pigs require a lot of space.
Therefore, it is recommended to keep them in large solid bottom cages with plenty of bedding, such as Timothy hay or corn cob chips for free-roaming. The good news is, as the guinea pigs are a good size and are not escape artists, you can keep them in homemade cages. Along with saving your space, these cells will allow you to give your little friend a comfortable and beautiful home.
And thus, you’ll also enjoy seeing them playing in their habitats. In addition, these piggie friends are very easy to tame. Even if guinea pigs seem nervous or skittish at first, they can quickly become tame with gentle handling. These incredibly soft animals are easy to handle and the perfect pet for your children. Your kids will love to play with these soft little piggies. Also, children over eleven can take care of guinea pigs.
So, don’t worry about your pet. Your kids can help you look after it. And thankfully, guinea pigs are easy to take care of. For feeding, you just need to give them pellets and water regularly. Their food should be served in bowls, and the water sipper should be provided with fresh water. Though pellets will be the most significant part of guinea pigs’ diet, you also have to include fruits and vegetables into their diet.
Also, they are among those few animals who cannot simulate their own vitamin C. So they’ll need it from their diet. Therefore, try to give your pet at least one orange per week. Cause the lack of vitamin C can lead to scurvy in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are also very social animals. Therefore, you can keep more than one in a cage.
However, you must ensure that they are of the same sex, or else you might end up creating a breeding colony! Since they start to breed from the age of one month, it can be risky to put different sex at the same cage. Moreover, some people are allergic to guinea pigs. So, be sure whether you’re allergic or not. After confirming this, you are okay to keep guinea pigs as pets.
Overall, we can say, keeping guinea pigs as pets is enjoyable for beginners. They are cute, low-maintenance, and very friendly as pets. Hence, if you want to pick a pet for your kid or you are just a first-time pet keeper, then it can be the wisest choice for you.