The guinea pig is an excellent companion animal to have around the house. Their care is straightforward, despite the fact that they require our company and are unable to spend long periods of time alone.
Guinea pigs are now considered a member of the family and the most cherished pet in many households, despite the fact that they are the tiniest members of the household.
This rodent, which originates from Andean colonies and is slightly larger than a hamster, is native to South America. It can weigh up to 1000-1300 grams – and it has a lot of charisma – but it requires a great deal of attention, which we will explain to you in detail.
If you have not already done so, I strongly advise you to read our article on Basic Guinea Pig Information Guide first, so that you are familiar with the fundamentals of the species.
There are two types of this species of rodent, which are distinguished by the type of coat that they have on their bodies. You will be able to tell the difference between people who have short hair and those who have long hair with ease.
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Species of Guinea pig to Choose From
The short-haired guinea pigs have a very smooth and soft touch, which we find appealing. We can further distinguish between species based on the color and texture of their skins and fur.
- A tricolor Guinea pig is distinguished by having fur that is divided into three colors: white, brown, and black.
- Dutch Guinea pig is so named because a line is drawn across its back, as if it were a flag of the country in which it was born.
- Himalaya Guinea pigs are distinguished by their light coloring, with the tips of their ears and extremities colored black, as if they were a mountain range, and their black tips and extremities.
- This is a Dalmatian Guinea pig that has the same color and fur as the dog breed, which is white fur with black spots on it.
Long-haired guinea pigs, on the other hand, have a coat that has a lot more texture and shape to it than their short-haired counterparts. The most common species are Shelties, Peruvians, and Tisilares, with the rest being rare. The Shelties have long, straight hair that is kept very close to the body, much like a Yorkshire terrier would have it.
- The Shelties have long, straight hair that is kept very close to the body, much like a Yorkshire terrier would have it.
- It is customary for the Peruvians to have extremely wavy hair that flows in all directions, creating eddies.
- The Tisilares, as a final point, have curly hair.
It’s important to consider the level of difficulty both types of Guinea pigs have before getting one as a pet for yourself. Short haired people are easier to groom and maintain than long haired people. In terms of grooming, the long haired species are more difficult to handle. We will also be publishing a comprehensive guide on how to care for both of them in the near future.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the other three most important things to remember to do before you bring home your first Guinea pig as a pet.
HABITAT OF THE GUINEA PIG
Guinea pig Natural Habitat
Before adopting a guinea pig as a pet, it is important to understand the animal’s characteristics in its natural environment. So that we can provide it with the best possible care as a pet and for it to be as happy as possible while living with us. The fact that the guinea pig lives in large colonies in the wild is important for us to understand.
They are accustomed to being in the company of a large number of people. When purchasing a guinea pig as a companion for our home, we must take this into consideration as well. If at all possible, purchase more than one Guinea pig to ensure that they do not become lonely.
Assuming that we decide to obtain a pair of rabbits, the best we can hope for is to catch a female and a male at the same time. Even if it means the possibility of reproduction and the generation of future offspring. If this is not possible, we should choose two females rather than two males in order to avoid conflicts in the future.
In the event that we are unable to find a partner and must settle for a replica of this magnificent creature. Please keep in mind that it is a creature that requires constant company and does not like to be left alone for long periods of time.
Guinea pig Habitat in our Home
Before we get a Guinea pig as a pet, I need to think about how much space we have in our house because this animal requires a large space with special features. The cage should be at least 90 centimeters wide so that it has enough space to develop its activities and be able to move around freely.
You must have a feeder and a drinker installed inside the cage for it to function properly. In addition to a small hiding place where you will spend your waking hours, you will have a small sleeping area. A comfortable floor must be covered with shavings or, in the absence of shavings, with pressed paper, and must have a height of 3 centimeters or higher to be considered.
We must also consider the location of the cage within the house, as the guinea pig is a sensitive animal that is easily alarmed by sudden temperature changes. It is particularly important when they are low, so we should keep it at an average temperature of 18-24 degrees and away from drafts.
Putting him in a cage does not imply that he must remain in it at all times; on the contrary, it is quite the opposite. Because it is required to maintain a healthy weight, the guinea pig requires high levels of physical activity. As a result, it should allow for a few hours of free time each day to run around the house or in any open area.
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The guinea pig is a herbivorous animal, which means it will only consume fruits and vegetables as food. Above all, you require high doses of essential vitamin C, which is why we will give you the supplements that contain more nutrients of this type, as well as additional doses of the vitamin if necessary.
If we decide to feed him a guinea pig-specific diet, we should be aware that this one already contains the necessary levels of iron to ensure that he maintains good overall health. The guinea pig requires fiber in addition to vitamins on a daily basis, so it is beneficial to provide hay, which may be one of your favorite foods, to the animal.
An automatic water dispenser is something that should never be overlooked when providing care for your pet. Some people even include two dispensers in order to ensure that they never run out of liquid.
The fact that you have a responsibility to care for a Guinea pig when you have it as a pet should not be overlooked. It is essential that you provide them with fresh water and food on a daily basis, as these are the bare necessities. A minimum of twice a day must be provided in terms of food and water. If necessary, you can add vegetables to their evening meal to ensure that they have a well-balanced diet.
GUINEA PIGS HEALTH AND OFFSPRING
Health issues in Guinea pigs
Its physical characteristics make it an excellent pet for people who don’t want to deal with serious health issues. As a result, the majority of visits to the veterinarian will be for routine reasons to ensure that everything is in working order.
This is what will happen if you follow the habitat and feeding recommendations on which we previously commented:
- When a new animal is brought into the house, it must be properly acclimated.
- Provide them with a nutritious diet that includes both food and water.
- Allow them to participate in sports and exercise on a daily basis.
- Maintain the cleanliness and order in their residence.
- They should be washed once a month and brushed on a regular basis. In particular, if the race has characteristics of long hair, this will help eliminate dead hairs from the head and body.
Guinea pig Life Expectancy
Guinée pigs live for between 4 and 6 years, depending on their health and nutrition habits. However, if properly cared for, it can live up to 14 years of age in some cases. They do not grow to be excessively large, making them an excellent first pet for small children in the house or for those who live with them. Guinea pigs make excellent pets for children; all that is required is that they are handled with care, particularly when picking them up, because they are extremely frightening. Our children must understand that they are not toys, but rather living beings if we choose the guinea pig to be their companion animal of choice.
Guinea pig Offspring
Guinea pig females typically give birth to between 2 and 4 calves at a time, but they are extremely large. Due to the large size of the offspring, this can become a problem if the female has not had any parturition before the calves are 11 months old and has not had any previous parturition. As a result, the optimal time is at 8 months, even though they are already in gestational age at 4 months of age. It is also important to recognize that the requirements for the babies will be quite different, and you will need to provide them with the basic necessities they will require in the future if you are breeding them.
A guinea pig as a first-time pet is a fantastic choice if you have the time and resources to devote to them and are willing to accept the responsibilities that come with them. I would recommend that you learn a little more about them before purchasing one for yourself. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the subject matter in the comment section below.