Who doesn’t love the cute face of a Guinea Pig? I think they are adorable.
My niece, Emma, and nephew, Joel, each have a guinea pig. Emma’s guinea pig in called Nutty and has lovely brown colouring across the body. Joel’s guinea pig is called Cheeky Chops and you can probably guess why he has this name.
A guinea pig makes a great pet as they are very loving, love to be patted and will easily fall asleep on a trusting lap. When you see a guinea pig stretch out this means they are relaxed and happy. Always treat your guinea pig very gently as they dislike being handled roughly and can get stressed easily.
Juvenile guinea pigs do a thing called ‘popcorning’ and this is when they jump straight up and down like a piece of corn being popped. Juvenile rats do this too and it is heart warming to see popcorning across the floor knowing your pet is happy and having fun.
Did you know that another name for a guinea pig is a ‘Cavy’, they are not related to pigs and are not from Guinea?
Guinea pigs are sociable and constantly communicate with each other using different squeaks. Guinea pigs tend to whistle when someone coming into the room excites them or when they are offered a treat.
Want to know a little more about guinea pigs?
Average life span: 5 to 7 years
Weight: On average guinea pigs weigh between 750 –1000 grams
Diet: It is important to expose young guinea pigs to a variety of foods as this determines the food they prefer as they can be selective on what they like to eat. Guinea pigs enjoy eating Grass hay and there are many types on the market so keep trying them until you find one your guinea pig likes. Don’t give up as grass hay is an important part of their diet. Guinea pigs are herbivores so therefore grasses play an important role in their diet and should be available for eating at all times.Food should be stimulating and enjoyable to guinea pigs, just as it is to us humans. Some guinea pig owners have reported that their pets squeal with delight when they hear the refrigerator door being opened.
Other foods enjoyed by guinea pigs are sweet peppers, apples, pears, berries, broccoli, cucumbers, parsley, basil kale, collard greens, mustard greens and dandelion greens.
Be careful not to feed rabbit pellets to your guinea pig, feed them approved guinea pig pellets only.
Foods to avoid are high starch foods such as peas, beans, corn, nuts, cakes, cookies, cereal, grains, breads, and so on. Never feed them potato. These foods can create a serious imbalance in the normal bacteria in the intestinal tract and lead to potentially fatal diseases. Although very small amounts of these foods can tolerated, guinea pigs can get “addicted” to them to the point they don’t want to eat healthier foods. Therefore, it is best to just avoid them all together.
Don’t forget fresh water! Fresh water every day is essential. Change the water every single day! I don’t know anyone who wants to drink water that has been sitting around for a few days.