The Teddy Guinea Pig

Have you ever wanted a teddy bear? For most of us, we know that we always did. But how about a teddy bear that is alive? Sounds impossible, right? But what if I told you that it’s true!

Well, of course, I will be lying if I say that a stuffed hand-stitched piece of fabric can actually come to life by magic. What I mean is there is a certain animal that is really cute and resembles our favorite stuffed toy so much, that it is almost like a living teddy bear. What is it? It’s the Teddy guinea pig.

The Teddy Guinea Pig is a breed of the guinea pig with many features similar to the American guinea pig breed. However, it also has many distinctive features making them worthy of calling them unique. Just like other guinea pig breeds, the Teddy also has interesting facts about their history and has a great personality. Here are some things you need to know about them:

History and Origins of Teddy Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs, as a whole, have been living in the world for quite a long time. They were said to have started off as wild nocturnal animals in the rocky and grassy regions of South America. They survived in families or groups consisting of about ten members and live underground. The animals were said to be primarily domesticated by ancient tribes in the areas of South America now known as Peru and Bolivia. They were domesticated around 2000 BC. They were kept as food for the tribe but some of them may have been kept as the pet for their families. This became a known trend in the area and was discovered to have many uses. They were given as gifts by tribesmen to other tribesmen and children during important celebrations such as weddings. The animals will then be treated as pets and be kept inside the house with the freedom to run around. Guinea pigs were also used as an important apparatus in ancient medicine. They were used by tribe doctors to diagnose a suspected disease. As a tradition, they are rubbed all over a sick person’s body and then when it squeaks, the animal is believed to have found the affected area. This show the importance of the guinea pig on ancient tribes’ everyday lives.

When the Europeans reached the Americas in the 16th century, they started bringing the guinea pigs to Europe. Then, they will sell the animals to the richest people in the area and with Queen Elizabeth being one of them; the rodents became one of the most popular pets in the European regions. The name “guinea pig” might have been taken from the probable belief that the pets were brought from Guinea during those times, the ships that came from South America might have stopped at Africa.

It was probably because of the European influence to other countries today that the guinea pig species became a very famous pet to adopt, especially because of its wide variety of breeds. The Teddy guinea pig is actually one of the new breeds of guinea pigs and it is believed that the certain sub-species was created through genetic mutation, which is the alteration of its DNA; and Teddy’s case, the changing of the properties of its fur and other parts.


Name Origin of Teddy Guinea Pig

The name guinea pig is somewhat peculiar to be labeled to the rodent since guinea pigs didn’t actually come from Guinea nor they are pigs. As said on the earlier part, the name might have come from the assumption that the animals came from Guinea in Africa. Of course, the statement is still unproven and the origin of the name is still a mystery. Aside from that speculation, there are more theories to where the name came from. Oxford dictionary tells three of those theories. The first is that the name was given because of its resemblance to the Guinea Hog, a pig coming from Guinea. The second one was that “Guinea” was used to describe a faraway unnamed land. The third one is said to be the confusion between the words “Guinea” and “Guiana” (a region in South America). There are more theories to where the name comes from but we’ll stick to these four because they seem to be the most reasonable.

The more interesting part of the Teddy guinea pig’s name, however, is the name “Teddy”. This name came from the breed’s similarity to stuffed toys and teddy bears. If we observe the Teddy guinea pig, we will see that it has a coat similar to the teddy bears’ and has a nose that is the same with some toys.

Basic Facts and Needs

The Teddy guinea pig is a bit smaller than the average guinea pig. Its lifespan is about 4-6 years, with some extending up to 7 years, which is a bit shorter than the typical guinea pig breed. The typical Teddy guinea pig can already breed in eight weeks but it is recommended that both the male and female should be at least six months old before breeding. The time period for the guinea pig’s pregnancy is about nine to 10 weeks. The average litter size is 3 or 4. This type of breed, same with other guinea pigs, needs guinea pig pellet for food. They also eat fruits, leafy vegetables, and some types of grass. They also need a considerable amount of water. The breed is most prone to diseases that are caused by the deficiency of nutrients like Vitamin C, and the most common of these diseases are scurvy and respiratory illnesses. They also need a good shelter, with a large size, and correct temperature at about 25-30 degrees Celsius. They need to do certain activities and exercises, too, because when they do n’t, they will likely be unhealthy. The typical exercise is the usual guinea pig wheel and letting the guinea pig free on a clean spacious area to run around. It is also great to train a Teddy as exercise and bonding between the pet and the owner.

Appearance and Features of Teddy Guinea Pig

Teddy guinea pigs have a beautiful appearance that complements their resemblance to teddy bears. An example of this is the rough coat covering their bodies which have more hairs contained than the common guinea pig breeds. The coat they have is alike to the Abyssinian guinea pig’s coat but is much shorter and doesn’t have rosettes. The typical Teddy’s hair is thick and coarse (wavy and rough). Another distinctive feature of the Teddy guinea pig is their nose. They have a Roman nose (a nose turned upward and is curved), which is noticeably wider when we differentiate it to other guinea pig breeds. The color of the breed’s coat may vary from the following colors: orange, white, black, brown, gray, and red. The most common patterns of their coats are either a single visible color, a combination of two colors that makes up a single hue, spots, stripes, and many other patterns.

The Teddy guinea pig, as a whole is very similar to the American guinea pig breed. A reason for this is the two breed’s appearance. They both have a very almost nose structure, which is the Roman nose. The identifiable difference between the two is that the Teddy has a shorter hair (and is frequently described as “wiry”) and thicker fur.

Teddy Guinea Pig Personality

The personality of the Teddy guinea pig is described as adventurous and playful. They are curious about the stuff around them and are very sociable with other guinea pigs and also their human companions. Their personality is comparable to the Abyssinian’s. The two are described as very energetic, extroverted and fun-loving and they are two of the more active breeds. They also love to be cuddled and be cuddled with. They are very lively and enthusiastic when it comes to activities and exercises. For that reason, it is great to give them a bit of a time outside to play and interact with the environment around them.

Teddy Guinea Pig Care

Guinea pigs should be given foods rich in Vitamin C like fruits, vegetables, and supplements that are allowed so that they can be protected from certain common diseases. Teddy cavies need to consume hay grass on a daily basis. They should also be fed pellets regularly, and the breeder should choose pellets that are suitable for the pet’s age.

Grooming and Hygiene
Teddy guinea pigs don’t particularly need to be bathed often. The recommended times for bathing them is only once every 6 months. To bathe them, the breeder should have a shampoo that is intended to be used by small animals. Teddy guinea pigs need to be brushed often, at least weekly. The brushing should be gentle and only for purposes of removing lice and fixing the hair. They should also be regularly cleaned in the grease glands and the ears.

Teddy guinea pigs need enough space for their cages (about 7 square feet) so they could run around freely. They also need equipment in their cages such as beddings, toys, and food containers. Their cages should be cleaned regularly to prevent them from acquiring dangerous diseases.

Guinea Pig Show
Guinea pig shows are great opportunities to show off the beautiful appearance and personality of the Teddies. These shows consist of judges that look at the appearance of each pet and decide which one is considered the most ideal guinea pig. Teddy guinea pigs are considered to be one of the most popular contestants on these shows. An ideal Teddy guinea pig has a fairly dense fur, clarity of its color pattern, rough coat, and its weight matches its age. If you feel like your Teddy can pass these qualifications, give them a chance to participate in guinea pig shows.

The Texel Guinea Pig

We all know guinea pigs as one of the most adorable pets in the world. We also have a common anticipation when we hear the animal’s name that it’s going to be the typical short haired tiny little rodent we all used to know. But what if I told you that there is a certain breed of guinea pig that is really opposite to what we think. Yes, it has a body that is like any other guinea pig, but its coat is extraordinary. It’s the texel guinea pig.

The Texel Guinea Pig is one of the few breeds of guinea pig that was created through genetic mutation and is currently one of the newest among the sub-species. They have many extraordinary characteristics and there very interesting facts about them. Here are some:


Origin and History

The Texel guinea pig, as said earlier, is a new type of guinea pig and is a product of genetic mutation. But before we explore how they mutated, let us first see how their forefather guinea pigs originated. Guinea pigs have its origins and history in the continent of South America during the ancient tribal times. Their type were specifically abundant in the northern and western parts, particularly in the deserted and grassy areas now known as the parts of the countries of Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. They were reportedly domesticated in these areas around 5000 BC as food for the tribes in there. However, they were soon raised as pets and domestic companions. They played a great role in the history and traditions of the tribes. They were given as gifts to many important ceremonies. They also had a great contribution on the diagnostics of diseases (especially black guinea pigs) because they were believed to figure out a sickness. The Moche group who lived in the present day Peru used to worship guinea pigs and they were also used in their arts. In fact, many ancient guinea pig statues were discovered in Ecuador and Peru by archaeologists, which only proved their importance on the early tribesmen’s lives. From 1200 AD to the 14th century, they were bred and multiple types of the animal became visible, including the two ancestors of our Texel guinea pig (we will find out more about them later). Many European traders that visited the region shipped them to Europe. In the region, they became a widely known pet, especially on rich families. They were also reported to have been present in the areas of the Caribbean. The known worldwide European influence today probably caused the pet to be very widely popular and is now one of the most famous pets in the world.

The Texel guinea pig is a crossbreed of the long-haired Silkie guinea pig and the curly-coated Rex Guinea Pig. The characteristics of both created a very distinct and unique characteristic the Texel has today. The crossbreeding was believed to have taken place in England on the 1980’s, making the breed one of the newest of the cavy’s breeds along with the Skinny and Teddy guinea pig. Today, it’s also one of the popular breeds to keep.



The Texel guinea pig, generally all guinea pigs, has a good sense of hearing and is gifted with great contact and smelling abilities. However, their eyesight is a bit poor. They have a typical lifespan of about four to seven years. The litter size can range from one to six and the average is three. The gestation period or the length of time that the babies will be carried inside the mother’s womb is about nine to ten weeks or about 60-70 days on average. The babies are born already with the ability to walk around and be active, so they don’t particularly need a lot of caring. During breeding, the sow or the female has a high chance of dying from disease, and the chance is higher when they are exposed to high temperatures. Small litters are more dangerous to the mother since the young rodents are bigger. Large litters also risk the life of the offspring so it’s best to monitor a guinea pig during its pregnancy.


Features and Characteristics

The Texel guinea pig has one very special and unique characteristic: long and curled hair. This characteristic came from both the curly-and-short-coat genes of the Rex guinea pig and the straight and long hair DNA of the Silkie guinea pig. Because of this unique feature, they are one of the best breeds to present on guinea pig shows. The type is often called “long-haired Sheltie” because their hair is a bit longer compared to the Sheltie/Silkie breed, but the length may appear similar because the hair of the Texel guinea pig is curled. Although their body hair is long, the facial hair is short and is similar to other breeds’. Their grooming is probably one of the most usual concerns among teddy guinea pig owners because their thick, rich, and long coat is the hardest to manage among many breeds.

The Texel guinea pig is also known for the shortness of their body. Compared to other guinea pigs, the Texel’s size is smaller. They also appear to have a large, wide and rounded face. Generally, they are more likely compared to the Silkie guinea pig because the two breeds share some very noticeable resemblance.



The personality of guinea pigs doesn’t really depend much on their breeds because just like other animals, each individual has a different personality than the other, even in the same breed. But if we observe the majority of the breed’s temperament, we can name their most common behaviour. Most Texel guinea pigs have a similar personality with other long-haired guinea pigs. They are quite more behaved compared to other breeds. However, Texels are quite more mischievous and active than other long-haired guinea pigs such as Peruvians and Silkies, but they still have a tranquil personality.

If you see a sudden change on the behaviour of the guinea pig, it might mean that the guinea pig has an illness so it’s best to bring your pet to a veterinarian in these circumstances.



  • Diet

The diet of a guinea pig is also the same with other guinea pigs. They need to eat a portion of some fruits, vegetables, and hay grass along with a good amount of water for hydration. They should be fed hay grass to make them be able to digest and process food properly. They also need a regular intake of guinea pig pellet although this is less important. Guinea pig pellet should contain good amount of grain, hay, and other foods containing carbohydrate. They also need a regular intake of Vitamin C since they cannot produce or manufacture their own. Owners can give them natural Vitamin C by giving then enough intakes of fruits and green, leafy vegetables.

  • Shelter

Guinea pigs need a good shelter to be on. An ideal cage for them is about 7 square feet of more in are, since they need to have a lot of space to move. They also need to be out o the cage and interact with other pets sometimes but make sure they are safe and looked out to when they do this. Some of the most common accessories an owner can put inside the guinea pig’s cage are toys, guinea pig cages, beddings, little houses they can hide on, and of course, water bottles and food containers.

  • Grooming

A Texel’s grooming is very important since their coat is long and vulnerable. They need to be brushed at least every other day to prevent things and even parasitic insects from being stuck on their furs. Their coats also need to be trimmed or cut, especially in the areas where their wastes may be built up. This is to maintain cleanliness and good hygiene. Cleaning Texels can also be done by bathing them and using a shampoo that is not too strong for their types. It will also be great to clean other parts of their body, but don’t do this too often.

  • Disease Prevention

Some of the most common diseases of guinea pigs are usually rooted from deficiency to certain nutrients, aging, disorders, improper caring, or injury. Some of these diseases include diarrhea, dental disorders, scurvy, metabolic disorders, respiratory diseases, and many more. Guinea pigs that live in groups or in pairs can transmit infections to each other so it’s better to diagnose an infection early to prevent it from spreading to other individual guinea pigs. As we know, it is more important to prevent a disease than treating it. In fact, it’s actually hard to cure a disease since most guinea pigs react negatively to antibiotics, so we should try to prevent diseases from being acquired by our pets. We can do this by giving them the proper care and the proper diet they need. They also need proper hygiene, regular cage cleaning, clean and orderly environment, proper exercise, and clean food.

  • Guinea Pig Shows

Since Texel guinea pigs have a very amazing and interesting appearance, it is great to make them participate on guinea pig shows. Guinea pig shows are great ways to exhibit the beauty or the general identity of a pet guinea pig, especially the Texels. These shows have judges looking at the pet’s appearance as well as their personality and overall beauty. A Texel guinea pig has a great chance to win if the coat is evenly layered, a little bit longer, each strand of hair is healthy, and the pattern and colors seen through the fur is great and eye-catching.



Texel guinea pigs are great pets to keep not just because of their appearances but also because of their personality and ability to make us happy and become our companions. They can be bought on stores or online. Their prices range from $30-$40. It is a good idea to keep two guinea pigs of different sexes to make them breed. If you do want to buy, be prepared to also purchase their basic and monthly needs like cages, beddings, food, and water. You may have to spend about $100-$200 at first buy but it will come down to about $30 per month for their daily needs.


The Rex Guinea Pig

General details of the Rex guinea pig

Among the family of the guinea pigs, one of the primary breeds of that family is the Rex guinea pig.  Of the cute animals, it is also one of the largest breeds. Its’ cuddy and affable nature character makes it more pronounced and notable. This pig is a short haired pet because its hair is no longer than one centimeter. Also, its hair is dense and straight because it has a wooly texture which makes it not to be flat. Most importantly, the growing size in length of this pet is between 20-40.5 cm. In the process of their production, many breeds were combined and for this reason, these pigs can be found in numerous colors and with different types of hair. Many people find it ideal to buy the Rex guinea pig as a pet because it is cheap to maintain for it has short hair that requires minimal maintenance. However, many people get confused for they sometimes consider the Rex guinea pigs as teddy guinea pigs because both of them are short haired. The difference between the two is that, compared to the rex guinea pigs, the teddy guinea pig has a hair that is softer and smoother. They have long ears that are dropped around the head and large eyes. Also, compared to other breeds, their nails tend to grow thicker and faster.

The Rex guinea pig can grow up to 6 years depending on what type of care they get and the environment in which they live. For the female Rex, between 20 weeks and one year of age is determined as the best breeding period. Also, according to scientific study, their gestation period is between 65-72 days and they can produce three litters.

Origins of the Rex guinea pig

It is believed that the Rex guinea pig originated from South America between 1200AD and 1532AD a time when the indigenous people of South America were conducting selective breeding of pigs for food.

Diet of the Rex guinea pig

There is no particular diet for the Rex guinea pigs, however, a food mix with nutritional values and specifics that any little pet needs are recommended for the guinea pigs as food. This ranges from proteins to fibers. It is good to note that, foods that are fresh for example vegetables and fruits can be given to the Rex guinea pigs but only as treats. However if you give these pigs large quantities of vegetables and fruits, they can diarrhea or get sick and have liver problems.

Because of their little bodies, the guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin c, yet their bodies require it. For this reason, lack of vitamin c in the Rex guinea pigs’ bodies can be supplemented with the help of vegetables and fruits when it is necessary. To avoid the health problems that might be caused due to the use of vegetables and fruits that are not good for them, below is a list of fresh food that is optionally healthy for them:

  • Fruits: apple, melon, banana, blueberries, strawberries and cantaloupe.
  • Vegetables: parsley, tomato, Chinese cabbage, carrots, broccoli, clover, corn skills, and dandelion.

Also in their diet, water is very crucial and paramount. This water needs to be clean, fresh and should be changed daily. This is because naturally, one would not want his or her little friend to get sick just because of contaminated water. Moreover, ensure that the water is accessed easily in the cage. However, bear in mind that during the winter season, if the pigs, get enough water from the fresh vegetable and fruits, they may not drink water at all but  again they may drink a lot of water during the hot days.

Rex Guinea Pig Personality

Intelligence: The Rex guinea pig can get used to ones’ voice, and it will always show different response degrees. It can also be possible to train this particular pig to carry out some of its natural activities when the owner uses treats as rewards to teach it.

Sustainability for children: usually, the Rex guinea pig does not embrace handling and stroking instead they need some quality time spent on their coats. This gives the Rex guinea pig the best personality for being an excellent pet for children.

Temperament and character: Naturally, the Rex guinea pig is sociable. This is because it can live in pairs or groups. Before they become on their own, they should be socialized at a younger age. As illustrated in the diagram below.

Sleeping habits: Night hours are the best moments for the wild cavies for they are more active at this times

The Features of Rex Guinea pig

Physical description (general): The Rex guinea pig has a short face and a broad head. It has eyes that are perky and quite big; it has petal-shaped ears that droop. These pigs have a coat that is distinctively curly with relatively long bodies

Size: Although wild Rex guinea pigs can measure up to a meter in length, the Rex guinea pig measures between 20-40.5 cm

Other descriptions:

  • Has fuzzy, short hair.
  • Throughout its body, the hair stands on.
  • No rosettes.
  • The Rex guinea pig sometimes resembles the Teddy Pig.
  • The Rex guinea pig came in all different colors, sizes, and shapes. Among them, brown, red and black seem to be their most common colors.

Caring for Rex Guinea pig

Where the Rex guinea pig should live (cage and bedding)

A perfect place for the Rex guinea pig is a medium cage that is kept inside. However, the cage should give room for the pig to exercise daily to preserve a hale and hearty life.  Preferably plastic base cages are the best for them. However, one can use wood shavings for the floor as long as they get retained within. To be ideal for the pet, one should ensure weekly cleaning of the cage and regular removal of any old food. Because they need daily physical exercise, a tube or a box can be placed in the cages to enable them to play and exercise. The exercising compartment should be different from the sleeping compartment. Also note that, in the wild, the Rex guinea pigs tend to be more active at night.

For the floor of the cage, wood shavings should be used with some fodder or grass on top. Irritations of the eyes can be caused by fine sawdust if used. Also, their eyes can be injured by straws; therefore it is advisable not to use them. If there is a need to wash the housing during cleaning, then use a cleaner that is only meant for cleaning the houses of these small animals. For feeding and watering the Rex guinea pig, one is required to use an earthenware food bowl and a drinking bottle.

Facts about Rex Guinea pig

  1. The Rex guinea pig is a main classified breed of the guinea family pigs.
  2. Their length is between 20-40.5 cm
  3. They are not on their own. This means that they are of the non-self-variety of guinea pigs. For this reason, they are divided into three subdivisions which include: marked, long-haired and coated.
  4. They have wooly hair that is dense which substantially stands up on and they have drooping ears over their large heads.
  5. Their fur has no rosettes.
  6. Their coat hair is not more than ½ of an inch. Which is also the size of their whole coat
  7. Their coat does not go flat because it stands in an upright manner and it curls due to the shortness of their guard hairs.
  8. The Rex guinea Pigs contain a recessive gene in them which causes the curling and the coarseness of their smooth hair.
  9. There exists a long-haired Rex Guinea Pig variety whose hair appears to be wavy.
  10. The Rex guinea Pigs are ideal for children to look after because, they love to be stroked and handled. This is an indication of a good temperament and gentleness in them.
  11. The Rex exists in different colors because it has been cross-bred with pigs of other hair types.
  12. The Rex came in many colors such as brown, agouti or white.
  13. The Rex does not require much maintenance expenses. Therefore, for this reason, they qualify to be great starter pigs.
  14. Usually the Rex is confused with the Teddy pigs. What differentiates them is that the rex has a harsher coat than the Teddy whose skin is much softer. The whiskers of the Rex are curly while the Teddys’ are straight. Most importantly, they are genetically different since, if you breed them together you will come up with a different breed which might be an American short haired guinea pig most probably.



For those who have not gotten a chance to adapt the Rex guinea pig before, it is highly recommended that you own one, this is because it has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they are lovely creatures that are easy to look after. Moreover, they always enjoy ones’ presence. Also, the Rex guinea pigs are perfect companions for children because the bond between them and children is usually adamant. Children will always enjoy the social presence of the Rex guinea pigs hence making it a habit of playing with them.


The skinny pig is a breed of guinea pig and it is almost hairless. Generally, skinny pigs have hair on their feet, legs and muzzles. The rest of their bodies are hairless. Some variations in the breed genome traits enable some to have a thin covering of hair on their backs. A healthy skinny pig has some wrinkles on the legs and neck but with a skin that is entirely smooth on the entire body. There are several breeds of the hairless skinny pigs and skinny guinea pig is just one of the many breeds. However, the skinny guinea pig can be referred to as more of a category of guinea pigs rather than a breed specifically.  Nonexistence of wrinkles and flaps is not an indication of poor health in skinny pigs.

Facts about the Skinny Pig.

  • They are one of the two varieties of guinea pig. The other one is the Baldwin guinea pig.
  • They are 8 to 10 inches in length.
  • Their average lifespan is 8 to 10 years.
  • They can be sunburned due to their sensitivity to changes in temperature.
  • They do not need to be brushed but need extra bedding. This is to protect their delicate skin and to ensure they do not injure themselves since they love rubbing their backs and stomach thus the extra bedding.
  • They can suffer stroke if exposed to too much sunlight.
  • They are playful pets and they squeal to attract attention.
  • They eat more due to their high metabolism rate. This is in part due to the lack of body fur or rather hair. It helps them keep warm.
  • They are easy to domesticate as pets and they have gained popularity in pet stores across North America.
  • The first batch of skinny guinea pigs was born in 1982 after a series of laboratory tests and procedures aimed at creating a perfect breed of the guinea pig.


Origins of the Skinny Pig.

The skinny pig is a cross-breed between haired guinea pigs and a hairless strain developed in the laboratory. They were developed in 1978 at Montreal’s Institute Armand Frappier where a group of scientists developed a colony of Hartley laboratory guinea pigs but identified a gene mutation in the process. Due to the rapid genetic mutation they were able to create a new breed of guinea pigs. Guinea pigs had for long been used as common test subjects. The first batch of guinea pigs were born in 1982 at the Charles River laboratories and their main purpose was to be used in dermatology studies. They were viewed as the ideal test subjects due to the presence of thymus and normal immune system similar to those of a human being. Initially, there were concerns about their immune system function and overall hardiness but these were later dismissed as the above features were found to be dependent upon their line and breeding rather than their hairless nature.

Diet of the Skinny Pig.

The most common food for the skinny pig is hay. The skinny pig loves playing in the hay at times.

Skinny pigs are very sensitive animals and their diet comprises of mostly vegetables and fruits. The diet should comprise of foods rich in vitamin C. This is achieved by feeding one quarter of whole pepper daily. The pepper can be either red or green. Red bell peppers should not be fed to the skinny pigs on a daily basis due to the high sugar content thus green bell peppers provide the perfect substitute. To increase the amount of vitamin C, two to three kale leaves given to the skinny pigs twice per week is recommended. Also, broccoli, basil, mint and mint can be fed to the skinny pigs with a few sprigs of each of the last three provide weekly.

Half a floret of the former together with the stalk should be fed on a weekly basis too. To boost the supply of vitamins lettuces, cucumbers, parsley leaves, grape tomatoes, apples, pears, seedless grapes, and citrus fruits, con on the comb, green beans, spinach and bananas should be included in the diet. They should be given in the below proportions.

  • Two or three average sized dandelion leaves given two times per week.
  • One small plum tomato given twice per week. For this, the poisonous green part should be removed first and in case it is a large tomato, the seeds should be removed.
  • One full slice of cucumber per day. The succulent cucumber helps in hydration thus helps keep the skinny pigs cool especially in the hot weather.
  • A few sprigs of parsley given on a weekly basis. To reduce the risk of skinny pigs suffering from bladder stones due to the high calcium levels in parsley, the sprigs should be given in measured proportions.
  • One small slice of an apple per week. The slice should be cut into small pieces and fed to the skinny pigs randomly due to the high sugar content. Also, the small pieces prevent them from suffering mouth sores.
  • One green bean daily, a half cup of spinach per week and one eighth of a banana per week.
  • One small unpeeled pear slice, one to two segments of a citrus fruit for instance an orange, one to two seedless grapes, all fed on a weekly basis.
  • On dozen segments of corns on the cob fed twice per week. These should be administered under supervision to ensure they do not choke on the husks.

The above are the vegetables and fruits that should be fed to the skinny pig to increase vitamin supply.

Other foods that can be fed to the guinea pigs are hay, oat grass and pellets of which the latter are high in vitamins and they act as a good supplement to the vegetables and fruits. The hay fed to the skinny pig should be well balanced with the fruits and vegetables include in the diet. Too many fruits or vegetables and less of hay cause them to diarrhoea and it also causes indigestion. The food pellets offer an excellent alternative due the high level of nutrients and vitamins in the pellets. However, there are some foods that should not be fed to the skinny pigs entirely. They are: chocolate, meat, potatoes and dairy products.


Personality of the Skinny Pig.

Skinny pigs are easy to handle and they prefer sticking to routines in terms of the daily activities such as feeding. They are social animals and they are a playful and mischievous lot. They are also of a curious nature. When one approaches their cage, the skinny pig may poke their heads out and hide inside an object. Whenever they are happy they may grunt, gurgle or squeak to let one know they are happy. When extremely happy they bounce up and squeal for attention. They have no hair on their bodies but there are small tufts on their feet. Some have fur on their shoulders. Their body skin is wrinkled and comes in various colours and patterns. Haired guinea pigs eat more since they need to burn up more calories in order to keep warm. Additionally, they also need a few hours of playtime every day if possible. The period of play stimulates their mind and body and makes them feel content. It is easy to rub their backs and their stomachs without causing any feeling of discomfort. They are fun, lovable and full of energy. They enjoy the company of people. They like playing in the hay.

Features of the Skinny Pig.

Skinny pigs have hair on their feet, legs and muzzles. Some grow a light hair fuzz along the back. Most have smooth skin but some have wrinkles around the neck and legs. They have a smooth and gentle skin. Their


Caring for the Skinny Pig.

The skinny pig is more vulnerable to elements and factors that lead to poor health of a skinny pig. They are sensitive to low and high temperatures. They should be housed in a room that is at normal room temperature. Feeding the skinny pig properly and placing them in room at mild temperature enables them to maintain their normal body temperature that ranges between 75 to 80 degree Fahrenheit of body temperature.  Due to lack of hair, they are more vulnerable to injuries, infections and skin lacerations. Skinny pigs with exposed skin should be carefully tended to since they are extremely vulnerable to injuries and infections. Thus, as a necessary precaution, they should be kept indoors in a controlled environment. They should be taken out for some sunshine but monitored at all times since due to their playful and curious nature; they may end up causing injuries to their delicate bodies. The bedding provided for the skinny pig should be soft and free from sharp objects and surfaces. They are really sensitive and any slight vulnerability they face should be eliminated to ensure their overall safety.

The Abyssinian Guinea Pig

The Abyssinian Guinea Pig is not your typical Guinea Pig. His coat gives him a very distinct, even exotic, appearance. The fur forms unusual whorls also called rosettes. The fur pattern usually has eight to 10 rosettes. Four rosettes run down the back, one on each hip, one on each shoulder, and two located on the rump. This pattern can vary and many pet store Abyssinian’s only have four rosettes. The typical length of their fur is 1.5 inches long. Where each rosette meets is a ridge which makes the little cavie look a bit scruffy and like he is having a bad hair day but he is still adorable.


Colorations of the Abyssinian Guinea Pig

One of the most appealing qualities of the Abyssinian Guinea Pig is its wide color variations. The fur colors range from white, yellow, orange, black and brown. Each rosette can have a different color pattern or combination.


There are four color classifications:



  • Brindles: There are two types of brindles, light, and dark. Brindles have an even distribution of black and red fur across their bodies
  • Tortoiseshell: The tortoiseshell has red and black spots that occur repetitively all over its body.
  • Roans: Roans appear either as strawberry or blue. Strawberry roans are a mixture of white, red, or orange. Blue roans are a mixture of white and black hairs which makes their coat appear bluish or gray.
  • Self: Self is one solid color.


Roan Abyssinian Guinea Pig Genetics

Roans have an unusual genetic makeup and cannot be bred with each other or deformities may occur. They must only be mated with other colorations to prevent birth defects.


The Abyssinian Guinea Pig is Known for its Cleanliness

One of the key features of the Abyssinian is his cleanliness. His thick coat requires only minimal care because the little guy keeps himself clean and tangle free.


Abyssinian Make Perfect Pets

The Abyssinian is an ideal pet for children or adults. They have a friendly personality and are gentle little creatures. One of the most endearing characteristics of the Abyssinian is his ability to get into mischief. He loves to clown around. They are also extremely intelligent and will come when called or return to their cage unassisted. Some can even learn to sit in command.


History of the Abyssinian Guinea Pig

The Abyssinian is believed to have originated in the Northwest regions of South America. Ancient tribes in the area appear to have worshiped the small rodents. Around 5,000 BC, they started being kept as pets. The breed was also noted to be in the Caribbean in 500 BC. It is believed that Spanish sailors brought the small animals from

South America to Spain and perhaps parts of Africa. There are records of domestic cultivation of the guinea pig that dates from 1547 AD.


Origins of the Abyssinian Guinea Pig’s Name

The exact origins of the name ‘Abyssinian’ remain obscure However, some theorize that the small rodents received the moniker because they were carried to Europe on slave ships for the pet trade. The small animals were probably marketed as coming from the  Abyssinia region of North Africa because that was a common destination for the slave ships. Guinea, Africa was also a slave ship port so it is widely believed that is how the name ‘Abyssinian Guinea’ was derived. They may also have been called Abyssinian to give them an exotic appeal that set them apart from the typical cavie. The small animals carried a high price tag and became favored pets of the wealthy. They quickly gained popularity across Europe and are well documented in literature from 1837 to 1901.


Facts about the Abyssinian Guinea Pig

The Abyssinian Guinea Pig is as interesting as he is darling.  Here are a few facts about the small cavie:



  • Average Lifespan is 5 to 7 years.
  • Measures 23 inches long when fully grown.
  • They stay awake and active for 20 hours a day.
  • They can breed at three to four weeks old.
  • Males reach maturity before females.
  • The gestation period is 9 to 11 weeks.
  • One in five females die during pregnancy or birth.
  • Females over 8 months old should not be bred.
  • Litter size ranges from one to six with three being the typical number.

Personality of the Abyssinian Guinea Pig

The Abyssinian is known for his mischievous behavior and trainability. They have a mind of their own and like to get into things. However, they also listen intently to their owners and can be taught basic commands such as come and sit. They form a strong relationship with their owners and genuinely appear to enjoy interacting. When young, they can be a bit hyperactive but as they mature they tend to mellow a bit. As a pet, they are cuddly, lively, and gentle.


How to Take Care of the Abyssinian Guinea Pig

The Abyssinian is relatively easy to care for and makes an ideal first-time pet for a responsible child or adult.


How to Take Care of Your Abyssinian Guinea Pig

The Abyssinian Guinea Pig is not particularly harder to take care of than a typical guinea pig breed. However, they don’t particularly need specialized care as other pets do; for example, baby guinea pigs are usually already developed when they are born so they don’t usually need to be nursed intensively.


Here is some information on how to  take care of the Abyssinian guinea pigs:



  • Food: The Abyssinian diet should include grassy hay, which should make up about three-quarters of their diet. Ideally, you should also add fresh fruits and veggies to their daily allowance. They can also be fed guinea pig pellet and fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Water: They should have fresh water at all times. Usually, they will drink about five ounces per day.
  • Vitamin C: Guinea Pigs require abundant Vitamin C. They can get this key vitamin from food sources or commercially balanced guinea pig pellets. Without adequate Vitamin C, they can contract scurvy.
  • Grooming: Their fur should be brushed often to remove loose fur and prevent tangles.
  • Bathing: The Guinea Pig only requires bathing if they get dirty. Use a mild soap when bathing.
  • Diseases: They are prone to diabetes and ovarian cysts so if your pet should show any signs of illness you should take him to a veterinarian for a full checkup.
  • Cage: Ideally, the cage should measure at least 7.5 sq. ft. The cage, water bottle, toys, and cage litter will usually cost around $200. However, they also need a large area to run around to receive adequate exercise.
  • Toys: They love toys to play with like small balls or things they can chew on. All toys should be non-toxic. They can also use exercise wheels.

Abyssinian Guinea Pig Expenses

The small cavies usually cost between $10 to $75 depending on the quality and where you purchase him from. In general, you can expect to spend between $20 to $40 per month for food, litter, and toys.


The Abyssinian Guinea Pig is a loving and sweet pet. He requires only minimal care but with proper treatment and attention, he will flourish.


Himalayan Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs – also known as cavies or piggies – are one of the most popular small pet species in the world. The Himalayan guinea pig is one of the popular guinea pig breeds, and a very attractive one too. Let’s explore some interesting facts and tips about the Himalayan guinea pig – its history, features, behavior, and needs.

Natural History of the Himalayan Guinea Pig

The guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) is not a dwarf pig, nor it came from Guinea. The guinea pig is a domestic species of rodent originating from the South American Andes. As a true domesticated animal, the guinea pig we all know doesn’t exist in the wild – its ancestor is probably some closely related wild species, such as the montane guinea pig, Cavia tschudii.

South American Indians domesticated the guinea pig thousands of years ago, and this small furry creature has a special place in their cuisine (it’s a staple food in the Andes), religious ceremonies and folk medicine.


The guinea pig had first traveled across the ocean in the 16th century when European traders introduced it first to Europe and then Asia. The species started gaining popularity due to its docile and friendly nature and cute disposition. Even the English Queen owned one at the time.


Over the years of massive breeding, many new varieties of guinea piggies occurred. They continue to be developed to this day. Some of the popular guinea pig breeds include the Abyssinian, American, Peruvian, Texel, Rex, and of course – the Himalayan Guinea Pig.


Special Features of Himalayan Guinea Pig


As we have previously learned, the Himalayan guinea pig doesn’t originate from the Himalayan region; the breed was named presumably because of the color pattern it shares with the Himalayan cat (as well as the Siamese cat). They are small creatures with the body mass of approximately two pounds. Their life expectancy is around 8 to 10 years, depending on their welfare.


The Himalayan is an albino guinea pig variety, but interestingly, it features dark-colored snout, ears, and feet. These marks are called points. The babies are born white, and in a few weeks to a few months time, the points will start to appear.


As with other albinos, Himalayan guinea pig’s eyes are red due to the lack of pigmentation on the face itself. The striking points are a sign of good health of the Himalayan guinea pig since they are known to fade when the animal is stressed, improperly fed, too hot or too cold. Excessive exposure to the sun might also cause the same effect. This is why it is recommended to keep your Himalayan guinea pig mostly in a shaded area.

Behavior of Himalayan Guinea Pigs


Himalayan guinea pigs are highly sociable and gentle animals. Not only that they coexist well with other guinea pigs, but they seek and need their company.


The behavior they display hugely depends on how many animals and live together, and also on the male-female rate. The character of a guinea pig changes with the number of piggies living in the group. As with many small pets, two female guinea pigs will get along better than two males living together. If you keep them in pairs or breeding groups, they will display mating behavior, which is entirely different than what you get in a non-breeding (female) groups. If there are two or more males present, they might compete and even fight over the females; the male that proves dominant will get to mate. Keeping a single guinea pig will make it docile and quieter, but bear in mind that they are social animals and they love and require the company of other guinea pigs.


Another fun thing about guinea pigs is that they can be very vocal. They make a variety of quite loud noises: squealing, purring, rumbling and chirping. The sound they make complements their current situation or activity. Hunger, looking forward to the feeding, feeling endangered, mating aggression – these are all accompanied by a distinct sound.


Guinea pigs are gentle and easy going. Be careful only when you approach a new animal, or when you feed your pets carrots – they can give a bad bite on a finger, but note that this is truly rare.



Although guinea pigs are rodents, and rodents tend to reproduce easily and quickly, the situation with piggies is a bit more complicated. Pregnancies are very difficult for guinea pig sows, and risks of health complications during pregnancy or giving birth are quite high. That happens mostly because they deliver very well-developed young. It is estimated that one in five females die as a consequence of breeding and giving birth. Knowing this risk, even quality breeders don’t produce a lot of litters.


If you keep a Himalayan guinea pig as a pet, perhaps the best option is to skip breeding altogether. It can simply be too risky for your beloved pet sow. Also, litters have 6-7 pups, and finding new homes for a big number of animals can prove problematic. You can always spay/neuter your piggie if you don’t want to worry about the unwanted babies.


As for breeding selection, recently there has been a shift in the ways guinea pigs are bred. Originally the guinea pigs have been crossbred, with the aim just get an appealing look without paying much attention to particular varieties. However, these days there are distinct, well-defined breeds of guinea pigs. There are even organizations and beauty competitions, similar like with dogs and cats. That’s why it is advised that if you try to breed your Himalayan piggies, it’s best to do it within the same variety – reproducing purebred guinea pigs will increase their chances of finding good homes. However, you can experiment with cross-breedings as well – this is how new varieties occur.


Food and Diet of the Himalayan Guinea Pig


Himalayan guinea pigs are herbivores, meaning that their diet consists mostly vegetables, fruits, and grains. Commercial feeding pellets are also available and represent a good food source. Your piggies should be fed a variety of different foods to keep them healthy and nurtured. Also, make sure to provide fresh food for your pets every day.


It is highly recommended that the Himalayan guinea pigs daily menu includes the following items:


  • Vegetables, such as lettuce kale, cabbage, and carrots. A sweet Bell Pepper can be a treat for a guinea pig.


  • Fruits, such as strawberries, grapes,  and tomatoes.


  • Fresh grass should be added to their menu to aid digestion and teeth health. Guinea pigs will also chew the hay you’ll provide for them as a part of their bedding, which is completely fine. You just have to make sure that both the grass and the hay are pesticide-free. Buying special grass and hay for guinea pigs and pet rodents might be safer than picking your greens unless you are 100% certain they are perfectly harmless.


Food should be placed in appropriate dishes, which make it hard for the piggies to spill the contents. It is important to clean the dishes every day and remove any leftover food, especially if it’s prone to rotting and molding.


One thing to watch out for regarding nutrition is the vitamin C deficiency.

It can lead to poor pigmentation (points) development and other health issues. Pellets that are high in vitamin C addresses any insufficiency well, but using supplements (i.e., chewing tablets or liquid drops) of vitamin C instead of pellets will be easier to consume for your pet.




Clean and fresh water is necessary for your pets. The best way to provide it is the gravity-flow water bottle. Compared to water bowls, the bottles prevent the water from getting dirty and will reduce spill-overs. Since it is important to keep the cage dry and clean, bottles offer significant advantages.


As with food, water bottle must be clean and topped up daily to ensure the guinea pig doesn’t become thirsty. Replace the water in the bottles completely at least twice a week, as dirty or stale water can lead to disease and infection.


General Care of the Himalayan Guinea Pig




Himalayan Guinea pigs that have a short and smooth coat that needs to be brushed a few times per week. As with other furry animals, spring and fall are shedding seasons for the guinea pigs as well, and this is when brushing frequency should be increased to every other day. Bathing your short-coated piggie is not necessary or regular basis, especially if you brush them frequently. If they happen to have lice or some other kind of ectoparasite, then medicinal bathing in a special shampoo might be necessary.


Nail care


The nails will need to trimmed at regular intervals because captivity conditions can’t provide the natural nail wear-down. The best way to do this is by using clippers, and even the human nail clippers will do just fine. Be careful to cut only the very tip of the nail. Otherwise, you can cause bleeding. If bleeding occurs, you should have a Kwik-Stop or other similar powder to stop the bleeding; you use cornstarch for this purpose as well. Nail clipping is a rather touchy activity, and some people prefer taking their piggies to the vet once a month instead of doing it on their own.


Teeth care


Teeth of all guinea pigs continuously grow, as well as those of their other rodent cousins. Therefore it is necessary to provide them with materials they can chew on to wear their teeth down. Safe materials that you can use include birch, hardened dry bread, chew toys and chew sticks. If the teeth become too large, this may cause health issues later on.


Hair Chewing


Himalayan guinea pigs will sometimes chew the hair of other guinea pigs from their group. It is supposed that they do this to assert their domination over others in their group. However, it can be a sign of stress as well. If you’re worried about this activity, try to improve their living conditions.


Living conditions of Himalayan guinea pigs


The Himalayan guinea pig should be kept indoors, in a proper cage placed in the more quiet, well-ventilated but still draft-free parts of your home. It is also necessary to keep the other animals away, especially predators such as cats. Guinea pigs are prone to stress, and this is why a lot of housing efforts revolve around reducing it. Space for exercising is also crucial for maintaining the Himalayan guinea pig’s health. Otherwise, your piggie might develop health issues.


Here are some more points on Himalayan guinea pigs housing and living conditions.


  • Safety. It is crucial that you place the cage an area where predators won’t be able to reach it. You can make their enclosure even more secure by making sure you’re using a sturdy crate. Besides avoiding physical contact, avoiding visual contact with predatory pets is also advised, since the mere sight of a stalking cat might stress your piggie.


  • Sunlight. What’s specific about the Himalayan guinea pig is that it should be exposed to just the right amount of sunshine for its pigmentation to develop properly. It may progress poorly at both too low and too high levels of sunlight. Some sun exposure is, of course, necessary for maintaining health, so it is best to place them in an area exposed to a limited degree of sunlight. It is recommended to have a highly shaded area with a shady shelter to house the guinea pig.


  • Shade. Due to albinism, the Himalayan guinea pigs are sensitive to too much light and prefer to spend time in shaded areas,  so make sure to offer them a cozy, light-proof shelter in their cage.


  • Space. The guinea pig must be able to have enough space in its cage to move around easily. Daily exercise outside of the cage is also advised; otherwise, the guinea pig will develop health problems. When letting your piggies run around, make sure space is safe, that there are no cats or dogs around, that there are no poisonous plants and that no large objects can be tipped over and fall over them.


  • Microclimate. Guinea pigs should live in an area with stable humidity and temperature.


  • Cleaning. The cage should be cleaned at regular intervals – at least once a week. It is important to remove droppings regularly, as well as excessive and uneaten food. Use bedding materials that are clean, non-toxic, absorbent, relatively dust-free, and easily replaced. Pet shops offer special beddings which are usually tested for safety.


  • Exercise. Guinea pigs need plenty of activity, and they love to play. You can let them outside or run around in the house for short periods of time under supervision. They like to explore and need about one hour of supervised ‘floor time’ every day. You can also place short ladders and blocks in their cage that they can climb on. Still, keep in mind that piggies are not hyperactive animals like mice or ferrets. Though they are diurnal animals – active during the day – they don’t spend their whole day running around. In fact, they require a quiet rest period during the day.


Health Issues and Diseases


  • Diseases. In general, the Himalayan guinea pigs are healthy animals. However, they might be more susceptible to infections in some parts of the world. If your area is prone to heatwaves, high humidity, or freezing weather in the winter, be sure to keep a good eye on your pets, look for signs of distress, and provide vet checkups if needed. Warning signs to watch out for are: watery eyes, runny nose, sneezes often, breathes heavily, becomes lethargic or lacks appetite, gets diarrhea, constipation, or you notice blood in their stool. Also, by all means, prevent any contact with wild rodents.


  • Treatments. Guinea pigs rarely get sick. The leading cause of illness in guinea pigs are poor living conditions and nutrition – all diseases stem from there. There are treatments available in stores that can be used to aid the treatment of your sick Himalayan guinea pig, but the safest approach would be to take them to a certified vet instead of trying to treat them yourself. If they happen to get hurt by bitting one another, make sure you disinfect the wouldns. You can do this yourself, but again, veterinary monitoring is recommended.


  • Stress. Himalayan guinea pigs, as well as other piggie varieties, are sensitive to stress. Some animals were known to get heart attacks when exposed to sudden loud noises. That is why you should aim to reduce stress as much as possible. The best way to avoid stress is to know your pet species well and take precautionary measures since it can be challenging to spot the first signs of stress.


  • Health Check-Ups. Regular health checkups are useful, but not entirely necessary for healthy piggies. However, don’t hesitate to contact the vet if any suspicious symptoms or behaviors occur, and you’re not experienced or comfortable to handle them yourself.


  • Guinea Pig Insurance. Some countries provide health insurance for pets. This is useful in the case anything unexpected might occur, so consider it if it’s an option where you love.


Extra things to Consider


Holiday Cover


Most people go on holidays, and you have to consider what will happen to your guinea pig once you’re away. They can’t be left on their own – you will need somebody to take care of them. Gunea pig caretaker should be someone who already has experience with this animal. Taking care of them might require additional resources. Also, look for a local boarding facility that you can leave your piggie with when you are away.


In conclusion


Himalayan guinea pigs are attractive, fun, affectionate and loving pets. Their distinct coat pattern makes them stand out from other guinea pig breeds, but other than that, they are equally easy to manage as other short-coated varieties. If you pay attention their basic needs for housing, diet, exercise and social life, you will have a loving, healthy pet to enjoy over many years.


Caring for Guinea pig


Guinea pigs are known to welcome their owners joyously with squeak as soon as you enter a room. This is the reason why these welcoming pets are irresistible.

To take good care of guinea pig pets, you need the following:

· At least 4 square feet guinea pig pen

· Since guinea pigs like companion, you should have at least two of them

· Materials for bedding such as pellet-type bedding, shredded paper, aspen shavings and newspapers.

· Food such as vegetables, hay and greens

· 1 quart animal water bottle

· Shoeboxes, empty cans, a flowerpot and a small bush for their hiding palaces

Other important requirements although optional are:

· Vitamin C table for pets and

· Hard-sided wading pool

Here are the steps to follow in bringing home Guinea pigs as pets:


Before bringing home a guinea pig pet, read books, magazines and go online to find out exactly how they behave. These pets require more attention and care than many pet owners may expect.

Step 2

These pets are highly social; they prefer to stay with a companion or two of them other than on their own. Getting her a buddy would make your little squeaker the happiest pet.

Step 3

To reduce fighting and grumpiness, ensure male pets are from the same litter. Female pets on the other hand can live comfortably together on the same pen. And because guinea neutering is not widely available, males and females aren’t supposed to be housed in the same pen.

Step 4:

Sufficient space for running around should be provided. At least 4 square feet per Guinea pig is sufficient, although the spacious the better.
Step 5

They eat delicate food. They shouldn’t be kept in wire-bottom cages. Solid-bottomed cages lined or newspaper-topped pens with shredded paper, hay or recycled pellet-type bedding are ideal.


You can make an ideal pen from a hard-sided kiddie wading pool

Step 6:

Their main food store needs to be high quality, fresh, Timothy hay. Give them as much hay as possible to satisfy them. Your piggies require the fiber, so munching the hay is the only way to prevent the pets’ teeth from overgrowing.
Step 7:

These pets depend entirely on you to supply them with vitamin C. Commercial feeds supply the required amount of vitamin C. In general, an adult pig requires one-quarter cup of pellets per day. Fresh pellets can be used as vitamin C breaks down. Rabbit pellets should not be substituted because they are not the same.

Vitamin C tablet normally confuse many of these pets to be a treat. They should be given a quarter tablet per week. Alternatively, you can crush them over the feeds.
Step 8:

Supply your guinea pigs with a handful of greens and veggies every day. Red paper, strips, dandelion and kales should specifically be supplied because they’re very rich in vitamin C.
Step 9:

Plenty of clean, fresh water should be available all the time because they drink gallons of water.
Step 10:

Cut holes in shoe boxes and avail them together with coffee cans that are empty in the guinea pig pens. These items will provide hiding places to sleep in and play. Overturned flower pots can also do. Although these piggies love plying, they aren’t nimble. Low ramps and moles should be should be provided for exercise.
Step 11:

Allow your piggies sufficient floor space that is devoid of wires as well as any dangers each day. You wouldn’t want them nibble on your computer cords.
Step 12:

Brush long-haired guinea pigs everyday
Step 13:

If you notice diarrhea, sneezing or coughing in the pen, a small animal vet should be contacted immediately. Happy and healthy guinea pigs can live for a decade. So if they’re properly cared for, these pets can stay for a long, nice time. Sometimes excited guinea pigs jump up and down. This behavior is known as popcorning.

The American Guinea Pig

The American guinea pig, known as the “English” cavy is the most common. It has short, smooth hair, medium length bodies and Roman noses (curved and wide). They have different color combinations and colors. The American Satin guinea pig is much like the American guinea pig, but with smoother coats with a more glassy satin sheen.

guinea pig closeup shot over white

Origins of the American guinea pig.

The guinea pig has not always been a friendly pet as most people now know them for. When it was first tamed, it was as early as 5000BC by the tribes in the Andean region (South America) but for food! These little creatures were not only used for food, they were also suspected to have been used as gods to be worshipped, and for some rituals in the past. Some archaeological evidence in Ecuador and Peru shows the guinea pig being shown alongside some other animals that were being worshipped at the time. In other cases, the guinea pig was used by folk doctors in some rituals to determine diagnosis for a disease, and how the disease could be treated best. Some of the diseases that were diagnosed using the guinea pigs were jaundice, rheumatism, typhus and arthritis. The guinea pig was mostly used for this procedure. Some tribes, especially in the Andean highlands still breed guinea pigs and use them as a source of food. The guinea pig was first brought into Europe where it was considered an exotic pet. Even Queen Elizabeth was said to have owned guinea pigs.

Diet of the American guinea pig

The diet of a guinea pig is quite interesting. The guinea pig shares some of its diet characteristics with a few animals, human beings included. The guinea pigs have large molars that grow throughout their lives, this enables it to have a diet that consists of grass, which is the guinea pig’s natural diet. It is interesting how guinea pigs substitute their diet by coprography (Eating of their own feces) just like rabbits. They do not however eat all their feces as you may have thought, they produce some special soft pellets that recycle vitamin B, bacteria and fiber. They thrive best on fresh cut hay and can eat large amounts of alfalfa.

It is however advised by some veterinary organizations and pet owners that alfalfa is best as a grass hay. This is because when in legume form, it may bring harm to the guinea pig, in the form of obesity or bladder stones, because of the excessive calcium in them. Scientists however state that alfalfa is a great protein, fiber and amino acid source. Alfalfa is also good for pregnant and young guinea pigs. Guinea pigs, like humans, cannot synthesize their own vitamin C, so to avoid scurvy, which can be fatal, they should be fed with raw fruits and vegetables. It is important to provide the right diet for a guinea pig from a tender age as they can be very choosy eaters. It is also good to give them constant food supply, because they are always gnawing, to avoid their teeth becoming too large. If not fed well, or food is not available, they start chewing on their own hair. Not all plants can be fed to guinea pigs are some can be poisonous, especially if they grow from root or bulb.

American guinea pig Personality

Many say that the personality of a pig generally relies on how you take care of the guinea pig, and which type of environment it is exposed to. There are a few claims that different breeds of guinea pigs give off different kinds of personalities, but all that is subject to debate. For example, it is said that the Abyssinian guinea pig is usually the most eccentric and the most mischievous. Their personalities are reported by most pet owners as “spunkier” than other guinea pigs. English crested pigs have a higher chance of being calm, quiet and shy. There are rumors that the American (smooth haired) guinea pig is shy, laid back but can bite when in an uncomfortable fix. Teddy guinea pigs can be shy, and are usually very affectionate and not vocal. It is all subject to debate though, because each guinea pig can carry its own personality.

The Features of the American guinea pig

The guinea pig is a very interesting creature. A long time ago, during the time the guinea pig was taken to England, they have been bred with each other and the American Cavy Breeders Association only recognizes thirteen breeds of guinea pigs. The Abyssinian has eight to ten rosettes and around its nose you can spot a moustache of raised far. The color combinations of the Abyssinian vary. Another breed is the Abyssinian Satin which is much like the Abyssinian guinea pig, only their fur has sheen to it, thus the name ‘satin’.

A Coronet is longhaired with a Roman nose and a rosette on top of its head. The hair running from the rosette to the back end is noticeably long

Peruvian guinea pigs have dense, soft and long sweeps of hair which grows forward over the head and down the back. When you look at it from above, it somehow looks circular because of the hair. Peruvian Satin guinea pigs are much like the Peruvians, but with sheen and a feel that is satin like.

Silkes have long hair, and the hair on the head sweeps back into a mane. Their hair looks tear shaped from above and they have soft and shiny hair. Silkie Satin guinea pigs are similar to Silkies, only they have more sheen and feel like satin.

Teddy guinea pigs have short, dense coats that tend to have things caught in them. Both their hair and whiskers are kinked and they are similarly sized to the American guinea pigs. They have Roman noses and resilient coats. Teddy Satin guinea pigs look like Teddy guinea pigs, but their furs are satin looking. By now I think you get the flow.

A Texel guinea pig has soft thick hair in curls and ringlets. Their bodies are short and compact, and their heads are described as broad but well-rounded.

White Crested guinea pigs have a white rosette and a smooth coat. They come in a lot of colors and they are very distinct. The colors do not include when white is present everywhere else in the coat.

Caring For an American guinea pig

Guinea pigs are relatively easy to take care of. When shown love and affection, these wonderful creatures, show it right back. It is important to make sure the guinea pigs are not lonely so it is important to pair them up with other guinea pigs. In fact, some law in Switzerland states that it is a crime to own just one guinea pig because of their likelihood to get lonely without partners. They should be kept away from other animals so as to avoid any conflicts, especially with the cat, and should have ample space to play and run around so that they remain active. The temperatures for the places guinea pigs thrive are neither hot nor cold.

Owners of guinea pigs should make sure the diet of guinea pigs is rich in vitamin C and that they have plenty to eat. Their cages should be tidied every day even if guinea pigs take relatively good care of themselves. A guinea pig should always look its best so it is always important to see that the guinea pig gets a good grooming as often as it requires. They require brushing of their fur to look good. The short haired kind may not need much brushing, even once weekly is okay, but the long haired kind of guinea pigs may require grooming every day. Guinea pigs need the best care so it is not advised to get them for children without adult supervision as they may not get the care they deserve.


Facts about the American guinea pig

There are many different facts about guinea pigs, but there are a few interesting ones that may surprise you.

  • Guinea pigs are also known as ‘cavy’. A male guinea pig is known as a boar while a female one is known as a sow
  • Every guinea pig has five different types of hair on their coat.
  • When only three hours old, a guinea pig can run.
  • They have four toes on the forefoot and three toes on the hind foot
  • Guinea pigs do not have tails
  • They are not actual pigs, they are rodents.
  • They did not originate from guinea, they originated from the Andes.
  • The oldest guinea pig recorded in the Guinness book of world records lived 15 years, most live between 7 and 9 years
  • If guinea pig nails are not cut, they may grow into the foot.
  • They have a whooping total of 258 bones in the body.
  • They cannot see what they are eating because of their eye position.
  • When running, they can turn without pausing.
  • They memorize their tracks so that they are able to escape any predators they may have.
  • They have eyes at the sides of their heads so they are able to see behind too, but can’t see straight in front of their noses.
  • Guinea pigs don’t sweat, so when left in the sun for too long, they are prone to heat stroke.
  • Guinea pigs are born with all their fur, and claws.

There are so many interesting facts about guinea pigs and they are creatures that you cannot get bored with. When you really take the time to study them, so many fascinating things come up, some that will only be unique to the guinea pig you own. They are wonderful company and very clean pets.