Guinea Pig is the animal of choice for children. Tamed does not show aggression, is not expensive to maintain, and does not cause major problems. Before you buy a guinea pig, however, it’s worth knowing the most important things in advance. What is the price for a guinea pig? Is the smoothhaired guinea pig easy to care for? What are the types of guinea pig? How Much Does a Guinea Pig Live? What are the most common diseases of guinea pigs? Read on.
For more advice and information, also check out the guinea pig articles here.
What should you know about guinea pigs?
Smooth-haired guinea pig – breed description
It is the oldest breed of guinea pig. It comes from South America. In the past, they were grown mainly for consumption and ritual purposes, as well as for laboratory research. While guinea pigs are still kept for meat in Peru today, guinea pig has become a companion for families in other parts of the world.
Guinea pigs are friendly. However, it should be remembered that they are herd animals and do not tolerate loneliness well. When deciding on this rodent, it is worth considering buying two at once, preferably from the same place, because guinea pigs get close to each other. The related species of the caviar, its wild cousins, are much more aggressive and more territorial, but that doesn’t mean the guinea pig won’t make a difference. Some individuals have a long problem with accepting a new member of the herd. They become attached to people and need contact with them. Their cage should be in a place where they will be able to observe the surroundings.
The smooth-haired guinea pig is also called the American guinea pig. It has smooth fur that is dense and short (approx. 18 mm). She can take care of her fur herself, she is an extraordinary clean-cut. You can teach her to take care of the litter box, not the whole cage (which makes cleaning very easy).
Other varieties of guinea pigs
There are a lot of guinea pigs, but they are not referred to as separate species, but simply breeds. The varieties are distinguished by the length of the hair or its absence. The types of guinea pig are as follows:
- short-haired – these include the smooth-haired guinea pig, but also rosette (Abyssinian), teddy, amercian crested, english crested, rex,
- longhair – guinea pigs with hair up to 15 cm. The most famous long-haired straight-haired pig is the Peruvian. Sheltie is also popular, and the slightly less known coronet. Long-haired guinea pig with curly hair is, in turn, texel, alpaca, merino and lunkarya,
- hairless – they are bald guinea pigs. They have vestigial fur on their faces and sometimes on their paws. The skinny guinea pig and the baldwin are distinguished.
Shorthair guinea pigs are the most popular in Europe because they first came here. However, this does not mean that others are difficult to access. The Abyssinian guinea pig, or rosette, is interesting. It is so called because of the characteristic structure of the hair, which is rough and spiky. She looks disheveled. She has at least eight rosettes on her body. The long-haired Peruvian guinea pig (the common name for the Peruvian guinea pig), on the other hand, has a thick coat that evenly surrounds the entire rodent. It has a characteristic part, bangs on the eyes and a rosette on the head. If you are looking for more information, also check out this article on guinea pig farming.
These small rodents can be of different colors. They are one-color (monocolor), two-color (bicolor) and tricolor (tricolor). The possible colors of the guinea pig are: white, gold, beige, black, cream, red, saffron, sable, buff, stale blue. Different meanings are also allowed. The colors of agouti (alternating dark and light stripes of color), dutch (fringe and front half of the body are white, colored head), roan (darker and white hair mixed all over the body), dalmatian (dark spots, the rest white) and himalaya ( red eyes, white body, and brown or black nose, ears and feet).
Guinea Pig – nutrition and care
Guinea pigs with longer hair must be gently combed, preferably with a soft brush. If this hair is curly (e.g. guinea pig texel), first brush it with your fingers (sometimes it is enough). Short-haired hair requires regular checking of the coat for parasites and allergies. The skinny guinea pig needs weekly baths and moisturizing the skin with olive oil to prevent it from drying out.
You should also remember to regularly trim the claws and check that the teeth are not too long. The guinea pig should file them off itself by eating something hard, otherwise it should be taken to the vet. Too long teeth will interfere with eating, which may result in the death of the rodent.
Recommended products for guinea pigs
House guinea pig is herbivorous. Her daily diet should include dry food for guinea pigs, hay and vegetables (e.g. broccoli, parsley, carrot, beetroot, spinach, radish, pepper, tomatoes). Fruit (e.g. apples, melons, bananas) may be served from time to time. It is inadvisable to feed rabbits as it does not have all the necessary vitamins and minerals. It is mainly about vitamin C, which the guinea pig does not produce itself and is at risk of deficiency. You can also give her grass or herbs (including dill and basil).
Regardless of age, this is what the guinea pig is, it shouldn’t eat beans (it’s poisonous), cabbage, potatoes, and onions. It is inadvisable to give milk (it may cause diarrhea). However, it should be remembered that the guinea pig has constant access to fresh water in the drinker.
Pet store or breeding – where to buy a guinea pig?
Guinea pig breeding – price, information, description
The prices depend not on the variety, but more on where the guinea pig is bought. In a pet store, the prices are not high – it is a matter of PLN 20-80. The price in breeding is higher, you can buy a small guinea pig there in the range of PLN 100-300. The higher threshold is found less frequently, much more often it is the amount of PLN 150-200.
Purchase from a registered farm is safer. The guinea pig pedigree is obtained and it is allowed to participate in exhibitions. There is a high probability that the pet will be healthy and with the right diet and interest in it, it will survive for many years. A guinea pig’s pregnancy lasts around 60-70 days and usually from 1 to 6 babies are born. There are a lot of guinea pigs and there are no problems with buying it.
Breeders post their ads on advertising portals (olx.pl, zoomia.pl) and on the fanpage of the breeding farm on Facebook. You can choose a guinea pig based on the photo, but it’s better to decide only after visiting the farm. During the meeting, we can verify whether the guinea pig looks well-groomed, has shiny fur, or is not aggressive. The photos will not reveal if there are too many animals in the cage, if they are clean and if none of them looks sick. Therefore, it is important to make an appointment and check this.
Diseases of guinea pigs
Guinea pigs live 6 to 8 years, although some guinea pigs may reach a slightly older age. However, small rodents usually do not live more than 10 years. The record for the life expectancy of a domestic guinea pig beans is 14 years and 10 months. At 5-6 years of age, the guinea pig may already have health problems.
Household guinea pig often has dental problems. They can be overgrown and veterinarian intervention will be needed (can shorten too long incisors and molars). It happens that bacteria and infections are sometimes responsible for poor dental health. Their quick detection should stop the development of the disease and not lead to tooth loss.
A contaminated cage, ground with bars, and obesity and lack of exercise can cause inflammation of the finger pads. Sometimes, nutritional mistakes, stress, or an overly large herd can cause skin problems in your guinea pig.
Disturbing symptoms are: dull coat, vomiting, diarrhea, severe itching, fine spots on the skin, hair loss, avoiding contact with people, lack of appetite, weight loss, shortness of breath and depression. If you notice this in your guinea pig, take it to the vet immediately. When it turns out that she suffers from an infectious disease, it is worth examining the rest of the animals with whom she stayed. It can happen to her: salmonellosis, tuberculosis, pasteurellosis, lichen lichen and scabies.