They’re not pigs and they’re not from New Guinea!
Do you really know how to take care of your cavy!? Read on to find out!
heres a good video about guinea pig care and fun!
You need to feed your guinea pig everyday. Try to give them somthing differnt every week or so. Its good to give them a selection of veggies, friut, pellets and if possible let them graze on grass. There are certain foods that you should never feed your cavy such as potato. Both the peel and the inside are toxic to guinea pigs so be careful! If theres something that your unsure to feed your guinea pig its better to look it up rather than take the risk.
A guinea pigs bedding should be of old newspaper straw,hay or wood chippings. If you are getting wood chips make sure you get the ones from the pet shop because some chips can be harmful to your cavy.
I put old newspaper down laid out flat then on above put on straw.
Bedding should be changed at least every week (How would you like being in a bedroom where the carpet is wet and full of poop!?) You can train your guinea pig to use a litter tray. If you decide to train your cavy to use a litter tray try getting a tray thats green because green stands out.You need to clean the tray atleast ever day.
The best age to breed your guinea pig is 12 weeks and the boys can breed from about 4 weeks. you have to be careful when breeding though because when female cavies are a year old their pelvises start to fuse together and breeding them would be fatal. If you have bred your guinea pig before, its pelvis will stay open. You should retire your guinea pig from breeding at about 2 years of age and dont let them have more than 3 or 4 litters because this will give them a stressed life and they will be quite depressed.
Making it pregnant:
First of all you put a male guinea pig in with a female guinea pig and let them have a bit of privacy. Never ever never put 2 males in with 1 female because they will fight to the death even if there is 500 females they will kill eachother. Leave the boy with the girl for about 2 weeks or if you want to be sure leave him in for longer.
It will take about 10 weeks for her babies to arrive. The quicker the babies come out the bigger they are. She needs more food and plenty of vitamin C to support her, after all she is feeding babies in her body. She shall get fat and you should try not to pick her up that much. When she is close to birth she will drink alot of water and not move as much as possible, if she does need to move she will waddle.
Before she gives birth she will have labor, 3 signs are that she will not move unless she has to, if you feel her stomach the babies will be moving more than usual and she will drink lots of water. Most guinea pigs have their babies early in the morning or late at night, ussaly when your not around. If you are around when it happens just leave her alone but check on her every now and again. If you have more than 1 female in the hutch the other females will help clean up the babies and help the mum.
Looking after the babies:
You wont need to do much for the first 4-5 weeks as your guinea pig will do most of the work. What you do need to do though is make sure you supply plenty of food (more than ussual) , make sure mum has a fresh supply of water and dont touch the babies for the first 5 days. If your guinea pigs sleep outside bring the babies inside to a quiet room with their mum so they dont get scared or if its winter too cold or to hot in summer.This will help also if you have more guinea pigs in the hutch because they can trample on the piglets and kill them by accident. They will only need to be inside for about 2 weeks. Once the babies are 4 weeks old seperate the boys from the girls, leave the girls with their mum. When the piglets are 6 weeks old they are ready to go!
Guinea pigs are very clean animals and will groom themselves with a milky white substance that comes from the corner of their eye. They rub this substance all over their face with their front paws. They clean the rest of their body by nibbling and licking. Sometimes guinea pigs will groom their cage mates or other guinea pigs because they are social animals and are very friendly! The guinea pig will clean their nails with their front teeth. Allthough Guinea Pigs clean themselves they still need a bath every 4-5 weeks to keep their coat and skin healthy. Make sure you also clean your guinea pigs hutch because a clean hutch means a clean cavy!!!!
<--- Heres a video of Sparky grooming himself! Thanks to my friend Jess who let me use this video!
<--- Here is Darwin grooming herself.
Guinea pigs are extreamley social animals and dont like to be kept alone.If you keep 2 or 3 females they will become more than best friends. If you want 2 males you will need to choose two males from the same litter or 2 male guinea pigs that have grown up together. Dont put males and females together unless you want to have piglets because like most rodents guinea pigs breed rapidly!
you’ll need to provide a minimum of four square feet of cage space per guinea pig. Try to get the biggest cage possible. You cant have wire as the base of the hutch as this will hurt your cavies feet!
Keep your guinea pigs hutch away from extream tempretures such as extream heat and heat waves and the cold.
Line the bottom of the cage with news paper then place straw,hay,aspen or hardwood shavings. Do not use cedar or pine chips because the oils they contain can be dangerous to your guinea pigs (P.S. you can train a guinea pig to use a litter box as I said up the top but please note that this will require lots of time and patience!)
Guinea pigs love to hide when they play, so make sure to place cardboard tubes and empty tubs with smoothed edges (you can smooth them down with sandpaper) in the hutch. Plastic pipes and flower pots are good, and bricks and rocks for climbing will be popular. All guinea pigs need a cave or igloo for sleeping and resting, so you need to provide an igloo,flower pot or box. You can buy Igloo's at pet shops.
When you first get your cavy you’ll need to spend about $30 for a cage. Food costs about $75 a year, and about $25 for toys and treats (you can reduce this by making your own toys from scraps at home) $50 for an annual veterinary check up and $400 a year for bedding. Its better to get your guinea pig from a breeder or even better adopt one from and animal shelter!
Guinea pigs are hardy little rodents with strong front teeth and are very interesting pets. They are smaller than rabbits but are bigger than mice, the adult females weigh about 500 grams and the males about 700 grams. Guinea pigs are extreamly social animals and are related to the worlds biggest rodent: the capybara.
A Capybara family!
- Guinea pig pellets
- hay and/or straw
- Bricks, rocks, cardboard boxes, plastic pipes and other toys
- Igloo or sleeping box
- Brush and comb
- Attachable water bottle
- untreated piece of wood for your cavy to chew on
you can feed your guinea pig all sorts of wild plants! but some wild plants are harmful and can cause death... here are some wild plants that are good and the ones that are B.A.D
some sutible plants are: Vetch, Shepereds purse, Sow thistle,Dandilions and Cow parsley
some unsutible plants are: Bindweed, Dog mercury, Sorrel, Dock, Bryony and Ragwort.
1. Always have a warm, dry, comfortable hutch or cage for your guinea pig with fresh hay or straw,toys and clean water available.
2. Boredom is a issue with any pet, although it can be easily avoided by provideing little huts to play in, a log, some bark,pipes,flower pots, balls or a mate.
3. Guinea pigs are social animals and love the company of other guinea pigs, the best thing you can give your cavy is a mate! (remember dont put 2 males in together because unless their litter mates they will fight!)
4. make sure you hold your guinea pig properly and carefully. If you drop your guinea pig it could seriosly hurt itself causing major injuries that sometimes you cant fix.
5. support your guinea pig properly. Never pick your guinea pig up by the front legs only,the back legs, the back half or just by the upper half, because you will tear muscles in the middle of the body. If you handle pregnant females too much this could lead to miscarriages.
6. Dont disturb your female guinea pig when and while she gives birth. Do not disturb,or hold the babies until they are at least a 5 days old.
7. Spend at least 30 minutes a day with your cavy to make it tamer and like you more! Its easyer to tame a young cavy rather than an old one so start early!
8. There are loads of healthy fruits and vegetables a guinea pig can eat. Fresh grass and pellets as well as a bit of hay is good for a guinea pig too.
9. Don't feed your guinea pig flowers, roots, vegetables or anything else unless you know they aren’t poisonous. If you dont know wether a plant is poisionous or not look it up!
10. Try not to inbreed. This is when you breed a brother,sister,mum or dad with each other. If you breed with a guinea pig who is not realated to your cavy you will get stronger healthier babies!
11. Check your guinea pig’s healthdaily. check the teeth regularly to make sure they are not over-grown.
12. Keep your guinea pigs active. Playing with them is one way to keep a guinea pig happy and active and letting them play with other cavies in a run is another.
Some people think that guinea pigs got their name from the spanish sailors who sold them for a guinea and they squeaked (and ate) like pigs! Guinea pigs are realated to the wild cavy and the capybara. The capybara is the worlds largest rodent and is realated to the guinea pig and chinchilla. The capybara has slightly webbed feet so it can swim and they have 20 teeth.
A Cavy Capybara's
Guinea Pigs have a good immune system and don't get sick much but these are a few things that happen when they are sick
Guinea pigs are unable to make their own vitamin C, just like humans, so they need it in their diets. If they don't get enough vitamin C, then they will develop scurvy. the main signs of this condition include diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, and like number 4 up the top there dont seem interested or well. Other symptoms of scurvy are eye and nose discharge and difficulty walking.
Cavies can handle colder weather better than they can hotter temperatures. When exposed to high temperatures for a long time, they are a target to suffering a heat stroke. This is especially a problem with long-haired breeds. You need to keep an eye on your piggie when temperatures go above 35 degrees celcius during summer. Be careful because this is a common cause of death and I know a guinea pig who died from it! RIP Spike number 1
One of the other common guinea pig illnesses is a UTI, Which in English means upper respiratory infection. This condition is caused by nasty bacteria. It causes symptoms such as difficulty breathing, eye and nose discharge, sneezing, and coughing. An upper respiratory infection needs to be treated with an antibiotic safe for use in cavies (ask your vet first). If you do not treat your guinea pig, it will almost certainly die.
Your piggie can also develop an ear infection. Like a UTI, it is also caused by nasty bacteria. The most noticeable symptoms are head tilting and difficulty walking. You will need to get help from a vet so that your pig can take antibiotics to treat the condition.
Mange mites, AKA trixacarus caviae, cause many different types of skin conditions in guinea pigs. Mange mites are small parasites that cause the guinea pig to scratch and could cause hair loss. Lice also cause scratching and possible hair loss.
Heat stroke is a very common problem with guinea pigs, especially long-haired peruvians and other long haired breeds. High humidity makes it hard for your guinea pig to release body heat. They could also have problems with temperatures higher than 35 degrees celcius. During the hot summer months, maybe you could take your pig into an air-conditioned room or move it to a cool, shady part of your home.
This is a disease found in some breeds. Problems with the inner ear lead to deafness and make the pig run around in circles. (it may look cute and you may have thought that youve just taught your cavy the famous circle trick but NO this is terrible news if this happens to your pig)
Ringworm and other fungal infections are common. Ringworm is common in areas with high humidity. irritated skin or patches of missing fur and excessive scratching can mean that your cavy may have ringworm. Change your pigs litter weekly and keep sticks and leaves, out of your pig's cage to reduce the chance of fungal infection.
The Abyssinian it is one of the oldest breeds. The Abyssinian arrived in
The Abyssinian Satin is pretty much the same as the Abbyssinian but with a sleek shiny coat.
American -AKA Short haired
One of the oldest recorded breeds is the american. Americans arrived in
The American Satin was the first Satin breed. Body build and color should be the same as the American.
The Peruvian arrived in
The Peruvian Satin has the appearance of the Peruvian with the additional awesomeness of the satin sheen.
The Silkie has long silky hair but has no long hair on its belly. The silky is sometimes called a Sheltie and is one of the oldest breeds.The silkies hair should have no rosettes on it and should be soft and dense. Just like the peruvians show Silkies have to be groomed everyday but pet Silkies are trimmed for easier care.
The Silkie Satin has all the features and apperence of the Silkie with the beauty of the satin sheen.
The Teddy coat should be dense. In a show a Teddy's coat is accepted in two textures- harsh or soft. The body of the Teddy is the same as the American.
The Teddy Satin has all the qualities of the Teddy but with the satin sheen.
The White-Crested looks like an American but with a crest on the forehead. The White-crested breeders have bred the Satin coat into this breed but the Crested Satin is not an official breed. Show Crested's have to have a fully white crest with no white hair on its body exept for the crest, they are quite a hard breed to work with for showing! My crested's dont have a fully white crest so their not quialified to be show pigs but I love them any way!
A textel is like a peruvian but has curly, bouncy, wavy hair instead of long straight hair.
Rex's have a harsh corse coat but their coat is acctually soft to the touch!
Alpaca: Alpacas are just curly coated Peruvians!
Coronet:Shelties with a crest on their head, cornets are not concidered as English or American!
For such small animals, guinea pigs make a lot of noise! By listening to what noise your guinea pig is making, you can tell how he or she is feeling! Heres some info on what the noises mean, click on the little guinea pig picture to hear the soun that that paragraph is talking about!
Sounds copyright to http://www.mgpr.org/MGPR/Guinea%20Pig%20Sounds.htm exept for the squealing sound which is copyrighted to me.
This sound is often reserved for the owner and is made loudest at the time you feed them! Wheeking means "FEED ME FEED ME FEEEEEED MEEEEEE!!!!" They will also make this sound when they are hungry but dont allways feed them when the wheek! Even if they hear a plastic bag rustling or a fridge door being closed they may start wheeking their heads off! I've trained my pigs only to wheek when I whistle, when I whistle it means "food is coming!" So then they start wheeking because they know that I'm going to be feeding them!
Rumbling is a mating sound and sounds like a purr but deeper and has a vibration effect to it. It is made mostly by boars when in presence of a sow but sows can also make this sound when they are in season. When this sound is being made the guinea pig will walk around the other guinea pig brushing its fur against the other and swaying the hips.
Purring is a happy contenet sound, the meaning of it is pretty much the same as a cat purr though it sounds much different. It means that your piggie is experiencing enyoiment and pleasure! If you pet your guinea pigs, watch them eat or give them a treat, you will most likely hear them make this sound.
Some times you may hear your guinea pig make a short purring sound, when you are not patting them or doing anything to them. When one guinea pig makes this short purr sound all the cagemates will stand still and freeze. This short purr means that your guinea pig is unsure of something, they might have heard a door closing or a dog barking loudly. It is a natural instinct for them.
When your guinea pigs are just cruising about, they will make a "Chut" sound. They will be happily walking around when they make this sound. The chut sound means that your guinea pig is relaxed and happy.
Teeth chattering is made when a guinea pig is angry, upset or wants to be alone. Teeth chattering is made by the guinea pig clicking his or her teeth together. If a guinea pig makes this sound to a cagemate or another guinea pig, they are telling the other guinea pig to stay away, and if the other pig ignores this, they may get a nip on the bum! When a guinea pig makes this sound, the fur around their neck raises up to make themselves seem bigger and they will stamp their paws and rock. Boars will ussally make this sound when they first meet to establish the alpha. If you see your cavies making this sound towards each other, its best to seperate them for a while so they can calm down.
Squealing is sound that is made when a guinea pig is in pain or has just experienced pain. It can also be a "stay away!" Sound, not in an aggressive way but in an afraid way. This sound can also be heard when you seperate a guinea pig pup from its mother and litter mates.
(C) All 4 Guinea Pigs
Rummble strutting is a mating movment. The whole body vibrates and The guinea pig makes the mating sound. The male guinea pig steps forward and circles the female, still vibrating and purring. If A male does this to another male, they are establishing dominance. This is a very common behaviour and I can assure you that probably every guinea pig owner has seen their pig rumble strut!