Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Guinea pig as pet and how to care of them

Guinea pig as pet

Guinea Pigs are an extremely complex animal, they display a range of behavior and sounds while communicating. Each cavies behavior is predominately determined by their unique character and as you start to build trust and create relationships with your new pets. You will notice that each of your cavies will act differently in certain situations. With that said, however, there is a number of various common guinea pig behavior, you should be aware of. These include: begging for treats, topography, licking, popcorning and biting cage bars.

Begging for treats

Guinea pigs love begging for tasty treats. As their confidence continues to grow, they will attempt standing on their hind legs every time they see their favorite treats approaching their cage. When they are very excited, they also look at you with their eager eyes. Although this is not bad behavior, you can prevent them from having false expectations by developing a well-defined feeding schedule.


Whenever your cavies are munching on something other than hay or vegetables, you may catch them eating their poop. Although it sounds weird for most humans, coprography is actually normal behavior. They eat their soft poops because their digestive systems cannot extract the vitamins and nutrients from their food right away. Eating the poop of a healthy guinea pig can help them acquire the right amount of nutrients they need.


Cavies love licking their owners. Animal behaviorists considers this as a sign of affection and care. When you are holding your pet and he licks you, this means that he already feels very comfortable in your hands. Some people also think they just love the taste of salt in human skin. However, it will be more rewarding if you consider licking as sweet guinea pig kisses.


Most owners consider Perpignan as the most interesting aspect of guinea pig behavior. This refers to the event when cavies suddenly starts leaping in the air. Young guinea pigs usually jump straight up as if they were wearing pogo sticks. When cavies engage in this behavior, they are trying to show you that they are very happy and contented with their lives. Since only healthy cavies exhibit this behavior, you have the right to swell with pride every time your critters leap to the air.

Biting cage bars

If your cavy is biting the bars of their cage, it is probably time to give them more attention. You need to buy them new toys and wheels if you want to prevent them from doing this disruptive activity. If possible, give them a cage mate to prevent them from feeling too bored and lonely.

By understanding how your guinea pigs behave, you can give them the chance to live a healthier and happier life. Learn more about a guinea pig behavior before keeping cavies as your pets and lifelong companions.

I am a cavy owner and enthusiast. For nearly two years now, I have been helping guinea pig owners or soon-to-be owners build a loving and fulfilling friendship with healthy and happy pets. It's my aim to make sure you understand everything there is known knowns about providing your guinea pigs with first class care and doing so confidently.

Guinea pig breeds

There are 13 different breeds and each breed has its own variations in appearance. Some breeds are perfect for family pets and some are better for competitions. Basically, these are show pigs. Guinea pig breeds vary in popularity. The three top types are Short Hair, Abyssinian, and Peruvian. A fourth variety, the Sheltie Breed (or Silkie) breed, is another popular choice.

The Short-Haired pig is the kind that you likely think of when you think of guinea pigs. They have short smooth hair and wide snouts. They are also called English guinea pigs and American guinea pigs. The Silkie is like the Peruvian breed. The big difference is the way the hair flows. Peruvians have long flowing hair that covers all of them including their faces. The Silkie's hair is long and flowing too but it does not fall over their faces.

The Abyssinian is one of the most common types. This breed has rosettes or whorls of fur. This makes their coat feel rough. The Peruvian has a very long hair--it can be up to 20 inches long. They tend to their own fur by chewing on it to keep it at a length comfortable for them.

Guinea pigs are grouped into 3 separate overall categories. There are short-haired, long-haired, and rosette. Each of these groups is further divided into color variations. Self, or single-color guinea pigs, come in colors ranging from white to cream, golden, red, chocolate and black. There are marked versions and these have at least two colors. An example is the tortoiseshell with black and red markings.

Another variety is the Dutch, which is black and white in a saddle pattern on its back and a white forehead.

Aside from the length and growth pattern and color of the fur, there are also variations in the fur that guinea pigs have. The short-haired English and American breeds have a smooth coat of very short hair.

There are rough-haired breeds like the Abyssinian. These have coarse hair in a rosette pattern that stands up in circular patterns all over the pig's body. This type is hard to groom and they never look brushed and tidy, but their fur seems to have an appealing personality of its own.

The long-haired groups tend to be show pigs rather than pets. They have quite a dramatic look and they need a lot of pampering care for their long, silky fur. This is just an overview of the basic guinea pig varieties. There are dozens more that are not as common but just as cute.

Guinea pig pet

Guinea pigs are gentle animals with delicate bones and sensitive inner organs, nervous by nature and programmed with jumping habits. Take extra care to prevent injuries.

1. Baby Guinea Pig

A few days young piggy needs time to adjust to new surroundings. To prevent traumatic experiences, an owner should try to avoid:

- Loud noises

- Cuddling

- Lurking / Looming (this triggers animal's instinct to run and hide because owner appear to be a predatory bird looming its prey)

When observing young piggy it is recommended to put oneself at an eye level with it. Regarding other household pets, it is recommended to avoid interaction between them and your pet in the first few days;later , they can be slowly introduced one by one. Needless to instruct, potentially dangerous, predatory by nature household pets should not be in the radius of 45 miles from your piggy. Children must be reminded that young pets need peace to adjust.

NOTE: Carrying is not a natural situation for a cavy, so an average new piggy will not like to be held. In time, your pet will get used to be carried, but it is normal for them to struggle to escape if one picks them against their will, even after years of a life spent together. Be extra cautious not to squeeze it too hard or accidentally drop it as it struggles.

3. How to pick up your pet

It is a general recommendation to prevent children from carrying a guinea pig, as they might squeeze too tightly or drop the animal.

1) Approach your pet from the front.

2) Gently talk to your pet and stroke it on the head.

3) Place one hand under the chest (just behind the front feet) and use your other hand to support its hindquarters

4) Bring your pet against your chest (this position should feel most secure), still supporting it by using two hands.

5) Keep a firm grip, but do not squeeze (their bones and internal organs are fragile)

6) If your piggy begin to struggle, lower yourself down to the floor in order to reduce the chance your pet will be injured in a fall

In order to build a bond between the owner and his cavy, it is recommended to handle the animal as often as possible. It is recommended to spend sufficient time gently talking to the pet and giving it treats so it can learn to trust the owner.

4. How long should you hold your guinea pig?

It is recommended to hold it for a maximum of 10-15 minutes at a time (your pet needs naturally to go to the bathroom). If held for too long, a cavy will let you know if it wants to get back to its home (it becomes restless, starts whining and nibbling your clothes). It is normal for them to poop on you. It is less common for them to urine on you.

5. Where you should and should not touch your pet

Some guinea pigs like to be touched in some spots and not in other spots: - Observe and learn from your specific pet model - In most cases, the bum and the tummy are the spots that they do not like to be touched - In most cases all guinea pigs like to have you stroke them on the head between the ears (some vets use this head-stroking to calm down a scared piggy) - Gentle neck rub, under the chin, is often appreciated

6. How to put your pet back in the cage

Following technique should be useful in preventing your pet's struggle when holding them or trying to put them down, and it should show progress in the first few training weeks:

1) When returning your pet to the cage, make sure you have a good hold on it.

2) As you are nearing the cage floor, piggy is most likely squirm - hold it firmly and securely few centimeters above the floor until it stops squirming.

3) Then, let it touch the cage floor, but don't let it go just yet as it will immediately try to run.

4) When it finally stops struggling, let it go.

This technique (if done properly) will be especially useful to prevent injuries when someone with lesser coordination, experience or small hands (e.g. children) tries to handle your piggy as it will not squirm and/or jump.

7. How to catch reluctant guinea pig

Depends on your pet's accommodation settings; if your pet has hiding places inside its cage, you have to outwit it: 1) Lure it with food, 2) Close its escape exits, 3) Pick up its hiding places. Do not use excessive force and practice patience.

It may wine or bite, but in time your pet will probably get use to being held.

8. How to handle pregnant guinea pig

Handle guinea pig as little as possible late in the pregnancy. If you have to transport it, use a box with openings for light and air. Take extra precautions and care.

If you are allergic to guinea pigs, you will need to follow some advice regarding easing allergy symptoms.

  Guinea pig sound

Guinea pigs use sounds as a primary means of communication. Since cavies are herd animals, sounds are also their means of maintaining social rank. Understanding the sounds that cavy make is one of the basic prerequisites for understanding what your pet is trying to tell you to provide optimal care.

Here we are describing the most important categories of Guinea Pig Sounds:

1. Wheeking

Onomatopoeic name for a sound which is sometimes also called squealing or whistling
It is a common vocalization generally communicating anticipation and excitement, particularly about being fed, or in response to the presence of its owner.
Wheeking is considered to be begging.
Sometimes it serves as a call for an attention as cavies frequently call to their human caretakers.
One can often hear this sound when an owner opens refrigerator or is rustling with plastic bags which cavy usually links to a food source
2. Rumbling

Response to being scared or angry in which case the rumble often sounds higher and the body vibrates shortly
Also related to dominance within a group
Petting in the wrong spots (for instance, on a cavy's underside) often results in a low rumbling sound
3. Bubbling and Purring

Sound made when the cavy is enjoying itself/being happy (e.g. when being petted or held)
Sound can be also produced when given food, grooming, or crawling around to investigate a new place.
NOTE: Beware of the purring pitch and body language which complements this sound category and could change original meaning (if the purr is higher pitched toward the end, and the cavy seems to vibrate and tense, this could be interpreted as a sound of annoyance)
4. Chutting and Whining

Used to communicate annoyance or dislike for something an owner or another cavy is doing
Can be head in pursuit situations (both the pursuer and the pursued)
5. Teeth Chattering

Aggressive vocalization: a sign of an agitated or angry cavy
Sound is made by rapidly gnashing the teeth
Often accompanied by showing the teeth (looks like a yawn, but more sinister) and raising the head
Freely interpreted as "back off" or "stay away"
6. Squealing or Shrieking

A high-pitched sound of discontent, pain and/or fear
Response to pain or immediate danger
! URGENT NOTE: Check on your cavy ASAP to make sure everything is okay!

7. Chirping

Possibly the least understood or heard noise
Sound pattern similar to bird song
Could be related to stress or when a baby pigs want to be fed

Guinea pig bedding

Guinea pig bedding will have two uses in your pet's cage:

make the cage floor comfy for the piggy and
make it clean and fresh.
I have tried many bedding types and quickly learned that some of them are way better than others.

The ones you can use are:

wood shavings,
wood pellets,
confetti and
Each bedding type absorbs liquids and odors differently.

Newspapers will absorb liquids quickly, but they also make a big mess, especially if you don't change them often enough. Some piggies will even try to eat it, which is not healthy for them.

Wood pellets don't absorb liquids as fast and good as I would like them too. They are also heavy, so when it is time for cage cleaning, you can be in for some heavy carrying.

Confetti are not my choice of great cavy bedding because of the fine, dust-like particles that fly everywhere, so I had to clean my apartment more often.

Towels absorb fast but it is hard to provide enough towels when you have a guinea pig, or pigs, that seem to pee every five minutes. The towels will get messy fast and you will have to clean your cage more often.

There is another option I've heard people mention and that it sawdust. I would not recommend using it. Not only is it too fine and your pets can end up inhaling it, but it will also make cleaning the cage and your house much more difficult.

So how to choose the best and most comfortable bedding?

Chose wood shavings. I have tried everything recommended on the market and found that wood shavings are the best of them all.

Wood shavings absorb water pretty well and they keep the top layer dry so your guinea pigs won't keep their feet in their own feces. That can prevents a lot of infections they are prone to.

They are cheap and you can buy them practically anywhere, pet shops, supermarkets.

It is easy to keep your house clean with wood shavings. Even if your guinea pig has a party and kick out some wood shavings out of the cage, you can easily vacuum it.

Wood shavings are soft and your pet will feel comfortable sleeping on them.

It is very important not to use cedar and pine wood shavings for your pet's cage. Cedar is poisonous while pine releases oils that can be bad for your pet.

So bottom line is that the best bedding for guinea pigs are wood shavings. They absorb great; they are easy to maintain; they are cheap and your guinea pigs will be comfortable with them.

Guinea pig care 

Don't you just love how your guinea pigs look so bubbly and healthy? Since these pets are active and very social animals, it is very rare that you see them sulking in one corner feeling sad and troubles. But also understand that these furry creatures are very delicate and are prone to several diseases. That is why you need to be very observant and act quickly whenever you see your guinea pigs manifest differences in their behaviors.

There are several known health problems that pose a great threat to the wellbeing of your guinea pigs. And to make sure you keep them healthy all the time, you need to know what these common health problems are and keep an eye out for any manifestations of these diseases on your cute and cuddle pets. Today, we will look at two of these common problems.

Intestinal Problems

One of the most common health problems involves the digestive system. Naturally, cavies have a very healthy appetite and they love to eat just about anything, which is why they have a high risk of gaining intestinal diseases. They can easily suffer from constipation or diarrhea, especially if they are not given the right daily nutrients.

You can usually tell if your guinea pigs are suffering from any of these illnesses by observing their feces. Guinea pigs who are constipated have difficulty in defecating and have a lesser number of feces in their cage. They may also have a bloated abdomen because they cannot excrete their wastes properly. Cavies who suffer from diarrhea have loose and watery feces and they defecate more often. A significant decrease in their weight may also show the condition.

To prevent health problems from happening, all you need to do is to remember to provide your pets with a healthy diet. Alternate feeding them with pellets and vegetables so they may have variation. It is also important to give them food and increase the fiber content in their diet as this will help regulate their metabolisms. Likewise, keeping them well groomed and cleaning their cage regularly can also help lessen the risk of having intestinal problems.

Pregnancy complications

Another factor concerning guinea pig health is pregnancy. Guinea pigs become very fragile during childbirth and they have weak bodies, which is why it is important to supervise them when trying to deliver their pups. What commonly happens is that they squeal and wriggle too much because of the pain that during the delivery, they get too tired and do not produce the placenta.

To prevent this from happening, it is best to bring the pregnant guinea pig to the pet clinic so that your vet can assist in the delivery. This will help you make sure that your guinea pig will have a safe delivery and her pups will be healthy.

I am a cavy owner and enthusiast. For nearly two years now, I have been helping guinea pig owners or soon-to-be owners build a loving and fulfilling friendship with healthy and happy pets. It's my aim to make sure you understand everything there is known about providing your guinea pigs with first class care and doing so confidently.

Guinea pig care guide for beginners

Cavia porcellus, or more commonly known as the guinea pig or the cavy, is a type of rodent that neither lives in Guinea, nor is part of the family of pigs. Originally from the Andes, they are considered domesticated animals therefore are not available in the wild. Most popular in the South American indigenous tribes use them as a food source. They are also regularly used for medicinal purposes. There was even a time when there were efforts to bring a guinea pig consumption outside South America. However, in Western societies, guinea pigs are very popular as pets. Unfortunately, there are those owners who lack guinea pig info on how to properly take care of them.

Cavies should be bought from reputable pet shops to make sure they are in good health. Either that or you can buy your cavy from a breeder you know well or who has a good reputation, or you could adopt your pet from a shelter. The cavy has a lifespan that ranges from five to eight years, especially if you take care of them properly. Signs of good health are: shiny coat, bright eyes, clean ears, absence of discharge and crusting on the nose, with the teeth fitting perfectly over the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed.

Before bringing your new pet home, you need to make sure that you already have all the necessary things that it will need to stay healthy. You will need a large cage at least 7 square feet for one guinea pig or 10 square feet for two. You can expect your critter to be scared the first time you bring it home, so try to allow it to adjust before you handle it. If you plan to keep the cage outside, do not place it under direct sunlight and from places with extreme draughts, which can cause heat stroke and a cold. If kept inside the house, buy a plastic cage and place it on a table so that your cavy won't feel intimidated by your height and please keep noise to a minimum. To make sure that your pet is comfortable with you, try feeding it a treat with your bare hands. Only when it feels secure should you try to carry it.

They can be picky eats, but this will depend on the animal you buy or adopt. If it is an older animal, they will already be used to a certain diet and feeding routine, so it's important to know what this is and maintain it. If you wish to change your pet’s diet, do so gradually over a period time. You will only cause distress and depression otherwise. If you get a young animal, feed a wide-ranging diet predominately made up of hay, pellets, a cup of diced fruit and veggies and fresh water.

An important part of grooming is to clip their nails regularly. Yes, you need to clean the cage to avoid it from getting sick, but you also need to consider cutting their fur to minimize the chances of dirt and droppings sticking to their coats. Brushing the fur can also keep any illnesses in check.

This short guinea pig info should suffice you when you consider buying a guinea pig, but before you do, you need to consider whether owning a guinea pig is good for you and the guinea pig. Remember, you need to take care of it not only as a pet but as a family member, so think about it. This guinea pig info article can help you initially, but of course, it is recommended that you do further research on the subject.

I am a cavy owner and enthusiast. For nearly two years now, I have been helping guinea pig owners or soon-to-be owners build a loving and fulfilling friendship with healthy and happy pets. It's my aim to make sure you understand everything there is known about providing your guinea pigs with first class care and doing so confidently.

Guinea pig facts

Guinea pigs or Cavies are beautiful creatures who make great pets for people of all ages. Unlike other rodents, they are easily trained, docile animals who love human interaction and can live up to 10 years.

Guinea pig care is very easy to maintain. Although they are easy to care for, owners should be careful as once they do become sick as the downward slope is quick and sad. To help owners get an idea of what to do if this ever happens, follow these tips for guinea pigs care when they act differently.

1) Know the signs - when a cavy is having a problem; they will show 1 or more of:

No eating
No drinking
squeaking for no other reason
puffed up fur
missing fur
cries when going to the bathroom
constant itching
Each of these are signs or symptoms of a handful of problems, and your cavy is depending on you to help them, be extra vigilant when you notice something different and you will always be able to

2) Call the vet - because of how fast cavies can go downhill if they are experiencing a health issue, the best thing an owner can do is consult with the vet. This isn't always an option and in those cases, there are usually fantastic forums you can check out to see if the situation is an emergency.

Most vets will try to assist you over the phone, but if a medication is necessary, they usually have to see you. Most of the time, if a med is necessary it will be an antibiotic, Bactrim, Baytril, or another guinea pig recommended me.

Guinea pig care vet visits cost around 40-70 for the visit alone and 15-40 for the meds. This is if no other tests, x-rays, etc are necessary. Owners can check with the vet for payment arrangements or check with Care Credit that offers Vet financing.

3) Follow exact treatment specifications- normally this would go without saying, but an exotic vet will give exact treatments specifically for your cavy. They metabolize medications quickly, so more doses of small amounts are often needed.

Based on the infection of issue for medication, there is a big range for different medications for each dose. Exotic vets will do quick research to justify their dosage, but it never hurts to ask them to explain, as this will help the owner understand what is necessary for their pet.

For more exotic pets details please click here