Guinea Pigs as Pets
Guinea pigs are such cute critters, it’s no wonder some people love to adopt them as pets! Interested? Read on!
When I was in elementary school, our family’s favorite place to visit was the St. Louis Zoo. In particular, we loved the children’s part that features a petting area. They had some of the cutest critters, including…guinea pigs! However, these animals don’t just belong in zoos. They can belong in your home too.
While guinea pigs may not be thought of as traditional pets like cats and dogs, they can make great companions. What are they like? Guinea pigs grow to be a couple of pounds, and live from five to seven years. The three most common guinea pig breeds are:
- Smooth-coated: these critters have short and glossy fur.
- Abyssinian: this breed is known for fur that grows in fluffy tufts all over the body.
- Peruvian: these animals have a coat of fur that is long and silky.
Guinea pigs are known to be very docile creatures that rarely bite. Rather, they tend to make squeaking noises to convey their various moods. They are very social animals that like to live in small groups. However, if you wish to have two males, it is best to adopt two guinea pigs that are from the same litter. Provide a living space that is at least four square feet per animal. The best habitats for them are the plastic-bottom “tub cages” with wire tops.
As for their diet, guinea pigs mostly eat the commercial pellets that are sold at pet stores. While the pellets are nutritionally complete, you can also feed your pet small amounts of fresh fruits and veggies. Great foods to try are: grapes, cucumbers, pears, peas, carrots and corn. You will also want to have grass hay available in your pet’s living space. It is great for the digestive system, and will give your pet something to gnaw on!
Are you sold on adopting a guinea pig, or what? If you already have a guinea pig, tell us about it in the comment section below!