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All about pet guinea-pigs or cavies

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About Pet Guinea-Pigs (Cavies)

The Latin name for Guinea-Pigs is Cavia porcellus and as a result they are often known as cavies, or cavy if a single animal. Like pigs the females are also called sows, and the males are called boars while the babies are called piglets. The average animal grows to around 10 inches long and weighs in at around 2-3 pounds. There are several varieties with differing coat types and color patterns. The most common breed is the American, which has a short and smooth hair coat. The Abyssinian which has a short coat with “swirls” in the fur that are called rosettes, and the Peruvian which is a long haired animal.

Where to Buy Guinea-Pigs

Not every pet store has informed staff so use caution. If the store does not have the animal in a clean housing with the right diet and handle the animals frequently the use caution. I well run pet store will also have males and females separate. If you want a show quality pig then look for a reputable breeders or caviary. Sometimes they may have a pet quality animal for sale. Breeders also have animals that are well socialized and used to handling from an early age. You can also consider checking with your local animal shelter as they may have animals that have been rescued and looking for new and happier homes. A guinea pigs are very social animals you should think about buying a same sex pair so they don’t get lonely. The ideal choice is a pair of females and males can possibly fight. Before you buy an animal remember they live 5 to 7 years and up to 10, so are not a short term commitment

How to Select a Guinea-Pig

There are a number of things to look out for when selecting your new animal

All about pet guinea pigs or cavies

1. Animals that appear skittish or panic when handled should be avoided, generally they should calm down and relax quickly. Conversely avoid very calm or sedate animals as they may be sick 2. An alert and active guinea pig is how the animal should present. 3. The healthy guinea pig should have a well rounded and firm body. Thin or overweight animals should be avoided. 4. Check the nose and eyes, also the ears, and finally the dirty end and all should show no signs of discharges and be clean 5. The animals coat should be soft and full. 6. Check the animals skin for any sign of parasites such as lice, and also for any red inflamed areas or flaking.

How to Feed a Guinea-Pig

Like all animals there are a variety of nutritional requirements that must be considered if the animal is to remain healthy and happy. Hay is the main part of a pigs diet and should be fresh and available all the time. The ideal is grass and timothy hay, and although alfalfa is popular only feed small amounts as it is too rich for pigs. Do not feed excessive amounts of pellets as these will only help the pig become overweight and obese. You can also feed them leafy green type fresh vegetables. Do not feed them lettuce as there is very limited nutritional value in it. The best choices are spinach, kale, parsley and turnip greens and all provide adequate amounts of Vitamin C. They also can be fed carrots and carrot tops

All about pet guinea pigs or cavies

How to Look After a Guinea-Pig

Ensuring the right levels of Vitamin C is really important as guinea pigs are not able to manufacture it themselves so it has to come from diet sources

How to Entertain a Guinea-Pig

It is important to ensure that your guinea pig doesn’t get too bored. Entertaining toys or items can include a variety of things