The house marten, commonly known as “guinea pig” is an adorable pet often chosen as the first pet of a child or novice caregiver. Although this small rodent does not make such high demands as a dog or cat, it has its own needs and can become very attached to its owner, absorbing a lot of attention. It loves to cuddle, is very sociable and learns new things quickly.
What does a guinea pig eat These animals are herbivorous, so they feed mainly on hay, fruits, vegetables or herbs. Especially hay should be constantly present in the cage – the digestive tract of domestic cavies must work almost constantly, so that constipation or even pathological conditions do not occur. It is also worthwhile, in addition to the basic food for pigs present in pet stores, to give these rodents various supplements, especially hard flasks to help them grind their ever-growing teeth. Also important are products and supplements rich in vitamin C, which the body of the domestic jackdaw does not produce. On Wikipedia, you can find a table with the content of this vitamin in fruits and vegetables that we can give to a pet pig, which will be helpful especially for novice caregivers. We should also remember to avoid excessive amounts of grains in the diet of animals – they can easily contribute to obesity and, consequently, various health problems.
What expenses should we prepare for? The price of a guinea pig depends mainly on the breed – the more popular varieties are even several times cheaper than the rare domestic cavies. Depending on what breed we plan to buy and whether we acquire a pig from a pet store or from a breeder, we will pay from 70 zlotys to several hundred zlotys for this small rodent. As an alternative, you can also purchase a domestic cavalier via OLX.
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People considering buying a guinea pig often ask themselves how long such a pet lives and whether it can be on its own. The average age of a domestic guinea pig kept in a cage is 5 years, but if you provide the pig with the right conditions and proper care, it can live up to a dozen years. Therefore, the decision to buy this animal should not be made hastily, so that the kava does not feel neglected and unhappy. Thus, it is important to have a sufficiently large cage with a house, constant access to hay and a drinker with clean water, tunnels for play and wholesome food. Companionship is also essential for a pig – these rodents should not be kept alone, as they can fall into apathy and even depressive states. A pair or a small herd of pigs will therefore be ideal.
In the following article you will learn more about the specifics of each guinea pig breed and their needs.
Peruvian guinea pig
This long-haired variety of domestic caviar is one of the most popular breeds. Peruvian guinea pigs are usually tricolored, that is, their coat contains tufts of white, black and brown hair. There are also individuals of white and red or black and white, but they are rare.
The peruvian breed requires special conditions and proper care. In a large cage, pelleted bedding will work best – unlike hay, it will not adhere to long hair or deteriorate quickly. It is also extremely important to regularly comb the hair with a soft brush, as well as check the condition of the skin and coat at the vet. Sometimes it may be necessary to bathe the guinea pig peruvian, but it should be washed only in justified cases (such as dermatological disease), as this is a relatively unpleasant and stressful experience for the animal.
The guinea pig peruvian can live from 4 to as long as 10 years. Like other breeds of domestic cavies, this variety needs vitamin C supplementation in addition to food, hay and supplements in the form of fruits or vegetables. Among the favorites of many rodents are apples, carrots, red peppers and field horsetail.
Article in cooperation with venus-and-mars.com
Skinny guinea pig – bald
The skinny guinea pig is a hairless breed, created as a result of a genetic mutation in American laboratories. It is a relatively young breed – they have been bred for less than twenty years. Undoubtedly intriguing in their appearance, they also have an interesting, friendly character. However, they are relatively delicate and sensitive, and can easily contract various diseases. Therefore, it is so important to properly care for this breed and provide it with optimal conditions for a happy life.
The body of the skinny pig is devoid of hair, residual hair is preserved, however, on the muzzle and sometimes on the paws or ears. Skinny guinea pigs of this breed come in many color varieties, one-two and three-colored.
Maintaining the cleanliness of the skinny is undoubtedly simpler than that of the peruvian, due to the absence of any hair. That being said, however, they should be kept in an environment free of sharp objects, free of drafts and at a constant temperature, as they lack the protection of fur. Pigs should also avoid the sun, and dry skin or injuries can have dire consequences.
Skinny guinea pigs live a maximum of 8 years – which is shorter than other varieties. They are often predisposed to various diseases, heart disorders or respiratory diseases. Therefore, it is worth choosing a skinny guinea pig from a breeder – so you will know its pedigree, possible inherited genetic defects, as well as ways to best care for it and provide the pet with a happy place to live.
Rosette (Abyssinian) guinea pig.
The Abyssinian guinea pig is also known as rosette, which has to do with the distinctive arrangement of rough fur forming specific rosettes, usually 8 to 10 across the rodent’s body. The most popular color varieties are black, white, tortoiseshell, as well as the so-called “Abyssinian Satin” with a shiny satin sheen of hair.
This breed is very friendly to children and adults – it loves to learn new tricks, play and even rest on the lap of its owners. It is worth providing it with attractive activities, such as tunnels or guinea pig tracks. In addition to human companionship, the rosette guinea pig also needs interaction with members of its species – so it cannot be alone in a cage.
The Abyssinian variety of domestic cavies does not require specialized grooming of the coat, but it is important that the bedding is cleaned regularly (without the use of chemicals that are harmful to the animals), and the rodents always have access to fresh hay and water. Rosettes have a predisposition to eye diseases such as microphthalmia and cataracts. Therefore, it is important to carefully observe the behavior of the pigs and immediately intervene with the vet if you notice any symptoms that may indicate the development of a disease.
Theprice of an Abyssinian guinea pig ranges from £50 to £300, depending on whether it comes from a pet store or from a breeder.
Teddy guinea pig
US Teddy guinea pigs are an extremely attractive breed, distinguished by their short and dense coat reminiscent of a teddy bear. Within this variety, there are two variants: guinea pigs with coarse, rough hair or with soft, almost plush hair.
Guinea pigs of this breed have a very energetic temperament, while being sociable and friendly with people. They love to play outdoors, but it is important not to leave them in open spaces, which are associated by the pigs with danger and possible attacks by wild animals. Maintenance of this breed is not particularly complicated – like other varieties of domestic cavies, they need a suitably large cage with a house and tunnels, as well as access to fresh water and hay.
What do US Teddy guinea pigs eat? Their diet should not include only store-available food, but should be varied with a variety of vegetables, fruits or herbs. Without fear, we can give the animal horsetail or clover leaves picked from the meadow. We should also remember to provide the kavya with an adequate dose of vitamin C, available in the form of various supplements.
This breed should be carefully combed at least once a week with a brush with soft bristles. Here it will allow to remove loose hair and provide the animal with the necessary comfort for happiness. It is also important to regularly wipe the pig’s ears with a warm, moist towel. This will prevent the harmful accumulation of earwax.
Smooth-haired guinea pig
The smooth-haired variety of guinea pig is very popular and often appears in children’s coloring books, cartoons or book illustrations as an example of one of the many breeds of domestic cavies. Because of its calm, friendly nature and ease of maintenance, this variety is ideal for families with children or novice breeders.
This breed comes in ten basic color variants: solid, Dutch, brindle, aguti, roan, dalmatian, tortoiseshell, tortoiseshell with white, Himalayan and albino with pink eyes. Varieties combining several of the above colors are also possible. Care of the coat of the smooth-haired domestic guinea pig is not demanding – it is enough only to comb the body of the pet from time to time to get rid of loose hair.
Round muzzle, distinctive ears and soft, short hair make these rodents adorable and super-sympathetic pets. Smooth-haired guinea pigs quickly become attached to their owner, respond to his voice, love to spend time with him and learn new things. They are able to repay in their own way for the care and attention shown to them. However, despite these characteristics and friendly disposition, animals of this breed should not be alone – the company of other guinea pigs is essential for their proper functioning.
Rex guinea pig breed
Domestic Rex guinea pigs are characterized by their dense, short and slightly rangy coat, thanks to which they are gaining popularity and are especially desired by children. In appearance, they somewhat resemble the US Teddy breed, but have a much rougher coat. They are most often found in white, agouti or brown colors.
Depending on the environment and maintenance conditions, the Rex breed guinea pig lives about 6 years. It is particularly important to provide them with a large enough cage, protect them from cooling or overheating, equip the environment with attractions in the form of houses, tunnels or other hiding places, as well as adequate nutrition. Pet Rex, like other pigs, eat primarily low-fat foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits, good-quality pellets rich in protein and fiber, and timothy hay. Let’s also not forget about adequate vitamin C supplementation.
This variety requires careful care, as its claws (especially in the hind feet) grow very quickly. So it is necessary to frequently trim and groom the nails. However, the coat of Rex pigs is easier to maintain than long-haired varieties, only occasionally should be combed gently with a brush to get rid of loose hair.
Texel guinea pig breed
The Texel gu inea pig was created by crossing two other breeds: the Sheltie and the Rex. This long-haired variety has a very fine but slightly coarse coat twisted into characteristic curls. The fur is thicker and shorter around the animal’s muzzle.
Domestic cats of this breed require regular combing, after which their hair forms silky waves. As with other varieties, it is extremely important to keep the cage clean and change the bedding regularly. It is also important to provide your guinea pig with wholesome food, rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and high-quality hay.
This variety is not very popular, so we are unlikely to find it in pet stores, but in breeding. We can also look for ads for the sale of guinea pigs of the Texel breed on OLX. However, let’s remember that the pet should not be alone, so if we want to be the owners of a happy Texel guinea pig, let’s provide it with at least one companion of its species.
Cuy guinea pig
Rodents of this breed are among the largest guinea pigs. They can reach a weight of up to 3 kilograms, they are massive and strong – which does not prevent them from playing vigorously and moving extremely fast around the cage or room. The rapid weight gain of this variety of domestic jackdaw is related to the fact that in Peru these pigs are bred as a meat breed. When caring for a Cuy guinea pig at home, therefore, we should be careful that the animal does not have problems with obesity – this can result in fatty internal organs and shorten the life of the rodent, which would otherwise live up to 10 or 12 years.
Pigs of this breed can have a variety of coloration – red, lilac, white-brown or golden aguti. There may also be different colored spots on the coat, as in representatives of other breeds. Although the pets may initially be fearful and show distance from people, with proper care and attention they become strongly attached and easily learn new things.
Cuy guinea pigs are often characterized by polydactyly, that is, an increased number of toes. This is a completely normal characteristic that does not affect the health or comfort of the pet.
Article prepared in cooperation with the portal – zielonogorski.pl – news Zielona Góra