How to properly select a pet Guinea Pig
How to Choose a Pet Guinea Pig
Choosing the right guinea pig does not necessarily mean that you should choose the cutest or prettiest guinea pig you see. There are other things to consider that are actually more important. Choosing a pet guinea pig should include deciding what kind of guinea pig you want, getting your pet from an ethical source, and assessing the health and fitness of potential pets. If you take the time to gauge more than a guinea pigs looks, you have a better chance of getting a wonderful, long-living pet.
Finding a Pet Guinea Pig
Consider adopting an adult guinea pig from a rescue or shelter.Check online to see if there are any guinea pigs in rescues or shelters in your area. You can search the websites of your your local shelters or you can use general pet adoption websites, such as Petfinder.com.
- You can also look on the Guinea Pig Adoption Network for adoptable guinea pigs in your area.
Call around to local shelters and ask if they have any guinea pigs for adoption.If you don't see any adoptable guinea pigs on your local shelter's website, don't assume they don't have any. Many shelters do not list their guinea pigs and other "exotics" for adoption online.
Look in your local newspaper for classifieds or online classified websites, such as Craigslist, for guinea pigs to adopt.However, beware of back yard breeders who sometimes post there. They will usually have numerous babies and will usually charge more than re-homing fee for babies. Healthy, perfectly social Guinea pigs are really frequently being rehomed on Craigslist at no fault of their own.
- Many backyard breeders breed solely for money and looks with little to no regard to health, longevity, or temperament of the animals they are producing.
Avoid bad breeding situations.Pet stores and backyard breeders are notorious for selling sick, parasite infested guinea pigs. Pet stores usually get their guinea pigs from pet mills that are like puppy mills for smaller animals. This is why they often get sick animals in stock.
- If you want to get your guinea pig from a breeder be sure to thoroughly check them out before hand. Do online research on them. Make sure they are breeding their pigs ethically and with the animals best interest in mind. It's best to actually visit several breeders before choosing one. Pick the breeder that you feel most confident in.
Choosing the Characteristics of Your Guinea Pig
Pick which sex of guinea pig you would like.Females tend to be more calm, while males tend to be more active.Other than this general difference, the sex you choose is basically a matter of preference.
Decide what breed of guinea pig you would like.There are a wide variety of breeds of guinea pigs, each with a distinctive appearance.To narrow down the breeds, decide whether you would like a short-haired pig or a long-haired pig. This will help you narrow down your choices.
- The American guinea pig is the most common breed. It has a short and smooth coat that is easy to care for.
- Getting a long-haired guinea pig will require a bit more grooming on your part. They need to be brushed regularly to avoid tangles and mattes in the coat.
- If you are adopting a guinea pig from a rescue, you may not have much choice when it comes to breed. If the specific breed is important to you, you may need to go to a specialized breeder.
Take other factors into consideration.For instance, if you already have a guinea pig, you need to make sure that your new and old guinea pig will not breed, although male and female guinea pigs usually get along really well. In addition, if you have several male guinea pigs in a cage already, it is not a good idea to introduce a female.This can lead to fighting between the males.
Veterinarian Pippa Elliott MRCVS suggests: "Consider getting a pair of guinea pigs of the same gender. They are sociable animals and having a partner will help meet their need for company."
Choosing a Healthy Guinea Pig
Examine the physical characteristics of a potential pet guinea pig.You want to be sure it is physically healthy and doesn't have any hereditary problems. Watch the guinea pig move. It should run and walk without difficulty. Look at the shape of the guinea pig. Make sure it is neither too skinny or too fat. Also look at the pigs legs and feet to make sure its foot pads aren't swollen or bleeding and that the legs are straight along the bone. Lastly, look at the skin. There should not be any bald spots.
Make sure the guinea pig isn't sick.Look in its eyes, ears, and nose. If there is discharge in the ears or nose or film on the eyes the guinea pig might have some kind of infection.
- Another sign that the guinea pig might be sick is if it doesn't eat. It should eat frequently, so even if you meet a guinea pig for a short period you should see it eat.
Remember to check the guinea pigs sex, especially if you already have another pig.In order to do this, you will need to inspect the genitals.
- Also check that they are over six weeks old and aren't pregnant.
Assess the personality of your potential pet.Just because a guinea pig is healthy doesn't mean it has the personality to be your perfect pet. Play with the guinea pig for a bit and gauge its personality.
Ask the person you are getting the guinea pig from about the history of the pet.Ask him or her if the pig has ever been sick and if its parents were healthy. Chances are good that they will tell you the truth and its always better to ask than not to.
QuestionWhat is the best breed for first-time owners?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA breed with shorter hair would be lower maintenance.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I prepare my home for a guinea pig?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMake sure that you have everything ready for his/her arrival. You should have all the supplies for them ready, including: cage, food, vitamin C drops/pills, toys, etc. If you ever plan on letting your guinea pig out of his/her cage, then you need to remove anything dangerous, such as wires, house plants, etc.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of toys do I give my guinea pigs?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can give your guinea pig wooden blocks, tunnels, dangling toys, bendy bridges, and hay huts. Guinea pigs teeth never stop growing so you should have plenty of chew toys for your guinea pigs to wear their teeth down on.Thanks!
QuestionIn a few days I am getting two guinea pigs. I heard that Americans can have a higher level of maintenance, but reading things online, I think the American would be best for me. What should I do?Top AnswererAmerican short hairs are actually the most suitable beginner breed, as they don't need regular grooming compared to other breeds, such as Shelties. They're your standard guinea pig, so don't be afraid to buy one; especially since you prefer them.Thanks!
QuestionIs it good to breed guinea pigs?Community AnswerNot really, as many problems can happen when a non-professional attempts.Thanks!
QuestionI might get one on Craigslist, and it says one of the Guinea pigs I might adopt bites. Should I still buy her, and just be careful to not let any guests touch her?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf the Guinea pig bites, get her, then get her to stop biting by making her feel relaxed. Often when Guinea pigs bite, they are really stressed. Try to make her purr. Give treats and pet it gently.Thanks!
QuestionI have two daughters, ages 11 and 5. My eldest has been asking for a guinea pig for ages, and I want to find the perfect one for her! Which would be better, a Teddy guinea pig, or and American?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA Teddy would be better, they're more calm, and an American can be very hard to train.Thanks!
QuestionWill an adoption place let me bond with a guinea pig?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThey will most likely only let you do that if you are adopting one.Thanks!
QuestionI may be getting a Guinea pig soon and I would like to know how many I should keep together?Shelbs.04Community AnswerGuinea pigs are herd animals and like to be kept in hordes. Two guinea pigs would work, but if you can handle three or four, then go ahead.Thanks!
QuestionCan I play with my pig outside the cage?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you can, but there are some precautions you must take. Make sure to keep your guinea pig in a confined area so it doesn't get lost, and remove all electrical cords from the area so your guinea pig won't chew on them.Thanks!
- Make sure you have the finances to pay for food, bedding and veterinary bills before buying or adopting a guinea pig.
- Long haired guinea pigs can be more work because you have to groom it regularly or its hair will get tangled up.
- Do not chase the guinea pig around its cage. If you do so, it will be more stressed and not be able to trust you.
- Make sure that you have everything you need before buying the actual guinea pig.
- If you adopt a guinea pig from a rescue center, make sure to ask why it is up for adoption and any conditions it may have. This will lessen the chance of you accidentally buying an unhealthy pet.
- Get the necessary equipment to care for a guinea pig before you get one. You will need: a cage that is a minimum of 10 square feet for two guinea pigs, a water bottle, at least one food dish per guinea pig, bedding (quality 2nd or 3rd cutting grass hay such as timothy, bluegrass, orchard grass), pellets, and material for hiding areas (fleece draped in corners of the cage, igloos during colder months, tunnels made from cardboard/foam board, or chloroplast with two ends cut out for ventilation during warmer months).
- Never keep any guinea pig alone, as the loneliness can have a large impact on the guinea pigs health. Find it a companion, but don't mix uncastrated males with females. If you adopt a guinea pig from a rescue center that has been kept on its own, it is possible to introduce another guinea pig as a friend. Guinea pigs are social animals and will be better off with a companion, as long as they are introduced properly.
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