Pet Guinea Pigs - Information

Description: These attractive and lively rodents, also known as the Domestic Cavy, have a long history of domestication. Native to South America, the domestic Guinea Pig comes in an ever-increasing range of colors, patterns and coat lengths and makes an ideal pet for children.

Size: Most Guinea Pigs weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 to 4 pounds. The boars (males) are usually larger than the sows (females).

Compatibility: Guinea Pigs enjoy being housed together if done so at an early age. Boars can be aggressive toward each other and sows are generally more tolerant. Guinea Pigs can also be housed with smaller breeds of rabbits. Large rabbits can accidentally injure them and are not suitable housemates.

Appeal: Guinea Pigs can be kept either indoors or outdoors if properly housed. If handled from an early age they can become quite tame and even affectionate. They are easy to pick up and handle, and will feed out of your hand. Short haired varieties have minimal grooming requirements.

Drawbacks: They are more expensive than other types of rodents. They require more room than smaller rodents. It is difficult to tell the age of Guinea Pigs when buying them from a store. Long-haired varieties require daily grooming.


Diet: Commercially produced Guinea Pig food, green foods, root vegetables and hay. In short, a diet very similar to that of a rabbit.

Problems & Health Issues: These animals are especially susceptible to mites and other skin problems, many times the result of a vitamin C deficiency.

Lifespan: Healthy Guinea Pigs can live from 5-8 years.

Interesting Facts: Guinea Pigs, as the second part of their name suggests, are somewhat pig-like in appearance and make a distinctive "oinking" and squealing noises. There are several thoughts regarding the "Guinea" part of their name. One suggests that they were bought and sold for the price of a guinea (a British coin from the 1600-1700s).

White and tan Guinea Pig.
March 27, 20060 found this helpful

When my sons were growing up we always had several guinea pigs. Got them their first ones at ages 4 and 6. At one time we had 2 females that had babies at once and had a steady stream of kids coming by to choose their new baby. You cant have 2 males together, my male babies started to fight befor they were old enough to leave their mom. My sons are now both in their 20s and dont live at home, I still have one guinea pig though! The amazing thing about them is that they are born with eyes open, lots of fur and running around eating hay or veggies within the hour.

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March 28, 20060 found this helpful

Can they be litterbox trained? Do they give off strong urine odor? I would like to get several for my grand daighters, and they would have to stay at my house, so I would like to know about caring for them and cleaning up after them. Thanks....

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March 28, 20060 found this helpful

for the vitamin C issue give the pigs vegs with extra C in them. Also some oranges, a little piece ( 1/4) and that helps. Or you can add oj to the water bottle every other day, half water and half oj. Keep them very clean. I do small pet grooming and to see a 'piggy' with feces stuck to their feet is just AWFUL.

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March 28, 20060 found this helpful

Good question Cindylou, I posted it as a new request here:

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July 6, 20070 found this helpful

i think this website is a great set-up and should definately be recommended to others! also i do think it should have a little more info about other "little" things people have trouble wiith, just a suggestion though. but yeah this was very helpful to me i want to get a guinea pig but i didnt know all that much and this page helped me out a lot i will definately tell others and use it more often! thanks for all your help!

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January 16, 20080 found this helpful

I LOVE guinea pigs

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February 6, 20080 found this helpful

I used to have two guinea pigs I lost one last couple years ago and the other yesterday. I am gonna miss them.

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May 18, 20080 found this helpful

I LOVE guinea pigs but my mom thinks they are rodents with ugly feet. She is WRONG!

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May 30, 20080 found this helpful

*SNIFFS* my Eight year old guinea pig is dying. She isn't interested in carrots or food, water, attention. I'm so sad. What do I do? How can I deal with it?

Editor's Note: So sorry to hear this Kennah but Guinea Pigs lifespans are only 4-7 years so for yours to be 8 years old mean she's very old indeed. Try to make her as comfortable as you can. Death is part of life, we can't stop it but we can make it as easy as possible.

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June 17, 20080 found this helpful

I have been begging my parents for the last 12 years to get me a guinea pig, and my 19th birthday is tomorrow and on Friday (a couple more days) they are FINALLY taking me to get my very second one, lol. I had one male one named Robbie for like a week before he died when I was 7, my cousin killed him by accident and they said they wouldn't get me another one because they were stinky.

I am SO happy to be getting one after so long, I am like a first time owner because it was so long ago and I only had him for such a short time. I'm excited and learning everything I can, I still have to think of a name for it... it depends on what gender I get, I want a female, but I don't know.

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July 2, 20080 found this helpful

I want a Guinea pig so so so bad but my mom keeps say if we have 2 terrier dog we can't have a pig b/c they were breed to hunt rodents!

man! I will get one some hoe though!

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July 11, 20080 found this helpful

Yeah, I am finally getting a guinea pig. First I had wanted a hamster. But after I saw this website, I started to begging my for a guinea pig. And she finally said "yes"!

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September 30, 20080 found this helpful

I would like to get a guinea pig but I live in the Caribbean and I have no idea if I could travel from the US with it or what documents I would need if I could. If you have information please help.

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November 12, 20080 found this helpful

A guinea pig was my first pet! I loved owning them. Unfortunately, I forgot to check one at the pet-store to see if she was unhealthy, so she ended up getting blind and had bald patches.

Wonderful pets though. Very loud and obnoxious when they get excited for FOOD.

They weren't very active in any way shape or form ( unless it involved food). All in all, they were great pets, and I loved them.

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December 5, 20080 found this helpful

YAYA! I have been Begging my parents for eternity and they said they didn't know and my dad doesn't really like guineas. But Today they finally said YES! I am Really Happy! Should I take it to the vet to get it checked?

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December 18, 20080 found this helpful

I have a question. We have a hamster and a guinea pig. the piggie is not full grown. My question is, can we let the hamster and guinea pig have play time together? What if the hamster is in his ball? What if they are both roaming the same area? We also have a cat who is curious and wants to play? Play time is NEVER left unsupervised!

A reply would be most welcome

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January 1, 20090 found this helpful

I got a guinea pig, They are to cute. They are a lot of work, but that is ok I just love my piggy!

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June 5, 20120 found this helpful

I have a lot to add about Guinea Pigs. Mine tend to be a little shy about being picked up. I adopted three of them and they have grown huge. So huge that I a going to have to get another cage for one of them. They grew so large. Three is a lot to have.

I take extra care for them. I have always and now use papers and on top of the papers, I use scraps of fleece. Some people use shavings, pine shavings. I have tons of pine shavings. I don't like them and my guinea pigs don't like them either. I have them for my chickens.

Once when I had just one guinea pig, I kept it on a table and it was in a rather large size dog crate, the wire kind. I would take out all the paper and then put new paper in there and shred it. He would love to hear me shred the paper,

Guinea Pigs are from South America. They are so amazing to watch. I often take the top of the cage off and take them out on to the porch and I let them have "Floor Time." This is supervised.

We have an upstairs patio and then there is part of the chicken yard run downstairs. I have covered the rails so they wont fall into the chicken pen,

I have noticed that they have become used to the habits I have of cleaning their cage every day. Guinea pigs pee a lot and three of them pee even more than that. If you dont keep them dry their feet get sore and they can become ill. I am always cleaning their cage and talking to them.

First I will take the top off, just because I like to see them up close. Then I will take out all the paper that is wet with an inside out grocery bag, and then throw that in the trash. Then I will wash the bottom of their cage with a wet rag and sometimes spray some Listerine mouthwash on the rag. I keep a bottle of air freshener near their cage. I never spray it on them but around the cage. I learned that with my ferret. To spray around where they go, from the underside of the cage.

When their cage is clean, then I put new top papers down. Magazines etc. I take out the staples, and then you have long sheets of paper all nicely ready to go into the cage, I put several layers down. Then I take their bowl and give them guinea pig pellets in the bowl.

Then I lay old towels or fleece pieces down for them to lay on over the whole bottom of the cage.

Then I put in the timothy hay under the ramp where they can go up to the next level.

At this point they all line their noses up at the end of the cage, because this is where I go and give them all one baby carrot. They look forward to this. They do not get more than this since it makes them pee and they will ignore their food.

They are so excited every time I go by, They are on a dresser like table right next to the kitchen, I pass them all the time and tell them hello. They are very happy even though they have gotten so big.

I have so many animals, I am always cleaning after them and it keeps m e young and helps me keep moving. We have 8 chickens, 1 rooster, 1 ferret, 1 parakeet, three cats and four dogs.

We love animals. It is time to take them out and trim their nails. It takes forever because I go slow and take my time.

Blessings, have fun with your Guinea Pigs!


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