They’re not pigs and they’re not from New Guinea. In this edition of Pet Pointers, YNN's Lisa Chelenza tells us more about guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs can make great pets for gentle children and adults who understand how to handle them. These adorable little guys commonly weigh around two to three pounds, live five to seven years and come in a variety of coat types and colors.
Jen Johnson has loved guinea pigs since she was a child and now rescues them, finding homes for those that have been given up for various reasons.
“Well, it's the same reason people giving up on a cat or a dog. There is allergy, there is moving, there are economic and financial reasons. Most of the time, the kids just lose interest. Sometimes it will bite somebody and then they will decide to give it up. And I even had one bring one back because they didn't realize they'd poop so much,” said Jen Johnson, guinea pig rescuer.
Guinea pig lovers will tell you these docile South American natives are full of personality and will squeak loudly with delight when they see their favorite people and beg to be touched or fed.
Guinea pigs are social animals and prefer to live in small groups, two or three females together is a good option for a happy environment. However, brothers from the same litter can coexist, especially if they are neutered.
Guinea pigs need a solid-bottom cage, with proper bedding of hardwood shaving or grass hay, good ventilation, and a cave to hide and sleep in like a box or igloo. ALERT: Do not use cedar or pine chips because the oils they contain can be dangerous to your pets.
Guinea pigs also enjoy supervised play time outside their enclosure. But they will chew on anything and can hide in tiny spaces, so you have to watch them closely.