Guinea Pig Facts

Some fun facts about guinea pigs

    1. Guinea pigs are NOT pigs! (They are rodents.)
    2. Guinea pigs eat their own poo……What?! Yes, as well as the poos you will see in their enclosure, they also produce special soft poos. They eat these to ensure they absorb all the nutrients they need.
    3. Guinea pigs don’t sweat.
    4. Guinea pigs don’t sleep for long periods of time, they just take lots of short naps.
    5.  A guinea pig is also called a ‘cavy’. Their official title is ‘Cavia porcellus’. They belong to the family ‘Caviidae’, which is made up of rodents found originally in South America. Capybaras are also part of this family!
    6. Guinea pigs need to take on extra vitamin C every day (just like humans do too!).
    7. Guinea pigs are vegans.
    8. Baby guinea pigs are born fully formed with fur and teeth and are ready to run around after a few hours!
    9. When guinea pigs are excited they might ‘Popcorn’. This is when they jump up in the air and often do a little twist too.

    10. Guinea pigs have teeth that are constantly growing. This means they need to munch on food lots and lots to grind their teeth down.
  1. Guinea pigs need lots of space. They love to run around and explore, especially if they have lots of tunnels and safe places to hide away too.
  2. Guinea pigs are very sociable animals and are happiest living in a group. They should not be kept on their own as they get very lonely.
  3. Guinea pigs can learn tricks! They are really smart and can learn to do tricks if you are patient and use food as a reward!
  4. Guinea pigs make lots of noises. The most well-know is the ‘wheek’! This is a sound they only make for their humans, usually to remind them to bring some food!
  5. Guinea pigs need to eat lots of hay and forage. This should be 80-90% of their diet. They can also have a small portion of vegetables and dry pellets each day. Fruits and herbs are special treats.

  6. Guinea pigs secrete a white substance out of their eyes that they use to wash themselves!
  7. Guinea pigs have 4 toes on their front feet and 3 toes on their back feet.
  8. The oldest guinea pig officially recorded lived to be 14 years and 10 months old. Wow!

Guinea Pig Word Search

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What you need to know before adding a Guinea Pig to your family.

Guinea Pigs Are a Long-Term Commitment.

While a guinea pig doesn’t live nearly as long as a cat or dog, they’re still a large time commitment. Guinea pigs live on average around five to seven years, sometimes longer, so be prepared to provide care over the long term.

Guinea Pigs Are Social.

Guinea pigs are very social animals and are at their happiest living with other guinea pigs. Keep a same-sex pair to ensure you don’t have any unwanted litters. Females can be kept together, as can males without any issues. Be aware that sometimes personality differences in the animals will mean certain guinea pigs won’t get along. Introducing them as babies is the best way to get a pair to bond, though even adults can usually be introduced with care.

Guinea Pigs Need a Large Cage.

Guinea pigs need a lot of floor space, and most cages marketed as guinea pig cages are much too small, especially for a pair. Making a homemade cage is very easy, though, and since guinea pigs are a good size and not escape artists, a homemade cage is a great option.

Guinea Pigs Are Quiet, Sometimes.

Guinea pigs make a distinctive wheeking or whistling type sound, often in anticipation of getting a favourite treat or when in need of some attention. Though generally not loud enough to annoy the neighbours, a wheeking guinea pig can be surprisingly loud. If you’re looking for an animal whose vocals will never interrupt a dinner party or afternoon nap, a guinea pig might not be for you.

Guinea Pigs Are Generally Easy to Tame.

While guinea pigs may be nervous or skittish at first, with consistent gentle handling, they usually become tame very easily. Careful handling is a must, and children should be supervised with them, but they are unlikely to bite even when stressed.

Guinea Pig Require Vitamin C.

Guinea pigs are one of the few animals (humans are another) that cannot manufacture their own vitamin C, so they need to get it from their diet. Choosing a good quality diet and providing a variety of fresh foods and roughage is important, but most owners choose to also give their animals a vitamin C supplement. Vitamin C tablets are considered a better way to supplement than adding vitamin C to your pet’s water.

Guinea Pigs are often available at Shelters.

Before heading out to buy a guinea pig, check with your local shelter or rescues for guinea pigs in need of a new home. Many guinea pigs end up at shelters and are in need of a second chance at a forever home. Shelter guinea pigs are generally social and easy going. It should be easy to bond with an older guinea pig.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE 1st September 2023

Dear Valued Client,
There have been some recent changes in legislation, which are designed to reduce the impact of drug resistance in certain categories of drugs. These have impacted the way we prescribe medicines to your pet.

Specifically, medicines used to treat parasites, including all prescription flea and worm treatments, can only be dispensed by our team if your pet has been examined by their registered veterinarian within 12 months. Although this has always been our policy the vet now has to annotate the clinical notes (rather than rely on automatic systems) with the exact flea and worming product and duration needed for the following year. Please bear with us as this logistical change may take a little more time than usual.

The other major change is that courses of antibiotics cannot be dispensed, extended or changed without your animal being physically examined. 

We are in the process of updating our recording systems to facilitate this process.

If you require prescription parasite treatment for your pet and they have not been examined by one of our vets within 12 months, you will be required to arrange an appointment.

We anticipate this will not affect the vast majority of pets, as they do receive their annual vaccinations or are otherwise regular visitors, for various reasons. They will therefore have received the necessary checks to be eligible for parasite treatment, without the need for a parasite consultation.

Thank you for your understanding.
Arberth Vets