If youíre looking to adopt a guinea pig and you want to learn more about them, or you already have a guinea pig, and you want to test your knowledge - keep reading. We have selected seven interesting facts about guinea pigs that will amaze you.
Guinea Pigs are Herbivores
It might surprise you to learn that they are, in fact, herbivores, which means that they only eat plants. More specifically, based on the location of their habitat, they will eat hay, grass, and various herbs. Furthermore, as their teeth continue to grow, they wonít be able to produce vitamin c, which is also another reason why they need to have a good diet with plenty of leafy green vegetables, grass, and hay.
If you are a new guinea pig owner, and you have more questions regarding the initial care of your pet, this article provides detailed information to help you learn how to take care of a guinea pig properly. It covers important topics every new owner should know, from dietary requirements, health, to the accommodation of guinea pigs. It also has great resources for beginners, and you will find a lot of useful information to get you started. But, if you have any further questions, feel free to talk to a vet.
Keeping Rabbits and Guinea Pigs Together
Although there are instances where guinea pigs and neutered rabbits live together, most professionals advise against it. First, rabbits carry a disease (Bordetella bronchiseptica) that can be fatal to guinea pigs. Also, rabbits can get aggressive and bully your pet, especially if the rabbit isnít neutered; it might try to mate with your guinea pig.
Great Sense of Hearing
They can hear better than humans. Actually, they can hear up to 46,000 Hz. This means that they can hear frequencies inaudible to the human ear. Also, it is one of the reasons they can get stressed easily by loud noises or crowded environments.
Popcorning of Guinea Pigs
This behavior is unique to guinea pigs, and when they get very excited, they will jump suddenly in the air. Furthermore, they will also show their joy by bucking, purring, and squealing. Not all guinea pigs popcorn. But youíll notice that most young guinea pigs do, even though adult guinea pigs are perfectly capable of popcorning.
They Live Long Lives
Generally, they live from 5 up to 8 years, which is quite long in comparison to other small pets like mice, rats, and hamsters. However, their life span depends on numerous factors, but they will likely live longer with the right diet, care, and companionship. Itís also worth mentioning that thereís one guinea pig that entered The Guinness Book of Records for living up to 15 years.
They Donít Sleep a Lot
Actually, they sleep only a couple hours per day and stay awake up to 20 hours a day. They might take naps during the day, but, most likely, one nap would last up to 10 minutes. So, itís safe to say that Guinea pigs are quite active and social creatures, so you need to make sure that they have enough water, food, and also chewy toys to keep them occupied.
They Donít Come from Guinea
Guinea pigs arenít actually pigs, and they donít come from Guinea. Their name is totally misleading to some extent, although they make pig-like squeaking noises. But, otherwise, guinea pigs are not related to pigs, after all. They are rodents Ė ĎCavia porcellus,í which is why they are also called cavies.
They are originally from the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world, located in Chile, South America. Still, this doesnít explain why they are called Guinea pigs. According to one theory, they were brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 1500s from Guinea in West Africa. Another theory says that they were brought on ships from the port of Guiana in South America.