Photo by MJames
1. Guinea Pigs can be bought at a Pet shop, from a Breeder or from a Rescue centre where you can give a full grown piggy a home. they are very inexpensive to buy anywhere.
2. Wherever you buy your pigs from make sure they are fit & healthy. Babies are ready to leave their Mum at about 6 weeks old. Watch all the pigs before you choose. Look for a healthy one that is both active & inquisitive. All small animals are slightly nervous of people they don’t know, so just leave them alone when they will scurry away.
3. What to look for when finding your perfect guinea pig friend: – A smooth Glossy coat with no bald patches or scabs. – Bright clean eyes. – A clean nose. – Quiet breathing. – A plump rounded body resembling a brick with rounded corners! – A clean mouth with no dribbling. – The face should be gently rounded, not ratty, with a flat nose, large bold eyes & large petal shaped ears that droop.
4. If you are around during the day to spend quality time with you guinea pig then just get one, or more if you want that. Guinea pigs are social & it is probably better to get 2 to keep each other company when you are not there.
5. Whether to choose male or female is again up to you. If you’re wanting to mate them obviously make sure they get on first! A female & female or a male & male combination can be great but just introduce them at an early age (brothers are better for boys) then they grow together.
6. There are 13 recognised breeds of guinea pig which include Abyssinian, English smooth coat, American, Coronet, Peruvian, Sheltie, Teddy, Texel, & English Crested. The Peruvian, Silkie & Teddy are available in Satin breeds. Satin refers to the sheen or the shininess of the animals coat. Satin animals should have brilliant coats in order to suceed in the show ring. All breeds have the basic same guinea pig characteristics like medium length with their shoulders the tallest part. The Texel is the exception which has a short cobby body.
7. If you want to show your guinea pig make sure you buy the right one to do this to start with as you may have to get it to stand still for it to be judged. There are shows being held all the time but rarely advertised outside the pages of specialist publications. It would be a great place to find the perfect show Guinea Pig if that’s what you’re after The Abyssinian has to have 8 rosettes to be show quality for instance.
8. If you’ve a small child say like under 7, it may be better to have a guinea pig as a family pet until they are old enough to look after it themselves. It’s an ideal child’s pet for them to cuddle it & kiss. So just when they are able to know that this is a real thing & not a toy – as a parent you’ll know the right time.
9. Depending on the breed you select it may have smooth, short hair. Or it may have a kinked cow licked or curly coat. Its hair may be gorgeous long flowing locks. Short haired Guinea Pigs are easier for you to care for if thats more of a priority for you, with only a brush every now & then. With long hair guinea pigs you’ll need to make sure they are tangle free daily.
10. If you are buying a full size guinea pig as opposed to a baby,its going to be around the 1.3kg – just slightly more than a bag of sugar. If yours feels heavy ask for it to be weighed at the shop or breeders. A healthy pet is what you want & what your pig wants too! They may live for around 6 or 7 years or a lot longer if well looked after….time to go & choose your pet now, you can always let me know what you choose.