Read About Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs are a favorite with small animal lovers. Here's everything you need to know about Guinea Pigs.

Varieties of Guinea Pigs

There are actually eight species of Guinea Pigs, but only one species has been domesticated as a family pet, and it's simply known as the domesticated Guinea Pig. Native to South America, Guinea Pigs are known to have been transported to Europe by the 18th century and eventually made their way to America where they became a common household pet.

Physical Characteristics of Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs are classified as small mammals in the pet world, and they rank high in popularity. They have compact bodies without a tail and generally range from 10 to 14 inches in length. Males, also called boars, are usually larger than females, also called sows. Colors and patterns vary a great deal and include solid colors like beige, brown, black, and gray along with various patterns. The Dalmatian pattern, white with colored spots, is popular with pet owners. Coats can be either short or long in length. Some Guinea Pigs have been reported to live as long as 10 years, but four to seven years is much more common.

Behavior of Guinea Pigs

Unlike other animals in the rodent family, Guinea Pigs are active during the day. They generally have sweet dispositions and rarely bite, which is one of the keys to their popularity. Adult males are likely to fight if females are present, but they can live together peacefully if they have plenty of room and no females are around. Females can live companionably with other females or with a single male.