Guinea pigs are wonderful pets. Most guinea pigs enjoy being petted and spending time outside their cages with their families. They have a rich range of vocalizations to communicate with each other and their human family. Because guinea pigs are so social, it’s ideal to keep them in pairs or larger groups. They are great apartment pets, or pets for people who do not want cats or dogs but do want a warm, furry companion. At Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital where I practice, about one in four mammal patients are guinea pigs.
Guinea Pig Basics
In the United States, 13 breeds of guinea pig are recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association: Abyssinian, American, Coronet, Peruvian, Silkie, Teddy, Texels, White Crested and several satin breeds with exceptionally shiny hair — Abyssinian Satin, American Satin, Peruvian Satin, Silkie Satin and Teddy Satin. Several other guinae pig breeds are available, including skinny pigs, which are almost entirely hairless, but these other breeds are not recognized in the United States. Mixed breeds tend to be the most common patients at my hospital.
For the full article, pick up the 2012 issue of Critters USA or click here to buy the issue.