1. The Social Animals
Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, are social animals that live in herds. Each herd is led by a dominant boar, who is responsible for breeding with the females in the group. These animals are highly social and form strong bonds with their herd members, making them a great pet for those looking for a companion animal.
2. What You Need to Know
Male guinea pigs are known as boars, while female guinea pigs are referred to as sows. When guinea pigs reproduce, the babies are called pups. Pups are born with fur and their eyes open, and are able to eat solid food within a few days of being born.
3. The Small, Furry Friend You'll Love
Guinea Pigs are small, furry animals that can live for up to 8 years, with the average life span being between 5 and 8 years. They are social animals that enjoy the company of other guinea pigs, and they require regular grooming and exercise to stay healthy. They are also known for their friendly and curious personalities, making them a popular pet choice for many households.
4. Guinea Pigs are Highly Vulnerable to Loud Noises
. Guinea Pigs have incredibly sensitive ears, making them particularly vulnerable to loud noises. They have four toes on their front feet and three on their back feet, giving them a total of seven toes on each foot. This helps them to grip and climb, making them agile and able to move quickly.
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5. Guinea Pigs Display 'Popcorning' Behavior When They're Relaxed
When guinea pigs are feeling content and relaxed, they often display a behavior known as 'popcorning', which involves them jumping straight up and down in a series of quick, energetic hops. This is a sure sign that your guinea pig is feeling happy and content, and is often accompanied by a stretched out position, which is another indicator of relaxation.
6. Guinea Pigs Freeze in Place When Threatened
When threatened, guinea pigs will often freeze in place for a few seconds before quickly fleeing to a safe place, such as a burrow. This instinctive behavior is a natural defense mechanism that helps them to avoid predators and other potential dangers. It is important to provide guinea pigs with a secure environment, such as a cage with plenty of hiding spots, to ensure that they have a safe place to escape to when they feel threatened.
7. Guinea Pigs on a Plant-Based Diet
Guinea Pigs are strict herbivores, meaning they only consume plant-based foods. Their diet consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as alfalfa and timothy hay. Alfalfa hay is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, while timothy hay is high in fiber and helps keep their digestive system healthy. Both types of hay should be available to guinea pigs at all times, as they are essential for their diet.
8. Guinea Pigs Need to Chew to Keep Their Teeth Healthy
Guinea pigs are highly social animals, and they reproduce quickly. To keep their teeth from growing too long, they need to chew constantly. This is because guinea pigs' teeth are constantly growing, so they need to wear them down by gnawing on hay, vegetables, and other chewable items. Not only does this help keep their teeth healthy, but it also provides them with essential nutrients and helps keep them entertained.
9. Guinea Pigs Clean Themselves with a White Fluid
Guinea pigs have an interesting way of cleaning themselves: they produce a white, milk-like fluid at the corners of their eyes, which they then use their front feet to wipe around their faces and over their heads. This fluid helps to keep their fur clean and free of dirt and debris, and is an important part of their bathing routine.
10. Guinea Pigs Are Active Animals That Need Lots of Exercise and Rest
Guinea pigs are incredibly active animals, with some spending up to 20 hours a day running around and exploring their environment. Despite their energy, they are not very agile and are poor climbers, so it's important to provide them with a secure enclosure that they can't escape from. They also need plenty of rest, so make sure to provide them with a comfortable place to sleep and relax for short periods throughout the day.