Guinea pigs are popular among children.
Guinea pigs are charming domesticated rodents the size of a dwarf rabbit or puppy. However, among adults, too, there are many fans of Kavy (guinea pigs) – this is what breeders often call their pets.
Wonderful companions, very unpretentious and able to stretch in attractiveness with beauties – cats or pocket dogs, guinea pigs can easily remember not only their name but also many commands.
Who are guinea pigs?
The origin and domestication of these rodents have a long history. It is believed that they began to tame in the 5th century BC in South America. Some tribes worshipped pigs, others used them as food: cavy meat is considered a delicacy and tastes like rabbit meat. In Peru, many restaurants still have guinea pig dishes on their menu.
Good-natured herbivores, almost unable to defend themselves, were easy prey. But their unusual appearance conquered the colonizers, who began importing funny animals to Europe. Soon, even the royalty got pigs, and the breeders’ angry breeders began serious work on breeding more and more new breeds.
This family of rodents was called pigs, probably because of the sounds that animals often make: they often grunt, although they know how to grumble, growl, whistle, and imitate some birds. Their short neck, body proportions, and head structure are also very similar to the usual piglets.
It is interesting! Among the varieties there are breeds, some representatives, for example, Peruvian Quai can reach a height of 45 cm and a weight of up to 4 kg. But the most common guinea pigs weigh no more than 1 kg, the length of the body – up to 35 cm.
Today, it is often recommended the guinea pig as a first pet to senior preschoolers and junior high school students. Similar to soft toys, they do not require careful care and supervision, but make children feel responsible for the life and health of the “brother of the smaller”.
They learn to care for living creatures, to find contact with them. Parents like that with the pet do not need to walk 2-3 times a day, to clean the endless piles and puddles, to wait for unpleasant surprises after returning home in the form of torn curtains and torn clothes and shoes.
How long do guinea pigs live on average?
The life expectancy of a pet is as important as its diet and ways of education. After all, no one wants to hurt a child by the death of his favorite.
And in this respect guinea pigs are very suitable friends – depending on the conditions of detention, they can live from 5 to 10 years. There are known cases when the guinea pigs felt normal at age 12, but this is a rarity. In the Guinness Book of Records, there is a guinea pig that lived 15 years. The right conditions of maintenance and feeding help to prolong the life of the family pet (and guinea pig will become it by all means) for as long as possible.
Life expectancy depending on the breed
There are known up to 50 breeds of pigs, which are distinguished by the size, color, and structure of wool (there are already pigs completely devoid of wool). Sometimes the breed affects the life of the animal.
Hairless Skinny and Baldwin live from 5 to 8 years, the life span that is considered normal for other pigs is limited. In the beginning, they lived much less. Completely devoid of wool, the pigs had weak immunity, easily collapsed, and died.
It is important to care for the piggy of any breed to keep it cheerful and active.
But the breeders’ work was not in vain, and today, woolless pigs live long enough under the conditions of detention. The main condition is a constant air temperature without draughts and drops from 22 to 24 degrees.
Until the age of 6 live very peculiar Abyssinian guinea pigs, which are called rosette because of the peculiar growth of hair. In some parts of the wool grows with rosettes, the more they are, the more valuable the guinea pig is. They are very difficult to breed, even the number of areas with “rosettes” is required.
These animals are very human-oriented. If it is impossible to spend a lot of time with them, it is necessary to keep at least a couple of mumps so that they do not get bored. Stresses, long feeding intervals, temperature changes can accelerate the death of the pet.
The life expectancy of guinea pigs depends directly on their breed, but on average is 5-8 years.
Smooth haired guinea pigs live up to 8 years on average. They can be very large, with a color from a mixture of dark and milky – white, typical for Siamese cats, tiger, spotted (Dalmatian) to monochrome cream, brown, black, and white.
Royal Rexha guinea pigs live on average of 7 years. Probably, they are the most unusual of the rodents: hardcore, with curls, hair length up to 2 cm. The wool does not fit tightly to the body; it seems that the Rexhicans are dressed in doodle fur coats.
Long-haired breeds live up to 7-8 years, sometimes longer than others. Probably, this is due to more thorough care. The wool, mantle descending to the surface, shiny, slightly wavy, makes the mumps look like Pekinese, often they get cuts and hairstyles, tie bows, decorate the wool with rhinestone hairpins, combing and bathing almost every day, carefully rubbing vitamin ointments to preserve the beauty of the hair, calculating the diet so that unusual animals have enough vitamins and minerals.
Good appetite, checkups with the veterinarians, constant communication with the owners and walks around the apartment, running on a maze or in a wheel, swing – all this will help the pig to keep its shape and stay in tone for many years.
How to prolong the life of guinea pig
Each owner of a pet wants to keep it close to them as long as possible. Is it possible to increase the life span of a guinea pig? The better the diet, the better and closer to the natural environment, the more time will be allowed for Kevy and its owner to communicate fully.
Proper grooming of the rodent
The guinea pig requires a spacious “home” (cage, aquarium, or container). The minimum size is 50 by 20 cm for a young rodent. The larger the cage, the healthier and more fun the pet will be. It is desirable to cover the bottom with a special filler, but sawdust will also do, which also absorbs waste. These animals are very clean, so it won’t be difficult to accustom them to go to the toilet to a certain place, which is much easier to clean every day than to change the whole bedding.
Important! It is not necessary to resort to water procedures, if it is cold in the house, the mumps catch cold very easily and die of pneumonia within 1-2 days.
In the “room”, allocated for the piggy, there should be toys (labyrinths, a wheel, in which he will be able to run), a feeder, and a drinker. The piggy will run around the apartment with pleasure: it is necessary to take it out of the cage more often so that he could stretch his legs, and warm himself in the hands of his favorite owner, and play with him.
You should not wash guinea pig if the apartment is draughty or too cold.
Mumps does not like to bathe, but if necessary, you can bathe the animal in a container filled with water at least 32 degrees, and then discuss with a towel or hairdryer, comb. Long-haired pigs are brushed every day, you can also brush several times a day if the animal and its owner like this procedure. Hard hair is combed 2-3 times a week, smooth hair is enough and once a month. The claws are trimmed as needed, usually – once every six months.
Weekly should be a general cleaning in the cage, washing all the dirt from the corners, treating the surface, toys, feeders, and drinkers are washed daily. These simple rules help to avoid many diseases, the agents of which are bacteria that multiply in all kinds of waste. Hygienic procedures will help to accustom the rodent to checkups, which will also help to avoid health problems.
Kevy is happy to eat grain, hay, green weed, and vegetables. But any new component in the diet should be given in small portions to avoid digestive problems. You should not feed the rodent with dairy and fermented milk products, it causes intestinal disorders. In no case should be given rotten vegetables and fruits, sweets.
Important: To replenish the calcium in the cell, it is necessary to place chalk, which the mumps can use to brush their teeth.
There should always be clean water in the drinker, 2-3 times a week you can add liquid vitamins to it to maintain health. It is necessary to teach the animal to eat at the same time in the morning and in the evening so that after a meal to clean up the food not eaten. Overfeeding the rodent is dangerous – obesity becomes one of the most common factors in the development of heart disease, joints, the early death of the animal.
Prevention of diseases
Guinea pig must be given all necessary vaccinations, once every six months it must be examined by a veterinarian. It is he who will tell you the better to feed the Kevy, what vitamins and minerals are needed at this or that age. Identified in the early stages of diseases of the mouth, teeth, eyes are easily treated.
If the owner has not noticed the dangerous symptoms, it will take a lot of effort to save the pet. Difficult breathing, cramps, loss of orientation, unusual behavior, aggression, or unwillingness to move – all this should make owners alert, it is mandatory to show the animal to the veterinarian to save his life.
Inoculation of a guinea pig is the best method to prevent diseases.
Proper care, precise adherence to the recommendations of specialists, adherence to a balanced diet, love, and care for the pet will help make the life of the pig as long as possible.