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What You Must Know When Bringing Your Guinea Pig Home

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Remember your first day of school? You were probably nervous because this was a strange place, and there were strange people, strange sounds, and strange smells. These are the same feelings experienced by your new pet guinea pig when you bring him home for the first time. If you can be patient and mindful of this then you and your furry new friend will get off to a great start on a friendship that can last many wonderful years.

Your new guinea pig will need time to adapt to his new surroundings. The idea of being in a strange new place is quite scary for the timid and shy little fellow. You may be really anxious to make friends with your new guinea pig, but the first three or four days can be very stressful for them. Loud noises and your constant presence can also be very scary. Although it may be difficult you need to avoid touching and and trying to hold your new pet until they are adjusted to and comfortable in their new space.

One of the best things you can provide your new guinea pig during this period of acclimation is a place for him to hide. A simple section of plastic pipe or a box with a hole cut in it would work just. If you get more than one guinea pig be sure you get each of them their own separate hiding area otherwise someone will get left outside or they might fight over the hideout.

The best way to observe your new guinea pig is not by hovering over his cage from above. When you do their instinct is to hide from what they may perceive to be a predatory bird or animal. Instead you should kneel down to guinea pig-eye level. It will be particularly hard for your children to be patient enough to refrain from wanting to hold their new pet. But you must remind them that their new guinea pig needs peace and quiet to get used to his new home.

Slowly but surely your guinea pig will begin to feel comfortable in his new home. Now it is time to begin building a bond of trust with your new pet. Offering treats is a great way to build trust. As you might have guessed your furry new buddy loves to eat and there are no shortage of items to treat him with. Once again you have to take this slowly. Gently show the treat to your pet and then slowly place it just inside the cage’s door. Then quietly move away, making sure you are still at guinea pig-eye level (no hovering), and wait. If your guinea pig is reluctant to move towards the treat to check it out then reach into the cage slowly and pick up the uneaten treat and then slowly close the cage door. It takes a little bit of partience but keep trying this until your guinea pig learns he must come and pick up the treat himself. Eventually your guinea pig will get accustomed to your presence, and he will trust you enough to take the treat right out of your hand. After a while you will find he will begin to associate your presence with treats and he will come to enjoy taking his treat from you!

Now that you and your guinea pig have become friends and you’ve taught him to trust you by offering him treats, it is now time to learn how to get him used to being held. One important thing that you don’t want to do is use treats to lure your pet into being held. Remember, if you pick your guinea pig up against his will he will likely struggle to escape because he is afraid. The fear he may experience over being held when it is not used to being held can damage or destroy the initial bond that you have built with treats. Instead what you want to do is get him or her used to being touched by simple, gentle petting.

When your guinea pig is comfortable with your touching and petting it won’t object to being picked up any longer. When picking up your guinea pig remember to be gentle. Gently grasp your pet’s torso with one hand then slide your other hand under their rear end – make sure you are being gentle and providing full body support. Always supervise young children as your guinea pick can be injured easily if mishandled or dropped. If it begins to struggle set it back down in its cage very gently. If you try to hold on tight when it is squirming to get away you can actually damage the guinea pig’s lungs by squeezing it too hard.

Before long your furry, warm, cuddly little friend will actually look forward to being held and petted. Your patience will be rewarded when you see your new friend get excited and squeal for joy when he sees you!

What You Must Know About Breeding Guinea Pigs

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Most people buy a pet guinea pig, or maybe a pair of guinea pigs, just for the sheer joy of caring for an animal. For some folks, however, the idea of breeding guinea pigs is intriguing, primarily because they seek to sell the pups and make a little bit of money.
I will caution you however, breeding and selling guinea pigs is not a huge money-making endeavor, and to my knowledge nobody has ever become rich by doing so. Nevertheless it can be a rewarding and educational experience.

Can You Sell Your Pups?

If you do decide to buy a pair of guinea pigs with the intent to breed and sell make sure you have a market to sell your guinea pigs to. Maybe before you begin breeding your guinea pigs it would be a good idea to establish a relationship with one or several local pet stores that would be interested in buying your litter. It might also be a good idea to check the classified ads or Craig’s List to see if there are other breeders in the area.

If the local pet stores tell you they already have breeders that they are buying their guinea pig pups from, and/or the classified ads indicate that there are lots of local breeders, it s apparent that you have a lot of competition and you may have a hard time finding buyers. If that turns out to be the case you may end up with more guinea pigs on your hands than you anticipated.

In Preparation…

First of all you need a boy guinea pig and a girl guinea pig. Make sure the cage is sufficiently large for two guinea pigs. For health reasons the female guinea pig should be between four and six months old before she is bred for the first time. They are mature enough to mate before this time but its better to wait until this age.

The female menstrual cycle is about 16 days, but the window of opportunity for mating is much smaller than that – only between 8 and 24 hours. Therefore you need to make sure that your guinea pigs are together constantly during that 16 day cycle. There is not much involvement on your part other than to make sure the lighting and the music are just right. Just kidding about the lights an music!

The Mating

As mentioned previously, you’re going to want to make sure that your guinea pigs plenty of space. If the guinea pigs cage is too small the female guinea pig can somehow sense that, and mother nature will tell her that there isn’t enough room for a litter of pups. Mother nature is pretty smart!

Guinea pigs have their own sort of subtle mating ritual. When the male senses that the female is ready and he becomes aroused he will lower his head and walk toward the female with very deliberate steps as an attempt to entice the female. Sometimes the male guinea pig will even do something of a mating dance where he will stand on their hind legs, front paws holding onto whatever is within reach, and wiggle his rear end back and forth.

If the female is interested she will be vocal about it, squealing with excitement, and the volume and intensity of the squealing will get louder as the male gets closer to her. If the female isn’t interested because she’s not in heat, or it isn’t the right time during her cycle, she will let the male know by nipping and biting him, running away, or even urinating on him to make her point.

Although this doesn’t occur very often in nature, if the female is ready to mate but the male isn’t aroused, she may be the one to approach him with the same deliberate steps that he would typically use on her, and she will have her head down and her rear end up in the air a little. Sometime the female will back up into the male as an indication that she is ready to be mounted by him.

Summary

If you have successfully bred your guinea pigs then you will have a litter of pups within 63-68 days. The pups should be weaned after 14-21 days, and are ready for a good home.

Unfortunately large numbers of guinea pigs die each year because their owners let them breed excessively and they couldn’t or didn’t take care of them properly. This is why it’s important to have a pet store lined up to buy your guinea pigs when they’re fully weaned and you’re ready to sell, and hopefully the pet store will sell them to a caring and loving family and the little piggies will grow up and have long and happy lives.

Pet Guinea Pigs Are for Young and Old Alike

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Guinea pigs are cute, cuddly, furry, and have all the qualities of the perfect pet. If you are thinking about getting a new pet for yourself or your children then you should give serious consideration to getting not just one, but even two pet guinea pigs (I’ll explain later). They are easy, relatively low-maintenance pets and will give you and your children many years of love and affection.

Guinea pigs are found in the wild in South America. The South American guinea pigs are herd animals and live in large family groups. Guinea pigs don’t burrow and hide from other creatures, instead they live in tall grass and trees to escape their enemies. Sometimes they borrow holes that are abandoned by other diggers.

Guinea pigs in the wilds of South America have the same basic temperament as guinea pigs you would find in a pet store. Pet guinea pigs are very docile and gentle and make perfect first pets for children. They very rarely bite or scratch. They are, however, easily stressed, so they require careful handling. By nature they are timid and shy.

Guinea pigs come in several breeds. The most common are the English short hair and the Abyssinian. The English Short Hair has a short, smooth coat as opposed to the longer-haired coat of the Abyssinian. The short haired version is easier to keep clean as the long-haired version tends to get matted fur and needs to be groomed more often.

Some rodents like to live alone and sometimes will even become aggressive if kept in pairs or groups. Pet guinea pigs on the other hand are very sociable creatures, and love to live with one or more other guinea pigs. This makes them the perfect pets if you have children, because often each child will want their own pet.

Pet guinea pigs are very affectionate animals and love to be held and petted, fed, and played with. Sometimes they will purr when being held or petted. Unlike a hamster or a pet mouse, they are quite content to sit on your lap while being petted, and they won’t try to jump off your lap and wriggle away. This makes them very easy to control.

Pet guinea pigs are not really very agile and therefore do not climb well. That means that you won’t have to worry too much about having them escape from their cages. They don’t see very well either, but they have a very good sense of hearing and smell. And guess what? They’re good swimmers! Guinea pigs are very curious and always rummaging around looking for something to chew on.

After a while your pet guinea pig will consider you to be part of the herd and will recognize you. When they do they will sometimes whistle as an expression of excitement when you approach their cage or feeding is expected!