What to look for when buying a guinea pig
When you want to choose a guinea pig as a pet , it will be necessary to make some checks concerning the piggy , the age , the gender , its health, its character … Because this one may keep you company for more than 7 years, here are the 4 essential things to check with your guinea pig before bringing it back home.
What to look for when buying a guinea pig is an important question to answer because when you want to buy a guinea pig, it is imperative to check these few points in order to bring home the pet that suits you best and with which you will quickly feel comfortable. Here is how
1-The Age of the Ginipic
Age is not a very important factor when buying a guinea pig, as long as the pet has been handled from a young age. Adult guinea pigs can make wonderful pets.
Since guinea pigs usually live anywhere from five to seven , sometimes 8 years, you can adopt or buy a guinea pig who is few years old (one to 3 years is good when buying a piggy ) and still have a lot of time left to spend with him/her.
If you want getting a baby guinea pig, make sure the one you buy is at least 4 or 5 weeks old.
Young Piggies should stay with their mothers until they are at least a month old.
Taking them away too soon ( less than 1 month old ) can be damaging both emotionally and physically, and guinea pigs removed from their mother’s care too early rarely survive for long once they arrive in their new homes, so please don’t make that mistake !!
2-The Health of the Guinea pig
There is a lot of things you should know before getting a piggy as a pet , but It’s important to start out on the right foot by selecting a guinea pig who is in good health.
A guinea pig’s general health can be determined in a number of ways. Check to see if her ears and nose are clean and free of discharge and debris.
Then take a close look at her fur. The fur of a healthy guinea pig will be soft, shiny, and even.
Keep an eye out for lice in the ears and fur, bald spots, and signs of diarrhea. Check around the cage to make sure that the guinea pig’s fecal pellets are round and hard cuz diarrhea is a sign of illness.
Feel the guinea pig’s body. It should be round, tight, and smooth. If the abdomen is hard and round, the guinea pig may be suffering from a worm infestation.
If you have your heart set on a baby or a younger guinea pig , make sure she is at least 4 weeks old.
The health of your guinea pig is a top concern. She should look clean and alert and feel solid.
Attitude is also important when determining a guinea pig’s health, Look for an animal who is bright eyed, alert, and active.
A guinea pig who appears dull and listless is probably sick.
Be sure to take notice of the guinea pig’s surroundings:
- Are they clean and relatively odor free?
- Are the animals kept in spacious, airy cages?
- Do the other guinea pigs appear healthy?
Many guinea pig diseases are contagious. If the guinea pig you are considering for purchase is housed near a sick guinea pig, chances are your pet will come down with the same illness.
Check the guinea pig’s teeth to see if the two top teeth overlap the two lower teeth. Do not buy a guinea pig whose upper incisors do not overlap the lower incisors.
This condition is called malocclusion and is a serious problem in guinea pigs that can result in much grief to both guinea pig and owner.
Misaligned teeth do not wear down properly and can grow out of control.
Unless they are regularly trimmed by yourself or a veterinarian, they will cause mouth infections and jaw problems, and can even grow so long that they will curve back into the guinea pig’s skull and kill the animal.
If you are buying your pet from a breeder, talk to them about the guinea pig you are considering.
Ask questions about the animal’s ancestors.
- What were their personalities like?
- Did they have any health problems that could be genetic?
If you plan to show your guinea pig, ask about the show careers of the Piggy’s parents and grandparents. Ask to see the guinea pig’s Dad and Mom.
Study the standard (a description of the ideal guinea pig) for the breed you are considering and try to apply it to the guinea pig’s parents. If they are good specimens of the breed, chances are their offspring will be, too.
While you are discussing the guinea pig with the breeder or retailer, ask them if they have a return policy if the guinea pig becomes ill.
If you have other pets, particularly a dog, also find out if the seller will take the guinea pig back if your other pets will not accept her into the household.
3- The Personality of the Guinea pig
If you give your guinea pig love and attention, chances are she will become a wonderful pet.
However, when you are selecting your guinea pig, you may want to observe the personality of the animals you are considering to see which one strikes your fancy.
Guinea pigs who appear nervous and afraid may be high strung or just unused to being handled. If the animal is young, she is still very impressionable and will learn to be held and stroked if you show her love and consideration.
Older guinea pigs who have not been handled much will need more work to make them comfortable with people. Eventually, though, they should learn to respond to care and affection.
4-The Gender of the Piggy
Debate goes on in guinea pig circles over which make better pets: males (boars) or females (sows). The answer really depends on what you plan to do with your Piggy.
Females are said to be mainly concerned with reproducing. They emit an odor and are very interested in breeding with males that they meet.
Males, on the other hand, are thought to be somewhat aggressive and unsettled. They also have a strong odor and will be territorial with other males.
If you decide to spay or neuter your guinea pig, however, gender should not be a factor in your purchasing decision, since spayed sows and neutered boars make equally good pets.
If you plan to get two guinea pigs who will live together in the same cage, make sure you have accurate information about the animals’ gender.
If you have more than one guinea pig and you do not want to spay or neuter them, you will need to get two females.
There is no way to stop a male and a female from breeding ( really , really difficult !! ) , and two unneutered males will fight with each other.
The problem is that male and female guinea pigs can be hard to tell apart, especially when they are young. Get expert advice from a breeder or veterinarian about the gender of your pets before you place them together.
It’s up to you now
You know the 4 essential things to check with your guinea pig before buying it, it thus restricts you only to prepare its cage and to go to seek it, and as a last council, when you choose a peggy, you also trust your instinct and always buy the one that your heart will say to you and especially know it that generally it is him , the guinea pig , which will choose you and not the reverse, you will understand what I want to say, once you arrive at the breeder.