Happy Guinea Pig Appreciation Day!
People across the world just cannot get enough of Guinea pigs. With their fluffy potato looking body, their little legs, the squeaking, and the popcorning, Guinea pigs have captured the hearts of people across the world. So, it is only fitting that these little guys have their very own appreciation day! In honor of Guinea Pig Appreciation Day, we wanted to put out a special blog post dedicate to our furry little friends and why people just can’t get enough of them.
Domestication Guinea pigs have been around for thousands of years. In 5000 BC they were first domesticated by the Inca's in Peru as a source of food. There are now no Guinea pigs known to be in the wild. They grew in popularity and in the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors came to South America they fell in love with them and brought them back to Europe as gifts for the royals. The royals loved them and quickly Guinea pigs became popular pets across Europe. In the 1900’s British immigrants started bringing Guinea pigs to America where they continued to grow in their popularity as pets. Nowadays Guinea pigs have become a very popular pet especially with children.
Origin of Their Name It has been to numerous people’s surprise that Guinea pigs do not get their name from being from Guinea or from being related to pigs. There are many theories as to how they got their name. One of them is that Guinea pigs used to cost one Guinea and people started to associate them to how much they would cost. Guinea is a form of money that was widely used in the 16th and 17th century. Others think that they got their name from being collected in Guiana along with sounding and tasting like pigs.
Keeping Guinea Pigs as Pets Guinea pigs have grown to capture the heart of anyone that looks at them. With their potato looking bodies with little legs, and the high squeaks it’s hard for anyone to not love them. They have grown to be amazing pets for almost everyone but especially as a first pet for children. They can be very personable and love to be around their owner compared to some other pocket pets. Housing can be a lot of fun for not only children but also adults to design. There are many ways that a Guinea pig house can be designed and decorated as long as it is big enough for your Guinea pig. You can have a very simple house that has a shelter for them and bedding, but you can also have an elaborate house that have different levels and different patterns of fleece as the floor. Toys can be relatively simple and easy for Guinea pigs. There are many homemade toys that you can find on the Minnesota Pocket Rescue website and Pinterest to get some great ideas.
A Very Special Diet One of the things that people tend to forget about Guinea pigs when they are deciding to get them as pet is their very special diet. Guinea pigs cannot produce their own vitamin C, so to make up for this they need to be given a vitamin C supplement daily. They should also get veggies that have plenty of vitamin C in it. This includes: kale, parsley, and sweet peppers. Guinea pigs should also have hay that is always available. Their digestive system needs hay all the time. Their teeth are continuously growing, and hay helps with preventing their teeth from over growing and causing mouth problems. Having pellets that are specifically for Guinea pigs and water always available to your Guinea pig are needed as well to keep your Guinea pig healthy.
Fun Facts! 1. The American Cavy Breeders recognizes 13 different Guinea pig breeds. 2. In Switzerland a law was passed in 2008 that requires Guinea pigs to be housed with a companion. 3. While most rodents have yellow incisors Guinea pigs have white. 4. They have dichromatic vision. This means they see much better in dim light. 5. Guinea pigs have 4 toes on their forefeet and 3 on their hindfeet.
To celebrating Guinea Pig Appreciation Day we have a featured spotlight on one of our Guinea pigs that are up for adoption! Our featured spotlight today is Raisin! Raisin loves to start his day with a delicious treat, and if you forget he loves to tell you. He then likes to spend his day chewing on his cardboard tubes. He loves to walk around his pen with his igloo on top of him to make it seem like he is turtle and tipping over his food dish until he gets to his piggy “pretzel” sticks. In the evening he loves his salad and spending the rest of the night being cuddled by humans. Raisin is an energetic love bug that wants nothing more than to be with his humans and play until the sun goes down.