The guinea pig is very popular as a pet, due to its cute looks and gentle nature. They do not normally bite or scratch, but they might do it if they feel threatened, so always handle them with care.
This is a short-tailed rodent with long hair and a large head, and it comes in different colours. Having a guinea pig is fun, but it is also a great responsibility. This is an active animal that needs plenty of exercise and a large cage to jump and run around in.
Guinea pigs are social and love interacting with people. They live 7 to 9 years, even though there are individuals who live more than that, especially if you take good care of them.
This means feeding them vegetables, mostly rich in vitamin C. Provide clean water, but don’t give your pet any tap water because it may contain too much chlorine. Read as much as you can about the species before bringing home your furry friend.
Where do they come from?
The guinea pig does not come from Guinea, but from South America, where it was first domesticated. However, back then the tribes living there were using them as a source of food, while others also worshiped the little rodents.
The furry animal was eventually brought from South America to Europe in the 1700s. Children loved them, but the guinea pig became truly popular as a pet only after Queen Elizabeth I had one as her pet.