caring for guinea pigs - NEACHA

Mild-mannered and cute, guinea pigs can be great pets. They're fairly easy to care for, but they do require some special care as well as regular veterinary checkups, comfortable housing, and attention from their owners.
Guinea pigs are originally from the grasslands, forests, swamps, and mountains of South America. They are also called cavies, which is short for their scientific name: Cavia porcellus.

of How to Care for Baby Guinea Pigs was reviewed by  on April 13, 2017.

When I was in grade 4, my parents let me get a pet guinea pig. When I went to the pet store, the cage was rather small and there were at least 50 guinea pigs in it. I chose the smallest one because he looked like he needed someone to care for him. He was healthy when we bought him, but not every guinea pig was. I named my guinea pig Pepper. I loved him so much, and I took great care of him. Of course, I was still little, so my parents did most of the work. Unfortunately, Pepper died a few weeks before his fourth birthday. I was heartbroken. I thought guinea pigs were supposed to live for at least seven years. Pepper had gotten very sick before he died. We gave him medication to make sure he was ok. We thought he had gotten better, but he soon had a stroke, and then he died. I still haven’t gotten over the fact that he is gone, and he died a year and a half ago. I never will really get over losing him. I never understood why he had to have such a short life. When he died, I remembered the saying “those who glow the brightest, burn out the fastest”. I guess that’s why Pepper had to leave me so soon. RIP Pepper. I will never forget you and I will always love you.

Video: How to Care for Guinea Pigs | Martha Stewart

New to guinea pigs or you've had them for a quite a while? Find out more in our Care Library. Caring for a Peruvian guinea pig can be a lot of responsibility, so they are not suitable as a first guinea pig or as a first pet. People often keep Peruvian guinea pigs for showing and breeding, but they are high maintenance and require far more care than other breeds, with attentive grooming and bathing routines and a focus on excellent hygiene and health.

The basics for caring for guinea pigs

A guinea pig can be one of the most endearing and wonderful pets. They may live as long as 10 years (the average is 5 to 7), so the decision to bring one into your home must be made carefully. Your pet will depend on you for food, water, medical care and companionship. This brief outline of how to care for your new guinea pig (guinea pigs are also known as "cavies") will help give your pet a healthy start so you can enjoy each other's company for many years.

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Although guinea pigs may seem very simple to care for, there are many common mistakes. Here are five frequent misconceptions and how to avoid them to become a better caretaker for your cavy.Don’t worry, guinea pig care is pretty simple, especially if you have a short-haired guinea pig breed. The longer the hair, the more time it’ll take for tasks such as grooming. However, most guinea pigs don’t actually require baths and spend their whole lives without one. It really depends how curious your little critter is. And although guinea pigs are low maintenance pets, that doesn’t mean you should neglect them.