Learn 20 fun facts about guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs are amazing little animals that make great pets! But how much do you really know about these little creatures? Check out these 20 facts about guinea pigs to find out more about these awesome little rodents.
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20 Facts About Guinea Pigs
1 – They Are Social Animals
Guinea pigs benefit so much from living with other guinea pigs. They are very social animals that would live in herds in the wild.
2 – Guinea Pigs Have Constantly Growing Teeth
Guinea pigs are rodents, so they have teeth that are constantly growing. These teeth need to be constantly worn down or too long teeth can make it hard for the piggie to eat. The best way to wear down a guinea pig’s teeth is to provide them with plenty of hay to eat. The constant chewing of hay keeps the teeth the right length!
3 – They Need Large Cages
Guinea pigs need a lot more space than most people think! The minimum cage size for two guinea pigs is 7.5 square feet. Check out this article to learn more about the best cages for guinea pigs!
4 – They Can’t Make Vitamin C
Vitamin C is not something that a guinea pig’s body can make on its own. This means vitamin c must be supplemented by its owner. The best way to supplement vitamin c is through daily veggies and vitamin c supplements that can be given as treats. The Oxbow vitamin C tabs are my favorite!
5 – Guinea Pigs Eat Their Own Poop?!
Guinea pigs eat their own poop – sort of! Guinea pigs have two different kinds of droppings: regular poop and cecotropes. The cecotropes are little bundles of extra nutrients that the guinea pig eats to put the nutrients back in their bodies.
6 – They Can Sleep With Their Eyes Open
Guinea pigs can – and often do – sleep with their eyes open! It’s common for owners to come in and find their piggies totally passed out with their eyes wide open.
7 – They Need Fresh Veggies Every Day
An important part of a guinea pig’s diet is a variety of fresh veggies every single day. Veggies help make sure the piggy is getting all the right vitamins and nutrients. Check out my article on guinea pig veggies and get your free printable guide!
8 – They Live About 5-7 Years
The average lifespan of a pet guinea pig is about 5 to 7 years! A lot of people think guinea pigs only live 2 or 3 years like a hamster. Before getting a pet guinea pig, make sure you can commit to caring for them for a while!
9 – Guinea Pigs are Herbivores
Guinea pigs are herbivores, so they only eat plants. The main diet of a guinea pig is a mix of hay, fresh veggies, and a small amount of healthy pellets each day. They also can have a variety of fruits and herbs as a treat.
10 – They Need an Exotic Vet
All animals should have a regular vet for checkups and medical emergencies. If you’re looking for a vet for a guinea pig, you want to be looking for an exotic vet. Small animal vets only see cats and dogs, but exotic vets see more specialized animals like guinea pigs and rabbits.
11 – They Do Popcorns When Excited
When guinea pigs get really excited, they will run around their cages and do fun jumps, kicks, and head tosses in the air – kind of like a bucking horse. These shows of happiness are called popcorns or popcorning!
12 – They Learn Their Daily Routine
Guinea pigs will quickly learn their daily routine – especially times they get fed! Once they’ve settled into their home, they will quickly learn when they are fed and will start letting you know when you’re running late for dinnertime or when they’d like a treat.
13 – Guinea Pigs Can Be Short-Haired or Long-Haired
There are quite a few different breeds of guinea pigs and there are both short-haired and long-haired piggies. While long-haired piggies can look really awesome, they do take a lot more grooming work than short-haired piggies. Short-haired piggies are more popular as pets for most owners.
14 – They Nap A Lot
While they don’t sleep for long periods at a time, guinea pigs take short naps pretty much constantly. Instead of laying down and sleeping for a full night the way humans do, guinea pigs will take shorter naps often throughout the day and night.
15 – They Can Jump!
Guinea pigs can actually jump quite high! While most guinea pigs don’t seem to realize they can jump, some of them are very vertical and can be escape artists jumping out of their cage. They may jump up on top of their houses to hang out or
16 – Guinea Pigs Are Bad Swimmers
Guinea pigs are actually pretty bad swimmers and wouldn’t swim in the wild unless absolutely necessary. They have round bodies with little legs which is not the best shape for moving through water. Pet guinea pigs should never be in a situation where they have to swim.
17 – They Scream for Food With a Wheeeek!
Guinea pigs can actually make a lot of noise! Especially at dinner time, piggies will let out a loud “wheeek!” sound to let their human know they are ready to be fed or want some attention. This is something you want to think about before keeping guinea pigs in your bedroom.
18 – They Have Big Personalities
Guinea pigs have their own different personalities. Just like humans, they have things they like, dislike, and enjoy. One of my favorite things about owning guinea pigs is getting to know their personalities and bonding with them in their own different ways.
19 – They Show Dominance by Rumble-Strutting
It has a funny name, but it’s a really good description! When guinea pigs are telling another piggy who’s boss, they will make a low rumbling sound (kind of like a cat purr but deeper) and will rock back and forth on their back feet. This rocking and purring is called rumble strutting! It’s normal behavior that is a form of communication between guinea pigs.
20 – Guinea Pigs See Colors
Unlike some animals that are color blind, studies have shown that guinea pigs can actually see colors. It’s known know how well they can see different colors, but they can actually see them all! Although they can see color, their eyesight, in general, is not very good and they have poor depth perception.
I didn’t know that their teeth are constantly growing, that is both fascinating and scary