1. Guinea pigs are NOT pigs! (They are rodents.)
2. Guinea pigs eat their own poo……What?! Yes, as well as the poos you will see in their enclosure, they also produce special soft poos. They eat these to ensure they absorb all the nutrients they need.
3. Guinea pigs don’t sweat.
4. Guinea pigs don’t sleep for long periods of time, they just take lots of short naps.
5. A guinea pig is also called a ‘cavy’. Their official title is ‘Cavia porcellus’. They belong to the family ‘Caviidae’, which is made up of rodents found originally in South America. Capybaras are also part of this family!
6. Guinea pigs need to take on extra vitamin C every day (just like humans do too!).
7. Guinea pigs are vegans.
8. Baby guinea pigs are born fully formed with fur and teeth and are ready to run around after a few hours!
9. When guinea pigs are excited they might ‘Popcorn’. This is when they jump up in the air and often do a little twist too.
10. Guinea pigs have teeth that are constantly growing. This means they need to munch on food lots and lots to grind their teeth down.
11. Guinea pigs need lots of space. They love to run around and explore, especially if they have lots of tunnels and safe places to hide away too.
12. Guinea pigs are often confused with hamsters. This is very frustrating for people who have guinea pigs. And probably also for people who have hamsters. Guinea pigs and hamsters are really very different!
13. Guinea pigs are very sociable animals and are happiest living in a group. They should not be kept on their own as they get very lonely.
14. Guinea pigs can learn tricks! They are really smart and can learn to do tricks if you are patient and use food as a reward!
15. A male guinea pig is called a ‘boar’ and a female is called a ‘sow’. Baby guinea pigs are called ‘pups’.
16. Guinea pigs make lots of noises. The most well-know is the ‘wheek’! This is a sound they only make for their humans, usually to remind them to bring some food!
17. Guinea pigs need to eat lots of hay and forage. This should be 80-90% of their diet. They can also have a small portion of vegetables and dry pellets each day. Fruits and herbs are special treats.
18. Guinea pigs secrete a white substance out of their eyes that they use to wash themselves!
19. Guinea pigs have 4 toes on their front feet and 3 toes on their back feet.
20. The oldest guinea pig officially recorded lived to be 14 years and 10 months old. Wow!