Guide to guinea pigs
Crested guinea pigs are descended from Dutch ancestors with two colors, the main one being white. For a more pronounced gene, the guinea pig of the Self breed was used.
English crested guinea pig
The crested guinea pig was bred in America in 1972. First they were brought out in Canada, and then in Europe. Today, special attention is paid to two varieties of crested guinea pigs: English and American self crested guinea pigs
What does a crested guinea pig look like
The american crested appearance consists of: large expressive eyes, broad shoulders, large floppy ears, a large hooked nose, and a small body with a well-proportioned head.
This crested guinea pig has a rosette, or comb, located between the eyes and ears. The crest has a round shape. In self crested guinea pig, the rosette is identical in color to the body.
Colors in the crested guinea pig can be varied and with their own individual pattern. Mostly in the guinea pig can be a color:
- white crested guinea pigs;
Often individuals are found with two colors, and some cases can be found and with three colors.
Worth highlighting white crested guinea pig
The White Crested Guinea Pig is an unusual breed. Buy in a pet store or take animals from a shelter will not work. Guinea pigs for sale only directly from breeders.
Features of the coat, types of colors
The self crested guinea pig has a wavy coat that fits completely over the body, which distinguishes them from other guinea pig breeds. Because it is silky, debris and sawdust do not stick to it. The quality and appearance of a pet’s fur depends on the food he eats. For your crested guinea pig to have a healthy coat, you need a well-balanced diet.
Dimensions of the crested guinea pig
The average length of the american crested guinea pig is about 35 cm and the weight is 1.5 kg. Because of the rapid growth of these animals, you need to take care beforehand about their further comfortable life and buy a suitable cage.
Character of the crested guinea pig
The crested guinea pig is non-aggressive and energetic . They have a good memory and therefore remember their owners well and, if handled carefully, never bite. American crested guinea pig appreciate attention and care, but get bored with long periods of loneliness.
If you have never had a guinea pig, then a crested guinea pig is perfect for you. Crested guinea pigs are shy and will obey. They can even be trained. They will be shy at first, but in time they will get used to you.
Crested guinea pigs need their fellow guinea pigs around to have fun together. However, many people do not understand this and think that for guinea pigs will be great friends. People are unable to understand their little animals and talk to them in their own language, they may not have a common relationship with each other, and as such, people will never become guinea pigs and will not be close companions.
Crested guinea pigs definitely need a pair or live in a group for their active lifestyle, well-being. These animals are mobile, they are constantly eating, running around or making all sorts of noises. It is worth getting a large cage for guinea pigs, as they run and play and need enough space for them.
How long does a Crested guinea pig live?
For english crested guinea pigs to live an average of 5-7 years they need to be in good conditions, namely surrounded by care, proper food, care, habitat, etc.
What to give crested guinea pigs as food?
It is necessary to feed the crested guinea pig only the correct and fresh food, because a careless attitude towards feeding the animal can lead to its death.
The menu should include:
- Fresh herbs: parsley, dill, lettuce.
- Fruits, berries: kiwi, strawberries, apples, melon;
- Grass: plantain, clover, сhamomile, alfalfa, nettles or sedge (other types of grass can be fatal for the guinea pig).
The guinea pig’s diet consists of two meals a day. There should be two feeders in the cage: for dry and wet food. The drinker should always have fresh water and should be washed after each water change. Hay should be available at all times, and all leftovers should be removed from the cage every day. Timothy’s hay, a daily supply of untouched fresh vegetables and a variety of goodies in the form of vitamin C pellets would be ideal choices.
Timothy Hay: An essential part of the diet of the crested guinea pig. Timothy Hay contains plenty of fiber, protein and nutrients required to promote excellent digestion and strong teeth in the crested guinea pig.
Fresh vegetables. Necessary to be in the daily diet. Guinea pigs cannot synthesize to produce vitamin C. Therefore, they need foods rich in vitamin C to stay healthy. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, lettuce, etc. are considered the best food for guinea pigs.
Other vegetables such as cucumber, pepper, tomato, carrot, zucchini, etc. are better given in small batches. Put all the vegetables in one bowl and give them every day.
Pellets: Some guinea pig’s diet sensibly. It happens that the guinea pig does not like to eat vegetables, which have a lot of vitamins, in this case the vitamin C pellets come to the rescue and then their body will be full of all the useful substances. The pellets also contain fiber, vitamins and minerals, which guinea pigs need every day.
Treats and fresh fruit: A small amount of fresh fruit should be present in the guinea pig’s menu. However, some fruits such as melon, strawberries, mangoes, kiwi, etc. are rich in vitamin C and also contain many different nutrients. Once every 7 days is enough to give fruit to guinea pigs, because it also contains sugar.
Treats should also be on the guinea pig menu. They are useful, especially when teaching new skills to guinea pigs. At the pet store you can buy many different treats for guinea pigs, from which you can choose any treat you want to add to their diet, for example: a treat of apples or strawberries.
Water: Crested guinea pigs should always have access to fresh, clean water. Crested guinea pigs should always have water in their drinker, as their daily allowance is 50 to 300 ml per day. Use a good quality water bottle. Do not use a bottle of poor quality, as it may start to leak and the bedding may become soaked with water, which can cause various diseases and pigs later on.
How to keep a crested guinea pig?
The crested guinea pig does not need much care because it is smooth-haired. Because of the size of guinea pigs, it is preferable to have a more consolidated cage with lots of toys.
Cages should have plastic bottoms and removable tops. The cage should have a mineral stone in it for sharpening incisors, to give your guinea pig enough mobility.
In addition, your guinea pig will also need shelter. Guinea pigs are carnivorous animals, so having a place to hide gives them a sense of security. Try some fleece covers, tunnels, or typical covers.
Guinea pigs need daily walks around the apartment. While guinea pigs are walking around the apartment, they need to be closely supervised. In the summer, when it is hot, the guinea pig is taken outside, allowing it to walk on the grass and ensuring complete safety. The guinea pig’s cage should be cleaned and the bedding changed 2-3 times a week. It is recommended to choose a bedding in the form of corn filler.
Taking Care of Our Little Brothers
Crested guinea pigs are a breed of short-haired guinea pigs. They have smooth, soft fur with a white crested on the top. They are easy to care for and do not require frequent grooming compared to other breeds of guinea pigs. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of.
Guinea pig nail trimming – It is necessary to trim your guinea pig’s nails every month. Guinea pig nails grow fast, and if not trimmed properly, their nails can grow in, causing pain and sometimes an infection.
If you are a beginner and have never had them clipped before, visit your vet and try to learn how to clip claws by watching your vet do the job. And you’ll soon learn how to clip them yourself.
Regular brushing of guinea pigs helps keep their coat and skin in excellent condition.
Short-haired guinea pigs, such as tufted guinea pigs, need to be brushed weekly. However, they molt in early summer and spring, so frequent brushing is very helpful these days. Use a soft brush and brush in the direction of hair growth.
How to take care of your teeth
Guinea pigs have an ever-growing pair of teeth that require regular grinding. Giving them lots of hay helps them to grind their teeth so they keep their size.
If we don’t give them enough hay, their tooth can get overgrown and lead to dental shock, which can be painful for your guinea pig. It can also lead to problem eating, which will make the guinea pigs feel worse.
Sebaceous Gland Cleansing
The sebaceous glands open at the base of the spine, just below the coccyx. The guinea pig sebaceous glands secrete an oily substance used by guinea pigs for marking and scenting.
To know when to clean the sebaceous glands, you can look at their fur and touch it sticky or not, in which case you should know it’s time to clean it.
Bath guinea pigs when their coat is dirty and smelly, so don’t bathe them often. But it is worth remembering that guinea pigs don’t like water very much and should be washed and dried quickly.
Habitat for your Crested Guinea Pig
The guinea pig cage should be large and located in a ventilated room away from sunlight. Set the room temperature between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius.
In addition to good food and good living space, guinea pigs also need good cage toys.
Guinea pigs are agile rodents and toys keep them healthy and busy. Guinea pig favorite toys include nets, skins, tunnels, , chew toys, etc.
These toys help to keep them active. Some good quality chew toys also help keep their teeth healthy by wearing them down. If you add some homemade cardboard, expect it to be shredded after a few days.
Guinea pigs should have more than one toy so they can change them every week. After all, playing with just one guinea pig toy will get boring.
Play with guinea pigs
Even though guinea pigs are shy, they are worth playing with. Play with them for at least one hour a day and you will have a strong bond with your guinea pigs. Also try to cuddle them sometimes, but it is better to wrap them in a towel so you can hold them. Also, so they can’t scratch you or pee and poop on you.
How do I clean guinea pig cages?
Guinea pig cages need to be cleaned often to keep them healthy and clean.
Cleaning a guinea pig cage can be divided into two parts. First a daily spot cleaning, then a weekly deep cleaning. We can use a cloth or brush and shovel to collect and remove debris.
The next step is the weekly deep cleaning. This requires removing everything from the cell. Put the guinea pigs in a safe place, remove all dirty bedding and replace it with new bedding, clean the cell with a solution of vinegar and water and return everything to its new location.
Healthy american crested, like all other breeds, are susceptible to a number of health problems. Some of the most common health problems among them are dust mites, vitamin C deficiency, pneumonia, etc.
These diseases can be prevented by providing them with proper nutrition and a healthy environment. However, if your guinea pigs remain sick for a long period of time, it can have a shorter life span than usual. All that is needed is a proper balanced diet, regular cleaning of the cage, a walk, and love. Once a month bathing with mild baby shampoo is allowed. Crested have good health and are much less ill than their counterparts of other breeds.
How to know if a guinea pig is healthy?
To know that your guinea pig is healthy, you need to stick to simple rules and follow them. And you’ll find out exactly how to check below.
Eyes and nose
The first thing to pay attention to are the eyes and nose. These guinea pig organs should be clean. You can see white secretions in the guinea pig’s eyes, which they need to take care of their fur.
But if you see a completely different color discharge, it is worth contacting a veterinarian.
The next indicator to determine whether guinea pigs are healthy or not is their coat. Take your guinea pig and see if there are any bald spots. Also pay attention to the skin so that it is not dry and red. Guinea pigs can get mites, from which you must get rid of immediately. After all, they hurt guinea pigs.
Guinea Pig Teeth
Guinea pigs grow a pair of teeth throughout their lives that need to be taken care of. Guinea pigs should have a wooden toy that they can chew, as well as hay. If they don’t have this, they won’t have anything to sharpen their teeth and it can escalate to dental disease.
You can tell from the droppings whether or not you should be alarmed. Your guinea pig should go to the bathroom every day and the poop should be hard.
But the droppings should not be liquid or semi-soft – this is a reason to see the doctor. You can tell by these signs that your pet has diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. If this is the case, you need to go to the vet immediately.
Guinea pig “butt”
You can tell if they have a urinary infection or diarrhea by the smell and whether it’s wet where they pee (poop).
Crested guinea pigs are active animals that are suitable for beginners. They are easy to train. They have a strong immune system with proper care, nutrition, and habitat. With these pets, your life will always be fun and cheerful.