The guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), also called the cavy, is a
species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the
genus Cavia. Despite their common name, these animals are
not in the pig family, nor are they from Guinea.
They originated in the Andes. In Western societies, the guinea
pig has enjoyed widespread popularity as a household pet since
its introduction by European traders in the 16th century.
Their docile nature, their responsiveness to handling and feeding,
and the relative ease of caring for them, continue to make the guinea pig a popular pet. Domesticated guinea
pigs come in many breeds, which have been developed since their introduction to Europe and North America.
These varieties vary in hair and color composition.
The most common varieties found are the English shorthair (also known as the American), which have a short,
smooth coat, and the Abyssinian, whose coat is ruffled with cowlicks, or rosettes. Also popular among
breeders are the Peruvian and the Sheltie (or Silkie), both straight longhair breeds, and the Texel, a curly
The most important part of your cavy’s diet are fibrous hays, such as timothy or orchardgrass. This is crucial
for keeping his intestinal tract healthy. Unlimited hay should be available at all times. Clean, fresh water,
dispensed in a bottle or sturdy bowl, shouldbe available at all times as well. You’ll also need to feed your
guinea pig high-qualitycavy pellets such as Heinhold or Oxbow.
Pellets should be fresh and plain, without seeds, nuts, or colored tidbits. Occaisional dark leafy greens or
carrots are a great snack for your pet. Use of a dietary supplement containing Vitamin C is highly suggested.
Guinea pigs, humans, and other primates share a gene mutation that makes production of vitamin C
impossible. For this reason, these animals require a dietary source of vitamin C.
Guinea pigs who do not receive enough vitamin C in their diet can suffer from vitamin C deficiency (commonly
known as scurvy in humans). Affected guinea pigs may have a rough hair coat, lack of appetite, dental pain,
delayed wound healing, lameness, and an inability to fend off infections. Guinea pigs with a slight vitamin C
deficiency may show no visible signs of disease; however, their immune system may be compromised leading
to decreased ability to fight off other illnesses.
Cage with solid bottom; we recommend Marchioro #62 or larger
Bedding - unscented newspaper bedding (Fresh World or Carefresh), or crushed corn cob
Water bottle and food dish
hut or hideout
Pellets - Heinholdor Oxbow are best
Hay, Hay, Hay
Toys and chews to keep teeth worn down
If handled correctly early in their life, guinea pigs become amenable to being picked up and carried, and
seldom bite or scratch. They are timid explorers and often hesitate to attempt an escape from their cage even
when an opportunity presents itself. Still, they show considerable curiosity when allowed to walk freely,
especially in familiar and safe terrain. Guinea pigs that become familiar with their owner will whistle on the
owner’s approach; they will also learn to whistle in response to the rustling of plastic bags or the opening of
refrigerator doors, where their food is most commonly stored.
Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
|“The difference is
Black and White”
720 S Neil
Champaign, IL 61820
Sailfin Pet Shop, Inc.
720 S Neil
Champaign, IL 61820