After keeping guinea pigs for years there was a time when I was wondering that, I wish I could have known these interesting facts about guinea pigs earlier. This could have made my life much easier. (Although I am glad I went ahead and experienced it but still).
So, I decided to go ahead and create a helpful resource for you guys out there so that you can make your experience with your furry little pet much more delightful.
If you are here to learn about the basic facts about guinea pigs, which everyone tells you like they are rodents, they live this long and stuff, and then you might be at the wrong place. Moving ahead, I am going to share some unique facts about them.
A few weeks ago, I went ahead in the community and asked 1000’s of people the facts about guinea pigs they wish they could have learned earlier and here is what top 78 people told me:
You can get addicted to them
Guinea pigs are adorable pets. You can easily get addicted to them after once you have them. Many people, including me, have started with a pair of piggies, and one year down the line had over 6 of them.
The wheeking sound they make and the gesture they present is something that cannot go unnoticed.
Some people can get so obsessed with their guinea pigs that most of their time goes into looking after the guinea pigs.
Cost Adds up pretty quickly
Although you might have read or heard that guinea pigs are a low-budget pet, that is just partially true. Yes, guinea pigs don’t cost much, and you can get their entire setup going on for a couple of hundred bucks.
But the maintenance, food, and vet cost that incurs regularly can pile up pretty quickly.
Guinea pigs do require fresh fruits and vegetables regularly. The same arises during some off-season in some places like mine when vegetables and fruits get damn costly, but then there is no other alternative.
If you don’t know yet, guinea pigs need a special exotic vet for treatment. Not all vet are specialized in treating guinea pigs, so you might have a tough time getting one.
The Vet visits also pinch the pocket a lot so make sure you are ready for the same.
Boars(boys) Don’t like cage mates
Many people would say that it is a myth that two male guinea pigs can’t live together. The truth is the statement is partially true.
There are situations when you can get two male guinea pigs put them in a single large cage, and they would do just fine.
But from my experience and what I have seen in the community, there are 100’s of people looking for a solution just because their boars don’t get along and end up fighting each other.
Although keeping a male and female together is also not recommended as they are eventually going to breed, and for a beginner, it can be tough to handle the time phase.
The best solution for this can be either get two or more females or keep males separately in a large cage.
Alternatively, if you have a C&C Cage, you can create a barrier in the middle to separate them in case they end up fighting with each other.
Their pupils point upward
This was one of the bizarre facts about guinea pigs, which one of the community member’s vet pointed out. When I heard this, I just rushed to my guinea pigs cage to check it out. (that was hilarious)
But then I decided to find out the reason for the same. What I learned is that their pupil points upward right from their birth itself.
It helps in increasing the viewing radius so that they can safeguard themselves from the predators around them. Although they don’t have a good vision; still, this is a great additional benefit.
Guinea pigs popcorning can be freaky
If you have got yourself a pair of guinea pigs recently or are planning to get one for yourself, I would definitely recommend you guys to learn about them popcorning first.
If you don’t know what it looks like then you might be shocked when you see one happening. When I first saw that I thought that my guinea pig was having a seizure attack or something.
It totally freaked me out, I immediately went ahead and knocked the community people and found that it’s something common among guinea pigs.
I bet that even if you knew about it beforehand, the moment it happens is going to get you in shock for sure.
Boars have an active grease glands
If you are still unaware of what grease glands are, then let me give you a brief explanation first. Grease Gland is located at the lower end of their spinal bone, also known as tail bone.
These glands usually secrete a liquid gel-like substance that guinea pigs use to mark their territory.
Usually, boars grease glands are very active, and thus, the grease can get all over their fur and create a patch that needs regular maintenance. Failing to do so can lead to the ill health of your guinea pigs.
The grease also smells really gross if they produce a lot of it. It also creates a hard patch like thing wherever it gets attached to in their enclosure.
You can learn more about guinea pigs grease gland from this helpful resource.
Guinea pigs enclosure do smell
Guinea pigs are caged animals and like any other caged animals, their cages can smell if proper maintenance is not done on a daily basis. But why does it smells?
There can be multiple reasons for the same, maybe your guinea pigs have an active grease gland and its spread all across the cage, maybe you have not maintained the cages properly and there are lots of pee and poop buildup in there. There can be lots of other reasons too.
But for people who are little sensitive to smell some sort of smell will always be present.
The smell can be from their pee and poop, it can be from their food like hay and pellets, or maybe from guinea pigs itself.
Also Read: How Often Do Guinea Pigs Pee And Poop? (+When To Be Worried)
I would definitely recommend you guys to go ahead and read more about guinea pigs smell and ho to control the same from this article: Are guinea pigs smelly? and How To Keep A Guinea Pig Cage From Smelling? (Avoid Unsafe Ideas)
They need a much larger cage than you think
Guinea pigs grow up at a great pace. If you are a beginner going to get your guinea pig for the first time you might see their size and think that the cage you get usually in pet stores shall be sufficient for you. Trust me, they are going to outgrow the cage pretty fast.
Guinea pigs grow at a great pace, a young guinea pig just after a few days of birth is around 3-4 inches but they can grow up to 8-10 inches in just 16 week time frame and up to 12 inches in next couple of weeks.
Thus, most beginners consider their current size or underestimate their growth rate while buying their cage for their guinea pigs.
They eat a lot
Guinea pigs are like eating machine. Sometimes I feel that they can they are just made to eat, poop, sleep and eat again.
Like most of the times when you will take a sneak peek of their cages, you will find them eating their hay, pellets or begging you for vegetables and treat.
Guinea pigs do need a lot of hay. In an average, healthy guinea pigs can eat anywhere between 6-8 ounces of hay every week. So, getting a large bag of hay would be a good idea to start with.
They also need a cup of fresh vegetables on a daily basis along with fruits and pellets a few times a week. Hay is the staple part of their diet which they will eat most of the time.
If you want to learn more about their diet then I would definitely recommend you to go ahead and read this article: A to Z of guinea pig diet.
Sometimes they are pretty loud
Guinea pigs have a calm and docile personality but sometimes they can get pretty loud. Especially once they are accustomed to their owners, they cry pretty loud if you get late for their veggies.
Some guinea pigs are also loud while communicating with each other. So, if you are are not an early morning person you better keep hem away from your bedroom. Guinea pigs can get quite vocal during morning and evening hours.
Also Read: Are guinea pig loud?
So, I hope that you have found the quick facts about guinea pigs useful and I was able to learn a few new things about them. If you like what you have learned, do share it with your friends and family in your favorite social media. It took me over 3 days to collect the points and data so that I can create a helpful resource for you all. Thanks!