There are many different breeds of guinea pig, but one of the most popular is the American guinea pig. This is a brief introduction to this particular cavy, giving an insight into what they are like.
What they look like
The american guinea pig is a smooth haired cavy that has a smooth coat and is elegant and sleek in appearance.
It has a body that is medium in length, with a high full crown and Roman nose.
Who are they suitable for?
American cavies are a great breed for those who are just starting out in looking after guinea pigs. This is because they don’t require much grooming compare to other types of guinea pigs.
Nature and temperament of American guinea pigs
American guinea pigs are naturally very calm animals. They a very passive, in fact more so than other breeds.
They love to be handled and enjoy affection, in fact the more you handle them and show them affection, the more they will respond to you.
If you have an american guinea pig who is a bit jumpy, the best way to rectify this is to hold them regularly and they will get used to you.
Why are they called American guinea pigs?
American guinea pigs are so named because of their close resemblance to their south american cousins.
Their ancestors were also short haired cavies, although agouti coloured.
What do they eat?
American guinea pigs do not have any particular foods compared to other guinea pig breeds.
They also need hay, guinea pig pellets, fresh water and raw veggies as the staple foods of their diet.
They can also eat certain fruits depending on what they contain.
What colours to they come in?
American guinea pigs come in all kinds of colours from tortoise, shell, to black, white, cream and so on.
All kinds of coloured haired american cavies have been bred over the years.
How to look after American guinea pigs.
As short haired cavies, american guinea pigs do not require as much looking after as their long haired counter parts. But the following activities are recommended;
Make sure their nails are clipped at least once a month, and take care not to cut into the quick.
Ensure their food is topped up regularly and that they have an ongoing supply of hay to chew on.
Make sure that they have a daily intake of vitamin c.
Spot clean their cage once a day, and then clean it out thoroughly once a week.
Spend time with them daily and make sure they are held so they are used to you.