The guinea pig is a small rodent that has become popular as a household pet since its introduction in the 16th century by European traders. They are not creatures found in the wild, and are generally easy to care for, being very gentle and responsive, with a lifespan of anywhere from four to eight years. Caring for guinea pigs is a relatively easy process, if you know some of the simple ways to raise guinea pigs.
Feeding is essential to a healthy guinea pig, and grass is their first choice of diet, since their teeth always continue to grow and need to be ground down. The guinea pig is also known to eat its own fecal matter, which is rich in vitamin B, but they also enjoy fresh vegetables and possibly hay, as the plant matter is easily suited for grinding their teeth. Like any other animal, always make sure they have fresh water at all times.
Since guinea pigs are a domesticated animal, they can be perfectly happy living in a cage, as long as it’s clean and amongst people, as they can really be quite social creatures. It’s best to have your guinea pig where they can see and hear others, but make sure they have something to hide in for when they feel nervous or stressed, such as a small can with no sharp edges or a cardboard tube. As guinea pigs become used to a gentle human touch, they will come to like being picked up and carried, and may even start whistling when they hear familiar noises, like their owner coming close. The more you are around and talk to your guinea pig, the more accustomed they will become to your sounds and noises.
Like raising most other four-legged pets, guinea pigs need exercise, so making sure they have a place to run and play is very important. Time outside of their cage environment is necessary for them to properly bond with you, and by allowing them to see and smell and feel your home they will quickly learn that there is nothing to fear by running and exploring, and will come to learn that you are not a threat to their survival.
And last, be sure to give them a lot of attention, but go slowly, so they have time to warm up to your touch. Guinea pigs that are happy will often purr to try and garner even more of your lavish attention.