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Becky G
Becky G
April 15, 2024

Guinea Pigs as Pets


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“Guinea Pigs are like oversized hamsters” I first thought, but they can also be really tiny pigs in reference to their name. Guinea pigs are small rodents, much larger than hamsters since they can grow up to 10 inches! This depends on the guinea pig, of course, not all of them are the same. This also applies to their personality, like a person, they have different likings and habits. Where does the name “guinea pig” come from? Guinea pigs in Spanish are actually called “Conejos de India”. “Conejos” means bunnies. Guinea pigs originated in South America from Peru to Argentina. Furthermore explaining their name. Guinea pigs are not only pets, but they are also a form of food in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Personally, I wouldn’t eat guinea pigs, considering the fact I have two as pets. But people from South America have their traditions, and eating guinea pigs is one. 

       Like many known pets, guinea pigs can help with mental health and relieve stress. Guinea pigs are fun and social animals, so they should have a friend to play and live with. A very common thing piggies do when they’re happy is when they jump or run around! Did you know guinea pigs can purr similarly to cats? Bunnies share some characteristics with guinea pigs too! Much like their healthy vegetarian diet and their behavior, they can be pets. Take in mind that they are social animals. For example, guinea pigs can “wheek”, you could say this is their way of barking when they’re excited or alert. A wheek sounds like a high-pitched squeal. Many different noises can come from them that can benefit you from determining how they’re feeling. Much like how you can tell how they feel based on their noises, guinea pigs can sense and tell when you are feeling down. If you’ve got a close relationship with your piggy, they feel safe and comfortable around you, including feeling excitement when you’re around!

       As much as they are helpful and cute to own and adopt, they need proper care since they are not relatively a starter pet. They require lots of care and attention and similar care to a dog or cat. To note, they require a spacious environment for their partners and toys. Food and chew toys are an important aspect of a guinea pig’s home since they have to chew on hay to trim their teeth. Guinea pigs trim their teeth by eating and chewing on hay, if not their teeth can overgrow and can cause problems with their dental health. General things to know is to avoid holding them from their backs, it’s better to hold them off their stomachs first then use your free hand to lift their butts up at the same time. Like this, it helps support their weak backs. On a final note, they are sensitive animals, so it’s better to do research before buying and adopting a guinea pig.

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About the Contributor
Gyselle Nieto is a 10th-grade student who goes to Forest Grove High School. She loves drawing, listening to music, and playing video games. She also has two guinea pigs; named Rosie and Oreo. Her goal after high school is to create comics or make an animation.

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