Posted in guinea pig, pet health, pets

This little pig cried ‘Oui, oui, oui’!

Guinea pigs have a great singing voice. The ones I’ve known were smart enough to know when food was being served; opening the refrigerator door or rustling a plastic bag might start a serenade of guinea pig squeals. It sounds very much like the French word for “yes” (pronounced “we”; or, if you’re a game fan, “Wii, Wii, Wii”)!

But that’s not all that endears them to humans. They’re furry, of course, and they’re fun to watch. They scurry and kick up their heels much like big curly-tailed pigs can do — but they aren’t related to pigs in more than a name. And as far as anyone can tell, guinea pigs aren’t from Guinea either. You’ll find them in your neighborhood pet store, where they probably were born, as well as their parents, and their parents’ parents.

If you’re interested in an uncommon color or unusual fur for a guinea pig, you may need to find a reputable breeder of fancies. Learn as much as possible about their background and their breeding stock before you purchase. Do your research carefully!

Guinea pigs have no tail. (No self-respecting pig of the porcine kind would go without the traditional corkscrew appendage on their behind, which I’m told has been known to wag, just like a dog’s tail does, when real pigs are happy, usually when they’re eating.)

And guinea pig paws have toes, four toes on the front paws, and three on the back unlike the porcine cloven hoof.

Guinea pigs are very dainty on their feet. Maybe that’s why they kick up their paws and practically skip around when given the space to do so.

The life span of the guinea pig is fairly short, from 2-4 years, although if well-kept they may live longer. They will eat hay and alfalfa pellets, and can be allowed some fresh greens, in moderation. Their teeth are ideal for gnawing and must have continual use to keep them in good shape.

They also need to drink plenty of water, so a tube-type water bottle hung in the guinea pig’s habitat should be filled with clean water daily, making sure that any bedding in the guinea pig’s nest is always kept clean and dry.

When contented and sleepy, guinea pigs will sometimes make a purring noise with a bit of squeal on the side. But if in doubt of when mealtime is near, you’ll definitely know by the guinea pig’s squeal, loud and clear.

You might even say that guinea pigs will sing for their supper.

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Owned by three cats over age 13