Contrary to its name, the Guinea Pig is not a pig and neither does it originate from New Guinea. In fact, the domestic Guinea Pig is part of the rodent family and originates from the plains of South America. It made its way to Europe after the Spanish Conquest in the 16th Century, via sailors who kept them as pets. The sailors then sold their pets, which made squeaking pig-like noises, for 1 guinea and this is how, according to legend, the Guinea Pig coined its name. Selective breeding only began in Europe in the 1920s and currently there are over 25 breeds of Guinea Pigs, as well as several cross breeds, which make up the many colours and varieties we know today.
6-8 years
0.9 kgs (2 lbs)
Depending on the type, the guinea pig’s coat can be long or short. The long variety is silky and the short is smooth and sleek.
The guinea pig is one of the most popular pets in the UK. These endearing creatures, known for their affectionate disposition make excellent pets and many people hold memories of guinea pigs as being one of the first animals they ever owned when they were children. Famed for their squeaking voices, particularly if food is in the offing, these creatures do become incredibly tame with regular handling.
Guinea pigs come in solid, two-tone and tricolours including cream, white, ginger, red, silver, black and brown.
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