After a lot of thought and research, you have decided to get a pet guinea pig. Now, all you need to know is how to select the right guinea pig for you and your family. Like most pets, just any old guinea pig won?t do. You also need to know how to select a healthy guinea pig.
The biggest problem that many people run into is not understanding how to determine the sex of a guinea pig. This can lead to problems, especially if you are getting more than one guinea pig, which is advised. The first thing to realize is that you are not alone, and you cannot depend on pet store staff members to know how to determine the sex of guinea pigs either.
In fact, if you’ve done enough research, you already know that you should avoid buying your guinea pig from a pet store altogether. Your best bet for getting a guinea pig is to work directly with a professional breeder, or with a guinea pig rescue operation. In both cases, there will be someone who can properly sex guinea pigs, so that you end up with what you expected.
When you first arrive at the shelter or the breeders, the first thing you want to note is how well the guinea pigs have been cared for. Are the facilities clean? Are the males kept separate from the females? Guinea pigs are social creatures, but typically they will be shy at first. Therefore, you can’t judge how well a guinea pig has been handled by handling it yourself. Instead, you need to see the person that the guinea pig is used to handling it. Is it calm and happy with this person?
Next, you want to inspect the guinea pig. Does his coat look healthy? Look past his fur, to his skin and make sure that there are no sores, flaky skin, or fleas present. His body should feel sturdy and rounded. If it doesn’t, this could be a sign of illness. At the same time, you want to be sure that a female isn’t pregnant. A good breeder or someone knowledgeable about guinea pigs will be able to quickly determine this.
As with any other type of pet, the chances are good that you will be drawn to a particular guinea pig. You may be attracted by his coloring or the texture of his fur, but ideally, you will spend some time watching the guinea pigs, and choose one based on his behavior or attitude. In most cases, this is more important than his colorings, unless you plan to show the guinea pig.
As mentioned earlier, it is a good idea to get two guinea pigs of the same sex. Two females will get along famously, and be lifelong friends. Two males will also get along and be friends, but there tend to be more disagreements between males then there are between females.