Guinea pigs, so called rodents, originate in the Andes. They can be called Cavy’s. Some are domestic and some are wild. They have nothing to do with pigs, so the name is confusing. Guinea pigs are important to South American folk as food sources, medicine and other important uses. In western society they are kept as pets and have been since the 16th century. They are very popular pets because they respond to feeding and handling with ease.
Many breeds of guinea pigs are worldwide according to the colour of their coat and style of fur. For example, some have short hair, some long and some are mixed colours, where as some are one colour. I have two guinea pigs called Pippo and Caramel. Pippo is smooth furred and gold/black, while caramel is fat but white and light brown.
There are several breeds of guinea pigs. Even the texture, length, and colour pattern of their fur may vary. The most commonly seen guinea pigs are the English short hair (also known as American short hair), Abyssinian, Peruvian, and Sheltie (Silkie). All types of guinea pigs have developed from the American, Abyssinian and Peruvian breeds. Others include Silkie or Sheltie, Rex, Teddy, Texel, Coronet, Crested, and Hairless ones.
Guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C in their bodies and need healthy food. Good types of food are green, leafy vegetables, fresh and dried grass, fruit and pellets or mixes sold especially for guinea pigs. They shouldn’t eat sweet food!