When choosing a guinea pig...
|Healthy Piggie||There should be no patches of fur missing. Check for lice on the piggie. Listen to the piggie's breathing; you should not hear any rasping or laboring. Look for bright, clear eyes, a dry nose, normal feet free from swelling. Piggies should be plump, not fat. An overweight piggie will be round and have flabby areas on its sides, belly and back. Its fur should be clean. Eye crust or sunken eyes could indicate an unhealthy piggie. Healthy teeth should be white, not yellow. Watch the piggie move around in the cage to see if it is limping.|
|Young or Old||It is difficult to determine the exact age of a piggie. Consult a piggie vet to get an estimate. Young piggies (less than 6 months old) tend to have more energy than older piggies. If you are looking for a baby, make sure it is at least 4 weeks old. It is not ready to leave Momma untill then.|
|Boy or Girl||Experts say you won't notice much difference in activity between a girl piggie and a boy piggie. Some say males are friendlier than females. It is said that they, unlike females, will come to the edge of their cage to beg for treats or attention. But each piggie has its own personality. You won't know untill you hang with them for some time. So, breed doesn't really matter. But if you are breeding them, it does matter. If you simply want them as a pet, make sure you know the gender so you don't get unwanted litters.|
|Breeds Galore||There are 13 breeds of guinea pigs in the USA. Each breed has its distinct look that makes it different than all the other breeds. The most common breed is American. This is the breed most people think of when they think of guinea pigs. You can get either a long or short haired piggie. (see Hair Length)|
|Hair Length||If you are getting a piggie for the first time, I would recomend a short haired piggie. The long haired piggies take a lot more care because you have to brush their hair for a lot longer every day. But, ultimately, a short haired GP is better for a first time owner and is easier to care for.|
|Where to look||Animal shelter, guinea pig rescue, pet store, professional breeder, or casual breeder.|
|Heart and Head Rule||When choosing a GP, sure you look at its health and breed and stuff, but you have to be emotionally attached. Ultimately, the best guinea pig for you is the one that steals your heart!|