So you’ve decided to get guinea pigs, chosen where to get them from, and figured out how many you want. Now, you’re faced with the challenge of picking a happy, healthy one to take away with you. No problem. There are some ways to help tell you whether or not your prospective pet is fit and healthy.
There are some cues that you can use to pick a healthy pet
- How does it move?
Does the guinea pig move around freely and smoothly? Watch out for guinea pigs that move unnaturally jerkily, hop, or limp.
- Have a good look at the conditions the guinea pig is being kept in
Does it look like a good, healthy environment for a guinea pig to be kept in? Is there hay, is the space large enough, is there plenty of food and water? In particular, have a look at the droppings in the enclosure to make sure they’re normal and firm. Any discoloured or watery droppings could be indicative of poor health.
- Pick up your guinea pig and examine it
Very carefully, you’ll need to examine your guinea pig. Don’t be concerned if it tries to run away from you, as this is entirely natural if an animal has never seen you before. Slide one hand under its tummy and support its behind by cupping it with your other hand. Pick it up and hold it gently but firmly to your chest with one hand, still supporting its backside with the other. Have a good look at your prospective pet. Are its eyes bright and shiny? Is it’s coat glossy and full? Are its feet in good condition? If so, then your guinea pig is likely to be in good health.
Carefully pick up your prospective pet to give it a little health check
Before you take your new pets away with you, another thing you need to watch out for is their gender. Sometimes guinea pigs will be given to new owners that aren’t the gender they needed, which can lead to a lot of baby guinea pigs wandering around. To avoid this, make sure that the person offering you the animal knows which gender it is, and ask them to show you. A female guinea pig will have nipples along her stomach.