What About Guinea Pigs?

Two guinea pigs snuggle next to each other in a hut full of hay.

Hello! Hi! Our names are Jonathan and Jimmy and we’re a bonded pair of brothers who can’t wait to find our happy new home together! February has been such a crazy month so far here at AWS with it being Adopt a Rabbit Month and Pet Dental Health month. Not to mention Valentine’s Day has come and gone! But with everything happening, we couldn’t help but think ‘What about guinea pigs?!’ Sure, we’re the only two at AWS right now, but that doesn’t mean we will be ignored! So, together we learned how to type… and spell… and compile a list of all our favorite facts about us pigs. Ready to dive right in?

Fun Guinea Pig Facts

So, what about guinea pigs? Well, you may be surprised to learn that there are so many amazing things about us!

  1. We are not from Guinea, nor are we pigs! Isn’t that funny? Despite our name, we do not originate from Guinea or New Guinea, and we are not related to pigs at all. Our name is somewhat of a mystery, but you human’s best guess is that we were originally brought over to Europe via Guinea in Africa, and so people assumed we originated there. Also, despite being rodents, the sounds we make are often compared to the squeals of a pig. Thus, our name was born!  
  2. We have a funny number of toes. Have you ever counted? We have four toes on our front paws, but only three toes on our longer, back paws. This is unusual, but great for burrowing. Since we originally lived underground in tunnels and holes, it makes sense! However, it also means that as domesticated pets, we are not very good at climbing. We prefer only short ramps and inclines!
  3. We’re very chatty! Us pigs have a complicated language, and we love to show it off! We can chat back and forth to each other and often call out for attention or food using a long series of “wheeks” or “squeaks.” We also like to chatter, purr, puff, and growl. Because we like to talk so much, we’re happiest in pairs or in groups so we can always have a buddy to communicate with!
  4. Hay is our favorite food. You heard that right folks, we love the stuff! Not only is it tasty, but as grazers, it helps our digestive system to process food. The constant chewing of it also helps to keep our ever-growing teeth at the right length. Whoever came up with the poem “hay is for horses, better for cows, but pigs don’t eat it ‘cause they don’t know how” must not have been talking about guinea pigs!
  5. We can dance! Well, sort of. When we get excited, we like to hop straight into the air and twist our bodies quickly. We usually wheek or purr while we do it as well, signaling other pigs that we’re happy. You humans call this “popcorning” because it looks like when a kernel bursts into popcorn!
  6. We come in an array of colors, shapes, and sizes! Just like you humans, guinea pigs are all unique! We have so many different coat colors, coat lengths, and type of fur. We can be long-haired or short. We can have coarse, curly hair or straight, silky hair. We can be black, white, brown, calico, spotted, striped, and even tortoiseshell! Some of us are small, while others are quite large! In fact, the largest breed of guinea pig measures up to 17 inches long!
  7. We make wonderful companion animals. At the heart of it, us pigs are social creatures who love to snuggle, love to connect, and form tight bonds to our family members. We are intelligent and active and can learn tricks and cues from our humans. We even recognize faces and voices! We love to snuggle and will often curl up against your body for warmth and head scratches. We make amazing friends to anyone!

Ready to Adopt?

So, what do you think? Have we convinced you how awesome we are yet? With so much going on this month we just wanted to make sure that two awesome brothers like us didn’t fall through the cracks. Now, when someone asks you “What about guinea pigs?”, you can tell them with confidence “What not about guinea pig?!” We are such interesting, fun, and loyal companions who just want a place to call home. If you’re willing to take a chance on us, please stop by the AWS Adoption Center today and say hello. We’ll be right here waiting to give you a friendly “wheek-wheek!”