American Guinea Pig
The American Guinea Pig is the oldest breed of guinea pigs on the planet. It is an original breed most popularly known to all. Originating from South America, this breed is most sought out by many who want to keep a guinea pig as a pet mostly because they are cute and have a low maintenance. They are good pet options for kids.
This breed of guineas has fur that is straight with a variety of colors and pattern varieties. Their body is a solid rectangular shape resembling a brick. The total body length is 8-9inches. They have short legs, large round ears, and no tail. They typically weigh around 2-3 pounds. Their nose is round with a Roman-type touch to it. Their lifespan lasts from 5-7years. They have a coat which is medium furry, smooth and soft.
Giving them bath often, trimming their nails, regular check-ups is a must. This is basic grooming routine for any guinea pig. It is vital for their health. Weekly brushing is a good chance to check on them. Look out for any unusual growths, abnormal discharge, or strange odors on and from the body. But since these are short-haired cavy, they require less grooming than the other long-haired breeds.
They have the same health issues as any other breeds. The common problems they suffer from are scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), dental issues, organ problems, renal failure, kidney and bladder stones, respiratory problems, urinary problems, trauma, etc.
Hence, you need to take care of their diet, well-being, provide a clean and healthy environment to live in, keep them safe and away from things or animals that frighten them and in a suitable temperature area. You need to keep a watch for any unusual behavior, reactions or physical abnormalities which can be fatal to their health.
The American guineas are usually laid-back, active, can be demanding and sweet. Their other behavior patterns include being timid, energetic, out-going, clingy and curious. The personality of a guinea depends on how it socialized when it was young. They love to live in pairs and groups as they are a herd species. If kept alone interaction with them is a must.
Otherwise, they will feel depressed and may not even eat/play which is bad for their health. They are happier in safe, comfortable, and spacious housing with companionship, exercise, and small toys. American guinea pigs respond well and are quite friendly.
Clean and fresh hay with clean, fresh drinking water and vitamin C supplement is most of a healthy guinea pig’s regular diet. Since they cannot make their own vitamin C it should be added to their diet in the form of pellets, rich in this vitamin.
Fruits and vegetables should be served but need to be monitored due to their high sugar content and other elements that could affect their health in many ways. Hence, when it comes to their diet, keep it limited to hay and pellets with fruit and veggies as treats. Do not overfeed as it can lead to obesity and other serious health issues that can result in quicker death.