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Guinea Pig - Smooth Breed Profile

Guinea Pig - Smooth

General
Other Names
Domestic Cavy 
Lifespan
On average this guinea pig can live to 5 or 6 years, there are exceptions to this with some living longer and others shorter lives. 
Breeding
The ideal age for the female guinea pig to start breeding is at least 20 weeks of age and before 1 year old. 
Average Litter Size
The guinea pig can produce, on average, 3 young. Litters can be between 1or 6, sometimes more. 
Gestation Period
The gestation period is between 65-72 days. 
General Physical Description
The Smooth Coated Guinea Pig has a broad head with a short face, the eye are bright and quite large. The ears are petal shaped and droop and their bodies are relatively long. These guinea pigs come in one ‘solid’ colour or white with one or two other colours. 
Size
Guinea pigs can measure 20-40.5cms in length. Some wild guinea pigs can be as long as a metre. 
A well-balanced dry guinea mix will contain all the necessary nutritional requirements that a guinea pig needs. They do enjoy the occasional treat in the form of fruit and vegetables. Do make sure these are limited as too much can cause diarrhoea. Avoid giving too much lettuce as this can lead to liver problems. Cavies cannot make their own vitamin C, so they must be fed fresh vegetables in order to get a supply. It may be necessary to supplement vitamin C into the diet, especially during the winter months when the fruit and vegetables are in limited supply. An earthenware bowl is the best type of feeding dish to use, as they are harder to knock over than the plastic ones, also they not chewable. A water bottle fixed to the outside of the cage, with the water tube going into the cage, ensures a fresh water supply is available. 
A basic standard cage, with a plastic base and a wire or plastic cover that attaches to the base, can be used as long as they are kept indoors, also the guinea pig must be allowed out for supervised exercise daily. Wooden hutches are more commonly used and can be for outdoor or indoor use. Make sure that the guinea pig has adequate space for exercise and a separate sleeping compartment. Wood shavings should be used for the floor of the cage with some hay on top. Fine sawdust can cause eye irritations and do not use straw as it can cause eye injuries. The cage or hutch should be cleaned out weekly, the indoor cages may need to be cleaned out ore often, and any old food removed. If it is necessary to wash the housing then only use a cleaner specifically designed for cleaning these little animals houses. An earthenware food bowl and a drinking bottle will also be required to feed and water the guinea pig. 
Characteristics
Suitability For Children
The smooth coated guinea pig is easily handled, and does not bite too readily. They make good pets for children.< 
Character & Temperament
The guinea pig is quite a sociable individual by nature, living in pairs or groups. They should be socialised at a young age, before they have been on their own for a time. 
Sleeping Habits
In the wild cavies are more active at night. 
Toys & Exercise
The cage or hutch itself could be furnished with items, such as boxes and tubes, for the guinea pig to hide in. A box with several holes big enough for guinea pigs to go through will keep them amused for a good long while. 
Grooming
Types of Coat
The coat is short, smooth and fine. 
Colour
The smooth coated guinea pig comes in several solid colours such as black, white, cream, golden, chocolate, red, beige and lilac. The more unusual colours are the red eyed, orange, blue and buff. The smooth coat also comes in the Dutch variety and is commonly red and white or black and white. The base colour of the Dutch is white with chocolate, golden cream or tri-colour. 
Other
Intelligence
Guinea pigs can become accustomed to the sound of your voice, and will show various degrees of response. It may even be possible, using treats as rewards, to train the guinea pig to carry out some of its natural activities. 
Show Characteristics
The smooth coated Cavies can be all one colour (known as a self variety) or they can be a combination of colours, or one colour with a distinctive coat characteristic (non self variety). The self variety should have a broad head with a short face, the eye are bright and quite large. The ears are petal shaped and droop and their bodies are relatively long. The coat should comprise of short and fine hairs. The most popular of the self varieties is the black; other colours are white (they have red eyes), cream (ruby eyes), golden, red, beige (red eyes) and lilac (red eyes). In the non self varieties the Dutch guinea pig is a popular choice, they are white with another colour, they can be white with black, red, chocolate, golden or cream. The markings have to be precise for showing. Other smooth coated non selfs are the Himalayan, the Crested, Roans and Dalmatians. 
Country of Origin
South America 

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