The Teddy Guinea pig gets its name from its rather adorable and very distinctive look. With round ears, a rough, thick coat of fur, and a wide, upturned nose, the Teddy Guinea Pig looks like a little teddy bear. This is a big part of the little guy’s charm.
To match its looks, the average Teddy guinea pig has a gentle, friendly personality. Teddy guinea pigs are also particularly low maintenance. They require less grooming than Peruvian guinea pigs, for example.
Thanks to their easy care, Teddy guinea pigs are recommended for adults and kids alike. The sociable fellows can make a great addition to any family.
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Teddy Guinea Pigs Have a Friendly Personality
The breed is also pretty easy-going most of the time. In fact, they are known for how they tend to warm up to people quickly. This includes kids, which is a fantastic trait for a pet for a family.
Teddy guinea pigs are very cute and expressive. You might see them hop with joy, AKA ‘popcorning.’ They will burrow, peep from holes, and display other adorable antics. Make sure to get your Teddy Guinea Pig a few toys! They love these.
Teddy Guinea Pigs Have Unique Origins
Teddy guinea pigs are a diminutive 1 foot in length on average, and they weigh 1.5-3 pounds. They will live for 4-5 years, usually. Some can live an impressive 7 years.
While the first guinea pigs originated from South America, the Teddy Guinea Pig is thought to be a more recent genetic mutation – one that created a truly marvelous guinea pig variety.
Of course, any pet has specific requirements for longevity. If you are thinking of adopting a Teddy guinea pig, there are a few things you will first need to know. To start, your Teddy guinea pig will need somewhere safe to stay, and this calls for a proper enclosure.
Teddy Guinea Pigs Need A Cage That Is Comfortable And Secure
The first thing to take into consideration when it comes to a cage for your Teddy Guinea Pig is its size. Because they are fairly active creatures, guinea pigs of all kinds need space to run and play. Without this, they will feel cooped up and depressed. A Teddy Guinea Pig cage should be at least 7.5 feet, though 10.5 is even better.
You must also remember that guinea pigs love to chew! A plastic cage will experience lots of wear and tear from this. A metal cage will solve this issue and can better withstand the test of time. Make sure the bars are close enough together that your guinea pig cannot get their paws through and stuck painfully.
Choose an area of your house for the cage that is warm and near people. Because they are sociable, Teddy Guinea Pigs get lonely. An ideal spot is the living room or the dining room. Locate somewhere that is visited frequently, but avoid the TV, radio and other things that are very noisy.
Teddy Guinea Pigs Need Bedding For Comfort And Hygiene
Guinea pigs burrow and make dens out in nature. In captivity, their home should reflect this. This calls for bedding! Bedding mimics leaves, undergrowth and other detritus that guinea pigs bring into their dens to make them cozy.
Some people use hay for their Teddy Guinea pig bedding. This is not suggested, as guinea pigs eat hay. Combining it with their bedding will encourage them to eat the bedding, too. This is not hygienic, as the nature of bedding is that it gets a bit dirty.
Instead, there are some other fine alternatives. These vary in price and absorbency.
Paper is a popular Teddy Guinea Pig bedding choice
This is due to its convenience and affordability. You can make a sound bedding out of white computer/printer paper, or brown paper bags. Simply tear them to pieces or send them through a shredder. Avoid marker or print ink, as this is toxic and your Teddy guinea pig may ingest some accidentally.
Never use newspaper, read why here!
Paper bedding is soft and springy. It is moderately absorbent and tackles odors and liquids fairly well. As long as the paper is ink-free, it is also non-toxic.
Paper Pulp as a crafty Teddy Guinea Pig bedding idea
Paper Pulp is a unique method of creating guinea pig bedding with paper. The process is a bit more complicated than the above, but the results are impressive.
- First, tear paper to shreds, as above. Next, however, you will place these pieces into heated water. Let them soak for 8 hours or overnight, and then tear them into even smaller bits.
- By this point, you will have a paste, or ‘pulp.’ Use a fine strainer or cheesecloth to sieve the pulp.
- Form it into flat, thick pancake-like discs and then lay them on cookie drying racks to dry.
- Leave them like this for a few days, until they are completely dry.
- Crumble them up and you have a super-absorbent, odor-eliminating guinea pig bedding, homemade.
Aspen Wood shavings are a good bedding choice
Wood shavings are another common Teddy guinea pig bedding material. The only issue here is that most types of wood are not suitable for this use. Cedar and pine, for example, will cause splinters and even exude toxic fumes when exposed to urine. Not a safe bedding option, clearly!
Aspen wood, on the other hand, is splinter and toxin-free. It is comfortable for guinea pigs and absorbs odors and liquids well. Just make sure to source the aspen wood shavings from a pet store or online. Lumber yards do not sanitize their shavings for mites or bugs.
Want to see which bedding we use for Teddy Guinea Pigs and other small pets. Click here!
Pet stores, on the other hand, have aspen wood shavings in varying levels of quality. Some cheap brands tend to be a bit dusty, so try to go for one of at least moderate quality.
No matter the bedding type, it must be replaced with fresh bedding every couple of days or so.
The cage itself should be emptied and scrubbed down with non-toxic soap or wipes once or twice weekly.
Give Your Guinea Pig A Private House
Bedding is wonderful, and it will make your guinea pig very happy. They will burrow and root and play.
Along with this, guinea pigs of all kinds need their own little home-within-a-home. These are tiny guinea pig houses that can fit in a cage easily. These can be store-bought, where you will find cute designs and durable materials, or homemade.
Read how to look for signs that your guinea pig is unhappy in our latest blog. Your guinea pig will tell you by making some strange noises.
Homemade houses are crafted from empty boxes, butter containers and the like. Your Teddy guinea pig will almost certainly chew these and they will require replacement somewhat frequently. A store-bought house will last longer but is sure to be more costly.
Your Teddy Guinea Pig will sleep deeply in their home, hide in it when they are nervous, and peep in and out of it during play.
Read ‘ What size cage do guinea pigs need ’ here in more detail.
Guinea Pigs Need To Chew Constantly
A unique fact about guinea pigs – as with many other rodents – is that, throughout their entire lives, their teeth continue to grow.
To keep this in check, guinea pigs will chew all day. There are some toys specially made for this. There are also sticks and other pieces of untreated wood available at the pet store, specifically for guinea pigs and other rodents to use.
Hay and crunchy vegetables are also some of the main things that guinea pigs utilize for this purpose. For a great selection of Chew toys and treats for guinea pigs visit Amazon.com here to see their full range of products.
Guinea Pigs Love A Good Bath!
Guinea pigs love to have a bath from time to time. There are a few guidelines you should follow to ensure the bath is not only effective but also a calming and pleasant experience for your guinea pig.
Follow these simple steps…
- Relax and calm your guinea pig down before bathing
- Wipe your guinea pig before bathing with a damp cloth to remove excess dirt and fur
- Lay a cloth in the bottom of the bath or bathing container to stop them from slipping
- Then add 2 inch of lukewarm water
- Place your guinea pig into the water, hindquarters first
- Allow a minute or two for your guinea pig to adjust to the water
- Rinse your guinea pig by scooping water up in your hands
- Use a few drops of Guinea pig shampoo and gently massage into their fur
- Rinse your guinea pig with the water by scooping water with your hands or using a small jug
- Remove your guinea pig once all signs of shampoo are gone
- Scoop your guinea pig out of the bath using two hands
- Dry your guinea pig with a soft towel
- Ensure their face is also dry
- Dry and Groom your guinea pig
- Dry with a hairdryer if needed on a slow and cool setting
Teddy Guinea Pigs Need Lots Of Exercise
Guinea pigs are active little guys. They take full advantage of their 4-5 year lifespan, playing, socializing and even exploring when they get the chance. An exercise wheel may seem the obvious solution. Actually, guinea pigs tend to hurt themselves on these. Their backs do not bend easily and so they can hurt themselves.
TOP TIP: Never give your guinea pig an exercise wheel. They are harmful to Guinea pigs. Hamsters and gerbils love them but not guinea pigs.
In place of a wheel, incorporate low, wide ramps inside of the cage. This will make the best advantage of the space and allow your guinea pigs more room for activity.
Let your Teddy Guinea Pig out of their cage often
One of the most effective ways for the Teddy Guinea Pig to get exercise is to get out of the cage and explore. A Teddy guinea pig can do this as much as once a day, and no less than a few times a week.
First, Guinea Pig-Proof the room
Before your Teddy Guinea Pig may begin its adventure, you must guinea pig-proof the room. This means moving any potted plants, which are often toxic, out of the way. Put away any cords that your guinea pig might try to chew.
Doors are a risk when it comes to letting your guinea pig roam free, as a knock from a door can hurt them badly. Make sure that everyone in the household knows when the guinea pig is out so that they open doors carefully.
Block off any hiding spots your guinea pig could get lost in. Do not open and close reclining chairs while the tiny animal is nearby.
Put your Teddy Guinea Pig in a closed-off room and keep an eye on them while they are out of the cage. Keep any aggressive pets far away.
Let your Teddy Guinea Pig explore safely
Once the area is secure and ready to go, your guinea pig may roam -relatively freely.
You may have some special toys available especially for trips out of the cage. This will give your Teddy Guinea Pig something to look forward to.
You can also try out some games, such as dragging a treat on a string for them to chase, or hiding treats underneath things for them to seek. Teddy guinea pigs are curious and lively and will be eager to participate.
Teddy Guinea Pig Socialization
Among guinea pigs, Teddy Guinea Pigs are said to be some of the most friendly. Compared to other breeds, they tend to warm up more quickly. Due to their braver, more placid temperament, Teddy guinea pigs can make a fine choice for children.
They are glad to play, like to be petted, and can learn to like to be held over time as well (just make sure to use a towel when holding your guinea pig, as sometimes they will get excited and pee).
To help your Teddy Guinea Pig become accustomed to touch, pet and hold them frequently. Respect their boundaries and do not overdo this. You will learn their body language over time.
Use plenty of treats to encourage your guinea pig to interact and play. This positive reinforcement will eventually make bribes less necessary, as they socialize more willingly.
Their Diet Should Contain Fiber And Vitamin C Aplenty
The diet of the Teddy Guinea Pig should be comprised of fiber, mostly. They obtain this from veggies, fruit, and above all, hay.
Not only are vegetables generally healthy, but they are also the main source of vitamin C for guinea pigs, which do not produce vitamin C naturally. Vegetables – and fruit – with vitamin C are necessary for them to eat to prevent Teddy guinea pigs from getting scurvy.
How much hay should a Guinea Pig have?
Teddy Guinea Pigs, like any guinea pig, must have access to fresh, plentiful hay. There should be unlimited hay available for them every day. You see, hay is full of fiber, which Teddy guinea pigs use to aid their digestion. Hay is also good for them to gnaw and chew, to keep the growth of their teeth at bay.
Timothy hay, in particular, has lots of fiber and nutrients. Pregnant Teddy Guinea Pigs can benefit especially from Alfalfa hay.
Teddy Guinea Pigs need fresh veggies every day
For Teddy Guinea Pigs, vegetables serve as an additional source of hydration, provide something for them to chew, and are also filled with nutrients. Some are particularly nutritious and crunchy. There are also some that are less beneficial, or even toxic. Following are some common veggies: some of the best and some of the worst for Teddy guinea pig, respectively.
The best veggies for your Teddy Guinea Pig to enjoy
First and foremost, your Teddy Guinea Pig should have bell peppers every once in a while. These are rich in vitamin C. A small slice a few times a week is ideal.
Carrot tops and roots also make a fine veggie choice. They have a firm crunch that Teddy Guinea Pigs can really sink their teeth into, which aids in keeping their teeth flat and healthy.
You may also offer your Teddy Guinea Pig a few small pieces of broccoli, a leaf of cabbage, or a couple of romaine lettuce leaves. Iceberg lettuce is, in fact, bad for the Teddy Guinea Pig, and all rodents, generally.
Here are some great vegetables to feed to your teddy
|Carrots||Cauliflower leaves and stalks||Celery|
Veggies that will affect your Guinea Pig harmfully
Iceberg lettuce, as mentioned above, will give your guinea pig the runs. The pale leaves contain little to no nutrients. Onions, garlic and potatoes are straight-up poisonous to guinea pigs, even deadly. If you allow your guinea pig outside, make sure the garden is blocked off appropriately, so that they do not access harmful plants like these.
Pellets offer Teddy Guinea Pigs additional nutrients
Teddy Guinea Pig pellets are nutrient-dense, and provide a nice texture for them to chew. This means that they are helpful both supplementally, and as an additional means for your guinea pig to keep their teeth in check.
Since hay will comprise the majority of their diet, a Teddy Guinea Pig will require only a small portion of pellets daily. Refer to the box for serving sizes. As with any pet food, when picking pellets for your guinea pig, avoid fillers and the like.
Teddy Guinea Pigs Need Fresh Water Every Day
Like any animals, guinea pigs must have access to clean water daily. A bowl should not be used for this, as it will get bedding in it, spill, etc.
Instead, a steel spout and ball water bottle should be available. This will effectively prevent the water from spilling or getting dirty. Just make sure that the spout does not become clogged or stuck.
Fruits Are Natural Treats For Guinea Pigs Of All Kinds
Teddy Guinea Pigs do not have access to fresh fruit in the wild. This is probably a good thing, because they have little self control when these sweet foods are involved. Fortunately, fruit is okay for them to eat, and even healthy in the right portions. However, serving-size is key, as fruit has a lot of sugar naturally.
If you allow your Teddy Guinea Pig to consume too much sugary fruit, you risk making them seriously ill. This will even put them at risk for obesity and diabetes.
In the proper amounts, however, fruit can be really nice for Teddy Guinea Pigs to have. Some even offer vitamin C, an invaluable nutrient. Fruits make an excellent replacement for the less-than-healthy guinea pig treats you’ll usually find at the store. Teddy Guinea Pigs may have fruit a couple of times a week.
The best fruits for your Teddy Guinea Pig to enjoy
Berries are great for the Teddy Guinea Pig. They are high in antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber. This includes strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Blueberries are particularly high in antioxidants, which are known to increase the lifespan of humans and guinea pigs alike.
Your Teddy Guinea Pig may indulge in a few berries a couple of times a week. This means 2-3 raspberries, 2-3 blueberries, a few small slices of strawberry, a small blackberry… just one fruit on a treat day, in a Teddy Guinea Pig portion size.
One useful tip is to feed guinea pigs fruit after they have eaten hay or pellets, as the additional fiber will help slow the effects of the natural sugars.
Kiwis, apples and pears also make fine treat choices for the Teddy Guinea Pig. Simply make sure to remove the seeds from the apple and pear accordingly. These contain cyanide in trace amounts, which can otherwise affect guinea pigs harmfully. A small slice of kiwi, apple or pear will do.
Fruits that will affect your Teddy Guinea Pig harmfully
Citrus fruits are very detrimental to guinea pigs of all kinds. Never feed them these in any amount – oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes – or anything containing these are a definite no. Avocados are toxic to guinea pigs as well. When feeding your Teddy Guinea Pig any fruit, first make sure it is safe.
Some other foods toxic to guinea pigs that you will want to avoid are chocolate, candy and the like; potato chips and other junk food; and many plants that are not listed as safe here specifically.
Teddy Guinea Pigs Like A Guinea Pig or Two for Company
A couple or even a trio of Teddy Guinea Pigs can be kept successfully. They get along best in pairs that are male/male or female/female. One older guinea pig and one younger is ideal, as this will help them establish a hierarchy.
As the younger guinea pig gets older, however, it may challenge the other in the alpha role. This leads to some fighting occasionally. Usually they will sort this out, but if they do not, separate them before they hurt each other seriously.
Teddy Guinea Pig companions will cuddle and play
With a successful Teddy Guinea Pig pair, some new behaviors will develop that you will not see as much with a single piggy. Teddy guinea pigs like to groom each other, cuddle, and even play with each other. Another guinea pig or two can make an excellent source of companionship for your Teddy Guinea Pig when you are away.
It should come as no surprise that, if you keep a male and female guinea pig together, unneutered and unspayed, they will mate. Unless you want this, and know what you are doing, avoid this by keeping pairs of the same sex.
Guinea Pig Breeding Has A Very Small Window Of Opportunity
Alternately, if you wish to breed your Teddy Guinea Pigs, there are a couple of things that are incredibly important to know. First off, female guinea pigs (sows), are sexually mature at one month of age. They should be bred no later than 4-5 months because, after this point, a C-section becomes necessary. This leaves a very, very small window.
To induce them to breed, keeping a male and female guinea pig together is all you need to do. Preventing them from this would be far more tricky.
Once the sow is past the safe breeding window, males and females must be separated immediately.
A sow will be pregnant for 2 months, and gives birth to 3 babies (piglets), typically. Sometimes they will have more.
There are some health complications that can occur during pregnancy. If you can, include a vet in the process. Watch your sow closely throughout the pregnancy.
Teddy Guinea Pig piglets are relatively low-maintenance
Once the babies are born, they already have teeth, fur, and can walk. They nurse, but will also eat adult food, like hay, shortly after birth. This makes them fairly simple to care for compared to a lot of baby animals. You must still use all due caution, of course. Once again, it is suggested that you include the vet in this process, to make sure none of them get sick. Soon they will require spaying and neutering, which will require their assistance anyway.
Ear wax and crusty build-up
Below is a great video from a guinea pig rescue center which shows you in more detail than we could explain, how to clean your Teddy Guinea Pigs Ears.
Low Maintenance Teddy Guinea Pig Care
As far as additional care, your Teddy Guinea Pig will require brushing every once in a while. Luckily, this is pleasant to do: watching their coat clean and soften, perfect for petting. Teddy Guinea Pigs don’t get knots, really, but bedding and the like tends to get stuck in their fur and must be combed loose.
Other than this, your Teddy Guinea Pig will keep themselves clean, mostly. The breed has been blessed with dry rather than oily skin, and require bathing no more than 3 times yearly with a special shampoo. In fact, exceeding this amount can cause their skin to become too dry.
Conclusion: Teddy Guinea Pig Guide
As you can see, there is a lot to love about the Teddy Guinea Pig. They are easy to care for, good-natured, and just plain adorable. A Teddy Guinea Pig or two can make a fine addition to the family.
You and your guinea pig may amuse each other with play, cuddle, or you can just watch what they get up to throughout the day. Observe them burrow, get excited for treats, emit the occasional squeak, and exercise.
A Teddy Guinea Pig will provide sweet, simple companionship, for the years to come.