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teddy guinea pigThe Teddy guinea pig's most distinctive characteristic is it's short, wire-looking coat. While we use the term "wiry" to describe the coat, it's important to note that it's quite soft to the touch. In fact, they look much like teddy bears (which is how it received it's name).

The body of the Teddy is similar to the American Guinea Pig in length and size. You'll also notice that the Teddy has a "Roman nose" (which means it's bowed out and hooked a bit). Like most of the various breeds, their unique coat is due to a genetic mutation. It only became a recognized breed in 1978, so they are rather new to the market. Nevertheless, their happy disposition made it quite popular and today you'll find them everywhere. The Teddy Satin
The Teddy Satin has the same general appearance as the Teddy, but the coat has a glossy sheen. Satin Teddies are less common than the standard Teddy, but they are growing in popularity and were recently recognized by the ACBA.

Teddy Guinea Pigs are natural entertainers and love to be the center of attention, making them great choices for children. They tend towards a life expectancy of about seven years.

Grooming

Teddy guinea pigs do not require as much grooming as their cavy cousins, and tend to be low maintenance pets. Their coats are shorter in length than most other breeds, but you will still need to groom them at least once every few days.

Choosing a Brush
Clip their nails once a month to stop them from growing too long.

Colors

Teddy guinea pigs can be found in a wide variety of colors. Agouti patterns are common in this breed.

How to Pick Up
When picking up a guinea pig, never grab it only by its shoulders. Always pick up your pet evenly by supporting it's entire body, and be careful not to drop it.

Diet

Teddy guinea pigs eat a standard guinea pig diet of fresh hay, vitamin c pellets, fresh water, veggies and fruit. Guinea pigs need to be fed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Research the needs of your guinea pigs as they all require different things. Fresh fruit and raw vegetables should be offered to your guinea pig each day, as they make great chews and your guinea pig needs plenty of things to chew on as their teeth grow continually.

Improper diet is the leading cause of illness in guinea pigs. Be sure you're feeding them a high-quality pellet food that is specifically designed for the breed, such as Oxbow Cavy Cuisine Adult Guinea Pig food. Commercial guinea pig pellets should make up the bulk of your pet’s diet as they are nutritionally complete, easily found at pet supply stores, and made from plants, seeds and veggies.

Guinea pigs need fresh hay available at all times. Timothy hay makes a good edible choice and can be found in the form of cubes or loose bags of hay.

Fresh Vegetables & Fruit
Always make sure to remove any leftover fresh food before it spoils.

Housing

Guinea pigs need at least eight square feet of floor space in their cages. They must have solid flooring as wire flooring can injure paws and break legs. Since guinea pigs are "prey" animals, they have two responses to a threat: Freeze in place or run away. This is why it's very important that your guinea pig be able to move quickly without fear of being caught up on a wire. Your guinea pig will chew, so avoid cardboard boxes and be sure to inspect cage periodically.

Paper or pine bedding should be provided to allow your guinea pig plenty of comfortable nesting. Clean the cage at least once a week (twice a week is better) to remove any soiled bedding, food, or droppings. Each week, you'll need to remove the old bedding, scrub the cage with warm water and rinsing thoroughly. This will help reduce odor and eliminate possible health problems.

Bedding
AVOID cedar shavings as they contain phenols which can be toxic to your guinea pig.

Training

Teddy guinea pigs are quite receptive to training and if you take your time to be affectionate towards them and let them get to know you, they will work hard to please. They do enjoy time outdoors but must be watched very carefully at all times since they can easily fall prey to birds and other animals. Never leave them unattended or take them outside without watching them like a hawk (or it's likely a hawk will get them).

Be sure you keep them mentally stimulated with plenty of toy, raw blocks of wood they can chew on, and offer plenty of ways they can get exercise. They are very sensitive to heat and cold, so be sure you keep them in an area that is away from windows and near a consistent form of heat or air-conditioning, without having it blowing on them.

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stacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


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