Teddy Guinea Pig
The 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 they received its 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.
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.
Teddy guinea pigs can be found in a wide variety of colors. Agouti patterns are common in this breed.
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 are nutritionally complete, easily found at pet supply stores, and made from plants, seeds and veggies.
Guinea pigs need at least eight square feet of floor space in their cages. They must have solid flooring rather than wire flooring can injure paws and break legs.
This is important because guinea pigs are “prey” animals. This means 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.
You’ll also need to remove the old bedding, scrub the cage with warm water and rinsing thoroughly. This will help reduce odor and reduce possible health problems.
AVOID cedar shavings as they contain phenols which can be toxic to your guinea pig.
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 guinea pigs unattended or take them outside without watching them like a hawk (or a hawk may literally eat 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.