Teddy Guinea Pigs: Facts and Care

The Teddy guinea pig breed. Is it the best for you?

Guinea pigs are popular pet choices these days! But, did you know there are a wide variety of guinea pigs for you to choose from?

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Teddy guinea pigs or cavies, as they are also known, are a guinea pig breed that owns its name due to its particularly dense coat of hair. They are wonderful low maintenance guinea pigs that share many traits with other of its kind.

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Here on PetComments, we share with you some of our favorite Teddy guinea pig facts and information of interest.

Facts and Information

Origin and Appearance

We already talked in a different article (you can link the previous article) about the guinea pigs, they don't come from Guinea and they are most certainly not pigs. This breed of guinea pigs, in particular, is called "Teddy" for its short and dense coat similar to a teddy bear. It also has a wider nose in comparison with other guinea pigs.

Now, this little buddy came to be as a result of a genetic mutation, its DNA transfiguration is responsible for the characteristics of their fur without affecting the rodent. As guinea pigs are often used in experimentation is likely that this mutation came from experimentation. An example of this is the skinny guinea pig; this breed came to exist for the sole purpose of dermatology testing. Teddy guinea pigs were recognized as a breed by the American Cavy Breeders Association in 1978.

The Teddy guinea pig is often confused with the American guinea pig since they both have the same nose structure, but the Teddy has a shorter and thicker fur.

Teddy Guinea Pig Lifespan

Teddies can live from four to eight years if the conditions and the treatment they receive are ideal for them; some are known to surpass eight years old reaching the longevity mark of eleven years old!

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Personality

Together with the Abyssinians, Teddies happen to be one of the two most active breeds. They are energetic, extroverted, fun and sociable with humans. They like to be held gently and cuddle with their owners; this makes them popular among children. Like other guinea pig breeds, they need the company of another of their kind and even though they are sociable and playful with their own, they need plenty of space to run free, have solo activities, and "popcorn" around the place.

They are Low Maintenance

These little wonders have the additional "feature" of being low maintenance. The reason is behind the skin below their fur, they have a very dry sensitive skin in comparison with other cavies, and as a result, they don't need to shower so often maximum 3 times in a year. This is perfect for the busy owner who loves pets but, doesn’t have time to bath them as often as they would want.

It also doesn't need to be brushed as constantly as other guinea pig breeds, with a brush once a week to get rid of loose hair is enough for them.

two teddy guinea pigs

A Teddy Guinea Pig Proper Care

Teddies don't require much bath time, however, when we do bath them is important to use a special shampoo to take care of their delicate dry skin and warm water (check the temperature!).

A usual problem teddy cavies have is the excess of wax in their tiny ears. To solve this and provide comfort for your teddy guinea pig, gently wipe the excess from their ears with a damp towel.

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Teddy guinea pigs are particularly prone to diarrhea; therefore, they must have a quality diet especially for them.

Diet

Like other guinea pigs, Teddies can eat and enjoy a variety of foods. Timothy hay, for example, is vital for their diet, not enough hay can provoke diarrhea in your Teddy. Veggies, pellets for guinea pigs and healthy treats are also good for them; the key is to reach equilibrium between the hay and the other elements of their diet.

When giving food to your Teddy guinea pig, keep always in mind that is not a little dog, there are foods absolutely forbidden if you wish to extend the life of your cavy. Refrain from giving your cavy processed products (like the ones we eat), meat, Iceberg lettuce, Corn, Tomato leaves, Potatoes, Rhubarb, Raw Beans or anything with sugar like chocolate, ice cream, etc.

Exercise and Play Time

Just because they are small does not mean they don't need to work out, and even when they can fit everywhere with how small they are, the Teddy guinea pig is an overly jumpy thing. It NEEDS to run and jump, they are happy like that and we love when they are happy because we are happy too.

If you have your cavies in a small cage, always remember to take them out and give them some time to run and exercise. On the contrary, if you have them in a quite spacious, wide cage give them toys or design areas in their cage where they can climb, run in, hide in, roll, you take your pick.

Playtime. They need it, and so do you. Take a little bit of time every day to play with them, cuddle with them. Remember Teddy guinea pigs are the most social and active from its kind. Your Teddy guinea pig will love to see you and share time with you.

Cage Requirements

With a curious and energetic companion like the Teddy cavy, a wide space "cavy proof" is in need. There are a numerous of cages design to keep your Teddy cavy happy and healthy. A must for them is the space to exercise and play if you own a pair of Teddy cavies, they must have the double of space.

Guinea pigs or cavies, in general, are very social especially with their own, but, they are also territorial with their space, therefore, the more cavies you have the wider the space in their cage must be.

Guinea pigs come in different colors and some will be friendlier than others. The Teddy breed, meets all the good, and joys, and love from the guinea pigs with the extra of being low maintenance. If you wish to have a guinea pig, inform yourself about the different types and needs they meet. A Teddy guinea pig might be the right one for you.

Sources and Further Readings:

  1. Somerzby, Guinea Pig Breed Spotlight – The Teddy Guinea Pig

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