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How to Care for Guinea Pigs
  • Recognized Guinea Pig (Cavy) Breeds
  • Housing
  • Diseases and Symptoms
  • Breeding
  • Facts About Guinea Pigs
  • Dietary Needs
  • Miscellaneous Information
  • Guinea Pigs are not really pigs, and they don't come from Guinea. They are native to the Andes Mountains of South America. In all likelihood the name was derived because they were first introduced in Europe by early explorers who picked them up in South America and passed through Guinea on the return voyage. The Pig nomenclature refers to their squealing calls.

    Guinea Pigs have been domesticated for centuries. The Incas kept them as pets and as emergency food sources. Native South American people still maintain "herds" of them in their villages today.

    During the 16th Century, Dutch explorers introduced guinea pigs to Europe, where fanciers selectively bred them. Because of their docile nature and clean and quiet behavior, guinea pigs are popular pets.

    There are thirteen (13) varieties of guinea pigs they include the American, Abyssinian, Coronet, Peruvian, Silkie, Teddy, Texel , and White Crested.