Teddy Guinea Pig – Teddy guinea pig is a much-adored breed, and it is often sought due to its unique appearance and distinctive show qualities. The name is crafted from its unique qualities that resemble a stuffed teddy bear with a round nose and a fuzzy coat.
According to the latest statistics, Teddy guinea pigs are now gaining popularity around the world due to their friendly nature unlike several years ago. They have a warm personality, and they bond with people very quickly and easily.
If you do not have lots of time, then this is the breed that will suit you or your children. Teddy Guinea Pig closely looks like the American Guinea Pig, and several people have difficulties differentiating between the two breeds.
Origins of Teddy Guinea Pig
They were baptised Teddy Guinea Pigs due to their likeness to the teddy bears and other small toy animals. Just like stuffed toy animals, they have a short and thick coat as well as a broad cute nose that is admirable. Putting a teddy bear and a Teddy Guinea pig next to each other will prove that they were correctly named.
Teddy guinea pig is a product of genetic mutation, and it is considered as the latest breed of teddy bears. Different individuals have a different opinion on the pros and cons of the new breed. Some people will appreciate its coat appearance while others will be dissatisfied to realise that it doesn’t have super powers.
There is no documented evidence of their discovery, but it is believed that the breed was as a result of a research program that aimed at breeding teddy bears.
As mentioned earlier, Teddy guinea pig breed resulted from genetic manipulation and the DNA transfiguration that resulted is the one responsible for their beautiful fur. Nonetheless, this manipulation didn’t affect their overall health.
Scientific breeding programs lead to DNA manipulation of an organism, and it is believed that Teddy guinea pig is a product of such scientific experimentation. For example, the Skinny Pig is a product of genetic manipulation developed for dermatology testing.
In 1978, the breeders took up the challenge of developing Teddy guinea pig for competition purposes. After a successful operation, they were recognised by the American Cavy Breeders Association.
Teddy Guinea Pig Coat
Compared to the American guinea pig, Teddy guinea pig coat is thick, dense and rough. Some people will confuse it with the Abyssinian coat due to their similarity, but their difference is that the Teddy coat is short with no distinct parts and swirls.
A majority of the Teddy guinea pig have light coats, but if you are a pet person, you can find some with softer coats. Nonetheless, if you are interested in showcasing your guinea page to competition, the light coat is more appealing to judges, and it is ranked higher.
In case you want to have a clue of Teddy’s feel, you can use an Abyssinian texture although some differences occur between the appearance of the two breeds. For instance, Teddy’s coat is uniformly spread over its whole body, whereas the Abyssinian fur has rosettes.
Another breed that is also recognised is the Satin Teddy which has similar qualities with a shinier coat. Teddy breeds can possess any cavy’s species common colour patterns such as agouti, grey, or black.
The nose is another outstanding feature of the Teddy guinea pig. The nose is upturned just like that of an American cavy, and it is commonly called “Roman nose”. In comparison to other teddy breeds, you will notice that the nose is much curved and wide.
Teddy Guinea Pig Personality
This guinea pig is good hearted, attention seeking and very curious. They like to interact with human beings, and they warm up quite easily and quickly. If you are looking for a household pet, consider having a Teddy guinea pig as they are energetic and playful, and they like entertaining people with their tricks.
Guinea pigs have gained popularity due to their ability to socialize easily with humans. During the daytime, they are active, curious and gentle. They entertain people using their rumbles, whines, whistles, chirps, purrs and squeals.
Due to their playful nature, they need a large room to play around and play. With supervision, they can be allowed to play or run in the house and kept at bay from places such as the garage which could be hazardous to them.
Guinea pigs should be kept in duals or trios as they are social animals and most importantly, they are herd animals. People cannot substitute the companion guinea pig give to one another due to their busy schedules.
Therefore, it is recommended that you keep them in duals or trios to enhance their social nature. It has been observed that guinea pigs reared in duals or trios are more active, healthier and happier.
Teddy Guinea Pig Life Span
The soft and fuzzy appearance of the Teddy guinea pig is as a result of its strong body nature accompanied by its short and dense hair. As compared to other average guinea pigs, it is somewhat costly and smaller.
The lifespan of the guinea pig is between 4 – 5 years, nut with ideal conditions it can live up to 7 years. Large guinea pigs are known to live longer, and their life span ranges between 8 to 11 years.
Teddy Guinea Pig Care and Grooming
Teddy pig’s fur is short, and this characteristic makes their grooming easier, and the frequency of washing is much less. Daily brushing is not recommended, but at least they should be brushed once per week to rid of dust and dirt caught on their fur as well as their excess fur. A soft brush is recommended while grooming them since a hard or wired brush will scratch or damage their subtle skin.
One major characteristic of Teddy guinea pig that stands out from the other breeds is their dry skin, and this, therefore, means that they should be bathed at least thrice in a year to prevent their skin from drying out.
Nonetheless, guinea pigs are immaculate animals, and they should only be cleaned when it is necessary with a medicated shampoo that is recommended by the vets.
One important thing that you should watch out for a while grooming them is the buildup of earwax. This should be removed using a moist warm towel. You should avoid using sharp objects to remove stubborn wax as this can damage their eardrum. Instead, use some mineral oil which helps in loosening it before you remove it.
You should give particular attention to grooming activities such cage cleaning, frequent nail cleaning, and cleaning the grease glands close to the tail area.
Feeding the Teddy Guniea Pig
Guinea pig feeding program should be supplemented with Vitamin C. They should be fed at least twice every day to keep them healthy and energetic. Just like any other animal, guinea pigs do not have the capabilities to manufacture Vitamin C in their body, and therefore their feeds should be supplemented with Vitamin C.
Among the recommended foods include pellet food, hay as well as vegetables and other green fresh. These foods should regularly be supplied in small portions to keep its metabolism active.
Teddy Guinea Pig Diet
A mixed diet of fresh fruits, Timothy hay, vegetables and fresh fruits is recommended for Teddy Guinea Pigs. Commercial foods such as dried fruits, nuts, and seeds should be avoided or supplied as treats and not as daily food. Timothy hay is recommended as a regular stable because it helps in digestion and keeps the teeth healthy and hygienic.
Leafy greens which are rich in green pigmentation such as spinach, kales, romaine lettuce should be supplied every day and should constitute a higher percentage of Teddy’s feed. Veggies like carrots, tomatoes, and green pepper can be offered on a regular basis.
Fruits are tasty but should not be offered in large quantities as they contain high esters or sugars. Offer them small portions such as a slice of a banana, a thin apple slice, an orange piece, or few strawberries.
Providing a lot of fresh produce will result to diarrhoea of the Teddy guinea pig and therefore should be kept in check. Remove any uneaten food after some hours to maintain the hygiene and health of the guinea pigs.
Vitamin C is very crucial for animals, and since it is not manufactured by animal’s body, it is recommended to at least have it supplemented in every meal. Vitamin C supplement should be obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables as well as high-quality feeds such as pellets.
A well varied and balanced diet should contain enough vitamin C but in case your pig experiences deficiencies, you can purchase commercial vitamin C supplements from certified vets.
Any food that has sugars in it should not be given to Teddy guinea pig as food. This includes lollies, chocolate, Raw Beans, Iceberg lettuce, Potatoes, Dairy, Multi-vitamins, Meat, Rhubarb, corn, or Tomato leaves.
Also, any hay or grass that is sprayed with pesticides should be avoided at all cost whether it is to be used for bedding or feeding.
Teddy guinea pigs tend to develop a reflex action towards feeding programs. Therefore, ensure the time of feeding is consistent. They develop stress if their food program is changed varied from one day to the other.
Water should never lack in their cages, and it is recommended that you put it on gravity flowing water containers preferably stable earthen food dishes.
See also: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Celery?
Teddy Guinea Pig Cage
The best shelter is a well secured and well-ventilated cage. It should have ample space for playing and exercising as well as besting. The cage should also have separate sections for feeding and bathing. Most of the commercial cages are minute for a Teddy guinea pig to live comfortably.
Therefore, the Humane Society of U.S has set guidelines on the minimum measurement that a cage should have. A cage housing a minimum of 1 to 2 guinea pigs should be 7.5 square foot. The floor of the cages should be stable and not wired to prevent injuring its legs.
An array of materials can be used to make bedding. These materials can be a towel, fleece, wood pellets, aspen shavings as well as commercial paper bedding. Volatile aromatic plant products such as raw pine and cedar shavings should be avoided as they bring about health problems. Another type of beddings to avoid are the straw and corncob beddings as they have a tendency of developing molds.
One shelter is recommended for each guinea pig. Several types of cages are available commercially, but you can as well improvise and use something like a cardboard box. Guinea pigs also like having flat ramps, log caves, tunnels or even toys that are safer to play with. Play balls are hazardous to the Teddy guinea pigs especially if they are sized wrong as they can injure its spine.
Position your Teddy pigs cage out of direct sun, away from the draft, and next to indoor activities. Room temperatures of 65 to 75ͦ F (18 -24֯ C) are the best for guinea pigs. Make sure you clean cage at least twice per week, but the frequency can as well be determined by the no. of guinea pigs present, the size of the enclosure as well as the type of bedding used.
Teddy Guinea Pig Show Contesting
Teddies have been popularly known in shows due to their appealing nature. Their qualities make them stand out in competitions and judges tend to rank them higher, and breeders have taken an active role even to improve these qualities especially the coats qualities. Therefore, if you are a show person, below details will be of much interest to you.
As mentioned earlier, the judges pay particular attention to a teddy’s coat. Therefore, the thickness of the fur is very crucial. You can be able to discern how dense the cavy’s coat will be by examining the fur covering it immediately it is born.
Owners should watch the development and density of fur of the Teddy as it develops closely. The most important phase to observe is the “fluff phase”. This is the period where you can be able to judge if your teddy will make an excellent animal for competition shows. The fluff phase can be attained after 3- 4 weeks after birth.
Over the years, breeders have observed that the Teddies that are ranked high are the ones that develop steadily and slowly, attaining the fluff phase at 4 – 5 weeks. It takes around 5 – 6 months for the Teddy guinea pig to fully develop an adult texture with a dense, thick coat.
The qualities that are makes judges rank a teddy high include clear and defined color patterns as well as uniformity of the teddy coat. Softer fur earns fewer marks as compared to rough coats. The size of the cavy also matters when it comes to awarding max. Therefore, feed your teddy properly.
It takes only 3 – 4 months for a shows Teddy to reach 2 pounds. Most of the show’s objective is to look for an example of a prime Teddy.
In case you are a pet loving person, then a Teddy guinea pig is your best choice. It is cute, humorous, curious, and an interesting animal to live within your home. Whenever possible, consider pairing them up as you cannot substitute the companionship of two or trio Teddies.
Teddy guinea pigs are the best breeds to choose from as they are social and mingle with the humans very easily and quickly. Therefore, if you want a companion or a competition piggy, visit one of your nearest pet shop or stores. Teddy guinea pigs can be found in most pet shop or stores.