On July 16, people across America celebrate Guinea Pig Appreciation Day to pay tribute to these cuddly lovable pets that stole the hearts of thousands of people. Yes, these furballs are friendly pocket pets that can prove to be one of the best companions if treated right. And guess what? These pets are super social, too. If you haven’t ever had the chance to spend a day with a guinea pig, now is the time to give it a shot. We assure you, the experience will be memorable. Get in touch with an animal shelter or rescue in your area to learn about these huggable creatures.
History of Guinea Pig Appreciation Day
Guinea pigs are species of rodents that are adopted as pets due to their domesticated nature and cute appearance. However, guinea pigs were not always kept in homes — they were originally seen as livestock and their meat was consumed by people. Said to have originated from the Andes mountains of Peru, the animals were initially wild and had to be trained. Though they were eaten by people, guinea pigs were also depicted in folk art and handicrafts created between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. since certain civilizations worshipped them. People of the Inca Empire, on the other hand, sacrificed them to their gods in order to please them. Needless to say, before guinea pigs became popular as pets, their existence meant several different things to people belonging to varying regions.
During the 16th century, guinea pigs were imported to Europe and earned the reputation of exotic pets. Since they were unique to the land, they were owned only by the rich. In fact, Queen Elizabeth I of England is said to have been fascinated with guinea pigs. However, this status changed in the 17th century when guinea pigs started being used for scientific experimentation due to their biological similarity with humans. They were the main test subjects before mice and rats came into the picture. It’s due to this historical background that ‘guinea pig’ is often used today when referring to a subject being used for experimentation. Today, they are one of the most popular pets for children in the U.S.
Guinea Pig Appreciation Day timeline
Guinea pigs are domesticated.
Guinea pigs are worshipped in Peru.
A painting with a girl holding a guinea pig is created in London.
Guinea pigs are brought to Europe by the Spanish.
Guinea Pig Appreciation Day FAQs
How do I know if my guinea pig is happy?
A happy pet guinea pig will be hyper with a good appetite.
How much time should you spend with your guinea pig a day?
Around 15 to 20 minutes of interaction, which includes talking and petting, is sufficient for a guinea pig.
Should I leave a light on for my guinea pig at night?
No, guinea pigs don’t need a night light. In fact, a bright light could affect their sleep cycle.
How to Celebrate Guinea Pig Appreciation Day
Adopt or buy a guinea pig
To celebrate the day, buy or adopt a guinea pig. Just make sure you research how to take care of a guinea pig before you bring one home.
Write about the advantages of guinea pigs as pets
Guinea pigs are adorable and have such fun personalities! They are also great for people with stress and basically anyone looking for a furry friend. Use this day to write all you can about the great characteristics of guinea pigs on a blog or your social media accounts.
Speak up against lab tests on guinea pigs
You can also use this day to speak up against animal testing and the experiments conducted on guinea pigs. Yes, scientific evolution is important but not at the expense of these adorable creatures.
5 Fun Facts You Need To Know About Guinea Pigs
They are smart
Guinea pigs can learn to do some fun tricks.
Guinea pigs are social and live in groups.
Guinea pigs have four toes.
The oldest guinea pig
The oldest guinea pig lived up to 14 years and 10 months.
Types of guinea pigs
There are 13 breeds of guinea pigs.
Why Guinea Pig Appreciation Day is Important
It tells us why we should appreciate guinea pigs
Guinea pigs are buddies that are easy to keep, don’t take up a lot of space, and do not demand hours of attention either.
It promotes keeping them as pets
Guinea pigs are great pets to keep if you want your children to grow up as pet lovers but lack the time and space to adopt a dog. The day is important since it tells us exactly why we need a guinea pig in our home!
It helps to understand their personality
The day helps in highlighting the personalities of guinea pigs and discusses why they should be loved and cherished by anyone who owns them.
Guinea Pig Appreciation Day dates