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How To Care For Your Guinea Pig - G-Force Style!!

Guinea Pigs

Image Credit: © Disney Enterprises, Inc.

One of the hottest movies for summer 2009 was G-Force, a 3D comedy-adventure about the latest evolution of a covert government program to train animals to work in espionage. Armed with the latest high-tech spy equipment, these highly trained guinea pigs discover that the fate of the world is in their paws.

Tapped for the G-Force are guinea pigs Darwin (Sam Rockwell), the squad leader determined to succeed at all costs; Blaster (Tracy Morgan), an outrageous weapons expert with tons of attitude and a love for all things extreme; and Juarez (Penelope Cruz), a sexy martial-arts pro; plus the literal fly-on-the-wall reconnaissance expert Mooch and a star-nosed mole Speckles (Nicolas Cage), the computer and information specialist. 

The average guinea pig doesn’t have much in common with its highly trained cousins in the G-Force, the elite team of undercover agents who are saving the world in Disney’s latest adventure comedy. Unlike the G-Force team leader Darwin, the average guinea pig doesn’t use night vision goggles and doesn’t spend its free time saving the world; unlike the glamorous Juarez, they don’t speak English and Spanish as well as Guinea; and unlike Blaster, they’re not experts on an aqua scooter or good with grappling hooks.

But even guinea pigs who aren’t FBI agents make intelligent and affectionate pets provided they are cared for in the correct way. In a rare break from his espionage duties, G-Force superhero Darwin came out from undercover to answer some questions about keeping guinea pigs as pets and began by putting us right on two important points. “First of all, we’re not pigs and second, we’re not from New Guinea.”

Is a guinea pig the right pet for me?

We members of the G-Force know how to look after ourselves but remember that civilian guinea pigs need to be given the right food and lots of fresh water every day, fresh bedding at least once a week and enjoy regular grooming. Make sure you have the time to give them the attention they need.

Image Credit: © Disney Enterprises, Inc.

What should I look for when I adopt or buy a guinea pig?

The same things that I look for when recruiting new operatives for the G-Force: a clean, shiny coat, bright eyes, short, straight teeth and an alert manner.

What should I do to help my guinea pig settle into his or her new home?

Like the rest of the G-Force I have a need for speed, but most guinea pigs don’t like travelling, so they’ll want peace and quiet for 24 hours when they arrive in their new home to give them time to adjust.

Remember to talk to them in a quiet and calm voice and always pick them up with both hands, with one hand under their bottom and the other around their back. Hold them close to your chest or on your lap so they feel nice and secure.

How big a cage does a guinea pig need?

FBI operatives are going to need a lot of space for weapons training. Civilians love to spend time outside – especially if your home is noisy! The fresh air and exercise make them very happy guinea pigs. Make sure their hutch is at least 1.2m (4ft) x 60cm (2ft) although, the bigger the better, and place it in a quiet, safe and sheltered place. Guinea pigs are also happy to live indoors in a special indoor home. A wooden box filled with hay in one corner of their hutch or home is great for when they want to go undercover or just catch up on sleep. Avoid using straw though as it might hurt their eyes.

How about letting a guinea pig out of its cage?

We like a run around the house or garden every day, but civilians will need to be supervised and should never be left alone with cats or dogs.

Should a guinea pig be kept on his own or does he need company?

The G-Force are team players and that’s true of guinea pigs in general: we’re very social animals and we love company! So it’s best to keep two or more guinea pigs together: two guinea pigs that come to their new home together and are of a similar age will usually live happily together but it’s best not to mix males and females as you may end up with unwanted babies.

G-Force Mole

Image Credit: © Disney Enterprises, Inc.

What do you eat?

As special agents who are always on the go, the members of the G-Force have an FBI-approved diet designed to enhance muscle mass and increase energy, but household guinea pigs enjoy a balanced diet based on good quality guinea pig pellets.

They also need clean, fresh water at all times; a continuous supply of hay (it’s great for gnawing!); and small amounts of fruit and vegetables: carrots, grapes, apples, broccoli, kale, spinach, etc. Like humans, guinea pigs can’t produce their own vitamin C; good quality guinea pig nuggets are enriched with this essential vitamin and you can also get vitamin supplements to add to their water.

G Force Movie

Do guinea pigs like to play on a wheel?

Personally, I like to relax after a hard day’s spying by playing video games. Most of the other guinea pigs I know prefer gnawing on an old toilet roll or hiding in a cardboard box or flowerpot. Either way, wheels are for hamsters! Running on wheels and playing with giant exercise balls can injure a guinea pig’s back and feet.

Anything else we need to know?

Look for more information about guinea pigs online, at your local bookshop or library. If you are thinking about keeping a guinea pig as a pet, visit your local Pets at Home store to speak to the experts and meet the guinea pigs face-to-face. There are free pet workshops for children in all Pets at Home stores throughout the summer holidays. The workshops, which take place at 3pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, give children the opportunity to interact with the pets in store and most importantly, learn how to care for pets responsibly in a fun and enjoyable way.

To find out your local store visit petsathome.com/storelocator

In the meantime, remember that the members of G-Force are highly skilled professionals who are at the peak of physical fitness and go through months of FBI training before learning to parasail, use a plasma cutter or detonate explosives. Don’t let your guinea pig attempt any of these things at home.

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