Albino Guinea Pigs can be wonderful pets, bringing joy and comfort to your home for years. Before bringing one of these cuties home these are some of the important things you need to know to assure the most pleasurable experience for you and your Albino Guinea Pig.
Before choosing any pet it is important to understand what is special about that specific breed and what will be required of you to meet their unique needs. Bringing a pet into your home is a big commitment and is a decision that should not be made frivolously.
Albino Guinea Pigs are no exception and will require care and attention unique to this rare and exotic pet. Hopefully, this article will give you the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision before choosing an Albino Guinea Pig your pet.
1. Albino Guinea Pigs Are Extremely Rare
Guinea pigs occur naturally in a variety of colors and endless combinations. The most common guinea pigs are brown or black but can also be found in gray, tan, chocolate, red, golden, buff, lilac, cream, beige, and slate with an endless variety of markings in white, tan, orange, and even yellow.
Albino Guinea Pigs lack melanin pigmentation causing them to have an entirely white coat or a white coat with tiny marking in any variety of colors. These cute little Albino Guinea Pigs are rarer than others of their kind because their white fur makes it more difficult to hide from predators.
Guinea pigs are naturally camouflaged to match their surroundings, and the Albino Guinea Pig has difficulty hiding, making them easy prey for all predators including hawks, eagles, owls, and other predatory birds, snakes, lizards, coyotes, bobcats, and just about any other meat eater who happens across their path.
The scarcity of Albino Guinea Pigs in nature makes them a much sought-after target for poachers. It’s hard to even imagine Guinea Pig poachers, but if there is a market for something there are always going to be people in the world looking to profit from that need.
Expert Tip: When one purchases an Albino Guinea Pig they are most certainly saving them from being eaten in the wild, but could also be unwittingly supporting illegal poachers.
2. Albino Guinea Pigs Have A Limited Lifespan
Albino Guinea Pigs are more susceptible to congenital deformities than other guinea pigs and as a result, their average life expectancy is three years or less, this is significantly less than other guinea pigs who have an average lifespan of four or five years, and in some rare cases six or even eight years.
Life expectancy is always something to consider when choosing a pet, particularly if you have children in the home. The loss of a beloved pet is often a child’s introduction to real loss and heartache and is something to consider when choosing a pet for a small child.
3. Albino Guinea Pigs Mark Their Territory With Scent
Albino Guinea Pigs are extremely territorial by nature and the excretion of body odors is one of their instinctive behaviors. They will mark their cages and beds with urine and through their anal and supra caudal glands. Each time you clean the cage or replace the bedding they will follow behind you and immediately mark it within their scent again.
This is a very important aspect of their life in the wild. Marking their territory is a way of attracting the opposite sex and a means of intimidation toward potential mating rivals: the stronger the scent, the stronger the potential mate, and thus the continuation of the bloodline.
This means the behavior will increase exponentially with the addition of each additional Albino Guinea Pig to your home. Albino Guinea Pigs in the same cage will be in constant competition for the very limited territory, following behind one another, one continually marking on top of the other.
The foul odor can also deter some potential predators in the wild and can be particularly offensive to some people. It is suggested that when you clean the cage, you leave one area soiled each time. This provides your Albino Guinea Pig a sense of security in his little home.
Another thing to consider is if you let your pet out of its cage to roam, it will mark your home with its scent.
4. Albino Guinea Pigs Will Bite You
Albino Guinea Pigs are easily stressed, and their natural reaction to stress is to bite whatever is near, even if the nearest thing is an owner who feeds, loves, and cares for the pet.
These tiny creatures are extremely fragile and are constantly on the lookout for potential life-threatening dangers they have many natural predators and are understandably nervous as a result. They are easily startled by loud noises.
Loud music or television, dog, cats, rowdy children, even pet birds in the same home have been known to cause Albino Guinea Pigs to stress out and bite their owners. They can never relax in the presence of cats, dogs, or particularly rambunctious children.
Expert Tip: If you are planning a party, you may want to take the necessary steps to find someone to pig-sit. If you live in a particularly noisy home, you may want to keep the timid nature of the animal in mind before bringing in an Albino Guinea Pig to share your home.
5. Albino Guinea Pigs Are Susceptible To Disease
Albino Guinea Pigs have been known to suffer from cornmeal and gastric ulcer. This will manifest in an infection visible around the eyes of your Albino Guinea Pig. They are also highly susceptible to respiratory tract infection, bladder stones, and scurvy.
A dirty cage is usually the cause of these ailments and can be dealt with through a good cleaning and antibiotic ointment provided by a vet who serves exotic animals. The others have to do with diet and can cause your Albino Guinea Pig extreme discomfort. We will cover the dietary needs of the Albino Guinea Pig later in the article.
6. Albino Guinea Pigs Are Not Mice
Guinea Pigs are most closely related to chinchillas and porcupines, not the mice or gerbils they so closely resemble. Animals in this family are crepuscular by nature. They will be most active at dawn or dusk or in the case of some Albino Guinea Pigs experiencing extreme levels of stress, the active period will go from dusk until dawn.
It is recommended that you feed and supply your Albino Guinea Pig with toys during these periods of high activity. A crumpled piece of paper makes a good toy for an Albino Guinea Pig. Making sure your Albino Guinea Pig is fed and has a chance to exercise during the highest level of activity is recommended for the greatest health of your pet.
7. Albino Guinea Pigs Can Transmit Bacteria To Humans
Often an owner and an Albino Guinea Pig will form a natural, loving bond, when the animal is comfortable around the human it will follow its natural instinct and burrow, this may be mistaken as cuddling and the human will feel the natural instinct to nuzzle or even kiss their pet.
This is not recommended as it could result in diarrhea or even in rare cases, salmonella enteritidis. While it is encouraged to pet and nurture your pet, you would be advised to keep it away from your face and wash your hands afterward.
8. Albino Guinea Pigs Miss You When You Are Away
Albino Guinea Pigs come to recognize their owner and miss them when they are away. They have an acute sense of smell and come to recognize their owner through their own subtle, unique smell.
Expert Tip: If you plan to be away for an extended period of time it has been recommended that you leave some clothing near your Albino Guinea Pig’s cage, off even leave a sock or some other small piece of clothing in the cage.
The Albino Guinea Pig will find comfort in the scent.
Your Albino Guinea Pig has come to depend upon you for their every need. Food, water, shelter from predators, even their entertainment are all provided entirely by you, this is a big responsibility. When owners are away Albino Guinea Pigs have been known to show greater signs of stress.
This is something to consider with any pet, if you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time you need to make arrangements to keep your pet as happy as possible in your absence.
9. Albino Guinea Are Exotic Animals
Some vets are not equipped to deal with Albino Guinea Pigs and their unique needs. Albino Guinea Pigs suffer from different ailments than dogs or cats and may require treatments or medications that your regular vet can not provide. You will need to find a vet who specializes in exotic animals, they will be more prepared for your special pet.
This may be more costly, or not as convenient to your home as your regular vet but is a necessary step to assure optimal care for your Albino Guinea Pig.
10. Albino Guinea Pigs Enjoy Time Outside Of Their Cage
It can be difficult for the pet and the owner to keep your Albino Guinea Pig in the cage at all times. When an Albino Guinea Pig has formed a bond with its owner it will often enjoy burrowing beneath an arm or leg and sitting with its owner for hours. Other times they have been known to enjoy exploring their surroundings.
Keep in mind that they burrow between rocks in nature. An Albino Guinea Pig can easily disappear from your site if you don’t keep a careful eye on them. They are silent creatures by nature and can prove to be quite good at hide and seek.
You need to make sure and keep a careful eye on your Albino Guinea Pig or make absolutely certain to pig-proof the area. They will find and exploit any spot to burrow. Remember they are made to burrow between rocks, soft furniture will provide a little obstacle to these expert diggers.
As mentioned earlier Albino Guinea Pigs will mark their territory. When allowed to roam freely about your home, they will see this as an opportunity to extend their territory. This means you can expect urine and anal secretions spread around to whatever area your Albino Guinea Pig is granted access to.
11. Albino Guinea Pigs Have Specific Dietary Needs
Protein pellets for guinea pigs can be purchased with ease from any pet supply store or big box store, but your Albino Guinea Pig has a more delicate gastrointestinal system and will require supplemental nutrition.
Expert Tip: You will need to add fruit or vegetables to your Albino Guinea Pig’s diet twice a day. They enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables that can give them the nutrients their unique digestive system require.
Some of the most recommended options include bananas, blueberries, oranges, papayas, apples, pears, strawberries, watermelon, kiwi, cantaloupe, carrots and carrot tops, peas, tomatoes, spinach kale, and all dark leafy greens, and even green and red bell peppers.
Make sure they are thoroughly washed as any pesticides could be detrimental to your pet. Chop them into small pieces, and maybe even mash them a little to release their odors and excite your Albino Guinea Pig’s appetite. A well-fed Albino Guinea Pig is a happy and healthy Albino Guinea Pig.
Hopefully, some of your questions have been answered about some of the very important things to consider before making the decision to bring an Albino Guinea Pig into your home to share your life.
These cute, little, extremely rare creatures will surely bring joy to you and your guests who see them. People are always fascinated by things they haven’t seen before, and few people have seen Albino Guinea Pigs. With proper preparation and care, Albino Guinea Pigs can make fine pets.
I hope you have found this helpful, please feel free to leave any questions in the comments.