What are Guinea Pigs Used For?

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No doubt, many animals in the world serve more than a single purpose. Now, considering small animals like guinea pig’s, you might be interested to know the different ways people use them. 

Guinea pigs are domesticated for their meat in parts of the world like South America. They’re also equally popular little home pets in the world.

Over the world, they’re also used in laboratories for biomedical studies and research. This includes the study of nutrition, anatomy, genetics, etc.

Now let’s discuss in detail the different uses of guinea pigs around the world. 

As a Pet

A Pet Guinea Pig

Undoubtedly, cavies are popular small pets in the US and some other parts of the world. They’re cuddly, cute, and have many personalities. 

In addition, these creatures are entertaining and fun to play with. What’s more interesting is that guinea pigs have a longer lifespan than other rodents. 

This reason alone has made them the best options for families who want a little pet that will live much longer with them.

Guinea pigs also come in different breeds that make great pets. This way, every intending guinea pig owner can make choices on the breeds they desire.

Moreover, here are the breeds that are popular as pets:


Animal Testing

Guinea Pigs Kept in a Cage for Lab Experiments

For many centuries, guinea pigs have been used in experiments and biomedical research.

According to scientists, a guinea pig shares some similarities with humans biologically. Hence, this makes them pretty useful in many medical fields.

They help in research programs that have to do with genetics, pathology, toxicology, even serum development, etc.

In 1882, guinea pigs were used in an experiment on tuberculosis. Through this experiment, scientists were able to discover that Mycobacterium tuberculosis caused tuberculosis.

In addition, guinea pig experimentation also helped to discover vitamin C in 1907. Even today, scientists use these animals in many experiments and studies regarding health issues. 

Presently, they use these creatures to study common health problems like allergies, respiratory diseases, and hearing disorders.

Food – The Cuy Delicacies 

Guinea Pig Meat (Cuy) in a Butchery - Andean Delicacy

Interestingly, the first-ever reason for domesticating guinea pigs was for food, specifically as meat sources. Being pets in homes was never the main reason.

Guinea pigs or cuy are valuable delicacies in South America. They’re popular sources of protein in Peru and are widely eaten in Columbia and Ecuador.

Furthermore, environmentalists even promote the eating of cuy. They suggest these creatures as a better alternative to meat.

The reason is that these creatures are carbon-friendly and have low-impact meat, unlike cattle. Breeding them is likewise easy and quick. 

They equally take little space and do not cause harm to the environment.



Guinea Pigs in Cage for Sale

There are different companies and businesses, both big and small, that widely market these animals.

A common one is the guinea pig breeding business. This has to do with breeding a variety of guinea pigs and selling them. 

In addition, some notable small animal pet stores include cavies in their collection of small pets.

In this business, these creatures are products that pet companies or businesses place for purchase.

Companies like Petco and PetSmart are reputable pet stores with cavies in the world.

Final thoughts

To conclude, guinea pigs are used in different ways. We might know them very well as pets, but this is just one role.

In parts of South America, people eat guinea pig meat. These creatures are tasty delicacies to them.

In addition, the use of guinea pigs is also broad in different aspects of biomedical research. Scientists experiment on them as they have similarities with humans.

These creatures are also used for business purposes. There are many businesses that deal in breeding guide pigs for sale or selling them in stores as pets.

You can  also read this article, “Are Guinea Pigs Expensive Pets?

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