Guinea Pig Appreciation Day

Every July 16th is observed as Guinea Pig Appreciation Day. The guinea pig, also known as Cavia porcellus, is a rodent species that belongs to the genus Cavia in the Caviidae family. Although their name suggests otherwise, guinea pigs aren’t native to Guinea, nor are they related to pigs at all. No one really knows who gave them the name guinea pig, but scientists do know that they originated in the South American Andes.

Outside of domestication, these animals don’t exist naturally, and they were originally domesticated to be used as a form of livestock. Although they are still used as a source of meat in some areas of the world, in others they are commonly kept as pets.

They have also been widely used for scientific experimentation. No matter the reason for them being kept, we can all agree that guinea pigs do a lot for humans, so maybe we should show them some appreciation on this day.

The History of Guinea Pig Appreciation Day

Before we go on about the history of this holiday, let’s take a little detour and talk about the history of the guinea pig a bit. As we stated earlier, Cavia porcellus is an animal that’s not found naturally in the wild. No, it’s an animal that descended from a closely related species of cavies.

Perhaps C. fulgida, C. aperea, or C. tschudii. All of these species are commonly found in the wild in South America, but after doing additional genetic research, scientists believe that the modern guinea pig most likely descended from C. tschudii.

According to what is currently known, it’s believed that the guinea pig was domesticated as early as 5000 B.C. They were raised as a food source in the Andean region of South America and were easy to raise because they could eat the family’s leftover vegetable scraps.

After the Spanish conquest of the region in the 16th century, guinea pigs were taken to Europe to be used as exotic pets for the upper classes and nobility. And their popularity has remained pretty steady ever since.

At some point in time, Guinea Pig Appreciation Day was created to celebrate these creatures. More than likely, this holiday was invented sometime after 2010, but we can’t be sure if this is accurate or not.

Another thing that we’re not sure about is who invented this holiday. We simply can’t find the creator of this holiday or the reason why they created it. Hopefully, someday we’ll be able to answer those questions.

Observing Guinea Pig Appreciation Day

Guinea Pig Appreciation Day can be observed simply by showing these little pets a little bit of respect. Perhaps give them a special veggie treat, or give them some time outside their cage. It’s also a good day to spread the word about these pets via the Internet using the hashtag #GuineaPigAppreciationDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
July 16 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
July 16 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
July 16 Sunday