There are many reasons why you should keep a Peruvian Guinea Pig as a pet.
He can look like Bon Jovi in his 1986 epic stage performance.
He can be bright and fun and bring so much meaning into your life!
However, keeping a Peruvian guinea pig is no easy task.f
Read on to know about their history, characteristics and how to take care of them in your house.
- 1 Peruvian Guinea Pig History
- 2 Why are they so popular?
- 3 Peruvian guinea pig size
- 4 Peruvian guinea pig coat
- 5 Peruvian guinea pigs vs. Silkie guinea pigs
- 6 Peruvian Guinea Pig Personality
- 7 How to groom Peruvian Guinea Pig?
- 8 Peruvian Guinea Pig Health Risks
- 9 Peruvian Guinea Pig Diet
- 10 Are you ready to welcome your new Rock star?
Peruvian Guinea Pig History
The Peruvian guinea pig originally comes from Argentina of Peru, and it is also one of the oldest breeds of guinea pigs.
In the late 1800s, Peruvian guinea pigs came to Paris, from where they traveled to the USA.
At the time, they are one of the only three breeds of guinea pigs recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association.
Why are they so popular?
You may have already known; these South American animals have nothing to do with pigs.
They are, in fact, the larger rodents that are part of the Caviidae family.
People also call them by the more familiar name of cavy.
All guinea pigs have a short tail, round body, and short limbs.
Their feet have claws and without hair.
Their ears are small, in contrast with the large and expressive eyes.
Aw, aren’t they so cute!
The Peruvian guinea pigs distinguished themselves from other house pets thanks to their beautiful long coats.
These pigs’ top coat can easily grow up to two feet (!) if not taken care of.
However, the undercoat below only grows to a maximum of seven inches.
People love Peruvian guinea pigs because as their hairstyles, they look so much like a punk rock star on stage.
Combined with the cheerful personality, any person would love to have one of these cutie pies in the house.
This coat length actually results from a disrupted gene.
In fact, the extra gene makes their hair shafts hollower, resulting in shiny and soft fur.
There will be a lot of troubles for the pig and the owner if you don’t take care of the coat enough.
The pig itself would stumble and get itself tangled if left uncared.
What makes this Peruvian rodent a high-maintenance house pet is their coat needs daily care to ensure both sanitary health and safety.
Professionals recommend that unless you want to submit your Peruvian pig for a show, then his coat should always be trimmed to a length that won’t tangle or collect debris.
Even Peruvian pigs that have an intended long coat for a show still needs extra attention so that the pig stays clean, comfortable and fascinating.
Peruvian guinea pig size
All guinea pigs breeds are larger in comparison with other pet rodents.
An adult female may weigh from 1 to 3 pounds, while an adult male of these kinds can weigh anywhere from 2 to 3 pounds.
The average hair length of guinea pig breeds falls at 6 to 10 inches long. However, as the breed with the most extended hair length and biggest body size, Peruvian guinea pigs can have hair that reaches up to 10 to 14 inches long.
**Do you know: The longest recorded hair for a guinea pig was 20 inches. And guess what, the prize belongs to a Peruvian!
Also, a Peruvian guinea pig tends to have a smaller head in ratio to their body size, while other breeds have a more balanced proportion.
However, all that fur in their coat makes it difficult to tell, aren’t they?
and you have to find the best housing for them.
Peruvian guinea pig coat
As the most notable feature of the Peruvian pigs, their coat comes in a wide variety of colors, the most popular of which is a mixture of three: slate, cream, and white. A Peruvian with this color mixture is often called a Peruvian Satin Guinea Pig.
Another hair color mixture that is worth mentioning is the bi-color mixes of slate and white; cream and white; or slate and cream.
Other colors may come on a Peruvian are: tan, russet red, chocolate brown, and black.
Because Peruvian guinea pigs are high-maintenance, they might not be the ideal pet house for owners with no previous experience, as well as small children, who may not be able to provide adequate upkeep.
If you are confident in keeping these grooming requirements, adopt a few of the Peruvian Guinea Pigs will give you thrilling experiences like no other!
They are not only curious, but also very fun-loving, and have awesomely charismatic personalities.
Peruvian guinea pigs vs. Silkie guinea pigs
Did you know that there are actually two breeds of long-haired guinea pigs, both of which share striking similarities?
The information below will help you see the few distinct differences in these two breeds.
Hint: Look for these distinctions when you buy a Peruvian guinea pig baby from the breeders so you won’t make any mistake!
The hair on their heads
The Silkie and the Peruvian pigs both have long coats. However, the hair on their head grows in very different directions.
As for Peruvian head, the hair grows so that it covers their head in a single bang. This bang is also the feature that is styled in show Peruvian pigs, making the hair on their head and their tail so uniform.
On Silkie guinea pigs, however, the hair on the head grows backward like that of a lion. This means their face is not covered in hair, styled or not, so you can always see their cute small features.
The length of hair
These two breeds hold the record for guinea pigs with the longest hair, and between them, Peruvian pigs take home the prize for the longest hair growth.
That’s why professional Peruvian guinea pig breeders always choose the distinct hair length and the evenness of hair to advertise for their pigs.
Meanwhile, a Silkie’s hair often grows longer to the back, and the extended fur is always near their rear.
When a mother gives birth to its Peruvian guinea pig baby, the child always has rosettes on their hindquarters.
From one of these rosettes, the hair begins to grow long and flowy forward; while from the other rosettes, the hair grows backward.
Furthermore, the hair below these rosettes grows in yet another direction: downwards!
That is while in the middle of their back, we can always see a visible part that shows the directional growth.
On a Silkie’s back, we cannot see this natural parting. Silkie guinea pigs always have hair sweeping back evenly from their head to their toe, with no breaks.
However, because the hair gets thicker as it goes back when we look at a Silkie from above, they form like a teardrop shape.
And there you have it! With these three distinct characteristics, you are sure to be more confident in telling Peruvian and Silkie guinea pigs apart.
Peruvian Guinea Pig Personality
A house pet is also a family member, a friend, a companion. That is why their personality matters no less than their appearance.
People are fascinated with Peruvian Guinea Pigs for their star appearance. You’re also likely to fall in love with these cuties because of their sunny personalities.
They are very social and affectionate toward their owners and housemates, making them the no.1 house pet if you want more laughter!
While other guinea pig breeds may come off as timid, the Peruvians are much more alert and well aware of their surroundings. Like dogs, they also respond actively to human touch.
These little fur balls are also very loving, they would enjoy every minute being with you, or with other house pets.
Originally, these pets are social animals, so some Peruvian guinea pig breeders recommend adopting them in pairs or a group to keep them active and chatty.
That is not to say there won’t be any dominance issues or fighting.
So, it is best that you occupy them with a pan large enough so that each guinea pig has their personal space if needed.
How to groom Peruvian Guinea Pig?
In their nature, guinea pigs are clean creatures.
However, the Peruvians’ extra-long hair results from an additional disrupted gene. That is why left to their own devices, these creatures cannot self-groom properly.
If you want to be a Peruvian Guinea pig owner, filling your daily grooming checklist for the pet might be more peculiar than that of other common house pets:
- Peruvian guinea pigs need to be brushed 1 -2 times a day to keep their hair tangle-free, and free from any dirt or debris from the knots.
- Their hair, once tangled, will quickly become matted.
**If you have oily hair problems, then this might hit so close to home: the feeling of matted hair is not only uncomfortable, but it is also unsightly.
When it comes to Peruvians guinea pigs, matted hair even cause real danger health risks! Read on to know the most common health problems for Peruvian Guinea Pigs.
Peruvian Guinea Pig Health Risks
The long hair of these animals is indeed eye-catching, but they could also cause many troubles for the guinea pigs.
- Matted hair makes the animal struggle to eat, or even move. The matted spots pull on their skin a lot, cause sores and other serious skin infections.
- A mother pig’s long coat might prevent the Peruvian guinea pig baby to drink their meals.
- Their matted hair has been known for putting the Peruvian pigs at risk of fly strike.
**Fly strike is the condition where a fly lays their eggs on the animal, and the hatching maggots then proceed to feed on the animal itself. In fact, there are many reports when this terrible condition happened to Peruvian pigs. The stress puts the animal at the fatal threat.
Peruvian guinea pigs were domesticated into a house pet, and they rely entirely on their owner to keep them clean and healthy.
Thus, you need to check their fur regularly, especially in the backsides to make sure they are tidy.
A Peruvian pig can also be diagnosed with Ulcerative pododermatitis, which is more commonly known as bumble-foot.
It happens when the guinea’s pen is made of mesh or wire on the flooring’s, making the feet sore or infected.
This condition is painful, but it can be easily prevented by keeping the cage clean and check the feet regularly.
Peruvian Guinea Pig Diet
As with other animals, this pet thrives best when it is provided with good Peruvian guinea pig food.
The best options include timothy hay and pellets specially formulated for guinea pigs.
You must also add fresh fruits and vegetables occasionally because the pets themselves cannot produce their own vitamin C.
Therefore, include an occasional Peruvian guinea pig dish with fresh produce will help them ward off scurvy.
Guinea pigs are a herbivore, so never try feeding them with anything meaty!
Their stomach, unlike cats and dogs, doesn’t have the enzymes needed to process human food, so feeding them what your family eats will only result in serious problems.
Not all plants are created equal. Just because our Peruvians are herbivores, doesn’t mean they can go with any plants at all.
The number one toxic ingredients that often cause guinea danger is tomato, be it the peelings, the sprouts or any part of the plants at all.
Tomato also happens to be one of the most used ingredients in pet food, that is why you always need to check the label and ingredient list to make sure it is primarily made as Peruvian guinea pig food.
It is also a no-no to let the guinea pig get in touch with any household plants, cut flowers, or unidentified weed.
Peruvian guinea pigs are curious and inquisitive in their nature. Therefore, the animal is prone to explore and play around the area that you keep him in.
We are better safe than sorry when it comes to these precious housepets!
If you are worried that your guinea pig has eaten something it should not have, immediately call the veterinarian!
Are you ready to welcome your new Rock star?
Keeping a Peruvian Guinea Pig as a house pet sure is peculiar, however, it is guaranteed to bring you unparallel fun and contentment.
Before adopting one into your house, make sure that you have the time, tools and knowledge needed to commit with this special kind of pet, take care of guinea by spending most of the time, you can even groom the nails by following our professional guide.
Do you have any experience with a Peruvian guinea pig before? Tell us in the comments below!