The Most Common Species of Guinea PigPetmania Pet Care Advisor
As with dogs and cats, not all guinea pigs look the same. There are various types of guinea pig, all with different sizes, colours and personalities. When bringing home your guinea pig, it is important to carefully consider what species will best suit your family, home, and lifestyle. Like any pet, a Guinea Pig will require lots of love and care to help keep them healthy and well.
In this blog post, we will look at the most common species of guinea pig, what they are like, and how to take care of them.
American Guinea Pig
The American is the oldest and most popular breed of Guinea pig. They are recognizable by their short smooth hair, which will require very little grooming care. They can come in a variety of colours, such as beige, black, red or white. They are extremely easy-going pets, which is one of the reasons they are so popular. Like most guinea pigs, they are very curious, and if socialised correctly when they were young, will quickly become your best friend!
Caring for this guinea pig means providing safe, spacious housing, a balanced diet, enrichment, love and attention, and preventive health care. Toys and accessories are a necessity in their habitat to ensure they don’t get bored. Always make sure they have access to fresh hay and clean drinking water every day. Guinea pigs like to be in pairs, so it is a good idea to have two together so one doesn’t get lonely. Just make sure they are neutered/spayed if of opposite sex!
Peruvian Guinea Pig
The Peruvian has a long, smooth coat all over its body, including a prominent “forelock” resulting from a portion of the coat on his head and neck growing forward on the body. They are a large breed of guinea pig, and can reach between 10 and 14 inches long. They are a gentle and outgoing pet, and get on well with other piggies as well as people.
Due to their length of their coat, their hair tends to get tangled and matted, which is why coat care is extremely important for these guinea pigs. They are unable to groom themselves due to the sheer length, so it is essential you are there to make sure they are groomed daily to maintain their coat and prevent flystrike or skin infections. The TRIXIE Small Animal Soft Brush is ideal for brushing small animals with its soft wire bristles.
Abyssinian Guinea Pig
These Guineas are easy to spot as their hair is longer and slightly curly and will be particularly silky and shiny. Although their hair is in whirls they keep themselves relativity clean. They do not like to be held as much as smooth haired Guinea Pigs, but they do love to be talked to, and can be quite vocal themselves! They are known to be loud and curious creatures, often having their own unique quirks and noises. If you are interested in keeping this breed, make sure you have the time and energy to give these piggies, as boredom can often lead to destructive and aggressive behaviour.
We recommend brushing your Abyssinian Guinea Pig every two to three days. This will not only will this avoid tangles and matting from developing, but it’s also an excellent way to spend some quality time with your attention-seeking cavy. The more you handle and pet your guinea pig, the better chance you have of spotting any health issues, which can often be concealed by their coat.