Peruvian guinea pigs originate from Argentina, Bolivia, and, of course, Peru. They are one of the oldest guides pig breeds in the world, having been brought to Europe in the late 1800s. They are one of the most popular breeds in the world due to their amazing coats. They have beautiful, long coats which are unlike any other breed.
They are one of the oldest guides pig breeds in the world, having been brought to Europe in the late 1800s.
They are an energetic little breed which will delight adults as much as they delight kids, but they do need a little more work than other breeds due to their long coats. They have an amazing personality, being alert and energetic and love to be around people. They make for wonderful pets, and their characters will soon make them one of your family.
Peruvian Guinea Pig Coat & Looks
The world record for the longest hair on a guinea pig is 20 inches, and that was on a Peruvian. They are renowned for their long, flowing coats, and you will fall in love with them because of this. The hair of a Peruvian is long and straight (and some owners can be envious of this). The hair splits at the top of the body and flows down each side of the guinea pig. The longer you leave the hair, the more it begins to cover the back of the head. While the top coat of hair can grow up to 20 inches, the hair below only grows up to 7 inches.
They are renowned for their long, flowing coats, and you will fall in love with them because of this.
Peruvians come in a variety of colors. They most commonly come with a solid-colored coat, usually in white, light brown, dark brown, or black. You will sometimes find Peruvians with a combination of two colors, and, in rare cases, with three colors. In some circumstances, you can also find them with grey coats.
How Do I Care For A Peruvian Guinea Pig?
A lot of the care and attention of a Peruvian guinea pig is dealing with their long coat. A lot of time needs to be taken to not only groom the coat but to trim it too. You could let the coat grow out, and have it grow to up to 20 inches, but this is a lot of hair to deal with. If you trim it regularly, then the grooming time is cut drastically. A shorter coat also means less chance of them dragging the hair across the ground and picking up dirt and grime.
You may need to brush your guinea pig once a day, with some owners brushing twice a day. For this reason, a Peruvian is not the ideal pet unless you can give it a lot of time and attention.
The best way to keep your Peruvian guinea pig’s coat in optimum condition is to keep the cage clean.
The long hairs are prone to picking up any of the dirt in the cage, so the more you clean the cage, the more you are going to be looking after the coat of your Peruvian. Peruvians are not the biggest pets in the world, so they do not need a lot of space, but you can never buy too big of a cage. If you have space, then the bigger, the better.
If you can make their cage interesting, then they will be a lot happier. Use something as a nesting box, an upside down box, with an entrance, will work. Have ramps up to the elevated areas to protect their legs and spine. They also thrive in the company of other guinea pigs.
How active are Peruvian Guinea Pigs?
Peruvians, like most guinea pigs, are active. They love to run around and get up to mischief. The best way to aid them in this is by giving them as much space as possible and being there to play with them. Peruvians love to run around their environment, moving from level to level by ramps and love to interact with toys. They also love to interact with other guinea pigs and people. If you have the space to let them run around, be there with them while they do.
Peruvians love to run around their environment, moving from level to level by ramps and love to interact with toys.
A large run or pen will give them a lot of room to run around in, or you can also let them loose in your home. Be careful where you let them roam as they love to hide underneath things and play. You may have trouble getting them out from under something, and there may be some deposits to clean up once you do. Ensure that you clear up anything near to the floor which you do not want to be chewed while your guinea pig is out of its cage.
What should I feed my Peruvian Guinea Pig?
Peruvian guinea pigs eat roughly the same diet as any other breeds. You need to make sure that you provide the correct balance between pellets, hay, and fresh vegetables, and keep them in a constant supply of clean, fresh water.
Most guinea pigs are around the same weight, so need the same amount of pellets on a daily basis. Aim to feed your Peruvian 1/8 of a cup of pellets every day. Along with this, give your guinea pig an unlimited amount of fresh timothy hay. This will help to aid their digestion and limit the growth of their teeth.
A cup of fresh veggies should be offered every day to round off the balanced diet.
Leafy greens are best, with romaine, lettuce, parsley, spinach, and kale being the most popular. You can also add in sweeter treats like carrots, sweet potato, and zucchini every so often. A little vitamin C can go a long way to keeping their coat glossy and soft, so add in some fruits high in vitamin C, but only occasionally as a treat.
Always make sure that your guinea pig has lots of fresh water in their dish. Top up the water dish whenever you notice that it has gone down, and spot-check the water bowl to ensure it has not been contaminated, changing the water if it has.
Healthcare For A Peruvian Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs do not suffer from many health concerns, and the Peruvian guinea pig is no different. The main concern with this breed is with their coat. Their long coats are beautiful but do pose some concerns. The main concern is matting. If the coat becomes matted, then the skin underneath can become sore and infected. If the matted area is below the chin, then it can also impact feeding.
The main concern with this breed is with their coat. Their long coats are beautiful but do pose some concerns.
Fly strike can also pose a problem due to the long coats. If the hair becomes too soiled and is not cleaned in time, then flies can be attracted to the coat, and they can lay their eggs in there. Once the eggs hatch, the maggots can eat the skin of your guinea pig, and that is not pleasant.
Thankfully, there is an easy way to deal with both of these problems. Regular grooming and checking of the fur will help to combat any coat problems, and you can consult with your vet if you are ever in doubt.
Peruvian Guinea Pigs As Pets
They are extremely social creatures, so buying them in pairs is recommended.
Most people who own Peruvian guinea pigs do so because they are either enthusiasts or want to enter their guinea pigs in shows. But, does this mean that they are not good pets? No, it does not. There are many people around the world who also own these animals as pets, though there is a lot more work involved than with your average guinea pig.
If you do not have the time to groom a Peruvian guinea pig every day, then it may not be the right choice. This is why Peruvians are not the best choice for kids, especially younger kids. If you are thinking of choosing one as a pet, then be prepared to put in the time.
They are extremely social creatures, so buying them in pairs is recommended. If you do only have one in your home, then spending a lot of time with them is key. The best time to do that is when grooming. Be in their area with them to groom and play with them. If you have the time to give them what they need, then Peruvian guinea pigs are a wonderful pet.