Texel guinea pigs have a look like no other. Their curls and tresses have made them a staple of the competition world, and those same curls make them attractive and wonderful pets, but do they actually make great pets? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is also yes. They do require a little more grooming than your average guinea pig but do not let this put you off; they are friendly and sociable animals who thrive around adults and children.
Texel guinea pigs have a look like no other. Their curls and tresses have made them a staple of the competition world,
Texel guinea pigs are relatively new in the guinea pig world, originating in the 1980s, and are a result of a cross between a Rex and a Silkie. Like the Silkie, the Texel has long hair, but that hair curls instead of being straight. They are extremely cute and have wonderful personalities. Let’s take a closer look at these beautiful little beasts.
Texel Guinea Pig Coat & Looks
Texels have curly hair which covers their entire body, giving them a look unlike any other guinea pig out there. They are often compared to Silkies due to their long hair, but the main difference is that a Texel’s hair is curly where a Silkie’s is straight. The hair of a Texel, parts on the back of their coat.
They have shorter hair on their faces, though long, curly hair on their faces would look incredibly cute, even if it hampered their vision.
The body of a Texel is shorter than average for a guinea pig, and they have a wide, round head. With the long, flowing hair, this gives them a bulky look when they are, in actual fact, on the smaller side of guide pig breeds.
Their coats are dense and shiny and come in a variety of colors. You will commonly find white or black Texels, along with everything in between. The colors of a Texel can be solid, mixed, or patterned.
How Do I Care For A Texel Guinea Pig?
Texel guinea pigs need a little more care and attention compared to the average guinea pig due to their long coats. The older a Texel gets, the longer the coat gets, so the more care and attention is needed. If you do not have the time to groom them, then a Texel may not be for you.
Texels should be groomed at least once a day, with many owners opting to groom them twice a day, usually once in the morning and once in the evening. For this reason, Texels are not the best pet for a young child or even older children. If their coats are not brushed regularly, the coats can become tangled which can lead to health problems.
The older a Texel gets, the longer the coat gets, so the more care and attention is needed.
The cage for your Texel should be as large as you can accommodate. We recommend a 20” x 20” cage for your Texel, though they do work better in pairs, so add 20% to these numbers for each additional guinea pig. You should also clean out the cage at least once a week, and spot-clean it every day. We do not recommend using wood shavings for their bedding as it can get stuck in their long coat and cause major matting.
How Active are Texel Guinea Pigs?
Texels are active animals. By allowing your guinea pig the space to run around, you are allowing them to be happy and healthy. A problem with guinea pigs is that when they gain weight, it is hard for them to shift it. By helping them to exercise (and feeding them a balanced diet), you are helping them to maintain a healthy weight.
Texels also love to be outside. As long as the temperature is not too hot or too cold, the guinea pig will be fine.
There are a number of ways in which you can give your Texel the exercise that they need. A large pen will allow them to stretch there legs, and this can also be the place where you sit and groom them. Many people often opt to let them run around in an entire room. The only thing to think about when you let them loose in a room is that there are no dangers. Remove anything from the floor which could be dangerous for your pet and that which you do not want to be chewed.
Texels also love to be outside. As long as the temperature is not too hot or too cold, the guinea pig will be fine. We always recommend keeping them in the shade if you do take them outside, and you should always be with them, just in case a predator should think that they are a tasty meal.
What Should I Feed my Texel Guinea Pig?
Texels eat much the same as any other guinea pig breed. The only thing to know about is the addition of some vitamin C. To keep the coat of a Texel looking shiny and glossy; they need a little extra vitamin C. They can get this from pellets which have the vitamin added or from fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamin C. Of course, do not feed your guinea pig too much fruit or vegetables high in sugar.
Texels, like all other breeds, need a lot of hay. Hay will make up at least 70% of their diet, and they can eat an unlimited amount. Give them lots of hay and top up the hay if they eat it all.
Do not feed your guinea pig too much fruit or vegetables high in sugar.
Along with hay, you should feed your Texel 1/8 cup of pellets, though consult the amounts on the bag to ensure that you are giving them the correct amount. It is important that you feed your guinea pig the right amount so that they do not put on weight.
Give your Texel a cup of fresh vegetables each day (mainly leaf ones) and lots of clean, fresh water. Top up the water bowl as needed and replace the water if it ever gets contaminated.
Healthcare For Texel Guinea Pigs
The coat and skin can present particular problems for Texels due to the long hair. Tangles or matting can occur and this can be painful to the guinea pig and can aggravate the skin below. The best way to tackle this is to groom your Texel regularly and trim any hair which gets too long. If you do get matting, then you may have to cut the entire area away.
Long hair also means more chance of getting things trapped in their fur, and organic matter can get stuck there and attract parasites. Again, the best way to tackle this is to be grooming them regularly. You should also be cleaning the cage on a regular basis so that there is less chance of something getting stuck in their coat, and so that there is no breeding ground in the cage for parasites or bacteria.
The best way to tackle this is to groom your Texel regularly and trim any hair which gets too long.
Much like all guinea pigs, the teeth of your Texel can also be an issue. The teeth of your guinea pig will continue to grow for their entire lifetime. Thankfully, this is easily combatted by hay. A diet rich in hay will naturally wear down the teeth of your Texel and keep them healthy. If you find that the teeth are getting too long, then some chew toys may help, though a trip to the vet will ensure that your Texel’s teeth are not getting too long.
Texel Guinea Pigs As Pets
Texels are beautiful and amazing, making them great pets, but still, pets which need a lot of time and attention. With such a beautiful, long, and shiny coat, they need regular grooming, and this grooming could take place twice a day. The daily grooming makes them less suitable for younger children or those who do not have the time.
They are inquisitive and friendly creatures, so, if you can give them the time, they will form a bond with you. Children will love them, and if the grooming is not a problem, then they will get a lot out of a Texel as a pet. The great thing is that Texels (after getting to know you) do not mind being picked up to be groomed. Some children like this and others just want to play. Spending a lot of time with a Texel is always recommended whether the child is grooming them or not, and we always recommend adult supervision for the younger kids.
They are inquisitive and friendly creatures, so, if you can give them the time, they will form a bond with you.
Texels are very sociable, so we would recommend buying them in pairs if you can. The more you can socialize with them and groom them; the happier and healthier they are going to be. Texels make wonderful pets but are not for everyone.