Himalayan Guinea Pig: A Complete Care Guide

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Himalayan Guinea Pig – The more you know about a pet before you buy it, the better job you will do of caring for it. What food does it like to eat, and what special care does it need to stay happy and healthy?

In the case of the Himalayan guinea pig, you will end up with a pet that is fun to have around, but also one that needs more care than most. This is why we have put together a comprehensive care guide that will ensure you get the very most of out your furry little friend.

Himalayan Guinea Pig Appearance and Health

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There are 10 major breeds of guinea pig in the world, with the Himalayan though to be the Siamese cat of the group. While they are not particularly rare, they are incredibly fun to have around. They are easily recognized by their unique appearance, which we will outline below.

The Himalayan guinea pig is derived from the albino breed, and it comes with dark pigment on its ears, nose, and feet. When they are born, Himalayans are completely white, with those pigments coming as it ages.

The darkness and location of the colors depends on the exposure to heat. The cooler parts of the body will get darker coloring, which is why Himalayan guinea pigs that live in warmer climates tend to be lighter in color. There are times when the coloring of the pig may fade, with age, fear, and illness all factors in that.

The body of the Himalayan guinea pig is tube-shaped, with the head being shot and broad, and featuring a convex nose. It has large, droopy ears, and like other albinos, it had bright red eyes.

For the most part, Himalayans are healthy animals, but they are susceptible to sun damage due to being albino. Like most guinea pig breeds, they can experience common issues, such as diarrhea (from eating too many fruits and veggies), in-grown nails, mites, pneumonia, and vitamin C deficiency.

The Unique Elements of the Himalayan Guinea Pig

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The biggest difference between the Himalayan guinea pigs and other breeds is that they are albino. They will have the red eyes of an albino, as well as pigmentation on the ears, nose, and feet. That pigmentation starts to develop as the pigs age, with all Himalayans born completely white in color.

Himalayan Guinea Pig Behavior and Temperament

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The Himalayan guinea pig tends to be cute and cuddly, and is an animal that enjoys being handled and petted. It is this level of comfort with being handled that makes them a better pet for children than other breeds.

These are very social animals, and that is why they have become a common pet choice. They are very active in the daytime hours, and will make all kinds of funny little noises as they play and explore.

Himalayan guinea pig’s require a cage that gives them plenty of room to move around in. They will also enjoy running free in your home, but they need to be supervised, as they will get into areas that can be harmful for them.

Since Himalayans are social herd animals, it is probably best that they are kept in pairs. Even the most attentive owner will be unable to give them all the attention and companionship they, need, which is why a partner is a good idea. Guinea pigs that are paired with others tend to be happier, healthier and more confident and active.

Himalayan Guinea Pig Life Span

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These great little animals require a great deal of attention. It is important that they are always kept indoors, and owners with previous Himalayan experience tend to better understand their needs. With proper care, they can live as long as 10 years, but the average is more likely to be 5-7 years.

Himalayan Guinea Pig Care

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A little spot tucked away in a hidden corner of your home is an ideal spot for a guinea pig cage. Light is not their friend, so make it a darker, cozy spot if you want them to be happy. Leaving them in a place with a lot of light will lead to their colors starting to fade over time.

If you love the colors that they display, pay attention to the climate, as these little guys will see those colors darken in colder conditions. Their points will give you an idea of their general health, as well as to whether they are perhaps sick or frightened.

Make sure that the cage you choose has plenty of space inside. Ramps or shelves are not a good idea, as both can trap the feet of a guinea pig. A small box makes for an ideal hiding and sleeping spot, while the open space will allow him to play and exercise as needed.

Read more: Peruvian Guinea Pig – The Complete Guide for Owner

Cleaning a Himalayan Guinea Pig

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You should bathe your Himalayan guinea pig a minimum of once per month. The hair on this breed is quite short, so not a lot of grooming and brushing is required. Regular cage cleanings will help keep your pet happy and healthy.

Feeding a Himalayan Guinea Pig

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One of the most commonly asked questions about Himalayans is in regards what they can eat. If you have had another type of guinea pig in the past, you will find that their diets are quite similar.

There are food pellets made specifically for Himalayans, so have those on hand. They can all eat hay, fruit, and vegetables. The pellets are the staple of the diet, while the hay will help with the digestive system of the pig.

While fruits and vegetables are fine, they should be used as snacks or treats only, as too much can lead to diarrhea.

Diet Options

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The correct diet is one of the most important elements in caring for a guinea pig. You need to make sure that they get all the vitamin C and proteins they need to be healthy. Since guinea pigs cannot create their own vitamin C, it is important that they get it from grass, as well as fresh veggies and fruit.

When fruits and veggies are out of season, consider adding a vitamin C tablet into their water supply. The tablets will dissolve and be easy for the guinea pigs to ingest, and it will help them maintain their vitamin C levels during the winter months. You cannot overdose a guinea pig on these tablets, as they will expel any of the vitamin C they do not need.

Nutrient-filled snacks are always a great idea. These can include things like parsley, carrots, dandelion greens, romaine lettuce, tomato, spinach, and clover. Thigs to avoid are seeds, dried fruits, and nuts, as these are all potential choking hazards.

As mentioned earlier, hay is an essential part of the diet of your guinea pig. Fresh hay is excellent for the digestive system, and also contains traces of vitamin C. It’s worth spending a little extra to get top quality hay.

Orchard or Timothy grass is also good for the digestive system, whilst also ensuring that the teeth of the guinea pig do not grow too long. Fresh water should be placed in the cage on a daily basis.

This is pretty much all you need to know about properly looking after a Himalayan guinea pig. If you follow the guidelines listed in this piece, you will end up with a healthy happy animal that brings you many years of joy and love. They will reward your care with genuine affection.

Read more: All You Need to Know About Breeding Texel Guinea Pig

Himalayan Guinea Pig Breed

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The time may come when you decide that you want to breed your Himalayan guinea pigs. If you decide to go this route, it is important that you are properly prepared, and that you take the time to ensure that each animal goes to a good home. Below are some things that you will need to know about breeding.

Male guinea pigs reach sexual maturity as early as 3 months old. Female guinea pigs get there even sooner, and can be sexually mature at 2 months. Females are fertile throughout the year, but the best chance of them becoming pregnant occur during the spring months.

You can expect females to come into season every 14 days, with the average cycle running 24-48 hours. Both male and female of the species are fertile between 4-10 weeks of age, with a new estrous cycle occurring shortly after birth. Knowing the gender of each animal from the start is crucial to breeding.

You will notice that the female of the species have a flatter appearance with a definite “Y” shape. Males will display a little penis bud that appears to be in the shape of an “I.” It is best to have the male and female housed together until such times as you notice the female begin to fatten up. A firm belly is usually a sure sign that she is pregnant.

Once you have confirmed the pregnancy, the male should be removed from the cage, as there is the possibility that he will kill the little ones when they are born.

Breeding should be done at just the right time for females, with 6-8 months being the perfect age. If you wait till later than then, you run the risk of her having her pelvic bones fuse together, which could prove to be fatal when she is giving birth.

The average gestation period of a guinea pig comes in at around 68-72 days, which is quite long for a small mammal. Litter size can be anywhere from 1-8 pups, but you can usually expect 2-4 pups in a given litter. Females can produce as many as 5 litters per year.

When it is time for the female to give birth, she will often be crowded by males who are looking to become dominant and protect her and breed with her. If there was not a dominant male, all of the guinea pigs would try to breed with her, which can lead to craziness since the postpartum estrus cycle lasts little more than half a day.

Figuring out the gender of the babies at birth can be tough, but a good breeder can usually have it all figured out after a few weeks. When the guinea pigs reach 4 weeks of age, the males should be weaned and removed to a spate hutch so that they cannot impregnate the sow.

You have the option of leaving the females with the sow or putting them into their own hutches. All of them will be ready for their own space when they reach 6 weeks old.

Tackling Pneumonia in Himalayan Guinea Pigs

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If you have plans on bringing home a Himalayan guinea pig, you should first talk to a breeder or a vet about the best way to care for these wonderful creatures. This includes gathering information about common ailments that they may be faced with.

One of the more common issues that this breed suffers from in pneumonia, so you need to be able to recognize the signs. This infection arrives quickly and can be deadly if not dealt with as soon as possible.

Signs that your guinea pig may be suffering from pneumonia include lack of appetite, the appearance of being stressed or depressed, frequent sneezing, and an elevated body temperature. If you notice any of these symptoms with your guinea pig, get him to a vet as quickly as possible.

Conclusion

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The Himalayan guinea pig may be small, but he is big on love and affection. This explains why the breed is so popular with everyone from first-time pet owners to experienced guinea pig breeders.

They have a friendly disposition, love being handled, and are generally just fun to be around. They will love spending as much time with you as possible, which makes them a perfect pet.

The Different Breeds of Long Haired Guinea Pig

long haired guinea pig

Long Haired Guinea Pig – Guinea pigs, which are part of the rodent family, have become beloved pets in many western households. These cute animals ae often referred to as cavy’s, which comes from their Latin name Cavia Porcellus, but it should be noted that they are not from Guinea, and that they are certainly not pigs.

The long haired guinea pig breed is one that requires a lot of care, especially when it comes to their coat. If you live in an area where high temperatures are common, you will need to regularly trim the hair of your pet to prevent him from getting heat stroke or circulatory problems. The hair should be kept neat and tidy at all times, especially on the bottom, where bacteria may build up.

Interbreeding is big business in the guinea pig world, and that has helped create several different long haired breeds.

Long Haired Guinea Pig Breeds

Peruvian Guinea Pig

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The Peruvian guinea pig has the longest hair of all breeds, and this one actually holds the word record for the longest hair. It is not uncommon for their hair to grow to as long as 20 inches (50 cm), the reason for which may be that their hair grows straight instead of curly like other breeds.

This breed of long haired guinea pig has a natural parting down the back, and also has hair that will grow forward to cover their face.

As you might expect, the Peruvian guinea pig takes some work to look after, as the long hair can become knotted if not regularly combed. This can make life uncomfortable for him, which is why some owners choose to trim the hair on a regular basis. While this makes caring for him a little easier, the lack of hair does take away some of his charm.

As far as behavior goes, the Peruvian tends to be a little more inquisitive than other guinea pig breeds. The will take time to explore every inch of their environment, and since they are very aware, you can also expect a bigger reaction when you decide to spend some time with them.

Abyssinian Guinea Pig

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The Abyssinian guinea pig is one of the oldest species out there, and their appearance is one that people love. They have swirls in their long hair, and that makes them popular on the show circuit. If you want to show your Abyssinian guinea pig, look for it to have 8-10 rosettes (swirls), as that is sure to impress the judges.

The hair on the Abyssinian is not as long as that of the Peruvian, but it is still considered to be a long-haired guinea pig. Those swirls are a major draw for guinea pig lovers, and it is the people who show these animals who tend to be drawn to this breed.

The swirls, or rosettes, on the Abyssinian are similar to the crowns that humans have on their hair. The difference here is that while human hair has only one or two crowns, the number of swirls on this guinea pig can be as many as 8 to 10. These clashing rosettes cause little tufts, and as they usually come in pairs, you end up with a nice little pattern on the body.

Rosettes comes in several different colors, and it is not uncommon to see as many as 5 different shades on a single guinea pig. While these animals are cute to look at, they are not for the average pet owner. The hair requires a lot of attention in the form of regular combing, grooming, and washing.

As well as the hair, it is the character of the Abyssinian that makes it such a popular long haired guinea pig breed. They are playful, mischievous, and love to make a mess, but they are also very loving. As great as all that is, the need for regular upkeep makes them a poor choice as a pet for a child.

Silkie / Sheltie Guinea Pig

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Another long haired guinea pig breed is he silkie, which is also referred to as a sheltie. This is another breed that has straight hair, bur one of the biggest differences with this cavy is that its hair grows back from the head, almost giving it the appearance of a slicked back rocker from the 1950’s.

They do not have the usual middle parting in their hair, as the longer growth at the back gives them something of a pear-shaped appearance.

The hair on the silkie is incredibly soft and smooth, making them fun to handle and play with, but that hair does require a lot of attention. I you fail to brush and groom it regularly, it will become matted and uncomfortable for your pet.

This is another pet that isn’t really a good choice for kids, unless of course you are a parent willing to take on the grooming responsibilities. If you can take care of that side of things, then we guarantee that your kids will love the soft feel of these little guys.

Read more: Silkie Guinea Pig – Everything About Silkie Guinea Pigs

Texel Guinea Pig

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This long haired guinea pig is quite new to the world, as it wasn’t until 1998 that the breed was recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association. Despite being late to the party, the texel guinea pig has become one of the more popular breeds, thanks in large part to their unique look.

While the texel has an appearance similar to the silkie, it has tighter hair curls covering its entire body. There are no rosettes to be found on the texel, and its curly hair covers its head, as well as its body.

Guinea pig enthusiasts love the texel, and tend to be particularly fond of the soft curly hair that covers this little guy, even growing along his belly. The unique look of this guinea pig has made it one of the more common breeds entered into shows.

Like all other long haired guinea pig breeds, the texel requires a lot of grooming, as their hair will tangle without it. This makes it a breed best suited to those with a lot of extra time on their hands, or for people interested in entering into the world of guinea pig shows.

Alpaca Guinea Pigs

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The alpaca guinea pig is quite rare, and you can sometimes only find them by going through specialist breeders.
This breed is sometimes referred to as the Merino Peruvian, and as that name suggests, it is akin to the Peruvian breed, albeit with curlier hair that grows forward of the face instead of back and away from it.

Ask the average guinea pig what they believe to be the most beautiful breed out there and you will hear many of them mention the alpaca. This breed needs almost constant attention, although it is not recommended that they be bathed too often, as this can lead to their skin becoming too dry.

As we mentioned earlier, this is a rare breed that you likely will not find in a store, but rather through a guinea pig breeder.

Lunkarya Guinea Pig

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It was the interbreeding of a rex and a Peruvian guinea pig that created the lunkarya breed. This breeding began in Scandinavia during the 80’s, and it is still in that part of the world where much of the breeding is still performed.

This long haired guinea pig has wavy hair that has that familiar center parting down the back. While the hair looks smooth, it is actually a little rougher than other guinea pig breeds, and it can become rather dense as it grows.

For a while the popularity of this breed waned, but breeding has picked up again, causing the numbers of lunkarya to rise.

There are 3 distinct types of the lunkarya out there, and they are the Lunkarya-Silkie, Linkarya-Peruvian, as well as Lunkarya-Coronet. Each of these breeds has long, rough hair that needs to be cared for just as carefully as the smooth hair that you find on other breeds of long haired guinea pigs.

Coronet guinea Pig

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The coronet guinea pig is a cross between the crested and the silkie guinea pigs. Their hair is long, and they have a distinctive swirl on their head.

While the hair of this breed is like the silkie in that it grows back from the head, it is different in that it also has a crest, which is like a symmetrical version of a rosette. This crest is unique in that it tends to be a different color than the hair on the body of the guinea pig. The overall appearance of this crest makes it appear as though the animal is wearing a cute little crown.

Sheba Mini Yak Guinea Pig

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This breed was first created in Australia, and have genes that are derived from the long haired and short haired guinea pigs.

The general appearance of the Sheba mini yak guinea pig is a cross between a Peruvian and an Abyssinian, although their hair is a little shorter than both.

This mix of short and long hairs is sometimes found on smooth-coated guinea pigs, although there is no specific nickname for it.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Sheba mini yak is it whiskers, which look like a mutton chop mustache. The tend to have several rosettes, the look of which makes them appear shaggy.

These animals always look as though they are having a bad day, but it is a look that makes them beloved, and it has to be said that their cheerful demeanor also helps.

English Merino Guinea Pig

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This breed is like a coronet guinea pig, albeit a much curlier version. Other differences include wavier hair and a rosette located back between the ears as opposed to on top of the head. This long haired guinea pig has curly hair on it body and shorter hair, complete with a swirl, on its head.

The English merino is a rather rare breed of cavy that come in several different colors. These animals are very fun to have around, but they are another breed that requires a lot of work.

Like most rare breeds, the English Merino usually needs to be bought through a breeder. Their hair requires a lot of maintenance, especially since bedding, hay, and even excrement can become picked up by it. You will also need to make sue to bathe the English merino and trim its nails once per month.

Angora Guinea Pig

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This is a breed of long haired guinea pig that is still found in Europe, but which may be tough to find in other parts of the world. The Angora comes complete with 8 cowlicks located as follows: 4 on the back, 2 at the front, and 2 on the haunch.

Mohair Guinea Pig

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The name nor breed of the mohair guinea pig is officially accepted yet. It is a cross breed of the angora and texel, and it has long curly hair complete with cowlicks.

Conclusion

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As you can see, long-haired guinea pigs come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. This variation means that there is a long-haired breed out there to suite every taste. While there are differences between each breed, the behaviors tend to be the same, with some subtle differences. The Peruvians are nosier than most, while the Abyssinians are all about having fun.

The one caveat with long haired guinea pigs is that while they are fun to own, they also require a lot of maintenance. This means that they may not be the ideal pet for little kids, but they are really excellent pets for those who have time to look after them, and who may be considering a show pet.

All You Need to Know About Breeding Texel Guinea Pig

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Texel Guinea Pig – There are several different guinea pig breeds, but one of the newest is the Texel guinea pig. This is a beautiful animal, and we want to give you some insight into how to breed them.

One of the main reasons why the Texel guinea pig has become one of the most sought after cross-breeds is because of their long curly coat. Their stock really rose in 1998 when the American Cavy Breeders Association recognized the Texel guinea pig as an official breed. They are now popping up in homes across the globe.

If you don’t know much about the Texel guinea pig, don’t feel bad, as it’s still a little-known breed, particularly since they are harder to get your hands on than the standard American guinea pig. We hope that this article will tell you all you need to know about this wonderful animal.

The Unique Characteristics of the Texel Guinea Pig

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One look at the Texel guinea pig and you will understand why it is sometimes known as the “long-haired Sheltie.” The hair on the Texel is a little longer than that of the Sheltie breed, but it’s the curliness of those locks that really sets this breed apart. That distinctive coat has led to the Texel guinea pig being given all manner of creative names.

Texel Guinea Pig Facts

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Here are a few quick facts that will help you get to know the Texel guinea pig a little better:

  1. It’s a non-self variety of guinea pig.
  2. They are an officially classified breed.
  3. The first Texel was born in England back in the 1980’s, the product of a cross-breeding between Silkie and Rex guinea pigs.
  4. The ACBA officially recognized the breed in 1998.
  5. The entire animal needs to be covered in curls of a corkscrew shape in order for the guinea pig to be recognized as a Texel.
  6. You won’t find a Texel guinea pig in your pet shop, as they are only ever found via breeders or rescues.
  7. The whole body of the Texel is covered in curly hair with a part in the back.
  8. The facial hair of the Texel is different depending on its genetics, but for the most part it is shorter in order to avoid suffocation.
  9. There may not always be hair under the ears and jawline.
  10. Compared to other breeds, the Texel has a shorter body.
  11. Its head is round and wide.
  12. You can also get Satin Texels, which are guinea pigs with a denser shinier coat, but this breed is yet to be recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association.

The Origins of the Texel Guinea Pig

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As mentioned earlier, it was the cross breeding of a Silkie guinea pig and a Rex guinea pig that led to the first Texel being born in England in the 80’s.

In the years that followed, more cross breeding took place to arrive upon the Texel that we know and love today. There were so many crosses during that time that the exact lineage is almost impossible to pinpoint.

By the time 1998 rolled around, we had the Texel guinea pig that is now starting to be popular in homes and shows across the world. The increasing popularity of this breed led the ACBA to finally recognize it and add it to their association.

See Also: Peruvian Guinea Pig

The Texel Guinea Pigs Personality Traits

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Like most animals, it’s not really the breed that plays a major role in the personality, as each individual animal is different. That said, there are some common characteristics that can be seen across the entire Texel breed.

The majority of Texel guinea pigs have a similar personality to other long-haired breeds, which is to say that they are quite well behaved. That said, you will discover that the Texel is a little more active than Silkies and Peruvians, but on the whole, they are still more tranquil.

If you own a Texel and notice a marked change in their behavior, it could be a sign that they are sick. It’s always a good idea to visit the vet in these situations, just to be sure.

Caring for a Texel Guinea Pig

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Before we get into caring for a Texel guinea pig, it needs to be said that these are not the ideal pets for kids or people who have never owned a guinea pig. These wonderful little animals will take up a lot of your time, especially when it comes to grooming, which needs to be done daily.

Here are all the ways in which they require your attention:

  • The hair of the Texel will pick up excrement if allowed to drag on the floor.
  • The bedding and hay in the cage can become stuck in the hair.
  • You will need to keep their hair neat and trimmed around the anus, otherwise excrement can build up and mat the hair.
  • Scurfy skin and ear wax build-ups are common in the Texel, so keep an eye out for both.
  • Bathing regularity is about the same as other guinea pigs, which is about once per month.
  • Nails need to be trimmed on a monthly basis.
  • A healthy diet will consist of veggies, timothy hay, vitamin c pellets, and fresh water.

How to House a Texel Guinea Pig

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The ideal shelter for a Texel is a cage that is at least 7 feet square in size. These guys need a little room to roam, so the more space the better. They will also benefit from time outside the cage interacting with other animals, although this should only be done in a safe environment.

Inside the cage, you should have comfortable bedding, toys, water and food containers, and a little house they can snuggle up in.

The Diet of the Texel Guinea Pig

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A heathy and happy Texel is one that easts a balanced diet. A little bit of variety is good, as this will ensure that he gets all he needs to be healthy. Daily vegetable servings are good, although you should pay attention to see how he reacts to the veggies you serve. A wet stool is a sign that he is not reacting well to a particular type of food, so remove that from his diet when you see this.

Texel’s need a lot of vitamins, which is something they can get from foods such as carrots, broccoli, cucumber, parsley, and more. When you add new veggies to his diet, be sure to do so gradually, as adding them in too quickly can lead to an upset stomach for the Texel.

Hay is also important to the Texel guinea pig, so introduce it as soon as you bring a baby home. Alternatives to hay include pet grass and several different veggie leaves.

Vitamin C is a key element in the diet of the Texel guinea pig, which is something that you can get from the veggies that you feed him. Vitamin C supplements can be added to the diet of you are concerned that he is not getting enough. If you have a young Texel, or one that is pregnant, you will need to increase the daily intake of the vitamin.

Pellets should also be a regular part of the diet, as you can expect the Texel to eat roughly 1/8 cup of pellets per day, on top of his regular diet of hay, water, and veggies. Look for pellets with Vitamin C, and buy smaller amounts that can be easily refrigerated.

Fresh water is an essential part of the Texel’s diet, but do not add anything else to the water.

Grooming the Texel Guinea Pig

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Given the length of their hair, it goes without saying that Texel’s need regular grooming. Maintaining the length of the hair will make your grooming efforts a good deal easier. Pay special attention to his backside, as excrement and urine can be an issue there.

Ear wax can quickly build up because of all the hair they have around the ears. Regularly check for wax and clean as needed. Regular trimming of all their hair will keep them happy and comfortable, whilst also reducing the risk of a variety of different infections. As well as trimming the hair, make sure to wash it monthly in order to avoid matting.

Safety or hairdresser scissors are good tools for the job, but they are not quite as effective or accurate as electric clippers. You can keep matting at bay by regularly running your fingers through the Texel’s hair, which they love, but when you brush, the best results come from a wired tooth comb. When you perform the monthly bathing of your Texel, take the time to trim their nails, too.

Bathing Your Texel Guinea Pig

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While you can skip the baths with most guinea pig breeds, bathing is an essential part of caring for a Texel. This is because their hair can drag on the floor, picking up urine and excrement as they go. Stick to bathing your Texel around once per month.

Showing Your Texel Guinea Pig

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The unusual look of the Texel guinea pig makes them an obvious choice for shows. Taking them to a show is an excellent way to exhibit the unique look and personality of the Texel.

Once there, they will be judged on their appearance, as well as on their personality and behavior. A well-maintained coat that is healthy, and which shows off the pattern and colors is usually a very big hit with the judges.

Common Diseases & Treatments

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It is a lack of vitamin C that can cause common issues such as pneumonia and hair loss. Avoiding pneumonia is often as simple as keeping your guinea pig indoors in a dry, warm setting. Sores and hair loss may be a sign of the presence of lice or fleas, which can usually be treated with shampoos or powders that can be purchased at your local pet shop.

Diarrhea and intestinal issues may be a sign that your guinea pig has a diet containing to much fruit, sugar, carbs, and starch. Grass in their diet is a good way to combat this, although, you should refrain from feeding him too many dark, leafy greens. On the flipside, a diet that is lacking in roughage, or is too dry, may lead to constipation.

If you notice that your guinea pig is favoring one side, or is walking in circles, it may be that he has a middle ear infection that will require a visit to the vet.

Antibiotics can be used to treat respiratory and eye infections caused by Pasturellosis, and also streptococcal infections. Enlarged neck glands are a sign of pseudotuberculosis, which can be fatal if not treated by a vet. Disease carriers in colonies can deliver a condition known as Salmonellosis, which can be rapidly deteriorating.

Pairing two males in the same cage or having to many guinea pigs in a small space can lead to wounds developing. The animals should be separated to prevent fighting, and the wounds should be bathed in a mild antiseptic.

Old age cannot be prevented, but you can give your Texel guinea pig a long, healthy, happy life by following all the tips outlined above.

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While the Texel guinea pig is one of the most beautiful looking breeds, they are also one that requires a lot of work, so be prepared to be dedicated if you buy one. This is an animal that you are going to want to show off, so be sure to look after him as best you can.

Silkie Guinea Pig – Everything About Silkie Guinea Pigs

guinea pig silkie

Silkie Guinea Pig – One of the more stylish animals out there has to be the Silkie Guinea Pig, and much of that has to do with their wonderful hair. While the hair is the first thing that you notice, you will quickly be won over by their great personality. It really is easy to understand why they have become such a popular breed of guinea pig.

Their great looks and wonderful personality make them great pets, but it also makes them great for showing. Judges at these shows can’t help but be won over by what the Silkie brings to the table.

Silkie Guinea Pig Origins

silkie guinea pig
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The name of this breed is no real surprise given that it has silky smooth hair, although it’s worth noting that in Europe, they are more commonly known as Sheltie Guinea Pigs. There is probably a very good reason for that name change, but it’s one that has remained elusive up until now.

The popularity of the Silkie Guinea Pig has come quickly, as the breed was only discovered in the 1970’s. The original breeding efforts took place in the UK, with a Peruvian and a Self Black Guinea Pig crossbred to create the Silkie. No-one really knows why these two breeds were chosen to breed, but it’s not uncommon to mix and match breeds in order to create something more exotic.

The Silkie Guinea Pig as we know it today was officially recognized in the UK in 1973, albeit with the Sheltie name.
Once the breeding process was perfected, Silkie’s began to become popular as domestic pets. It didn’t take long for people to fall in love with these cute little animals, and you can now find them in homes all across the globe.

Quick Facts About the Silkie Guinea Pig

silkie guinea pig care
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Here are a few things you may or may not know about the silkie guinea pig:

  • The silkie guinea pig is a main classified breed
  • It is a long-haired variant of the smooth-haired breed
  • There are no rosettes on the Silkie guinea pig
  • It has a long tail
  • Its distinctive hair naturally sweeps back from the face
  • While bred from the Peruvian, it has very different hair on the face
  • Its hair is short when it is born
  • Hair growth starts quickly after birth
  • Silkies guinea pig that are shown usually have well maintained coats. Breeders will often wrapper the hair
  • Its name is derived from its silky coat
  • Unlike the Peruvian, the hair of the Silkie is not naturally parted on the back

Silkie Guinea Pig Characteristics

silkie guinea pig hair care
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One look at the hairy styling of the Silkie and it’s easy to understand why they are so popular. They are shiny, soft, and just fun to hold in your hand. The Teddy Guinea Pig is another popular breed, and it’s short, rough coat is almost the polar opposite of the Silkie.

The Silkie is much more like the Peruvian Guinea Pig, albeit with some subtle differences. The main difference is in the way that the hair of the Silkie sweeps back from its face, making it seem almost windswept.

Their hair is long and straight, much like the Peruvian, but that swept back look is what sets them apart, and you almost get the feeling that they have just stepped out of a hair salon open exclusively to celebrities. There are some who feel that the hair looks much like a lion’s mane.

The hair of the Silkie is not as long as the Peruvian Guinea Pig, although it is longer around back. Viewed from above, the Silkie takes on the shape of a teardrop, which is why you will sometimes hear people refer to them using that very description.

Read more: Teddy Guinea Pig Owners Guide

Let’s Talk About the Silkie Satin Guinea Pig

A Silkie Satin Guinea Pig is part of the Silkie family, but it comes with hair that is both softer and glossier. Its name is derived from the feel of its hair, which is a lot like satin. Both the regular Silkie and the Silkie Satin are breed that are recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA).

guinea pig sheltie
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Silkie Guinea Pig Temperament and Behaviour

If it’s a gentle, laid back breed you are looking for, then the silkie guinea pig may be the way to go. They tend to be a little shy when you first get them, but they will soon warm up to you. One way to get them to be friendly a little quicker is to use treats and food to coax them out of their cage. Once you have developed trust, you will find that they are wonderful animals to have as a pet.

sheltie guinea pig
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Features of the Silkie Guinea Pig

The hair of a silkie guinea pig can grow to as long as 24 inches, and it has the appearance of a teardrop shape when viewed from above. While similar in style to the hair of the Peruvian Guinea Pig, the hair on a Silkie is swept back to the point of looking as though it was intentionally styled that way. The average Silkie is 7-10 inches in length, and can live to be between 5 and 7 years old.

baby silkie guinea pig
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The Silkie Guinea Pig’s Hair Style and Coloring

The length of hair on the Silkie Guinea Pig is one of the things that makes them a great show pet. If you have a tan colored Silkie, it will not be accepted into shows. Other common colors of Silkie hair that are acceptable include white, black, cream, red, beige, lilac, and blue, as well as color combinations.

silkie guinea pig life span
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Silkie Guinea Pig Care

Their cute look and docile demeanor make the Silkie Guinea Pig seem like the perfect pet for kids, but the reality is that they are not. Looking after a Silkie takes a lot of work, as they require daily grooming to maintain their lovely locks. The only scenario in which they might work for a kid is you are a parent that’s willing to take on all the grooming responsibilities.

Keeping up with that grooming means brushing the hair of your Silkie at least once per day. Failing to do so will lead to the hair becoming tangled, which can be awfully uncomfortable for the guinea pig. If you get the guinea pig at a young age, get in the habit of brushing hi at the same time every day. Not only will he become comfortable with the act of being brushed, he will also start looking forward to it.

Bathing a guinea pig is not necessarily a great idea, although it is okay to do it every once in a while. Silkies in particular can benefit from bathing, as I will help keep their coat soft and shiny, but that doesn’t mean you should go and drop them into a sink full of water. The best method to use for bathing a Silkie is what is commonly referred to as spot cleaning.

Rather than putting them into water, use a wet garment to wipe their coat. Get in the habit of doing some spot cleaning about once a month, and just like with brushing, make it something that you do with your Silkie from an early age.

peruvian silkie guinea pig
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Silkie Guinea Pig Cage

The ideal home for a Silkie is a secure cage that has space to move, plenty of ventilation, and a separate area for food and water. The cages that you often see in pet store are too small, and are not up to the standards recommended by The Humane Society of the United States.

They believe that the ideal size of cage for 1 or 2 guinea pigs is a minimum of 7.5 square feet. They also recommend that you steer clear of wire floors on a cage, opting instead to go with a solid bottom.

Silkies will be comfortable in many different types of bedding materials, but your best bets are commercial paper bedding, wood pellets, or towels and fleece. Aspen shavings are an option, too, but they may end up getting stuck in his hair.

Aromatic plant oils can create health issues for guinea pigs, which is why you should avoid using cedar and raw pine shavings. Straw and corn cob bedding are also not very good, simply because both can mold rather quickly.

It’s also a good idea to have at least one shelter available for your guinea pig. Your local pet store will probably have a wide selection of shelters, but something as basic as a cardboard box will work just fine.

Toys that are safe to chew are a great addition, as are tunnels, caves, and low ramps. Bad ideas include rodent wheels and plastic exercise balls, especially the latter, as they can be scary to guinea pigs, and can also cause spinal damage if you get the wrong sized ball.

The cage should be placed in an area of the room that is away from direct sunlight and draft-free. You will want the cage in a place where the guinea pig can see you, and it should be in a room at a temperature range of 65 and 75 degrees F (18 to 24 degrees C). It goes without saying that their heavy coats can make them overheat quickly if the room is too hot. Clean out the cage at least once a week, and more often if needed.

silkie guinea pig pictures
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Silkie Guinea Pig Diet

The best diet for a Silkie is one that consists of pellets, timothy hay, and fresh fruits and veggies. While commercial foods that contain seeds, nuts, and dried fruit are good for snacks, they are not suitable for daily consumption. Timothy hay is a must, as it will help with dental care and digestion.

As far as vegetables go, the best items to use are spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, and other types of leafy greens. Tomatoes, green peppers, and carrots are also healthy, and should be frequently added to his diet.

While fruit is good, you should go with smaller portions if the fruits you are feeding him are high in sugar. A little bit of banana, strawberry, or blueberries is good, as are orange slices and apple wedges.

If you notice that your Silkie is getting diarrhea after eating fruit, reduce the amounts that you are feeding him. Any produce that remains uneaten after a couple of hours should be removed from the cage and thrown out.

Guinea pigs are unlike other animals in that they are unable to make their own vitamin C, which means they need to get it from their diet. High-quality pellets will deliver that, as will several different fruits and vegetables.

If you are feeding your guinea pig a well-balanced, healthy diet, he should get enough vitamin C, but you can always turn to supplements if needed.

Fresh water delivered via gravity-flow bottles should always be on hand, and all food should be served in earthenware dishes.

silkie guinea pig baby
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Silkie Guinea Pig Average Life Span

Ost Silkie Guinea Pigs live to be about 4 or 5 years old, although some have been known to live as long as 7 years in ideal conditions. Larger guinea pigs can grow to be as old as 8, and sometimes up to 11 years old.

read more: A Comprehensive Glimpse about Guinea Pig Life Span

Silkie Guinea Pig Exercise

Silkie Guinea Pigs have a great personality, but they are still a little more shy than other breeds, which makes training a little bit of a chore. They should never be outside unattended, so be prepared to be vigilant if heading outdoors.

While they are certainly shy, Silkies are also very smart, so be sure that they are stimulated with things like toys and wood blocks for chewing on. They need a very specific room temperature to be happy, so keep them clear of areas that are too hot or cold, or which are susceptible to drafts. Never place their cage near a heating or air conditioning vent.

silkie guinea pig diet
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Conclusion

Love, a healthy diet, and a little bit of exercise are what it takes to have a healthy, happy Silkie Guinea Pig. Like any pet, it is up to you as the owner to ensure that they are properly fed and cared for. Do that for your Silkie, and they will reward you with a whole lot of love in return.

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Peruvian Guinea Pig – The Complete Guide for Owner

peruvian guinea pig

Peruvian Guinea Pig – Peruvian guinea pig is considered one of the most attractive breeds. This is also quite rare to find. Peruvian Guinea pig as the name suggests, is native from Peru and a classified type and non-self-range of guinea pigs.

This breed of guinea pig is born with shorter hair, however grows long once they reach adulthood, as a matter of fact their hair could reach up to 50 cm. Their fur will naturally part down their spine and will show it in the best beautiful manner.

The fact that Peruvian Guinea pig has long hair this will require great maintenance that implies washing as well as growing on a frequent basis opposed to other breeds of guinea pigs. Their colors could be very varied like for instance, they could be tricolor or bi-color.

Peruvian Guinea Pig hair cold has many patterns and colors. Also you can find this breed in single colored also known as “self” Peruvians. Bi-colored Peruvian is relatively common however the rarest is the tri-colored.

The usual colors you could find is dark brown, light brown, black and white. What is more, also there are gray Peruvians however these aren’t as common. Peruvian guinea pigs most of the time are mistaken with other breeds, like the Abyssinian due to the fact that they look similar once they have not reached their adulthood.

Peruvian has a lifespan of five to six years. Females could begin breeding once they reach 5 months to 1 year. Usually the amount of litter is three however they could reach up to six or more.

This is highly suggested to individuals who are older as they require extra care and it will be hard for a kid to handle or supervise this animal.

Peruvian will frequently require washing as well as grooming as their fur requires to always being clean. Brushing on a frequent basis is mandatory so as to maintain a healthy and glowing fur. Peruvian Guinea pig is very fun, playful as well as charismatic.

Guide in Keeping Peruvian Guinea Pigs

peruvian guinea pig
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Make sure to give him with proper diet and a good home. This will keep your guinea pig healthy and happy and make sure a remarkable pet for longer time. They need lots of workout and exercise and they love to play. Also, you can allow them out in the backyard for short span of time under your supervision.

This breed of guinea pig also love to explore as well as want at least one hour of monitored floor time on a daily basis. When picking your guinea pig ensure you don’t hold it just by its shoulder. Pick your guinea pig with both hands and you have to be very cautious not to drop it. Guinea pig is social creative. They are also remarkable buddies for kids.

What your Peruvian Guinea Pigs Need:

  • Housing
  • Proper Care and Feeding
  • Activities
  • Social behavior
  • Proper Handling and Training

Peruvian Guinea Pig Facts

peru guinea pig festival
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Peruvian Guinea Pig typically lives 5-7 years, though some may live as long as 9 years. While they enjoy floor time with their owners, they will spend most of their life in their cage. So while the cage requires weekly cleaning, there is no need for daily walks with empty plastic bag in hand.

After a few months of acclimation, Peruvian Guinea Pig typically enjoys cuddling with their owners and some are known to sit on their owner’s lap and purr contentedly for hours. Always remember that each Peruvian Guinea Pig is different, some would rather scamper around on the floor and never adjust to long lap periods.

  • Peruvian Guinea Pig is originally herd animals and therefore very social. If you are able to accommodate them, Peruvian Guinea Pigs are happiest in groups of 2 or 3. Generally, it is best to get a group of females, though an entirely male group is alright as long as they are from the same litter. Just have an extra cage at hand in case they don’t get along. Check and double check the sex of your Peruvian Guinea Pig before housing them together. Females become sexually mature after just 4 weeks.
  • Daily care of feeding Peruvian Guinea Pig is not very arduous. They require a medium to large-sized cage with a solid bottom. Tub cages, which are solid on the bottom and have wired sides and a top, are the best. The cage should be filled with corn pellets, dried grass hay or hardwood shavings. Be careful, because wood shavings from treated wood can be harmful to your Peruvian Guinea Pig. The cages should be cleaned about once a week and the bedding should be changed at that time.
peruvian guinea pig pictures
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  • Some people have found success training their Peruvian Guinea Pig to use a litter box, but it takes a lot of patience. Depending on the length of your Peruvian Guinea Pig’s hair, cage cleaning time should also be bath time. The three most common breeds are smooth-coated, with a very short coat, Abyssinian, with a slightly longer coat full of cowlicks and curls and Peruvian, with hair so long is flows to the ground. Peruvian Guinea Pig should be brushed daily and washed and trimmed at least once a week to keep their hair free of bedding and droppings.
  • When it comes to their diet, you should feed them with Guinea Pig pellets. These pellets will greatly help them to obtain their day-to-day nutritional needs, as Peruvian Guinea Pigs are not able to manufacture vitamin C on their own. Their diet should be supplemented with fresh vegetables or fruits, especially those high in vitamin C, such as peas, corn, grapes, carrots and kale. Peruvian Guinea Pig also enjoy fresh grasses and some can munch contentedly in the backyard for as long as you will let them.
  • Feeding time is in the morning and again at night. After your Peruvian Guinea Pig gets to know his feeding schedule, your arrival will more than likely be greeted with excited squeals.

Overall, Peruvian Guinea Pig makes a great pet for a family, with limited time or space, but unlimited love.

Peruvian Guinea Pigs Features and Characteristics

peruvian guinea pig hair care
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Peruvian Guinea Pigs are apparently not your daily cavy. These breeds of guinea pigs have exceptional physical features which make them very special. Like for instance, this Peruvian Guinea Pig could grow to be a big guinea pig normally bigger than other breeds.

However, in spite of the bigger size, they have a strangely small head opposed to other types like the American Guinea Pigs.

See More: All You Need to Know About Breeding Texel Guinea Pig

Peruvian Guinea Pig Hair or Coat

peruvian guinea pig life span
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The most notable feature is the long locks of fur, making a stunning coat. In fact the world record for longest guinea pig fur is the 20” on a Peruvian. However, it is not highly advisable to grow your Peruvian hair this long as it will need lots of grooming maintenance.

Many individuals get these Peruvian mixed with a Silkie as of having long straight hair, however they are really very diverse. Silkiest fur sweeps over their heads whereas Peruvians will have their hair part at the pinnacle of their heads and slip along the spine.

Once the hair is totally grown out, it is hard to know or locate their heads. The top layer of their hair can grow up to 20” long the base layer will not grow over seven inches long.

Peruvian Guinea Pig’s Personality

baby peruvian guinea pig
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Peruvian Guinea Pig is considered as a bit curious breed of guinea pig. They are extremely alert and love to explore. They enjoy the company and attention of their masters. It is best to have extra time to play and interact with Peruvian Guinea pigs. Once they get secure with you, they will adore you and make all types of guinea pig sounds.

Guinea pig is a social breed and it’s suggested to provide them a mate. On the other hand, you have to ensure that the crate is huge enough to avoid fights and dominance.

Peruvian Guinea Pig Diet

peruvian guinea pig personality
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Peruvian Guinea Pig diet isn’t extremely different type of diet. This breed of guinea pig enjoy eating dry mi x of food that offer fibers, proteins fibers as well as minerals.

Due to the fact that Peruvian Guinea Pig does not have vitamin c in their system, it is very much essential to feed them with fresh foods that are rich in vitamin. Also you can give them vegetables and fruits, however not in large amount.

Peruvian Guinea Pig Life Span

The average life span of Peruvian Guinea Pig is 5-7 years, though some may live as long as 9 years.

peruvian guinea pig show
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What Type of Vegetables and Fruits Must I Give to My Guinea Pig?

There are many types of fruits and vegetables available out there that can be given to guinea pig, this take account of melon, apples, strawberries, bananas as well as blueberries could be superb treats for your cavvy.

On the other hand, vegetables that are appropriate to your guinea pig take account of carrots, spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, tomato, parsley, Chinese cabbage dandelion, as well as clover.

When introducing a new fresh food in your Peruvian’s diet you have to ensure make sure that your pet wants it first. You also have to ensure that the water is changed on a daily basis as it could get easily polluted that can cause illness and other medical issues.

For living setting, you must purchase a medium crate that has plastic base wherein you can place wood shavings. You can also put tube or a small box inside the crate so as to play and exercise. They should exercise on a daily basis in order to keep away from weight problems.

Peruvian Guinea Pig Care

peruvian guinea pig bath
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Caring for a Peruvian Guinea Pig is a lot easier than you may think it is. One good reason you likely got your guinea pig in the first place was for the friendship and pleasure of their kind and tender ways. The biggest issue people encounter isn’t having the essential skill on what care is required.

Like for example their home, your Peruvian Guinea Pig requires space or room to roam. A cavy requires a cage or a hutch which is allows approximately six square feet for every cavy. Also you must allow them out of their crate for a few hours on a daily basis when possible.

They also need exercise and love to explore their surroundings. Once you’re home and the weather permit it put their crate outside from time to time to allow them have fresh air as well as difference scenery.

With regards to the crate, keep it clean. You can change the bedding on a daily basis when possible; on the other hand it’s not necessary- even once a week will do.

You’ll get a sense for it if you check just how grimy their nest gets in the course of a day. It doesn’t matter if you go for wood shavings, wood chips or newspapers; you need to put in a little bit of hay too.

baby peruvian guinea pigs
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The Peruvian guinea pigs like to be capable of nibbling on the hay- it’s comfortable for them to lay back and a nice little nice snack for them too. Their preferred meals center around hay and grass so when you keep their bedding clean and tidy and keep hay or grass available for them, you’re well on your way to being a responsible caring guinea pig owner.

Keep attention on your pet and be aware of what is usual behaviour is. Through this way when he becomes ill, you will notice it right away. The early warning indications take account of sluggish lack of desire to play and loss of appetite.

The sooner you get your guinea pig to the best when you spot something different on the way he act, the better. They could fall ill and have stern repercussions once their wellbeing is not checked right away.

Certainly, the most essential thing you can provide to your guinea pig, after shelter and water is of course love and attention. A Peruvian guinea pig thrives on attention. A brushing or petting as frequent as possible is good for them.

Caring for Peruvian guinea pigs is not only good for them, it is also good for you to take a time out as well as a lovely, warm as well as affectionate Peruvian Guinea pig.

Peruvian Guinea Pig Grooming

peruvian guinea pig baby
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Research shows that a grooming routine have to be started when you’re guinea pig is still young. Doing this your Peruvian will get used to it and will enjoy it as well. When you start in the grooming routine as early as possible the faster you get to tie with your cavy ass that is always a smart step.

As stated above, it is very much essential to often cut the ends of their hairs in order to keep it clean as well as tidy. You are require to utilize a pair of scissors if at all possible the one that has rounded tips so you do not end up hurting your Peruvian by mistake.

Once you find they fidget, try to give a tasty morsel of their preferred fruit or veggies that might help a lot in keeping them busy or occupies while you are cutting their hairs.

Also you need to pay attention to the rear ends as well as their bellies that are parts which are likely to become soiled and dirty and so they could get smelly. Cutting the hair in their rear ends as well as keeping it short will help a lot in preventing this from taking place.

Once you do find they get a little bit smelly instead of bathing your pet that can stress them out, you can spot clean your Peruvian. This is less stressful and easier for your pet and of course to you as well.

Availability

golden agouti peruvian guinea pig
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This breed of guinea pig is relatively easy to locate in most places. Prices range from 20 to 30 dollars. This is also available in numerous varieties and on hand at pet shops, rescues as well as shelters.

If planning to get a Peruvian guinea pig ensure it’s a healthy animal. It is so easy to spot a healthy guinea pig as they have good sound teeth, brilliant eyes as well as shiny and healthy coat. Any age will make a nice pet; on the other hand you must get at least two or four as this kind of pet is sociable and love companion.

Conclusion

black peruvian guinea pig
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All in all Peruvian Guinea pigs are indeed beautiful and amazing creature which requires a little bit of attention opposed to other guinea pigs breeds. On the other hand, they aren’t perfect pet for small kids. Once you have a young kid, an American Guinea pig is the best and perfect choice for her or him.

In general, this cavy is raised by guinea pig lovers who can allocate so much time and attention for them. This is why they aren’t as popular as many of the other breeds of guinea pigs.

In case you have a plan of showing off a guinea pig in a competition, Peruvian is indeed a remarkable type of guinea pig to look for. Just ensure that you give you time and dedication to this cute animal.

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