Like other rare breed guinea pigs, the alpaca guinea pig is a hard guinea pig to find and is often bred by specialist breeders.
It is rare to find them in pet stores, however they are a guinea pig that is much loved for their pleasant and lovable personality.
Before we move onto how to care for them and groom them, here are some basic facts about the alpaca guinea pig, to help you get to know them better.
- They were bred as domestic cavy and bare little resemblance to their south american ancestors.
- Alpaca’s come in many different colours.
- They have long coarse, wavy hair which has different colouring on its ends as opposed to the main body of it.
- They get their name from their close resemblance to the alpaca animal
- Alpaca guinea pigs have a rosette on their foreheads
- They are indoor animals who do not do well outside.
- They do need their hair trimmed on a consistent basis.
- They need their hair brushed on a daily basis so it doesn’t tangle.
- They need to be bathed on a monthly basis so as to wash away and dirt and grime which the Alpaca cant reach.
- Its hair can very easily become matted if it is not groomed well by its owner.
- Alpaca’s are very affectionate creatures who enjoy human company as well as the company of other guinea pigs no matter the breed.
How To Care for an Alpaca guinea pig.
The alpaca guinea pig is not good as a first guinea pig. This is because they are quite high maintenance guinea pigs compared to other guinea pig breeds such as the american cavy.
This is because of the length of their hair which requires brushing and de-tangling on a daily basis.
It also needs trimming on a monthly basis especially around the legs and the anus as dirt, grime and excrement can gather which hasn’t been dealt with and cleaned off by the Alpaca.
They need to live in a tidy environment so that their hair does not pick up any unwanted debris.
They need to live indoors and do not live well outside.
They feed on an average guinea pig diet of hay, vitamin c pellets, fresh water and veggies.
They need their nails trimmed on a monthly basis, just like other guinea pig breeds to stop them from curling into their footpad.
Grooming tips for an alpaca guinea pig.
When an Alpaca’s hair starts to drag along the floor, then its time to trim their hair below the body.
Take care when combing their hair as de-tangling can hurt it and cause the Alpaca to squirm and jump. In fact, it is hard not to do this, but be persistent in getting the tangles out even if you have to trim the tangle off.
Take care when trimming around their anus so as to ensure that you avoid cutting the genitals.
Trimming their hair will ensure that they are more comfortable especially In the warmer months.
Check that their hair does not mat, if it does then it will need trimming as matting is hard if not impossible to brush out.