Looking for a guinea pig to look after can be a tricky thing sometimes, so here is a guide to help decide what breed of guinea pig should you get?
Breeds that are easy to look after
These breeds of guinea pigs are idea for beginners and those who have no experience of looking after guinea pigs. They are also great for older children to look after.
They are also ideal for owners who don’t have a lot of time on their hands.
American Guinea Pig – Short haired cavies who are very low maintenance. Elegant and sleek in appearance. Ideal for first time owners.
Crested guinea pig – A short haired guinea pig that has a single rosette swirl on their forehead. Their hair is short so does not require maintenance.
Montaine guinea pig – a cousin of the domestic cavy, found in South America. A short haired cavy that is low maintenance
Agouti guinea pigs – A wonderfully beautiful short haired cavy that are very low maintenance with their beautifully distinct short coats. Ideal for beginners of older responsible children to look after.
Rex guinea pigs – Have dense wooly hair that stands up on end and ears that droop down. Don’t require a lot maintenance and they self-clean.
Breeds that require more experience
These breeds of guinea pigs require a bit more attention but can still be looked after by relatively new owners. They are recommended as a second-guinea pig and require time spent maintaining them on a weekly basis.
Teddy guinea pigs – Have a lovely frizzy haired and dense coat however it is relatively short haired and so doesn’t need as much care as long haired cavies. Ideal for those with a bit of experience of looking after guinea pigs.
Abyssinian guinea pigs – Long haired cavies loved and adored throughout the world, require brushing regularly to ensure that they fungal infections don’t occur. They are relatively self cleaning and so don’t require regular bathing. However do watch for build up around the anus and will require bathing to get rid of this.
Himalayan guinea pig – It is an albino guinea pig that needs to be kept inside. Their short hair means that they don’t need a lot of maintenance. Can be a first guinea pig but require a little more attention due to needing to be inside.
Swiss guinea pigs – Guinea pigs with hair that stands on end. Requires brushing once a week at the most and are pretty much self-cleaning cavies.
Breeds that require experienced owners
Not for the inexperienced, these piggies require a good amount of time and care from their owners. They need thought put into their homes and the environment they live in. They need owners that have spent time with piggies before and know how to handle them.
Coronet guinea pig – They are a rare breed piggy and a long haired version of the crested guinea pig. Their hair grows backwards over their body. They are indoor guinea pigs that don’t do well outside and need to be kept in a strict temperature of between 10 degrees celcius and 25 degrees celcius. Their hair needs plenty of grooming and maintaining as their hair can become matted if not looked after.
Peruvian guinea pigs – A most beautiful breed of guinea pig. Very rare and hard to find. Hair needs consistent maintenance and trimming otherwise it can be come matted. Their living environment must also be well maintained so that their hair doesn’t pick up any unwanted debris.
Alpaca guinea pigs – Not good as a first guinea pig as their hair needs daily maintenance to stop tangling and will need trimming regularly. They also need to live in a tidy environment so that their hair does not pick up any unwanted debris.
Merino guinea pigs – Long haired cavy with curly coats of hair. They are not a common breed and like other breeds of long haired cavy require a lot of care and maintenance on a daily basis with grooming, trimming and washing.
Texel guinea pigs – Also have long haired curls that require a lot of maintenance and care. Their curls cant become matted very easily and can pick up debris. Not a guinea pig to be left alone for long periods.
Sheltie guinea pigs – Wonderfully beautiful guinea pigs who have beautiful silky long hair that sweeps back from its face. They need regular brushing and their hair needs needs trimming regularly and attention to ensure that it doesn’t matt.
Breeds that require expert owners
Specialist owners only please. Please don’t attempt to own one of these unless you have been trained to do so.
Baldwin guinea pigs – Their skin is completely bald and has a rubbery texture to it. They are born with hair but it falls out over a period of months leaving them completely bald.
Skinny guinea pigs – Like Baldwins, they are a new breed of piggy that are hairless so need to be kept inside in strict temporal conditions. They have a soft rubbery skin which is very vulnerable to sunlight. They require expert care from owners that know how to look after them.