Peruvian guinea pigs

The Peruvian Guinea Pig: A Brief Guide

The Peruvian guinea pig are a most beautiful breed of guinea pig.

They are extremely hard breed’s to find and so are a bit of a rarity and for those that own a Peruvian guinea pig, they are much loved and enjoyed.

Before we get onto how to care for them and groom them, here are some facts about the Peruvian guinea pig to help get to know them that much better.

  1. The Peruvian guinea pig is part of the non-self variety of guinea pigs.
  2. They are a classified main breed.
  3. They are one of the oldest breeds of guinea pig.
  4. They are native to Argentina, Peru and Bolivia in the Andes region.
  5. The Peruvian has long sleak hair which grows over their face.
  6. They are long-haired rosette guinea pigs.
  7. They are born with short hair that has two rosette.
  8. They have a long fringe that hangs over their eyes
  9. They constantly need their hair trimmed
  10. Their long hair also means that they need grooming and bathing on a regular basis, much more than other breeds of guinea pig.
  11. If their hair is not looked after by the owner it can become matted
  12. When they are bred for showing, their long hair is often kept in curlers called wrappers!
  13. When they are together in their hurds they like to chew each other’s coats which is known as barbering.
  14. They come in all kinds of colours.
  15. The most popular colour of a Peruvian guinea pig is tricolour which is a white, cream and slate colour. Or just two of those three colours.
  16. Their hair can grow up to 50 cm (20 inches).
  17. When they are born, they are born with two rosettes one which grows forward and one which grows backwards.
  18. The hair below the rosettes grows downwards.
  19. As the Peruvian guinea pig grows, the top hair parts and spills downwards.
  20. At birth they have often been mistakenly identified as Abyssinian guinea pigs, so similar are they in appearance to them when they are young.
  21. After 5 months they should become more identifiable as Peruvian.

How to care for a Peruvian guinea pig

Peruvian guinea pigsIt can be sometimes difficult to determine which end of a Peruvian guinea pig you are looking at, because their hair grows so long over their eyes

The Peruvian guinea pig is one of the hardest to be kept as a pet because of their massive hair growth

Brushing a Peruvian should be a daily activity.

image: wikipedia

They must live in a tidy environment every day, so their hair does not pick up unwanted debris.

Their hair should be fanned out and grow out evenly

Feeding a Peruvian guinea pig, is not different to feeding most guinea pigs. They still require timothy hair, vitamin c pellets and a daily supplement of veggies and fresh water to keep them healthy.

Try and bathe them weekly using normal guinea pig shampoo, and make sure that they are dried off quickly.

Just like other guinea pig breeds, they also need their nails trimmed on a monthly basis to prevent them from curling into the footpad.

Grooming tips for a Peruvian guinea pig

When a Peruvian’s hair starts to drag along the floor, its time to trim their hair.

Use a fine comb as they can get among the hair more easily than a baby brush

The ideal time is to groom them every few days, but once a week at a minimum should suffice.

They may react when you brush through their hair, but be persistent

Don’t put the scissors too close to their skin.

In order to cut it, get some hair between your second and third finger at end of their hair and begin to trim around the piggie.

Try and keep them distracted whilst you do this, with some fresh veggies

Take care whilst cutting around their backsides to ensure you don’t cut their genitals.

You may have to be flexible as to which side you cut as they may move around a lot. But be persistent and make sure you trim all around your Peruvian.

Trimming their front is tricky and may require holding more closely.

Trimming their hair will ensure they are more comfortable especially in the warmer seasons.

Once you are sure that the hair isn’t going to drag along along the floor

If their does mat, then cut it out with scissors as it will get quite uncomfortable for them.

25 thoughts on “The Peruvian Guinea Pig: A Brief Guide

  1. I was looking for this type of guinea pig. Can you tell me how to go about purchasing him and how much does he cost? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Jennifer, your best bet would be to find a peruvian breeder. Or check out petfinder, if you are in the USA and see if there are any available at rescues. I can’t advise on price Im afraid.

      1. Hi Darragh

        Just wondering where did you get your piggy as those ones are hard to find? I am looking for two female Abysinnian but the Peruvians look cool too! Are thir coats easy to look after? What are their personality like?
        Many thanks, Fiona

        1. Omg..Fiona..I have a Peruvian piggie that I bought from my local pet store .. her name is pheona…I didn’t know I can spell her name like yours ..she’s very diva as I have one American piggie and I have an abyssininian. She hates her hair brushed .but mine is the slate color with white n black..she is very sweet though ..

  2. I got my peruvian at a regular pet store but had to be put on a waiting list for about 2 months and be called in when they got some. She is solid light red brown color so according to this site, that’s rare for a Peruvian..woohoo 🙂 such a cuddly and sweet baby girl even tho she can be quite the diva (cant be because she’s spoiled…lol)

  3. How exactly do we shampoo our guinea pig? And how do we dry her hair? Should we keep her in the house overnight so she doesn’t get cold?

  4. Guys, please don’t shop – adopt! You can always find in a shelter nearby even a breed you are looking for 🙁
    Unfortunately, many people get pet to find out that they don’t have time for it, so they give it away. So, be sure to first check the shelters around you – save those little poor souls who are looking for a new home, and don’t support pet mills by buying them in pet stores.

  5. Do they make affectionate pets? I’m looking to get two females to help with my anxiety and lonliness. Does anyone have any thoughts?

    1. Yes, they are awesome pets for lonliness.. Im in my 40s (stay home alone a lot) and i love my 2 piggies. Great little pets.

    2. They will definitely love you if you give them food. Mine did. Most love being pet and having time spent with them. Although don’t go away for long periods of time or they’ll get lonely so if you are get a little friend for the first so it won’t be lonely

  6. Im looking for s long haired black baby Guinea pig an it looks like from reading this website that the Sheltie is what we are really looking for! Im so excited an can’t wait to finally buy one for my very own! I am s stay at home mom an will be around to care for the needs of the baby regularly! Can anyone direct me to the right place to find exactly what I’m looking for?!

  7. I’m in Australia ( south Australia) and I breed the Peruvian Guinea Pigs , they are a beautiful breed , I fined then more placid and live for about 6-7 years depends on how there looked after and if no health problem arise. I also breed the Abysinnian as well and another beautiful breed .

  8. Pingback: Guinea Pig Breeds - How To Take Care Of A Guinea Pig

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