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