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Peruvian guinea pig – description, breeding, care and care

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Peruvian guinea pig – description, breeding, care and care

Peruvian guinea pigs are the most famous and spectacular of the long-haired guinea pig breeds, and their long, silky hair can grow to the ground (from 30 to 35 cm) or even more on display guinea pigs. They were one of the first long-haired breeds to be selectively bred for exhibitions in the 15th century. Since their hair is so long, they can sometimes be mistaken for wigs and attract a lot of comments that start with “Which end is which? “or “Can I pet him? ”

Caring for a Peruvian guinea pig can bring a lot of responsibility and is therefore not suitable as a first-time guinea pig or first-time pet. Humans often have Peruvian guinea pigs for display and reproduction, but they require much more maintenance and require much more care than other breeds, including careful grooming and bathing, and a focus on excellent hygiene and health.

General hair care and daily care for Peruvian guinea pig

Peruvians come in the colors Agouti, Marked, Tricolor, Bicolour, Self or Solid, which are lighter shades than other guinea pigs. The breed is curious, fun-loving and alert. Other breeds of long-haired guinea pigs include the sheltie (silky), whose hair grows back from the mouth (or from the neck into a mane), and Texel with thick, curly locks.

The long hair of the Peruvian guinea pig is genetically determined and cannot be cared for by its length alone. The hair separates from behind and falls to the floor, covering his face.

Peruvian guinea pigs

Dealing with tarnishing and dirt

Many Peruvian owners let their hair curl between shows to prevent it from tarnishing, as the dull coat causes discomfort and irritation and the skin underneath can be sore, infected and ulcerative. Tarnishing can greatly affect the guinea pig’s ability to feed only if it is under the chin, or it can also interfere with the movement of the legs if they are on the legs.

Regular haircuts, daily grooming and daily checkups are a must to check for dirt, especially in warmer weather or warmer weather. Especially check the back to see if it has a clean back and bathe your butt if it gets dirty.

How To Give A Peruvian Guinea Pig A Basic Hairstyle?

  1. Pat your guinea pig and give it something to eat.
  2. Brush your hair in the direction it grows (mostly downwards) to remove knots.
  3. Trim your hair away from your body with small, sharp scissors.

Care regimens

Groom your Peruvian guinea pig daily by brushing its hair in the direction it grows. Use a soft brush to remove loose hair, twig tangles and pieces, dry leaves or burrs that may become tangled in the hair. Having a grooming routine from an early age will allow the Peruvian guinea pig to get used to gentle daily grooming.

Unless you plan on showing off your Peruvian, it’s better to trim your hair so that it doesn’t tangle and stain so easily. Many exhibition growers tie their hair on tissue paper and tighten it with rubber bands to keep it beautiful and not in the way.

Beware of blowfly larvae

It is important that Peruvian guinea pigs are kept in proper sanitation otherwise their coat will become messy and will be exposed to fly attack. A fly hit occurs when flies are attracted to the urine and feces of the guinea pig and lay eggs in the guinea pig, causing the worms to feed on the tissues of its body. A Peruvian guinea pig can die within days of a fly attack.

Hair loss and removal

When Peruvian guinea pigs are bored or hungry, they sometimes bite, chew, or “pull” the hair of their peers or their own person. This hair removal has several causes, including boredom, excitement, hereditary tendencies, and even nutritional deficiencies.

Reasons for hair removal and ways to deal with it

  • Boredom: To help with boredom, spend more time with your guinea pig, get a companion or upgrade your cage.
    Excitement: Excitement and anxiety are especially pronounced when an animal is cared for by a stranger and becomes nervous. Gentle handling and a quiet environment will help them calm down and relax.
  • Hereditary tendencies: Hair removal can be a family trait that is passed down from parents to children. If the mother chews the hair of the guinea pig, the babies can learn to chew too. This can make small Peruvian guinea pigs hairless. Therefore, it is important to provide Peruvian guinea pigs with enough hay and food to chew, as well as an interesting environment and companion.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Guinea pigs can also chew their hair if they lack fiber or nutrients in their diet. Providing a wide variety of chewable foods will help. Some people are unsure whether to use hay if the guinea pig’s hair is long as this can cause matting and tangle issues. If you want the Peruvian guinea pig’s hair long, try using dust-free shavings instead of hay.
  • If the hay, peaceful surroundings, proper diet, and attention on your part don’t stop you from chewing your hair, then maybe it’s time to arrange a shorter haircut.
Peruvian pig

The influence of diet on hair loss

Guinea pigs shed hair all year round, but shed more in spring and fall when they renew their hair. Unusual hair loss may indicate an internal health problem, such as scurvy or lack of vitamin C. Because they don’t produce their own vitamin C, they need it through food.

Guinea pig tablets (less than 8-12 weeks) may contain vitamin C. Vitamin C is easily broken down, so regular consumption of the tablets is essential, otherwise vitamin C is not included. Be sure to add fruits and vegetables to your guinea pig’s diet and don’t rely solely on pellets to meet this requirement.

What about vitamin C drops?

Vitamin C drops can be added to the guinea pig’s water source (add 1-3 mg of vitamin C for every 100 g of body weight); however, opinions on this matter are divided. Vitamin drops are known to cause dehydration, which is compounded by potential heat stress in Peruvian women, so it’s not recommended.

The best way is to get vitamin C from the food. Do not give guinea pig multivitamins as they can be poisonous to them.

What do Peruvian guinea pigs eat?

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Coriander
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion
  • Dill
  • Grass
  • green bean
  • Hay
  • Kale
  • Mustard
  • Oat
  • parsley
  • Parsnip
  • Peaches
  • Pumpkin
  • Red pepper
  • Cantaloupe
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Yam
  • Watermelon
  • Courgette

Maintaining the comfort of a long-haired pet

You can make sure your pet is healthy as it will have bright eyes, a clean nose, and clean ears. His coat will be smooth and shiny, and he will be active. A veterinary examination is required at least once a year for the annual inspection to ensure that the guinea pig is physically healthy. Here are some other issues to be aware of:

  • Heat stress: Peruvian guinea pigs may be more likely to experience heat stress due to their high amount of fur. Therefore, owners need to be vigilant to ensure the right temperature, using cooling methods in hot weather.
  • Veterinary and nursing stress: Because they are more prone to vet visits, Peruvian guinea pigs may find it more stressful to go to the vet. Therefore, additional comfort is needed in these situations, including attention and food rewards. Sometimes Peruvians may find grooming and trimming stressful, so paying close attention to doing it gently and making it an enjoyable experience will benefit everyone.
  • Feeding Difficulties: It can be difficult for mothers to nurture their offspring as babies may have trouble finding nipples under long hair, so tying them up or clipping them would help with suckling.
    Eye irritation: Long hair touching the eyes of a Peruvian guinea pig can irritate and damage the surface of the eyeball, so curling hair or a haircut can also help.

Hygiene and bath

The Peruvian guinea pig cage should be cleaned daily. Some owners change the dirty hay every day, others clean the entire booth. The Peruvian guinea pig’s appearance and emotional state will suffer if kept in a dirty cage. Faeces, urine, decaying food, and dirty hay make the cage unhygienic, so frequent cleaning is essential to avoid health problems.

Remove the floor litter and replace it if it becomes dirty. Refill hay, water and food bowls, making sure nothing sticks to food containers and that they are washed periodically. As soon as the cage walls look dirty or stink, they should be rinsed, scrubbed with disinfectant, rinsed and allowed to dry before re-use.

Baths are essential for Peruvian guinea pigs

Many people will say that guinea pigs should not be bathed, but for Peruvian guinea pigs it is an essential part of life to keep their hair and skin clean. Heat the water to lukewarm temperature and fill it only up to the chest height. Place your guinea pig so that it can put its feet on the bottom of the tub. Most guinea pigs try to escape the water, but Peruvian pigs need plenty of bathing, so getting them used to a positive experience with gentle handling and extra attention often helps.

Use non-perfumed products for washing – a mild baby shampoo or soap is recommended. After bathing, wrap your Peruvian guinea pig in a towel and let the fur dry a little. Hair dryers can be scary to guinea pigs, and heaters can cause heat stress in Peruvian women, so if you have a way to dry your hair without too much heat or noise, use it. Otherwise, air drying in a warm environment is fine. Brush or comb the hair and give your pet a cuddle and food to calm them down later.

Did you know

Peruvian guinea pigs love it when their long fur is gently pulled under the chin. They will lift their chins and stretch like a cat.

How to make your pet’s cage interesting?

Have both an outside and inside cage to provide different environments.
Provide a nest box made of wood or an inverted pot with a nesting entrance.
Provide low-rise climbing exercise ramps (but be careful to keep them low-elevating – otherwise it may cause back injuries).
Add a companion guinea pig, if not present.
Add toys for entertainment, such as tunnels and hideouts.
Provide a variety of food to choose from.


Peruvian guinea pigs are judged primarily by their mane (about 70%). The attention was paid to the thickness and condition of the hair as well as combing the hair to the sides, back and over the head. Show Peruvians must have two rosettes on each side of their rump, and their hair should part so that it is difficult to tell the front from the back.

Enjoy a unique bond with your pet!

Having a Peruvian guinea pig is a lot of work, but it can also be fun. Of all guinea pig breeds, Peruvian guinea pigs need the most attention, love, and commitment. Due to their daily grooming and hygiene activities, Peruvian guinea pigs are more related to their owners and are very likely to become an important friend in their life. They also provide great photo opportunities and grab the attention of both the owner and the guinea pig!