The Complete Guide to Peruvian Guinea Pigs!

The complete guide to peruvian guinea pigs!

The Peruvian guinea pigs (PGP) are one of the most adorable pets on our planet, with a great history in Peru. They are cute, lovely and easy to handle. The Peruvian guinea pigs have the longest hair of any guinea pig breed and were initially developed as show pigs. They are available in various colors, including the well-known tri-color pattern and cream and white variants. 

Before you decide to bring home a Peruvian, there are a lot of things to think about, even though this breed of guinea pig has a disposition that is lively, attentive, and fantastic in general. This breed requires a lot of attention, mostly for grooming. Let's look even further into the Peruvian Guinea Pig.

Two peruvian guinea pigs sitting

Peruvian Guinea Pig Origins

Because of how distinctive Peruvian guinea pigs seem, people may suspect they were lab-bred like the Skinny Pig. However, in reality, they originated in South American countries. It is generally believed that they came from places such as Bolivia, Argentina, and Peru. Hence, named a Peruvian guinea pig.

In South America, these animals weren't traditionally popular pets. Domestication of Peruvian guinea pigs began in France in the 16th century, when French European traders transported the animals from Peru to France. It was generally accepted when the Peruvians entered the United Kingdom through France. From then, this breed became popular globally.

Peruvian Guinea Pig Digital Drawing

Peruvian Breed Characteristics

Peruvian guinea pigs are kind and curious. They are distinguished from other guinea pig breeds by their very long fur. It has the ability to reach a length of up to 20 inches (50 cm). They are known for being the "hippies" of the guinea pig community. Their coats are very silky, thick, smooth, bouncy and exceptionally soft. Their hair frames their faces without falling into them.

These guinea pigs' backs are parted, so their beautiful locks fall to the sides. Two rosettes or whorls on the hips pull the fur forward, forming the trademark bangs for a cheeky appearance.

The Peruvian Guinea Pigs' Personality

It is not just its hair that is to-die-for that makes this specific breed such a popular option for cavie fanciers worldwide; it is also its personality that is larger than life. They are recognized for being friendly, cuddly, lively, and adoring those who care for them. Also, they are very interested, almost to the point of being nosy. It's a high-maintenance breed; therefore, we wouldn't suggest it for beginner pig owners.

Peruvian Guinea Pig Body Coat/Fur

People like these little guinea pigs because they have the most adorable body coats. Their uppermost body coat length can range from 13 to 14 inches. 


Peruvian Guinea Pig Coat Coloration


These cute guinea pigs are available in a wide range of coat colors, including:

  • Cream

  • Dark grey

  • Brown

  • Pure White

  • Russet red

  • Jet Black

  • Chocolate brown

  • Piebald (Piebald is a rare color present in Peruvian Guinea pigs due to co-dominant gene effect)

Guinea pigs, particularly Peruvian varieties, can have a single coloration is known as "self" color, as well as bicoloration or even tricoloration. Since each breed has lengthy coats, the Peruvian guinea pig is commonly mistaken for the Silkie and the Cornet guinea pig, but they're all different!

Did you know? A Peruvian holds the record for the longest hair on a guinea pig at 21 inches!

Peruvian Fur Care

Due to the length of its fur, the Peruvian guinea pig requires frequent maintenance. It should be brushed using a soft plastic brush since a metal comb is too inflexible and might rip out the fur to remove any dirt that may have accumulated. In addition, you should clip their fur once or twice every month. You can clip the guinea pig's hair to half its length to reduce stress. If the hair of your Peruvian gets tangled, it might give them a great deal of worry since it would make them feel quite uncomfortable.

Cutting Guinea Pigs Hair

When using scissors, be careful. It is in your best interest to take things slowly and have a level head. Your guinea pig may make unexpected, risky movements if you're upset or rushed. If you have an extra set of hands, it can be a good idea to seek assistance from someone else!

Guinea pig laying inside wooden castle

Cage Size

A spacious cage is required for keeping guinea pigs. The larger the cage you provide for your guinea pigs, the better. They need a big area to forage, move about, and play. According to the Humane Society, for two guinea pigs, the minimum cage size should be 7.5 square feet. However, we always say the more space the better!

Bathing a Peruvian Guinea Pig

You should give your Peruvian piggy baths from a young age. This is because Peruvian pigs require baths more frequently than other breeds. Starting at a young age will assist your guinea pig in becoming more acclimated to the water, so that bath time is more enjoyable! This can also become a bonding experience.

Food and Diet

The diet you provide for your Peruvian Guinea will significantly impact its skin and hair condition. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for the health of all guineas, but due to the length of their coats, Peruvian guineas will benefit significantly more from taking omega-3 fatty acids. Guineas can't synthesize vitamin C. Thus, they need it in their food. Vegetables and leafy greens are also suitable for guineas, but too much fruit can be harmful due to the high sugar content. 


The Peruvian guinea pig, just like other guinea pigs need:

Guinea pig munching on hay

Exercise

Regular exercise is crucial for all breeds of guineas, and providing them with a large cage in which they may move freely and exercise their muscles is essential. Boredom can induce Peruvian guineas to chew on their own or their companion's fur. Exercise wheels aren't safe for guineas since they can harm their backs.

Common Peruvian Guinea Pig Health Issues

Peruvian guinea pigs are susceptible to the same health difficulties as other cavies. Below are the most common health issues that Peruvian guinea pigs can face!

Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a severe risk to Peruvian guinea pigs, particularly in warmer regions and during the summer months. For tips on how to keep your cavy cool for the summer months, please reference our blog How To Keep Your Guinea Pig Cool for some tips and tricks! It is essential to ensure that they are never exposed to the glare of direct sunshine.

Flystrike

Although all guinea pig breeds are known for their careful grooming habits, the Peruvian guinea pig's lengthy hair makes it more challenging to keep themselves tidy. Flystrike is one of the most painful disorders that may affect a guinea pig, putting them at risk of getting it. And if treatment is not received, there is a risk of death.

This lethal illness, which affects guinea pigs, rabbits, and other small animals, is more common in warmer areas and is more likely to occur there. Always examine the area around your pig's bottom for flies or maggots that lay eggs since these are all evidence of this terrible disease.

Mites and Ear Infections

The ears of your Peruvian guinea pigs need to be examined regularly. These tiny guys have a lot of hair, so it's not always simple to tell whether they have an ear infection or mites like other breeds with less hair!

Peruvian guinea pig eating an apple

Where to Find a Peruvian Guinea Pig?

It can be hard to locate a Peruvian. This breed is typically unavailable at large commercial pet stores and even the smallest local pet stores. They are a breed of Guinea pig that requires more care and time as opposed to short hair piggies such as the American Guinea Pig. If you do stumble across one,  will be well worth your time if and when you succeed.

 

If you liked this article, click the links below to find out more about :

The Complete List Of All Guinea Pigs Breeds!

The Complete Guide to Skinny Pigs!


3 comments


  • Michele D Downing

    One of the three piggies I rescued has very long hair. Since they came from a hoarding situation (although we believe they were born at the rescue), all three look different. One looks like an American, one has the longer hair and one is in the middle with hair longer than an American (it’s soft and has a slight curl to it). They were supposedly from the same litter and had bonded so that’s why I rescued all three together. It’s my understanding that the person they were seized from didn’t take proper care of the animals she had (over 800 were seized, with all the females being pregnant!) and these included mice, rats, guinea pigs, bunnies, etc. She didn’t pay attention to any cross-breeding either. We washed all three when we first got them home, but them saw online that piggies don’t require much bathing. Should we wash the long haired one once or twice a month? They just had a vet visit and all got a clean bill of health, thankfully!


  • Joell

    I have two Peruvian Guinea pigs. They are so big! I have to say they are high maintenance. My American Guinea is so much easier. The big difference is the grooming but also they poop and pee more. I think because they are bigger they need more space and more attention. But they are more skittish than our American. They are adorable and I do recommend only getting them once you have experience as a Guinea pig owner.


  • Chuck Weiss

    I have 2 long haired guinea pigs that I got in Sept of last year. They are doing great.


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