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Peruvian Guinea Pig Pictures and Information

The Peruvian guinea pig is a one-of-a-kind breed of cavy. It has long, flowing hair, which makes them popular with guinea pig fanciers that like to show their guinea pig in competitions. Whether or not you are interested in showing them, Peruvian guinea pigs make great pets so long as you can keep up on their grooming.

When it comes to personality, the Peruvian guinea pigs are curious, alert, and fun-loving like most guinea pigs.

History of the Peruvian guinea pig

The Peruvian cavy originated in Latin America and is one of the oldest guinea pig breeds. However, this cavy’s outward characteristics were developed by English and French guinea pig breeders.  A few of the features that distinguish the Peruvian guinea pig are the length and texture of its coat, the silkiness of their fur and their head. While the Peruvian guinea pig tends to be larger than the Abyssinian guinea pig or the English cavy, it’s head is proportionally not as large as it is with the other types of cavy.

The Peruvian guinea pig’s hair

Usually the deciding factor when deciding if you should get a Peruvian guinea pig as a pet is how much grooming you’ll have to do. Peruvian guinea pigs have much greater grooming requirements than the short-haired species. This can make it difficult for children to take care of this breed.

The top coat of the Peruvian guinea pig can reach up to two feet long while the under coat usually doesn’t reach more than seven inches. It naturally parts right down the spine in a straight line, and when it’s brushed and fanned out, it is difficult to tell the front end of the guinea pig from the back. If you are planning on showing your Peruvian guinea pig, they are required to have 2 rosettes on either side of their rump.

You can find Peruvian guinea pigs in a wide range of color and coat pattern varieties. They can be a single color which is known as “self,” two colors, or three colors. Tricolored Peruvian guinea pigs are usually the most preferred, but the other varieties are also beautiful.

The Peruvian guinea pig’s hair can tend to pick up bedding, dirt and other material. For this reason, make sure not to get bedding that can work itself into the hair and cause it to become tangled. When the Peruvian cavy’s hair reaches roughly eight inches, you can put it in “crimpers” (the kind that people use in their hair) or plait it to keep the Peruvian’s coat nice and neat.

Grooming needs aside, the Peruvian guinea pig makes a great pet for adults who have the time to devote to care and for those who are hoping to show their pet. Before getting a Peruvian guinea pig, it is important to understand the care that goes into keeping one as a pet, including housing, diet, exercise and socialization.

Peruvian guinea pig

Caring for your Peruvian guinea pig

  • Housing: Peruvian guinea pigs need plenty of space to run around in. The exact size of the cage will depend on the number of guinea pigs you are keeping in the same cage and their size. Also, the Peruvian should be kept out of damp environments since its coat is said to absorb more moisture than a short-hair guinea pig.
  • Diet: Peruvian guinea pigs are strict herbivores which means they should only eat plants. Pellet food is widely available, but is fattening in large quantities, so it should be limited to smaller feedings once or twice a day. They should be given hay freely to eat throughout the day, and their diet should also be supplemented with a variety of fresh greens, vegetables, and fruits. Always research guinea pig food before feeding your guinea pig anything to make sure that it is not harmful to them. Guinea pigs also need vitamin C in their diet because their body does not produce it on their own. You can feed them vitamin C supplements in a variety of ways such as drops or in their food.

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  • Exercise: They should get floor time where they are able to get out of their cage to run around and interact with their owners.
  • Social: Like all guinea pigs, Peruvian guinea pigs are highly social animals and should get plenty of social interactions. Many people solve this problem by providing their guinea pig with a cage mate. But if having two guinea pigs isn’t an option for you (and we hope it is), then be sure to give them time every day of social interaction with you so they will be happy.

Have you heard of the Peruvian Silkie (aka the ‘Angora’)?

The Peruvian Silkie is very similar to the the Peruvian guinea pig, except that it doesn’t have the mane of hair over its head that you find with the Peruvian cavy.  Their hair flows back over their head and tends to be even more soft and silky. This breed was called the ‘Angora’ until the 1930s.

Where can you get Peruvian guinea pigs?

If you want to bring a Peruvian guinea pig into your home, the best place to start looking is through a local guinea pig rescue or through a guinea pig breeding club.

Do you have a Peruvian guinea pig? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Also, visit our Guinea Pig Heaven Pinterest page

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Guinea pig breeds: check out these 5 crazy cute breeds

These days, it feels like just more and more people are adopting guinea pigs. And most people think of the American Cavy when they think of guinea pig breeds. The American is also known as the English Cavy and it’s one the most popular guinea pig breeds out there. There are, however, some other incredibly beautiful — and some might even say strange – guinea pig breeds out in the world. Check out our list of Top 5 guinea pig breeds that you won’t find in every household.  Tell us which one you like best at the end of this page!

Our Top 5 list:

  1. The Skinny Guinea Pig
  2. The Baldwin Guinea Pig
  3. The Ridgeback Guinea Pig
  4. The Peruvian Guinea Pig
  5. The Dalmatian Guinea Pig


The Skinny Guinea Pig breed

Hairless Guinea Pig courtesy of
Hairless Guinea Pig breed courtesy of

The Skinny Guinea Pig isn’t really that skinny.  It’s not on a diet and it’s not in need of fattening up.  The Skinny Guinea Pig is a breed that some say looks “skinnier” because it is smaller and mostly (but not completely) bald.  This guinea pig breed, which is born hairless, is said to be Great Britain’s newest pet craze.

Skinny Guinea Pigs are actually one of two types of hairless guinea pigs. The other is the Baldwin Guinea Pig. Skinny Guinea Pigs aren’t completely bald like Baldwin Guinea Pig.  Skinny Guinea Pigs typically have some hair on their legs, feet and on their face.  They also sometimes some have a bit of fur elsewhere on their body. The Skinny Guinea Pig breed is only a few inches long with smooth skin. Since they’re mostly free of fur, you can see the wrinkles in their skin around their legs and neck.  These eye-catching guinea pig breed comes in a range of colors.  This lovely creature is smaller than the larger guinea pigs that we’re used to seeing.


The Baldwin Guinea Pig breed

Baldwin Guinea Pig courtesy of
Baldwin Guinea Pig breed courtesy of

Meet the other breed of hairless guinea pig: The Baldwin Guinea Pig. What makes this guinea pig breed different from the Skinny Guinea Pig is that the Skinny is born hairless and the Baldwin Guinea Pig breed is born with hair (like a regular guinea pig), but the hair falls away.  A Baldwin Guinea Pig begins losing its hair during the first week after its birth, typically starting with the nose.  The hair loss continues down its body and the Baldwin ends up completely bald around the age of 2 months. Some don’t love the looks the Baldwin Guinea Pig (or the Skinny Guinea Pig). What do you think? Does this guinea pig breed have a face that only a mother could love?

The Ridgeback Guinea Pig breed

Ridgeback Guinea Pig breed
Ridgeback Guinea Pig breed

The Ridgeback guinea pig has a short coat of hair that is embellished with a noticeable ridge of standing hair that runs down the length of the cavy’s back. It’s the guinea pig version of a mohawk! Another unique characteristic of this guinea pig breed is the fact that the hair on their hind feet looks like it’s growing up the leg instead of down – very interesting! This guinea pig breed isn’t a common one. It also isn’t an officially recognized in the United States although it is recognized in the UK and also in Sweden. Baby Ridgeback guinea pigs aren’t always born showing the ridge of fur on their back.  It could take a few weeks for the fur in the ridge to take hold and show itself.  Also, Ridgeback guinea pigs sometimes have rosettes springing up in their coat of hair.

The Peruvian Guinea Pig breed

Peruvian guinea pig breed
Peruvian Guinea Pig breed

Peruvian Guinea Pigs are one of the 13 breeds listed on the American Cavy Breeders Association’s website.  This breed of guinea pig is naturally eye-catching with its exotic looks and luxuriant coat of hair. The Peruvian guinea pig breed’s fine-textured coat of hair grows several inches long – long enough to drag on the ground.  It typically grows from the back to the front and covers the guinea pig’s face.  As you can imagine, it also requires considerable care and grooming.

The Dalmatian Guinea Pig breed

Dalmatian Guinea Pig
Dalmatian Guinea Pig

The Guinea Pug isn’t the only type of guinea pig named after a dog. Have you heard of the Dalmatian Guinea Pig?  This guinea pig isn’t actually a breed, it’s a variety. It is a distinctly spotted variety of guinea pig that, like the dog, has a white body with colored hair clustered together to look like spots. The Dalmatian Guinea Pig can have fur in white and one of several colors such as black, chocolate or even lilac. They will also have all four feet, ears and face in the same solid color as the dalmatian spots across its body. The rest of its body will be white. Organizations such as the Australian Cavy Sanctuary do not support the breeding of dalmatian guinea pigs as they can give birth to a “lethal” guinea pig, one that is born with major deformities that cause blindness,  internal damage, a low quality of life and even death.

Which of these guinea pig breeds is your favorite? Let us know in the Comments section below!