Among the smallest pets that we can keep at home, guinea pigs are becoming more and more popular. However, some of these types of animals may require more care than others. If you are thinking of getting one of these small mammals, I suggest that you first learn about guinea pig breeds.
In this article we are going to talk a little about the main characteristics of the most popular guinea pig breeds at the moment. We will give this information with pictures and at the end we will comment which one can be the best.
What Kinds of Guinea Pigs Are There?
There are many different breeds of guinea pigs today. Each has its own physical and behavioral characteristics. Therefore, depending on what kind of pet we want, it is worth knowing a little about the different types of animals that exist. To make your job easier, we are going to comment on the special characteristics of the most popular guinea pig breeds.
American guinea pig
Without a doubt, the American guinea pig is the most popular breed of all. Her hair is groomed, short and really soft. In addition, it does not require special care, thus making it easy to maintain. As for the color, they can have different colors. It should also be noted that this breed has great resistance. In fact, the health of the American guinea pig is generally much better than that of other breeds.
Peruvian Guinea Pig
One of the most popular guinea pig breeds is the Peruvian guinea pig. In this case it is an animal with a beautiful, long and soft coat. It can measure up to forty centimeters. As expected, being a long haired pet, it also requires more care. The Peruvian guinea pig is generally a good choice for those who want to show a beautiful and remarkable animal. Of course: you’ll have to brush his hair daily, bathe him frequently, pay attention to his diet so that his hair doesn’t lose its shine, etc. Continued neglect of these tasks can be harmful to the animal if its fur becomes too matted.
Abyssinian Guinea Pig
The Abyssinian guinea pig is also known as a “rosette” or “abbie”. Although its hair is not as long as that of the Peruvian guinea pig, it has a peculiar coat. His hair falls at the time of birth. Thus, it gives it a very edgy and massive look at the same time. However, since its hair is medium long, and can reach about four centimeters in length, it is important to provide it with some specific care. Certainly not as much as the Peruvian guinea pig. It should be noted about this breed that they tend to develop cataracts when they reach a certain age. Regarding the character of the Abyssinian guinea pig, it is usually very active and also very affectionate.
texel guinea pig
The Texel guinea pig also belongs to the long haired guinea pig breeds. Apart from its length, their fur also stands out for being soft and curly. Also, this animal has no rosette. There is less hair in the facial area. The head of the Texel guinea pig is small and has a somewhat rounded profile. It should be noted that the care of the coat of this animal must be constant so that it does not get tangled or accumulate dirt. Therefore, it is very important to brush their hair daily and at most every three months, if possible with a special dry shampoo for guinea pigs.
Crested Guinea Pig or Self
When we talk about the crested guinea pig or the selfed guinea pig, we are referring to a breed similar to the American guinea pig. In fact, it is a type that was originally recognized by the whorl of white hair on its forehead. As expected, being so similar, it is very easy to care for, making it an ideal pet if you don’t have much time.
guinea pig teddy
One of the cutest guinea pig breeds is the Teddy. As its name suggests, this stuffed animal is due to its short, dense and soft coat, which gives it a very fluffy touch. She also highlights his beautiful moustache. The amount of care that is needed to care for this breed is not as many as we might think. An occasional brushing will be enough to prevent it from accumulating too much hair and becoming excessively dirty.
rex guinea pig
The Rex guinea pig closely resembles the Teddy guinea pig. The difference is that both his mustache and hair are curly. Also, the coat of the Rex guinea pig is less dense because of the lesser amount of hair in it. It is usually slightly longer, reaches three and a half centimeters. However, since it is curly, it looks shorter. This woolly-looking type of guinea pig has floppy ears and a broad head. But why is it so named? Well, I’m sure you all know Tyrannosaurus Rex. This guinea pig gets its name from its large size compared to other breeds. It usually measures between 23 and 25 cm. The character is a particularly affectionate and affectionate animal.
sheltie or silky guinea pig
The first specimens of the Sheltie guinea pig, also known as the Silky guinea pig, date back to the 1930s. This is a breed that originated from a cross between Peruvian guinea pigs. As we can imagine, it also has exceptionally long hair, reaching up to fifty centimeters in length. It is very smooth and soft. The main difference between the Sheltie guinea pig and the Peruvian guinea pig is that the former’s hair grows in the front and moves towards the back. Thanks to this, their hair will never cover their face, as is the case with Peruvian guinea pigs. As with the latter, daily brushing of the hair is essential to prevent it from becoming tangled and collecting dirt. Also, if it grows excessively, it will have to be cut.
Coronet Guinea Pig
One of the most popular guinea pig breeds is the Coronet. It is a cross between the Crested Guinea Pig and the Silky Guinea Pig. Like the first, he has a rosette of short hair on his head, and long hair like the second. however, it usually grows higher on the head. Their full coverts are long, but short on the rest of the body. Therefore, it is also a breed that requires daily brushing. It is important to always keep these details in mind and think about whether we are really going to be able and want to invest that much time in a pet. If we cannot provide you with the care you need, it may be better to look for an animal with less demands.
Baldwin’s Guinea Pig
We have given several examples of long haired guinea pigs and some guinea pigs with short hair. But did you know that there are also hairless guinea pigs? The Baldwin breed is completely hairless, at least as an adult. Interestingly, this breed is born with hair all over its body. However, as it grows, it loses its fur. The shedding of fur begins between two and five days after birth. At about two months of age, there is almost no hair left. The only thing they keep is their whiskers and maybe some hair on their legs, nothing else. The skin of these animals has a somewhat rubbery texture and wrinkles on both the neck and legs.
Although it is true that with this type of guinea pig we save time and hair care, it should be noted that the skin of these animals is very delicate and sensitive. Therefore we must pay close attention to possible injuries or other anomalies, such as burns or fungus. You also have to see that they are not exposed to the sun or drafts for long periods of time, as they do not have hair to protect themselves from these two things.
skinny guinea pig
Another breed of guinea pig that does not have hair is the skinny one. Apart from the whiskers, there is only some fluff on its muzzle and legs. As it is a slender animal, he named it “Skinny”, which means “skinny” in English. Like Baldwin, it has wrinkles on its legs and neck, and its skin is very soft and delicate. It should be noted that, due to their lack of hair, they are animals that are very sensitive to shocks and extreme temperatures.
Which is the best breed of guinea pig?
Deciding which breed is the best out of all the guinea pig breeds will depend more on what we are looking for. He is not of caste only. In the event that this is our first guinea pig, it is best to choose an American, as it is easier to maintain and generally presents fewer health problems than other breeds.
Instead, if we already have a little more experience and especially time , we can consider caring for a long haired guinea pig like the Peruvian one. They are truly priceless if given the care they require. Surely this pet will not go unnoticed.
There are also two great options. For those allergic to guinea pig hair but who still want to enjoy these adorable pets: the Baldwin Guinea Pig and the Skinny Guinea Pig. Also, his lack of hair makes him very attractive and special.
Despite the fact that all breeds of guinea pigs are very cute, definitely some of them get our attention more than others. And you, which one do you like the most?