Various guinea pig breeds have longer hair than others considerably. Animals with such kind of hair require a lot of grooming. Surprisingly, some guinea pigs themselves don’t like long hair because it compromises their movement and vision.
So, what guinea pig breed should I get? If you want to get long-haired guinea pig breed, you can choose from Peruvian, Texel, Silkie, Lunkyara, and Coronet. All these breeds have long hair; they became famous at guinea pig shows. Among all these breeds, Peruvian breed is the most common long hair guinea pet, and all love it.
While adopting a guinea pig as a pet, many things must be kept in mind. People often demand long haired guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs can be classified by their color, hair types, hair length, hairless guinea pigs or many other characteristics. It is all a matter of personal preference.
What Guinea Pig Breed Should I Get?
Peruvian Guinea Pigs
This breed is most popular among all other breeds, because of the length and softness of its hair. If you let their hair grow, it could reach up to 12 inches (equivalent to 30 cm). They have three cowlicks or swirls to determine the direction of their hair growth giving them a unique and rather funny appearance.
Peruvian pigs are the most spectacular and best known among the long-haired guinea pig breeds. Peruvian pigs’ breed is capable of growing their silky, long hair to the floor length or even longer. They were one of the first long-haired breeds that were selectively raised to show in the fifteenth century.
Due to the length of their hair, sometimes they are mistaken for wearing wigs and attract comments ranging from which end is which or can I pat it?
Who should opt for Peruvian guinea pigs?
This breed is perfect for people who can spend time taking care of their guinea pig hair while styling and cutting them. Anyone who enjoys spending time on their pet can opt for this breed. Whereas, Peruvian pigs shouldn’t be adopted if you don’t have enough time to maintain it.
Taking care of guinea pig is a big responsibility, so if you are adopting a pet for the first time, Peruvian guinea pig is not the best option. Peruvian guinea pigs are known for breeding and showing. They are high maintenance pets and need much more care as compared to any other breed while keeping a strict eye on their bathing routines, attentive grooming, and emphasis on health and hygiene.
Hair growth of Peruvian guinea pigs
A Peruvian pigs’ hair grows from the front as well as on the back making it hard to tell which is the end. The reason behind these guinea pigs’ abnormally long hair is the autosomal recessive gene.
They are not capable of grooming themselves properly because of the length of the fur growing on their body. Their long hair is capable of becoming tangled and twisted.
The dirt or filth inside could result in skin infections for them. Their fur is also prone to sometimes becoming soiled and matted. Peruvian guinea pigs are prone to the risk of fly strike. Such conditions can unfavorably disturb the animal’s welfare with effects that range from intense pain to discomfort.
Sheltie is another popular long-haired breed. A sheltie pig’s hair is thick and soft and grows out of their neck like a mane. They are also commonly known as “Silky.” They have long fur similar to any other guinea pig.
Their hair growth differentiates them from other breeds – for Sheltie guinea pig hair grows from head to chest. It is necessary to comb their hair on a daily basis and trim them if they grow long.
Unlike the Peruvians, they don’t have rosettes, that’s why their hair does not naturally part down from the middle. Another distinctive difference from Peruvian breed is that they are relatively new-comer and they started being recognized in 1973. Their fur comes in different variety of colors.
Coronet breed is similar to Sheltie, as it also has entirely smooth and silky fur. A single rosette on the head causes downward hair growth. They come in a wide range of colors. This breed has long coat that grows excessively on their head. They have long body hair as well, but not in excessive amount. Their fur needs to be taken care of every day to prevent dirt and tangles.
Some of the long-haired guinea pigs have permed appearance. Lunkyara breed, in particular, has exquisitely curled hair. This breed has two coats that make the thick and rough fur stand out visibly from the tiny body.
Long-haired Texel breed from England is unusual for a guinea pig, as it has a curly twisted coat without parting hair naturally. If you look forward to adopting a white long-haired guinea pig, then a Texel is not a good choice because their fur is either red or red-white.
Care for long-haired guinea pig
Simple grooming on a daily basis is sufficient to maintain long-haired guinea pigs. They do not require extravagant spending every week. It needs regular brushing; routine clips and wiping is needed specifically in the bottom area.
If you want to grow your guinea pig’s hair long, try to use small, non-pull rubber bands to settle down hair at one side. You can do it by using a paper towel or tissue paper under the band to make the rubber band removal easy.
Many caretakers are attracted toward long-haired cavies because of their beautiful locks. Many owners find taking care of their pig’s hair a thoughtful gesture which is a relaxing and fun experience resulting in a great time utilized for bonding.
Is long hair guinea pig breed the right choice?
Guinea pigs breed with long hair are mostly calm when compared to other breeds, and they enjoy their grooming process. People who want their children to share their pets choose guinea pig with long hair due to their softness and small size.
They are a high-maintenance animal and are considered best for people who understand their grooming necessities well.
Before making the final decision to get a long-haired guinea pig as a pet, the first thing that needs to be done is to gain knowledge about their needs. The owner should be committed, comfortable and ready to take all responsibilities regarding the at-home weekly maintenance.
Hair problems associated with guinea pigs
Long hair of guinea pig varies from breed to breed, but all types shed hair on a year-round basis. They need to be groomed on a routine basis to maintain their ideal condition. Otherwise, more hair loss will occur in spring and fall whenever their coat is renewed.
If a guinea pig long hair isn’t taken care of properly, their hair will tangle and twist around. Additionally, in extreme cases matting could interfere in their feeding and movement. The problems with mats and tangles extend from the fur to the skin because tangled fur results in painful irritation that might lead to infection.
Letting your guinea pig stay soiled or mat puts them in a severe condition called flystrike. It occurs because flies lay their eggs on the unkempt pets and afterward feed on the tissue and skin. A guinea pig could even die because of flystrike within some days.
Mites are another problem that guinea pigs get; it leads to skin irritation and hair loss. In case of any irregularities, a vet needs to be consulted immediately because this problem can be easily treated.
The advantage of having a long-haired guinea pig is a lush, luxurious and lavish coat that other breeds are unable to match. They can’t take care of their long hair on their own, and the trade-off for this tremendously furred animal is the time consumed to take care of their beautiful fur.
If the styling, brushing and caring of the guinea pig coat sounds fun to you – long-haired guinea pig breed is the right choice for you.