In the amazingly cute world of guinea pigs, there is an endless variety of short to hairless and long to curly haired guinea pig breeds. Short haired guinea pigs are commonly found and don’t require much time for maintenance as compared to the long-haired breeds. There are many short-haired breeds of guinea pig that come in a different variety of colors.
Essential characteristics of short-haired guinea pigs include solid color and smooth hair; some of them have many colors, prints, and patterns.
Among short haired guinea pigs’ breeds, the most popular ones are:
- American Satin
- American Crested
- Abyssinian Satin
- Teddy Satin
It is hard to say this breed is the best but the most popular breed and probably the “best” among the short haired breed is American Satin.
The short-haired guinea pig breed is the same in their genotype with long-haired ones, but at the same time, they are entirely different in other aspects as well. Some breeders spend their entire life while improving their breeding family for only one kind of short-haired guinea pig. All different short haired breeds have their natural history that develops each time in a new way when a new guinea pig is born.
Which Short Haired Guinea Pig Breed Is The Best For Me?
American satin guinea pig
American Satin is a short-haired guinea pig breed that is most commonly found and is popularly known guinea pig pet. This breed is also sometimes known as English short hair. Even in the shows, sometimes they are labeled by their coat coloration, like “self-chocolate short hair.” They have soft and smooth fur that is easy to care for. Their fur is characteristically satin or matte.
They shed less than any other breed which is considered to be very good. This is the reason why they are mostly preferred as pets. They have a calm and courteous personality which makes them an ideal choice to get for the guinea pig owners.
These days’ American Satin guinea pigs are popular for adoption. These sociable pocket pets are more likely to flourish with better vet care, plenty of fresh water, hay, a healthy diet, and an inspiring environment along with the owner’s care.
Bringing home a new pet of any species always asks for a strong commitment. Choosing a short haired guinea pig breed like an American Satin is the best choice because of its small size, minor health problems and above all the short hair that don’t require much effort for their maintenance or any regular brushing.
Choosing an American Satin guinea pig
While getting an American Satin guinea pig, it is of foremost importance to look for any potential health issues. Veterinarians offer guidance to look at the following points while choosing a guinea pig:
- Personality: Choose a guinea pig who is active, friendly, and easy to handle.
- Appearance: Choose an American Satin guinea pig with clear bright eyes and nose, healthy gums and teeth, soft, clean fur, healthy skin, and feet. Also, check for guinea pigs who have a clean area under and around the tail.
- Environment: Get a short haired guinea pig who belongs to a clean and healthy living environment.
Other short hair guinea pig breeds:
1. American Crested guinea pig
They are also commonly known as English or white crested guinea pig. The significant difference between these different short-haired American Crested breeds is the forehead crest. It can be a single distinct color from the rest of the coat, or it can be completely white. These guinea pigs look striking yet elegant.
2. Abyssinian Satin guinea pig
This breed resembles most closely to the wild cavies. It is an ancient breed, and they are called by their nickname “Aby.” They can be differentiated by the rosettes (curls) of their fur. It is a short-haired breed, and there may be ten equally-spaced rosettes set against the bi-color or tri-color fur pattern.
Abyssinian Satin guinea pigs have a satin or short matte fur. A guinea pig that has rosettes is typically fussier, and they require grooming more frequently to keep their hair smooth and tangle free. They are energetic and need daily exercise and playtime to keep themselves healthy and happy.
3. Teddy Satin guinea pig
They are also known as “teddy bear” because of their short and fuzzy fur. They require a lot of brushing for maintaining good fur and skin. Their nose is mostly upturned known as “Roman nose.”
Teddy Satin’s ears are drooped downward, and they are prone to build up wax, so their ears need to be cleaned carefully. With the cross of Abyssinian and American Satin guinea pigs, a Teddy guinea pig comes with a rogue falling gene that forms a knotted coat.
4. Rex guinea pig
The rough and short coat of Rex guinea pig is very fuzzy. Their coat grows about a one-half inch with an even length which makes them look cuddly. Their hair is very thick that’s why it requires regular brushing; frequent trimming is also recommended for their nails because they grow quite fast when compared with other breeds.
Rex and Teddy breeds look quite alike but the coat of Rex guinea pig is coarse, and the whiskers are curly. Whereas, the whiskers of Teddy satin breed are straight.
5. Himalayan guinea pig
They are often called by their nickname “Siamese Cat” because of their mostly white, short and smooth coat at the time of their birth. The color of their coat changes over time; they have distinguished dark red eyes, but still, they are not albino.
An exciting feature of this guinea pig breed is that their colors can vary by the ambient temperature of the surroundings as they grow.
6. Ridgeback guinea pig
This rare short-haired guinea pig breed has distinctive features. They have almost one-inch long “ridge” fur at the back, from where they originally got their name. They aren’t currently renowned in the US, but they are popularly known for show purpose in UK and Sweden.
Short haired guinea pig genetics
Just like human beings, guinea pigs have their type of genes that they get from their parents. All guinea pig breeds have their genotype which is why there are chances that one breed might have no hair. Some might have short and smooth hair, and other breeds might have long silky hair.
Guinea pig genotype is found in two types: recessive and dominant.
- Dominant guinea pigs are more common because just one parent pig has to pass it along in order for it to be found in the baby guinea pig. Dominant guinea pigs are characterized by short hair length, curls, fur, straight hair, and dark eyes.
- The recessive guinea pig is not commonly found because both parents have to pass it on to be found in baby guinea pig to possess that gene. Recessive guinea pigs have long hair, red eyes, and smooth and curly fur, not rosettes.
Health Care of Short-haired Guinea pig Breeds
Being a herd animal, guinea pigs appreciate becoming a part of a group. If you have a pair or group of guinea pigs, same gender or same group is an effective way to prevent accidental pregnancies.
Male guinea pigs are more likely to fight with diseases. The preventive health care of short-haired American Satin guinea pig goes beyond annual veterinary checkup. Grooming is an essential part of maintaining good health.
Any unusual discharge from ears, mouth, lumps, eyes, nose or anus or any strange smell or abnormality requires a veterinarian checkup. Maintaining a good diet is the best way to eliminate any health issues. Hay is necessary due to fiber intake. Eating of hay wears down their frequently growing teeth.
Short hair guinea pig grooming
Grooming of short-haired guinea pig is done all by themselves or their cage friends. The owners need to clean the grease gland, give them a regular bath and a thorough brushing in a direction in which their hair grows. It can be quickly done when you hold them or after taking them for a regular checkup to the vet.
Short haired guinea pigs don’t need as much grooming as their longhaired friends do. If the guinea pig’s fur is getting untidy, make sure to check them thoroughly for any health issues. This problem can generally be resolved by increasing the frequency of brushing their fur.
Long haired breed or short hair ones?
As we already talked about long-haired guinea pig breeds now, it is time to decide which breed to adopt. If you are unable to determine which breed of guinea pigs you would like to take as a pet, certain deciding factors can help you reach a decision:
- If you cannot spend a lot of time on maintaining your guinea pig, go for a short haired breed.
- When you do not have the time to take your guinea pig for frequent vet trips, it is better to prefer a short haired guinea pig.
- If you want to show off cute curls of your guinea pig, you might want to opt for long-haired ones.
- If you have never adopted a similar animal before, it is better to start with any short haired guinea pig breed because of a minor hassle for maintaining health and looks.