Sunday, June 26, 2016

Guinea Pig Breeds: Peruvian Guinea Pigs

Let's talk some more about guinea pig breeds! We've previously talked about texels and skinny pigs. The breed I want to talk about today is closer to the texel in the hair department: the Peruvian, which is a long-haired breed. The ACBA gives the following description of the Peruvian's appearance: "Coat grows generally back to front, multiple rosettes, mature coat covers face."

That''s a lot of hair! Do Peruvians have faces? (source: Wikimedia)
Oh good, they do have faces! (source:
The Peruvian originated from Latin America, but were developed by English and French guinea pig breeders. They can come in a variety of colors:

That's a lot of colors! (source: ACBA)
Their top coat can reach two feet long, and their under coat can reach 7 inches long. Unlike American Shorthair guinea pigs (like Broccoli and Lola), Peruvians require a lot of hair trims. Although some websites recommend daily brushing of Peruvians, some Peruvians absolutely hate it, and you are probably better off just sticking to regular trimmings. Regular trimmings can help prevent waste and bedding sticking to their fur.

Look how long that hair gets! (source:
Hey, you! Get a hair cut! (source: The Wheekly Reader)
In addition to having to worry about keeping their fur clean, Peruvians are also more susceptible to heat stroke than other breeds.

Clearly, Peruvians are a little more work than the average guinea pig, but some humans find their big mop of fur to be irresistible. If you're one of these humans, be aware that this is an uncommon breed, so you might need to search a bit to find one. As we've said before, adopting a guinea pig is much, much better than buying from a pet store. Peruvians do turn up occasionally on Petfinder (for examples, see: Ivy, Marley, Ringo Star, and Lumi). You can also check Craigslist and your local guinea pig rescue. In fact, as of the time we're writing this, there's a Peruvian named Casimir at our local rescue who needs a good home!

Here's a Peruvian eating some parsley:

Have you ever owned a Peruvian? If so, let us know about your experiences in the comments section. We love to see pictures, too, if you want to share!

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