Did you know that Guinea pigs are the third most popular pet in many places, behind dogs and cats? These tiny balls of fur do have some charming qualities. They’re super cute, generally quite friendly, don’t need much room, and are easy and inexpensive keepers. They also sport a variety of pretty colors and hairstyles. And while they are all pretty cute, super fluffy Guinea pigs are definitely extra adorable. A local Omaha, NE vet discusses long-haired Guinea pigs below.
Several different Guinea pig breeds can sport long hair. They all look a bit different. For instance, Peruvians and Coronets tend to have very silky coats, while Texels have waves or curls. Some, like the Abyssinian and Peruvian, have cowlicks, or rosettes. The Alpaca, like its namesake, has thick, coarse fur, while the Sheba looks kind of like a neatly-trimmed beard. They all have slightly different grooming needs, so do some research before adopting one.
While most aspects of your furry friend’s care will be the same as that of any other cavies, these guys definitely need more attention in the beauty department. You’ll need to brush or comb your fluffy friend daily, to remove dust, dirt, and pieces of hay or twigs from their coat. Ask your vet to recommend a good comb or brush. Always go in the direction of your pint-sized pal’s fur. That means adjusting direction as needed to account for cowlicks or other growth patterns.
One downside of long hair is that it can trap dust, dirt, and feces. If this is an ongoing problem with your tiny buddy, you may want to gently trim back problem areas. Be very careful, and stick with round-end scissors.
Your vet may recommend bathing your miniature furball. You may want to fold a towel and put it in the sink for your pet to rest on. Use a gentle pet shampoo, and avoid using conditioners or styling products. Be sure to use warm, not hot water. Hold your little buddy securely, or have a helper assist. Once bathtime is over, put the little guy in a warm, clean spot to dry off. Brush or comb them after they are dry, to get their hairstyle back in place and remove any dead hair.
Do you have questions about caring for a fluffy Guinea pig? Contact us, your Omaha, NE animal clinic, anytime!