Think albino animals can't have color? Think again! Here is everything you need to know about the Himalayan guinea pig.
Although its name may suggest otherwise, the Himalayan guinea pig is not from the Himalayan region of Asia. While it may share some physical similarities to the Siamese cat, which originated in Thailand, the Himalayan guinea pig is from South America.
Much like other breeds of guinea pigs, the Himalayan guinea pig was brought to Europe hundreds of years ago. From there, they made their way to North America where they have grown to be one of the most popular breed of guinea pig for pet owners.
What makes the Himalayan unique from other breeds of guinea pigs is that they are, in fact, albino. The Himalayan is an albino breed that develops pigment on only its nose, ears, and feet. Every Himalayan is born pure white with the characteristic red eyes, but the pigment only begins to develop as they age, often within their first few months.
Overall, the Himalayan guinea pig makes a great pet for children and first-time guinea pig owners. They are sturdy animals with a friendly personality, and with proper handling, love spending time with their human companions.
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The Himalayan guinea pig has a short, thick body, with wide shoulders.
The coat of the Himalayan guinea pig is pure white, with dark coloring on their nose, ears, and feet. This coloring appears within their first few months of life and changes in intensity due to temperature, illness, and fright.
There are two different types of Himalayan guinea pigs. Chocolate Himalayans, which have dark pink to chocolate colored pads on their feet, and black Himalayans, which have black pads.
Like most guinea pigs, the Himalayan is a sturdy animal with a friendly personality that enjoys human attention when handled properly.
Images courtesy of Southern Cavy Club.