Long hair, don't care! Here is everything you need to know about the Peruvian guinea pig.
Originating from Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia, the Peruvian guinea pig is one of the oldest breeds of guinea pigs in the world. They were brought to Paris in the late 1800s, and then brought to the United States. Upon arriving in America, the Peruvian guinea pig was one of the only three recognized guinea pig breeds by the American Cavy Breeders Association.
The Peruvian guinea pig quickly gained popularity due to their beautiful, long coats. The Peruvian's topcoat can grow to a length of up two feet, but its undercoat grows only to a maximum of seven inches.
Understandably, a coat of this length requires daily care to ensure it stays clean and tangle-free. It is recommended that a Peruvian guinea pig coat is kept trimmed to a length that won't tangle or collect debris in it unless it is being showed. In that case, extra attention will need to be made to ensure the Peruvian stays clean, comfortable, and show-ready.
The coat itself comes in a wide variety of colors, with the most popular being a tricolor mix of slate, cream and white, or a bicolor mix of slate and white, cream and white, or slate and cream.
Due to the extensive grooming requirements of the Peruvian guinea pig, they are not recommended for first-time owners or small children, who may not be able to provide proper upkeep.
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The Peruvian guinea pig has a short, thickset body with wide shoulders, and their flesh is very firm.
Peruvian guinea pigs are born with short hair and two rosettes on their hindquarters. Hair from one of these rosettes grows forward and the other grows backward. Hair below the rosettes grows downwards.
As the hair begins to grow in length, it should part evenly along the spine, creating a curtain of hair around the body.
Peruvian guinea pigs are known as curious, fun-loving creatures with charismatic personalities.