When it comes to long-haired guinea pigs, no two breeds are more similar than the Peruvian and the Silkie.
While both have beautiful long coats, there are a few distinct differences between these two breeds.
On the Peruvian, their hair grows in such a way that it covers their head with large bangs. If a Peruvian is being showed, this hair can be styled so that it’s hard to tell their head from their tail, their hair growth is so uniform.
On the Silkie, however, their smooth hair grows back like the mane of a lion. This leaves their faces free of hair so you can see their adorable little features.
Length of Hair
There’s no arguing that both breeds have long coats, but one breed takes home the prize for longest hair: the Peruvian. The coat of the Peruvian guinea pig grows longer than that of the Silkie and is an even length across their body.
The Silkie’s hair tends to increase in length from front to back, with the longest hair being on their rear.
How the Hair Parts
When the Peruvian guinea pig is born, it has rosettes on their hindquarters. Their long, flowing hair from one of those rosettes grows forward and the other grows backwards. Hair below them grows downwards. This directional growth leaves a visible part down the middle of their back.
The Silkie’s hair, on the other hand, does not have this natural part along its back. Instead, their hair sweeps evenly back from their head to their rear with no breaks. Since the hair gets thicker as it goes back, when viewed from above the Silkie guinea pig has a distinct tear drop shape.
And there you have it! Next time you see a long-haired guinea pig, do a mental check of these three defining guinea pig breed characteristics of each breed and you should be able to easily tell them apart.
As for guinea pig care, both breeds require daily grooming and spot cleaning to take care of their long hair. Piggies also require vitamin C pills in their daily guinea pig diet if they don’t get enough in their food, which helps keep their coat healthy.
Knowing the differences between guinea pig breeds could make for an interesting party trick if you want to impress your guinea-pig-owning friends!
Can you tell the difference between Silkies and Peruvian guinea pigs? Let us know in the comments below!
WATCH NOW: Guinea Pigs ‘Popcorn’ When They’re Happy