Have you ever considered having a rodent as a pet? What about a guinea pig? These cuddly little critters may not be the smartest creatures in the rodent family, but they sure are adorable!
Originating in the Andean region of South America, these little tykes were domesticated thousands of years ago as food animals. It wasn’t until Spanish explorers brought them back to Europe that they became popular as pets.
Even Queen Elizabeth I had her own pet guinea pig, also known as a cavy, which may be where their popularity as companions began!
It wasn’t long before fanciers across the globe were selectively breeding these little guys for their looks, temperament, and health.
While guinea pigs are healthy creatures it’s important to keep an eye out for some of the more common medical issues they can face such as urinary issues, skin problems, and upper respiratory and eye infections.
Since Guinea Pigs are prey animals they tend to hide their symptoms until it’s almost too late, so if you are seeing something unusual going on with your little buddy it’s best you take them to the vet right away!
Guinea pigs are relatively healthy creatures so be sure you’re ready to make the six to ten year commitment of owning a guinea pig before adopting one, and do your research!
While they are relatively simple to care for, there are quite a few different varieties to choose from, and each one is a little different.
Today, we will take a look at the differences between the American and the Peruvian breeds!
Hair: Sleek n’ Chic vs. Fabulous Fabio
Although both are similar in size, one of the biggest differences between the American and the Peruvian Cavy is their hair!
The American’s coat is short and sleek, while the Peruvians are the Fabios of the Guinea Pig world!
The Peruvians’ hair can grow up to 20 inches in length so it’s important you are prepared to keep this little guy’s hair brushed and free of tangles at all times!
If you have the time the styling possibilities for Peruvians is endless, with some fanciers even going as far as putting curlers in their guinea’s hair!
Hair: Double the Trouble
If you love the idea of having your own long haired guinea pig, but you aren’t sure you are up for the daily maintenance they need a great option is to get two.
When guinea pigs are kept in pairs of small groups they frequently spend time grooming and even cutting each other’s hair.
This adorable pastime is called barbering, and while they may not keep each other’s coats red carpet ready, they will keep it from becoming a total matted mess.
The second most notable difference between the Peruvians and the Americans is personality!
While the long haired Peruvians are quite beautiful, they are also known as the divas of the guinea pig world.
It’s important you spend lots of time socializing them when they are young so they are used to handling as adults, otherwise they can be quite sassy!
On the other hand you have the American’s cute, cuddly, and ready-for-love demeanor. These little teddy bears love attention.
They are considered the clowns of the cavies and are often found making their owners laugh with their playful antics!
Now that you have the low-down on one of the cutest critters in the rodent family which will you choose?
The Peruvian Fabios or the Sleek Americans? The divas or the clowns? Whichever you choose you are in for a lifetime of love and adoration from your little furry friend!
Bonus: If you like guinea pigs, check out this article here.