Peruvian Guinea Pig – Profile, Facts & Care
Acknowledged by their super long hair, Peruvians are some of the bigger-sized guinea pig breeds. Compared to others, they have shorter heads and an unusual body proportion. A healthy adult Peruvian guinea pig weighs between 2 and 3 pounds (900 and 1400 grams).
In most cases depending on the diet and environment male Perus are slightly heavier than the female. In adulthood, a Peruvian grow to around 10-14 inches in length. The fur of these beautiful creatures come in an assortment of patterns and colors.
While some of them have a solid plain color, others comprise double and triple combinations. Below are five important facts and care tips for your Peruvian guinea pigs.
Food and Diet
In reality, Peruvian guinea pigs require more than 80% of fresh hay every day. Although they do not require a lot of water, ensure that you provide them with a steady supply to stay dehydrated.
In the market, there are specifically formulated pellets for guinea pigs. Remember that vitamin-rich and highly fiber commercial feeds would go a long way in keeping your fuzzy friend in good physical shape.
With an inclined digestive system, there are several foods deadly to your pet’s health. Some of them include avocado, mushrooms, chocolate, garlic, nuts, potatoes, onions, and others.
Note that overeating causes obesity, digestive and urinary issues. Although you may serve your Perus with limitless hay quantities avoid overfeeding with pellets, fruits, and fresh vegetables.
Then, observe a regular feeding schedule twice daily preferably in the morning and evening. Do not forget to discard the uneaten food and replace it with clean water to keep infections at bay.
Peruvians have a double coat of hair. This consists of an undercoat that grows to around seven inches and an outer layer measuring close to 20 inches. Despite the gorgeous look, your Peru friend requires more hygiene and grooming attention.
For a first-time pet keeper, a Peruvian may not be the best alternative. Classified among the high maintenance pets, most owners mostly keep them for breeding and appeal.
All in all, a Peruvian grooming schedule revolves around extensive bathing routines. In the process, most owners wrap around the hair to prevent matting. This is the situation where knotted clumps of a pet’s fur become enmeshed in masses.
Due to the colossal amount of hair in Peruvians, several entanglements may develop in the inner coat. This causes a huge and painful mess of detaching the elongated fur.
Since long hair affects the self-grooming process, trim it or comb it away from the face. That way, your guinea pig feeds better and feels much at ease. Note that constant clipping, daily examinations, and brushing hair are necessary to keep your pet healthy.
It is worth noting that introducing a grooming habit in the early days helps the pigs to get accustomed to it later in life. Likewise, keeping your Peruvian guinea pig clean helps to control the flystrike condition.
This is a situation where flies live and lay eggs on a soiled piggy’s long hair. If not managed in good time, maggots feed on the body tissues leading to death within days.
Due to their playful nature, guinea pigs require an abundance of space to roam, nest, play, eat and rest. To encourage them to explore and exercise, allow your piggies out of the cage at least once a day.
Peruvians are more comfortable in a spacious cage of not less than 7.5 square feet. For two or more pets, invest in a minimally sized cage of 10.5 square feet cage and above.
A bigger enclosure allows your Peruvian to exercise and socialize at will. As a result, it limits boredom and medical conditions like diabetes and heart conditions. Additionally, it increases the possibility of passive co-existence between your herds.
It is also much easier to clean a full-size cage compared to a tiny one. With an enhanced opportunity to exhibit their natural characteristics, your guinea pigs may become merrier and healthier.
Even so, keep off from pine and cedar beddings to avoid chemical inhalation. Likewise, place your cage within the correct temperature range to prevent your pets from getting heatstroke.
In their natural habitat, harsh climatic changes may affect Peruvian’s lifetime. Yet, their survival and endurance in captivity depend on the care and affection given by the owners.
If well-taken care of, your fuzzy friend may keep you company for eight to ten years. When they get old and about to die, you may notice that the skin becomes dull and rough. Equally, your pet may start losing hair or developing skin inflammation.
Health and Care
It is well known that Guinea pigs tend to hide ailments until they get out of hand. To ensure that your Peruvians lead a normal life, keep records of their weight as it helps to detect anything unusual. Unlike their counterparts, Peruvians have more grooming needs because of the longer fur.
Apart from keeping diseases away, proper hygiene enables them to lead a more comfortable life. For a healthy Peru, feed them with carbs, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and water.
Although fresh fruits and vegetables are a great way to spice the meals, ensure that you control the portions to avoid overeating.
Hay remains the safest and most favorite food for the Peruvians. However, not all of them contain the ideal nutrients. It might cost you much more to get the right hay with the correct balance of nutrients.
Whilst piggies do not need regular deworming and vaccinations, take them for yearly medical checkups to an exotic veterinarian. Most importantly ensure that you take your little critters to the vet soon after birth.
5 Peruvian Guinea Pig Facts
- Peruvian guinea pig’s fur can grow very long; can reach up to 20 inches in length
- Just like other guinea pigs, Peruvians are very friendly and social, and they should never live alone
- Due to their long hair, Peruvians can’t support high temperature, because it will cause them heat stress
- Their long fur requires regular grooming and much more attention compared to other guinea pig breeds
- Often, Peruvian guinea pigs will eat their own poop, which is absolutely normal behavior among these animals
Peruvians are some of the oldest guinea pig breeds. Believed to have originated from France, the long fur pigs are social, playful, and make ideal pets.
While Peruvians are as pretty as a picture, inexperienced owners may find it hard to main the high level of hygiene needed.
So, before buying one ensure that you identify with proper Peruvian haircuts and grooming.