Peruvian Guinea Pig: Facts, History, Personality, Care, and Health Issues

If you are looking for an exotic pet, you will want to keep an eye out for one of the most well-known and magnificent long-haired guinea pig breeds: the Peruvian guinea pig. In the fourteenth century, they were among the first long-haired species to be intentionally cultivated for exhibition purposes.

Himalayan Guinea Pig

To avoid being confused with wigs, their hair is so long that it often draws attention with questions like “Which end is which?” and “Might I touch it?”

If you are looking for an easy animal to care for, you will want to avoid the Peruvian Guinea Pig or the Peruvian Guinea Pig. Peruvian guinea pigs are high-maintenance and need more grooming, washing, and attention to cleanliness and health than other breeds.

Peruvian Guinea Pig Facts

Peruvian guinea pigs are not the best choice for a first-time owner. They need daily brushing, washing, and grooming, which is a lot of work. Several health risks might arise if their long hair is not maintained correctly.

Peruvian Guinea Pig

As a result, they make an excellent addition to your family of pets. Let us say that you can devote the time and attention necessary.

Scientific NameCavia porcellus
Weight900-1,400 grams
Lifespan6-8 years
ColorsAgouti, marked, tricolor, bicolor, solid
TemperamentCurious, alert, playful

For those unfamiliar with the breed, Peruvian Guinea Pigs are the most well recognized and may be difficult to discern which side of their heads is up when first seen. In order to prevent matted fur, these long-haired guineas need a lot of care, washing, and brushing.

As a result, they are better suited to seasoned guinea owners who can handle the added responsibilities. Playing with them often keeps them from chewing on the fur of their friends when they are restless and under-stimulated.

Beautiful and eye-catching, they result from breeding these guinea pigs for show purposes.

History of Peruvian Guinea Pig

Many centuries have passed since the first domestication of Peruvian guinea pigs. Per’s highlands are where they had their start, as their name implies. These rodents were used as a meat source by the Indians who lived there.

Spanish Sailors Transported Peruvian Guinea Pigs to Europe

Spanish sailors brought these furballs to Europe over the Atlantic during the colonial era. As pets, Europeans saw them as a more valuable commodity than a food source.

The guinea pig soon became a popular pet because they produce multiple litters in a short time.

Peruvian Guinea Pigs’ Appearance

It is easy to mistake a Peruvian cavie for any other guinea pig because of its size; it is short, stocky, and even resembles a potato.

Peruvian guinea pigs range in weight from 1 to 3 pounds, with the males weighing more. However, in terms of size, it is a more recent development, standing 10 to 14 inches tall. It also has a smaller head than other breeds.

Peruvian Guinea Pigs’ Appearance

However, the silky hair of this particular guinea pig breed’s luxuriant, soft hair distinguishes it from all others. There is no other cavy with a coat that can grow as long as 14 inches to the floor.

Moreover, the hair of Peruvians could be longer in specific performances.

The Peruvian Guinea Pigs’ Personality

This specific breed is a popular option for cavy fans all over the globe not only because of its gorgeous hair, but also because of its outgoing nature.

Peruvian Guinea Pigs Are Friendly and Lively

They are considered to be friendly and lively with their human companions. Aside from that, they have a natural curiosity that borders on being intrusive.

Because of its extroverted disposition, people may mistakenly believe this cavy is the best first guinea pig to keep.

Inexperienced piggy parents should avoid this breed since it requires much upkeep and attention.

Peruvian Guinea Pig Diet

Timothy hay, explicitly made piggy pellets filled with essential vitamins and minerals are a key part of the Peruvian’s diet, as is the case with all cavy breeds.

Avoid Feeding Your Peruvian Pig Weeds, Flowers, Plants, and Potatoes

A diet rich in vitamin C-enriched fruits and vegetables is essential for all cavies since they cannot create the vitamin on their own as we do.

You should know that, unlike most cavies, the Peruvian guinea pig will eat whatever it comes across because of its curious temperament and voracious appetite.

Even though this is a tremendous benefit when it comes to getting your piggies to eat new and nutritious foods, it may be an enormous issue if it is let to graze freely outside in its run.

Keep your Peruvian pig away from unidentified yard weeds, domestic flowers, plants, potatoes, rhubarb, dill, and beans!

Guinea pig

Care For Peruvian Guinea Pig

All guinea pig breeds are prone to numerous health conditions, but it may be difficult to detect them. To avoid being eaten, cavies conceal any signs of illness or injury as long as it takes.

As a guinea pig owner, this means that when you suspect your pet has a health problem, it is frequently too late to treat it effectively.

The most common health concerns for cavies are dental troubles, diarrhea, pneumonia, and eye infections. Grooming and snuggling sessions are ideal for a thorough health checkup on your pet.

Clear, bright eyes, a clean nose, and clean ears are all signs that your animal is in good health. It will have a silky, lustrous coat reflecting light and seeming lively. 

A yearly medical checkup by a veterinarian is essential to make sure the guinea pig is in excellent physical condition. Other things to keep an eye out for include the following:

Heat Stress: With so many hairs on their bodies, Peruvian guinea pigs may be more susceptible to heat stress. 

When it is hot outside, owners need to use cooling measures to keep their homes at a comfortable temperature.

Care For Peruvian Guinea Pig

Vet and Grooming Stress: Peruvian guinea pigs are more likely to need veterinary care, which necessitates providing them with additional comfort measures like more attention and food incentives. 

Taking the extra effort to make grooming and trimming a pleasant experience for Peruvians would benefit everyone.

Nursing Difficulties: Long hair might make it harder for newborns to locate the nipples on their mothers’ breasts, so putting it up or giving them a haircut can make it easier for them to feed.

Eye Irritation: If you are worried about the long hair and scratching or rubbing the eyeballs of your Peruvian guinea pig, consider getting a haircut or curling up your hair.

Read More: Rex Guinea Pig | Facts, History, Health Problems, and Everything

Peruvian Guinea Pig Health Issues

Your Peruvian guinea pigs are in danger of fly strike if they are not groomed regularly or kept in foul circumstances. Fleas are drawn to excrement and urine in dirty or matted hair, which attracts them.

Peruvian Guinea Pig Health Issues

When the maggots hatch, they will eat your guinea pigs’ tissues and spread rapidly. A Peruvian guinea may die from this sickness within days of contracting it, making it a severe ailment.

Your Peruvian guinea’s hair may soon get matted, resulting in skin discomfort and restricted mobility, leading to Fly Strike if left uncombed.

Vitamin C deficiency may cause scurvy in guinea pigs, leading to an unhealthy coat and hair loss.


Peruvian guinea pigs are particularly susceptible to heatstroke in hotter climes, such as the summers in the United Kingdom.

Your piglet us run should be protected from overheating during hot weather. Therefore we recommend purchasing an ice pod and an umbrella.

In addition, they should not be exposed to direct sunlight.


With their lengthy hair, Peruvian Guinea Pigs are more complicated to keep clean than other types.

One of the most severe ailments for a guinea pig is flystrike due to these actions. And it may be lethal if left untreated.

Most common in hotter areas are cases of this life-ending disease in the guinea pig, rabbit, and other tiny animal family members. Flies and egg-laying maggots are telltale indications of this awful ailment, so keep an eye out for them around your pig’s bottom.

Peruvian Guinea Pig Health Issues


You should also watch out for bumblefoot or ulcerative pododermatitis if your pet is kept in a hutch with wire floors. Because of its long hair, it might be difficult to identify early warning symptoms.

A cavy’s agility is hampered, walking is difficult, and infections and death may swiftly follow if this painful ailment is not treated.

Do you know What Can Kill A Hamster Instantly? Here are 6 signs you should be aware of.

Mites and Ear Infections

The ears of your Peruvian guinea pigs must be checked often. It is more difficult to detect an earache or lice in long-haired dogs than in short-haired ones.

This calls for frequent hair clipping and ear tip cleansing. Always use a gentle touch, and never insert the tip of the syringe into your pig’s ear!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are Peruvian Guinea Pigs Good Pets?

Peruvian guinea pigs are affectionate and friendly animals that like spending time with people and other pets. The guinea pigs’ long hair is their most significant distinguishing feature, making them a little more challenging to care for.

2. Do Peruvian Guinea Pigs Need Baths?

For Peruvian Guinea Pigs, Bathing Is Essential.

Your guinea pig may rest its paws on the tub’s bottom. It is common for Peruvians to have difficulty getting acclimated to the water, but careful treatment and additional attention may go a long way in helping.

3. Are Peruvian Guinea Pigs Hard to Take Care Of?

Peruvian guinea pigs are not low-maintenance pets, but long-haired Peruvian cavy care is not difficult. Every day, this adorable long-haired piggy requires regular care and at least three hours of activity to maintain its hair shiny and tangle-free.

Guinea pig

Final Words

A peruvian guinea pig is an excellent pet. These children are very extroverted, outgoing, and interested. Breeders prize these guineas for their show potential because of their long hair and distinctive colors.

There are several advantages and disadvantages to owning a pet Peruvian guinea pig. Peruvians, out of all the guinea pig breeds, need the most excellent care, love, and participation.

Peruvian guinea pigs have a stronger relationship with their owners because of their regular grooming and cleanliness regimens. For both the owner and the pig that draw a lot of attention!

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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