You might be interested in getting a guinea pig, but did you know that there is more than one kind out there? It’s true. Most people can picture a guinea pig in their mind’s eye, but there are multiple different types, all with their own unique features.
In fact, the more that you dive into the world of guinea pigs, the more you’ll realise just how varied they can be. And as you might expect, they can also have different requirements. So let’s take a look at some of the most popular breeds out there
Hairless guinea pig
When we said that different guinea pig breeds have different requirements, we were mostly talking about hairless guinea pigs. The clue as to what makes this breed stand out from the crowd is in the name: they don’t have any hair. What’s interesting about this type of guinea pig is that they shouldn’t actually exist. They’re the result of a lab experiment! But that doesn’t make them any less lovable.
Since they don’t have any hair, it’s really important that they’re kept in a warm and cosy environment. In the summer, don’t let them into the sun without first applying sun lotion, since they can get burned. This type of guinea pig is especially recommended for people with allergies -- the thing that most people are allergic to when it comes to animals is the hair, but there’s none here.
Long haired guinea pig
We’ve talked about hairless guinea pigs, and now let’s go to the other end of the spectrum: the long-haired guinea pig. Again, it’s all in the name. These guinea pigs don’t just have hair; they have long, flowing locks that a catwalk model would be jealous of.
Their hair can grow to be many inches, and indeed, the hair can even kind of take over the whole creature. They can begin to resemble a wig at some stages. Though they’re the most exotic -- and thus most desirable -- breed of guinea pig, it’s important to note that they can be higher maintenance than other breeds.
For this reason, it’s best to get one only if you’ve had other guinea pigs before; they’re not recommended as a first guinea pig.
American guinea pig
The American guinea pig is the most common breed. They’re the ones you’ll think of when you think of this creature. Everyone knows them, in large part because they’re so popular.
They make an excellent first pet for children, since they’re so easy to look after. They also love to be handled and develop a connection with their owners. Maintenance is minimal, so it’s all about having fun.
No matter what type of guinea pig you bring into your family home, you’ll need to have some essential items that’ll make looking after them all the more straightforward -- as well as ensuring that they have a happy life.