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When deciding to get a small animal as pet, a popular choice for people would be to get is an adorable guinea pig. A favorite choice as a first pet, guinea pigs are ideal for children. There is a variety of choice to choose from in guinea pigs. A unique and most adorable looking type are long haired guinea pigs. There are few different breeds of long haired guinea pigs, common being Peruvian, Silkie, Abyssinian and Texel.
The earliest long haired guinea pigs were first seen during 16th century when few traders of Europe brought them into France.
Different Type of Long-Haired Guinea Pig and Coats
Every different guinea pig breed with the long-haired type have their very own special look about their individual coat. A distinct and unique characteristic of Abyssinian type guinea pig is the rosettes in their coat. It is also known as “cowlicks.” The texel breed of guinea pigs have curly and long wavy hair in their coat. On the other hand, the peruvian, coronet and silkies tend to have long flowing hairy coats. The silkie breed of Guinea pigs hairs do not reach up to their face and the Peruvian breed also sometimes posses the rosettas.
Maintaining The Long Haired Guinea Pigs
The long haired guinea pigs need special care and attention to keep their coats clean. This requires a well planned cleaning regime to avoid ticks and dirt accumulating. Here we will discuss the different cleaning and maintenance measures for your long haired guinea pigs.
General Care Of Coat
A long haired guinea pig require far more dedication and effort in comparison to the short haired ones. The long manes look beautiful and require considerable effort to keep them clean.
A general rule of long haired guinea pig maintenance require regular combing sessions using special stainless-steel made comb. Alongside maintaining their hair with regular combing, the long haired guinea pigs also require professional grade grooming for their coat, nails and skin to keep them in perfect condition. There are several professional comb combination available in the market. It can help keep their coat and hair smooth and clean devoid of any dirt or insect.
Experts would recommend a regular 4 to 6 month professional grooming schedule for the really diligent guinea pig owners. Professional grooming are specially recommended for owners who do not get the time to take care of their long haired guinea pig. For those grooming a home, avoid using a wire type brush. Wires tend to irritate the guinea pig as their skin is sensitive to metal. A soft bristle type brush is ideal for gentle combing and set the hair into adorable little shapes.
A real cause of concern when grooming your long haired guinea pig is to trim their hair well so as to not touch the bottom. The bedding of guinea pig often gets tangled with their long hair. Also, their litter such as urine and fecal matter can often get stuck to their hair. This can cause several skin related issues later on if not cleaned up regularly. Experts suggest trim the hair to not grow below to the floor and does not grow into their face to blind them. You do not want your guinea pig hair to drag behind them when they move about.
How To Bath Your Long Haired Guinea Pig?
For anybody looking to opt for a long haired guinea pig for a pet, must be prepared to considerable time in keeping them clean. The long haired guinea pigs are way messier a pet to have when compared to the short haired ones. Their long hairs require additional cleaning and grooming regularly. There is a steep price to pay to maintain their beautiful good looks. The cleaning requirements are more and it can be done at home, although professional care is the best solution. For owners who are looking to groom their long haired guinea pigs at home, must understand their handling and use water tanks or tubs.
There are special made shampoos which are ideal for the coat of your long haired guinea pigs. These special pet shampoos contain surfactant which work well to keep their hairs and skin clean without any allergy or side effects. Shampoos are enough for cleaning the coat as guinea pigs like any other rodent would also clean their own coats.
Once you are bathing your long haired guinea pig, it is advised to use a towel or a cloth at the bottom to prevent your guinea pig from slipping. The towel will secure their movement while you bath them. You can use one hand to hold them gently while using the other to clean them. Keep your guinea pig from jumping around when you bathe them. Never use neck loop while bathing your guinea pig.
After you bath your long haired guinea pig, make sure you gently rub and clean both their ear flaps using a cloth. Do not use cotton swabs inside their ear like how we humans clean. It can damage their ear buds. Using blow dry’s isn’t recommended as your guinea pig may not like the hot air blowing from it. Instead, keep your long haired guinea pig in a warm and dry place. Once their hair dries up, use a comb to set their coat and remove any fallen hair off.
What To Feed Your Long Haired Guinea Pig?
The recommended list of fresh food your long haired guinea pig would absolutely love eating(you’ll love watching them eat too)
- Bok Choy
- Sweet Potato
- Green Beans
- Mustard Greens
- Red Bell Peppers
Fresh vegetables are a favorite of every guinea pig along with hay. Leafy green are another favorite. Supplements such as vitamin C is needed to ensure a healthy growth and skin of your furry friend.
Guidelines For Vet Visits
As your long haired guinea pig pets are likely to have regular vet visits, your guinea pigs may find the experience stressful. Therefore, there needs to be special guidelines that should be followed so as to avoid your pet getting stressed. For example, although most long haired guinea pigs like to be groomed, the Peruvian type breed occasionally find the incessant grooming and cleaning a stressful experience. They will display their annoyance by certain behavior traits like shuffling, tossing their head and others. Therefore, it is important to make the grooming experience a gentle and pleasant experience for them.
A mother long haired guinea pig would often face difficulty in nursing the young lings. The baby guinea pig would often have trouble finding their mothers nipples due to all the hair covering it. The owners can tie up the mother guinea pigs hair into small knots so as to enable the young ones to suck the nipples. A haircut for mother guinea pig is also a good idea to avoid such issues while they are nursing the young.
Longer hairs would often cover the face of the Peruvian guinea pig. This can cause severe irritation to their eyes and may even damage the eyeball surface. The problem should be fixed well before it deteriorates. Tying up their face hair or trimming them regularly can ensure against any severe problem.
A clear and bright eyes along with clean nose and ears are the signs of a healthy guinea pig. This coupled with a shining coat which is set well and smooth indicate your guinea pig is eating well. Healthy guinea pigs are also the most active ones. They are always very social and alert. Annual veterinary check up is recommended to ensure your guinea pig is eating well and do not have any issue which you may have overlooked.
Is A Long Haired Guinea Pig The Right Pet Choice For You?
Experts believe that the long haired guinea pigs when compared to the short haired ones are calmer, and they like to be groomed. They are ideal pets for families and gift to your children. They are very social and sweet. They would make ideal pets for those who love to cuddle and care for their animals.
But along being all sweet and cuddly, they require a very high maintenance compared to other guinea pigs. The owners must understand their grooming needs well before getting one for their homes.
They should be kept clean and their dietary requirements vary. They would need to be fed a combination of leafy greens and dark greens coupled with hay(preferably timothy hay). Along side fresh vegetables, a natural selection of pellets, fresh water and vitamin C supplement makes up their complete dietary needs.
Before embarking upon the beautiful journey of owning and grooming your own long haired guinea pig, make sure you do all the research. Understand their needs and whether you would have the time and patience to clean them on a regular basis. They will surely light up your house and bring immense joy and satisfaction to all in your family.