A Short Guide to the Peruvian Guinea Pig

A Short Guide to the Peruvian Guinea Pig

The Peruvian guinea pig has to be one of the most delightful looking little cavies on the planet and they are one of the oldest breeds around. It's thought they arrived in the UK via France but they are native to South America. Their coats are simply beautiful, long and flowing which means the Peruvian needs quite a bit of grooming to keep it in great condition.

Quick Facts About the Peruvian

  • The Peruvian is a non-self coloured guinea pig
  • They are classed as a breed of their own
  • The Peruvian is among the oldest breeds on the planet
  • They come from Peru, Argentina and Bolivia
  • The Peruvian boasts long hair that grows and covers their entire face
  • They boast gorgeous long coats with rosettes
  • Peruvian are born with short hair and two rosettes
  • Their coats need to be regularly and frequently trimmed
  • Grooming and spot cleaning are a must to keep their coats looking good and tangle-free
  • Many breeders who show Peruvian guinea pigs wrap their long coats in curlers which are referred to as wrappers
  • Peruvians in the wild live in numbers and often chew on each other's hair which is a behaviour called barbering""
  • These delightful cavies come in all sorts of colours with the more popular one being the tricolour of white, cream and slate!
  • Their coats can get to 20 inches long!
  • When first born, it is very easy to mistake a Peruvian for an Abyssinian guinea pig but after around 5 months they get their very unique and distinguished look

Caring for a Peruvian Guinea Pig

As previously mentioned, the Peruvian guinea pig is an adorable looking cavy, but it can be quite hard to tell the front end from the back due to the fact their hair falls over and covers their faces!

Keeping their coats looking good and in brilliant condition can be a little challenging especially as their hair grows so fast. Ideally, these little cavies need to be groomed on a daily basis so it's important to make it part of your routine. Because they have such long flowing coats, it's also important to keep them in an ultra clean environment. In short, frequent cage cleaning is a must.

Top Grooming Tips for a Peruvian Guinea Pig

The coat of the Peruvian guinea pig grows at an incredible rate and can reach 20 inches or more in length if not kept nicely trimmed. You soon know when it's time for a hair cut when they start to trail the coat along the ground and the ends begin to look grubby.

The best tools to use on their coat include a fine toothed comb and a softish baby brush which you can use to keep their coats tangled-free. It's important for a Peruvian to be brushed at least once a week, but the more often you do it, the less time it will take each time you groom them. The bonus being their coats are kept nice and tidy at all times.

Grooming Routines Need to be Started When Young

A grooming routine needs to be started when a Peruvian guinea pig is still very young so they get used to the experience and enjoy it. The earlier a grooming routine is started, the quicker you get to bond with your pet too which is always nice.

As previously mentioned, it's important to frequently trim the ends of their coats to keep things clean and tidy. You need to use a pair of good quality scissors preferably ones with rounded tips so you don't end up stabbing your pet by mistake. If you find they fidget, try offering them a tasty morsel of their favourite veg which might help keep them occupied while you trim their coats.

You need to pay particular attention to their rear-ends and their bellies which are areas that tend to become soiled and therefore they can get smelly. Trimming the hair around their rear-ends and keeping it short helps prevent this from happening. If you do find they get a bit stinky, rather than bath your Peruvian which could stress them out, try spot cleaning them which is far easier and less stressful for both you and your pet!


The Peruvian guinea pig is one of the oldest breeds around and they boast wonderful full, flowing soft coats. Their lovely looks and personalities has made them incredibly popular pets, but they are not the ideal choice as a children's pet because of the amount of care and grooming they need to keep their gorgeous locks looking so good! You need to have enough time to care for a Peruvian guinea pig, but it's definitely worth it because they are such lovely little creatures to have around.




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