3 Facts About Dwarf Guinea Pig That You Need To Know

Breeders and pet rescuers may be advertising their guinea pigs as dwarfs. You might have also heard some pet enthusiasts talking about them. However, there are stunning facts about the seemingly dwarf guinea pig breeds.

Continue reading to get the facts about dwarf guinea pigs. You may be interested in buying them but still confused about the existence of such breeds. Let’s get into the details!

Cute Reptiles as Pets
Cute Reptiles as Pets

No True Dwarf Guinea Pigs Breeds

While dwarf pets are periodically advertised by breeders, rescue teams, and pet stores, there are no true dwarfs. You may hear many pet enthusiasts also mentioning dwarf guinea pigs, but they are not dwarfed.

 Dwarf guinea pigs do not exist
Dwarf guinea pigs do not exist | Credit: Azaliya / Canva.com

What Is a Dwarf Guinea Pig?

Genetically, dwarf guinea pigs do not exist. They are not even recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association or other breeding groups.

If you come across smaller than usual guinea pigs, it’s because of their growth problems. Some may be having health issues or nutritional deficiencies.

Breeders can intentionally create a line of smaller than usual guinea breeds, but that does not mean they are dwarfs. The size of cavies is not genetic. You will often find small-sized guinea pigs resulting from the factors mentioned.

The ads and discussions that pet enthusiasts have cause confusion. They talk about dwarf guinea pigs, a word often used to refer to smaller guinea pig breeds.

Distinguish Dwarf Guinea Pigs and Mini Guinea Pigs

Mini Guinea Pigs
Mini Guinea Pigs | Credit: Sarah Bulvan / Canva.com

Let’s mention it again that there are no dwarf guinea pigs. The unusually-small guinea pigs you see are a result of growth problems.

If guinea pigs are infected by diseases and parasites during their growth stages, they may fail to achieve their potential.

Guinea pigs achieve their full size at about one year. They, however, may mature earlier than that, depending on the breed.

At maturity, a female guinea pig weighs about 1.5-2 pounds. Males are bigger and heavier than females, weighing about 2-2.5 pounds. Guinea pigs grow to different lengths, mostly about 8-16 inches.

The smallest guinea pig breed ever known is the ridgeback. This breed is named so because of the 2.5cm ridge of hair that stands upright on the back.

The smallest of all ridgeback guinea pigs grow to only 5 inches in length. Some, however, attain more than average size of up to 12 inches.

Ridge guinea pigs may look small in size, but they are not dwarfs. Don’t mistake them for dwarf breeds, which ideally do not exist.

X Dwarf Guinea Pigs Breeds

dwarf guinea pigs are unusually-small
Dwarf guinea pigs are unusually-small | Credit: DebParks / Canva.com

Apart from small size, dwarf guinea pigs are similar to all other breeds in appearance and personality. They come in all coat colors. The difference can only be in the availability and care.

Since dwarf guinea pigs are unusually-small, they feel more vulnerable. Before handling them, make them feel comfortable and trust you.

They need more care, company, and playtime. Give them enough room in the cage for exercise.

Dwarf guinea pigs are rare to find. As a result, their prices may fall on the higher end of the spectrum.

Buying a guinea pig from a breeder in the United States can cost between 25-50 dollars, depending on the breed’s availability and demand at that time.

Also read:

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Dwarf Guinea Pigs FAQs

How big does a dwarf guinea pig get?

There is no definite answer because we don’t have genetically dwarf guinea pigs. The smallest-known guinea pig breeds are the ridgebacks. They can be as small as 5 inches in length.

How big do guinea pigs get?

Guinea pigs at maturity can weigh between 1-3 pounds and grow to a length of about 8-16 inches. The size depends on the breed, gender, health condition, and nutrition.

Also read:
Discover Big Guinea Pig Breeds
How Big Do Guinea Pigs Get?

What are the small guinea pigs called?

Small guinea pig breeds are mistakenly called dwarfs. In reality, there are no dwarf guinea pigs. The undersized ones have growth symptoms related to diseases and nutrition.

How long do dwarf guinea pigs live?

Dwarf or small-sized guinea pigs can live for as long as the usual breeds. They usually have an average lifespan of 5-7 years, but some can live even longer.

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Wrapping Up  

Dwarf guinea pigs do not exist. If your guinea pig pup is not growing to the expected full size, take it to the veterinarian for a checkup. It may be a sign of an underlying condition, malnutrition, or poor care. Your vet will advise you accordingly.

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