Guinea pigs differ in shape, color, personality, and even their coats but they are all very similar.
No matter the breed you choose, your guinea pig will be a loving companion.
In this article, we are going to look at the top 10 small guinea pig breeds that stay small and give you loving companionship.
- What Small Guinea Pig Breeds exist?
- TOP 10 Small guinea pig Breeds That You Can Keep as a Pet
- Are All Guinea Pigs Friendly with Kids?
- Are There Small Guinea Pig Breeds That Don’t Shed?
- Wrapping Up
What Small Guinea Pig Breeds exist?
Guinea pigs are wonderful pets because they are charming, adorable and they do not occupy a lot of space.
By now, you probably know that there are several breeds of guinea pigs that you can choose from.
To be specific, there are 10 best small guinea pig breeds. They are wonderful pets that anyone can keep at home. The small guinea pig breeds include:
- American Guinea Pig
- Peruvian Guinea Pig
- Teddy Guinea Pig
- White Crested Guinea Pig
- Himalayan Guinea Pig
- Abyssinian Guinea Pig
- Silkie Guinea Pig
- Texel Guinea Pig
- Rex Guinea Pig
- Skinny Guinea Pig
TOP 10 Small guinea pig Breeds That You Can Keep as a Pet
For families that are first-time pet owners, it is recommended that you get smaller pets like guinea pigs because they are less fragile as compared to other small animals like hamsters and rabbits.
That is why there are different types of guinea pig breeds to choose from. Guinea pigs have different hair types, temperaments, health conditions and their maintenance is also very vital.
Guinea pigs are easy to care for as long as they don’t suffer from any serious medical condition.
You might like to know: best small snakes that stay small.
1. American Guinea Pig
Most popular and common guinea breeds.
The American Guinea Pig is one of the most popular and common breeds.
These guinea pigs have the best temperaments and they get along better with other types of guinea pigs.
They love children and that is why children love their company.
These breeds of guinea pigs are very popular because they are easy to take care of.
American Guinea Pig has short straight hair, making it easy and fast to groom.
American guinea pig is the oldest guinea breed that exists; dating back to 5000 B.C and they were initially called the English Guinea Pigs.
An adult American Guinea Pig will cost you between 20 to 50 US dollars for an infant.
2. Peruvian Guinea Pig
Of all the types of guinea pigs on this list, the Peruvian Guinea Pig holds the record for the longest hair.
Peruvian Guinea Pigs are always alert, curious, and kind.
Compared to other breeds taking care of them requires a lot of attention and commitment.
An adult Peruvian Guinea Pig goes for about 20 to 30 US dollars depending on the availability.
If you want to cut Peruvian hair safely, you need to check with your vet to avoid skin and coat issues.
The Peruvian Guinea Pig originates from South American countries like Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru.
They were first domesticated in France and they are not bred in the lab as many people assume.
For someone looking for an exotic pet, they need to look no further than the Peruvian Guinea Pig because it is easy to care for.
3. Teddy Guinea Pig
If you are looking for a pet that is super lively, social, and friendly, then the Teddy Guinea Pig is your best choice.
Teddy Guinea Pigs have rough and stiff coats that are easy to maintain. Occasional brushing will help remove debris and junk from their fur.
They are called “teddy” because they resemble teddy bears.
One unique characteristic that the Teddy Guinea Pig has is the unturned nose which is exclusive to this breed.
If you want a Teddy Guinea Pig, expect to pay around 25 to 30 US dollars.
Teddy Guinea pigs are the best pets for children old enough to take care of them because they are low maintenance.
4. White Crested Guinea Pig
These tiny bundles of joy are the best crowd-pleasers because they are loving, joyful, and easy to care for.
The White Crested Guinea Pig has a signature white crest above its head hence the word “crested” guinea pig.
White Crested Guinea Pigs resemble the American guinea pig as they both have smooth hair which makes it easy for kids to groom.
Unlike the American guinea pig, this breed is very difficult to find. Don’t expect to walk into your local pet store and find one.
This breed of guinea pigs comes in different types of coats like roan, brindle, and agouti and they cost around 10 to 20 US dollars.
5. Himalayan Guinea Pig
The Himalayan Guinea Pigs are gentle, sociable, and friendly.
They got their name because they resemble Siamese cats or the color pattern of the Himalayan mountains.
If not taken care of properly, the pigments of this pet will slowly fade.
The Himalayan Guinea Pigs originated from South America and not the Himalayas as many might think.
The Himalayan Guinea Pig are unique because they usually have black spots on their feet, ears, and noise (called points).
They have red eyes, and their points will not develop until they grow older.
If you want to have a unique pig that is easy to groom, then you need to go for the Himalayan Guinea Pig and you should never expose them to too much sunlight because they are albinos.
6. Abyssinian Guinea Pig
These guinea pigs are the oldest breeds that exist, and they are the perfect icebreaker for any home guest.
Abyssinian Guinea Pigs have multi-colored hair that have swirls called rosettes.
If you are looking for the best show guinea pig in the world, then you need to get this guinea pig.
The first Abyssinian Guinea Pig reached Europe in the early 16th century, but its origin is unknown.
The Abyssinian Guinea Pigs are known to be mischievous and naughty and often find themselves in trouble.
This pet is not recommended for small children unless they get help from their parents.
Grooming the long funky rosettes of this pig is not easy and without proper care, the coat can get entangled causing discomfort.
7. Silkie Guinea Pig
At first glance, one may think that the Silkie Guinea Pig is a Peruvian guinea pig because of its similarities.
Silkie Guinea Pig has long smooth hair and they are calm, gentle, and charming.
The Silkie Guinea Pig was originally bred in the U.K by crossbreeding a Peruvian and a black guinea pig.
In America, they are known as the Silkie but in Europe, they are called Shelties.
The Silkie is not recommended for children but if you are a parent that is willing to take responsibility, then go for it.
Prices for a Silkie Guinea Pig usually vary between 20 to 30 US dollars.
If you are looking to develop a relationship with your guinea pig and you have committed time to groom it, then you should go for this pet.
8. Texel Guinea Pig
The Texel Guinea Pig is elegant, friendly, and graceful that is why it has been sought for by show breeders and pet enthusiasts.
Texel Guinea Pigs have a beautiful extravagant wavy coat that is easy to groom and can also easily tangle.
This breed of guinea pig came because of cross-breeding a Rex guinea pig and a Silkie, which is why it requires a lot of maintenance.
Texel Guinea Pig was officially recognized in 1998 and they are sometimes referred to as ” long-haired Sheltie”.
The Texel Guinea Pig is recommended for someone willing to dedicate his time grooming it but, in most cases, it is recommended for people who want to show off their pet.
9. Rex Guinea Pig
The Rex Guinea Pig is gentle, calm, and friendly and it has short hairs not more than 1 cm long.
Apart from its rough and dense coat texture, this guinea pig has long droopy ears, giving it a noticeable feature.
Rex Guinea pigs are the only guinea pigs that do not have guard hairs which are normally used to protect the coat from wearing and excess moisture.
You can find these pigs in different colors including white, brown, or agouti and if you take good care of the Rex Guinea Pig, it can live up to 6 years or more.
They are the best pets for children and that is because of their charming demeanor.
It is recommended to go for the Rex since you can groom them for hours.
10. Skinny Guinea Pig
The Skinny Guinea Pig is perhaps one of the most unique breeds on the list.
Skinny Guinea Pig are hairless, kind, and quirky; however, they are not totally hairless.
They originated in a lab because of crossbreeding hairless guinea pigs with short-haired ones hence the name “Skinny Pig”.
Skinnies were bred in the late 70s and were developed in the Charles River Laboratories.
They are not the best breed for children because their skin is very sensitive, and most kids don’t like their appearance.
But if you are the kind that loves its appearance, it is highly recommended that you take the Skinny Guinea Pig as a pet.
Are All Guinea Pigs Friendly with Kids?
Yes. But you need to have proper information and commitment if you want to have a great experience. Guinea pigs are great pets for children in elementary school or even older but if you have younger children, you should always supervise them when they are around guinea pigs.
Are There Small Guinea Pig Breeds That Don’t Shed?
Yes. The skinny guinea pig is one of the breeds that do not leave behind a hairy mess. They are sometimes known as hairless guinea pigs because they have little to no hair at all which means the question of shedding will never rise.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to picking out a guinea pig breed. The above are just recommendations and if you feel like a certain breed speaks out to you, why not go for it. So, you should never worry about which guinea pig to go for, they are all good pets for you and your whole family.