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ultimate care guide for long hair guinea pigs

Long Hair, Do Care! The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Long-Hair Guinea Pigs

It’s no secret guinea pigs can melt their piggy parents’ hearts with their cute little faces and wheeking sounds. But did you know that our favorite furry friends also have one other adorable attribute? That’s right - guinea pigs are much admired for their beautiful coats of fur.

But there’s really no such thing as a standard guinea pig hairstyle. Depending on their breed, some piggies have short, smooth hair whereas others have longer, wilder, luscious locks - and of course they can all be a variety of stunning shades. 

As far as we’re concerned, all guinea pigs are utterly gorgeous and make amazing animal companions. However, it’s worth knowing that long-haired piggies require some extra TLC and grooming in order to keep them looking their best and staying healthy and happy.

If you have a guinea pig with long hair (or even two, lucky you!), find out all about long-haired guinea pig breeds and what you need to know when caring for long-haired guinea pigs!

Do long-haired guinea pigs need haircuts? Yes, and lots of other grooming, so they look like the pictured long-haired guinea pig with a nice coat.

They also need a good diet, with enough vitamin C!

What Are the Long Haired Guinea Pig Breeds?

Like their hoomans, guinea pigs come in all shapes and sizes - and so do their coats. There’s many a guinea pig with long hair, no hair, and short hair. Little furless pigs are known as skinny pigs, and some guinea pigs with short coats have straight hair, lots of rosettes, or coarse coats. But what about the long-haired guinea pigs?

Let’s find out about the long-haired guinea pig breeds with luscious locks (and wild wurls and coarse coats)!

Peruvian long-haired guinea pigs

Peruvian long-haired guinea pigs have more to offer than handsome hair. The South American pigs are known for their sweet, curious personalities which match the charming coats. Peruvians are one of the most popular long-haired guinea pig breeds.

Texel guinea pigs

Texels are easy to spot, with their beautiful cavy curls. These sweet-natured pets are keen on cuddles, but be careful: if you leave your Texel guinea pigs unsupervised, they become masters of mischief!

Silkie (Sheltie) guinea pigs

The Silkie, also known as the Sheltie, has silky long hair - that’s where the name comes from! The adorable pigs have shiny long hair all over their bodies, apart from their heads, and are known for their calm personalities.

Coronet guinea pigs

The Coronet has a Silkie’s long locks, and a Crested guinea pig’s rosette crown on their head. The cute Coronets are friendly, affectionate pigs who were first bred in England.

Lunkarya guinea pigs

Lunkaryas look like Peruvian long-haired guinea pigs on a bad hair day (though they’re just as beautiful!). Their long hair is coarse and dense, rather than smooth. This rare piggy breed from Sweden is named for the wool-like hair.

Sheba guinea pigs

The Sheba is affectionately known as the mini yak and looks a little different from our previous long-haired guinea pig breeds. Shebas are a cross between Peruvians and Abyssinians, so they have the typical long coat with lots of rosettes throughout. Fun fact: The Sheba’s coat grows slower than other long hair guinea pigs’, so they don’t need quite as much hair care.

Merino guinea pigs

Merinos have curly long coats with a short crest, like the Coronets. With their floofy, curly hair, guinea pig lovers often compare them to small sheep. As beautiful as their coats are, they also need a lot of care!

Alpaca guinea pigs

The Alpaca guinea pig has coarse, wavy hair, unlike most other long-haired guinea pig breeds. The adorable Alpaca guinea pig is a rare breed, and a favorite with many guinea pig lovers. It’s easy to confuse them with a Texel, but the Alpaca guinea pig has bangs that point forward. Their coats need daily care.

Abyssinian guinea pigs

Abyssinians are adorable guinea pigs with lots of rosettes, so their hair grows in every direction possible. Though Abyssinians don’t have the same long hair as our other long-haired guinea pig breeds, these pigs need extra hair care, too. Abyssinians are sometimes more sensitive to touch than other piggy breeds, so the cute pigs are best handled carefully.

A poster with all the long-haired guinea pig breeds

The importance of Grooming Long-Haired Guinea Pigs

Of course, all guinea pigs - no matter how long their fur - regularly groom themselves. They use a white liquid from their eyes and brush it through their fur with their front paws, often standing on their hind legs to do this. Ingenious!

However, your guinea pig with long hair will also need some extra grooming help from you in order to keep them in tip-top condition. Think of it as a guinea pig spa - and everyone loves a spa day, right?

First things first, this isn’t about vanity, although obviously regular grooming and cleaning will keep your piggy looking fabulous.

The truth is that if you allow your little one’s mane to flow free, the result could be extremely matted, dirty, unkempt hair, which could, in turn, lead to some pretty nasty health issues for your pig. These are the top reasons that caring for long-haired guinea pigs is important for their wellbeing.

How often should you bathe a long-haired guinea pig? They need regular baths, grooming, and hair trims because they're worth it!

Grooming long-haired guinea pigs prevents skin infections 

When left to grow too long, a guinea pig’s hair can become soiled, particularly around their bottom.

If a guinea pig goes to the bathroom on their hair, it will leave it wet and dirty. When wet fur comes into direct contact with a guinea pig’s skin, it can cause irritation and soreness, which may lead to nasty skin infections - a real problem for a guinea pig with long hair.

Help your furry friends with regular grooming sessions!

Grooming long-haired guinea pigs prevents fly strike 

In warmer weather, particularly in spring and summer months, flies are abundant, and they tend to prey on ill-kept animals. Guinea pigs are no exception to this and if they are left in dirty conditions, with wet, soiled or matted fur, flies may choose them as a host site for their eggs.

These eggs then develop into maggots which eat their host’s flesh. Sadly, fly strike is potentially fatal. It’s a horrifying thought, isn’t it? That’s why it’s crucial to understand how important hygiene is for guinea pigs - and particularly for long hair guinea pigs, who are more vulnerable to fly strike if their fur is not properly cared for. 

Your guinea pig with long hair will thank you for the extra care.

Grooming long-haired guinea pigs prevents lice

Long-haired guinea pigs are at a higher risk of hosting these tiny, unwanted parasites. Lengthy, dense strands of hair offer lice more protection and opportunity to lay and attach their eggs. 

Lice infestations can cause your guinea pig discomfort and distress as well as resulting in nasty secondary skin infections; sadly, they can even prove fatal. By keeping long-haired piggies’ fur clean and trimmed, you’ll reduce the risk of them attracting lice. Also, routine grooming can help piggy parents spot lice infestations at an early stage and prevent them spreading further.

Grooming prevents mites

Another pesky infestation that can negatively impact your guinea pig with long hair’s health, ear mites in particular are more likely to prey upon long hair guinea pigs due to their tendency to produce more ear wax.

If your piggie’s ears are left uncleaned, wax build up is more likely to attract the interest of hungry mites looking for their next home.

If you’re wondering exactly how grooming long-haired guinea pigs works, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a helpful checklist of essential tasks for you to follow in order to keep your guinea pig with long hair looking and feeling their very best. 

For pawfectly pampered long hair guinea pigs, the following steps are key:

  • Guinea Grooming for Long-Haired Guinea Pigs - daily brushing and regular hair do’s
  • Clipping Cavy Claws - the mandatory monthly nail trim
  • Long-Haired Guinea Pig Baths - as needed
  • Cleaning Cavy Ears - twice a year

Let’s find out how to groom your long hair guinea pig like a professional below!

How often should you bathe a long-haired guinea pig? Regular baths are key to the long hair guinea pig care routine.

Guinea Grooming for Long-Haired Guinea Pigs

Grooming long-haired guinea pigs to perfection requires a rigorous routine. Your pig’s hair care routine should include daily brushing and a regular trim. If left unkempt and uncut, your long-haired guinea pig’s coat can get matted, soiled, and have bedding and hay stuck in it. And this gets uncomfortable for your furry friend very quickly, especially around their piggy bottoms - and can even lead to health issues and infections.

So let’s find out how to keep your piggy’s hair in tip top condition!

Caring for long-haired guinea pigs means daily brushing.

How should I groom long-haired guinea pigs?

Grooming long-haired guinea pigs can be a fun, enriching activity for you and your guinea pigs. However, if you’re a newbie to guinea pig grooming, it can be a nerve wracking experience both for you and for your little one. 

Some piggies may be complete naturals when it comes to grooming, whilst others will need time to get used to it. Never forget that guinea pigs are prey animals and are naturally nervous little characters.

When caring for long-haired guinea pigs, it’s important that both you and your guinea pigs are relaxed before you start. If your piggy seems anxious or skittish, it may be best to leave your grooming session for another time when they seem more comfortable.

If you introduce grooming as part of a ritual, as part of evening snuggles, your guinea pig gets used to it. If they know what to expect and when to expect it, your long hair guinea pig will find it easier to relax and snuggle up while you’re brushing out their hair. Just like humans, piggies find rituals comforting.

Now that we know how to prepare your sweet long hair guinea pig for grooming, let’s get the piggy parents ready, too, with this simple step-by-step guide.

Brushing and trimming guinea pigs with long hair: a step-by-step guide 

Are you feeling a little nervous about caring for long-haired guinea pigs and grooming your long hair guinea pig? Whether you have a Peruvian long-haired guinea pig, or a different long-haired guinea pig breed, this guide is easy to follow and sets you up for a perfect pampering session.

The most important step for any at-home guinea groomer? Their tools! Your grooming kit should include:

  • A fine-toothed comb + a soft-bristled brush
  • A spray bottle filled with water
  • Round tipped hair scissors
  • A potty-proof pad
  • Lots of tasty treats to distract and reward your furry friend
Do long-haired guinea pigs need haircuts? Yes, and lots of other care. Pictured is long hair guinea pig care equipment, like the right food, cage cleaner, and a brush.

An extra pair of hands is always a great idea, especially if you’re new to the guinea groom room. Ask someone to gently hold your pig while you groom, and you’re good to go.
Follow these steps:

STEP 1: Find a quiet area to groom your guinea pig - a spot you don’t mind getting covered in stray hairs. Use a clean towel, pee pad or fleece liner as a soft, comfortable surface for your piggies to sit on during their grooming session.

STEP 2: Give your guinea pig some yummy snacks during your grooming session to help them relax. This will help them associate grooming with being a positive experience. 

STEP 3: Take your fine-toothed comb and start to brush their hair in the direction that it grows to remove any knots. Gradually work your way down from top to bottom.

TOP TIP! If your comb catches on a tangle, ensure that you avoid pulling at their fur, as this could stress your guinea pig. Instead, spritz a little water on the tangle to try to loosen it. If that fails, you may need to gently trim it away (see step 4). 

STEP 4: As you work your way through your guinea pig’s fur, identify any areas that appear matted; these will need to be removed. Take your scissors and gently trim the matted hair away. When grooming long-haired guinea pigs, it's important to brush in the direction their fur grows.

TOP TIP! Take your time when trimming to prevent accidental injuries to your piggy’s skin. Avoid trimming too close to your guinea pig’s skin, and always place the hair between your second and third fingers before you cut it. If your guinea pig’s matted hair is very close to their skin, you may need to work on it over the course of a couple of grooming sessions.

STEP 5: Once your piggy’s fur has been combed and any matted patches have been removed, trim any particularly long lengths of hair with your scissors. As a rule, you should cut long hair around your piggy’s bottom and feet to keep these areas clean and free from obstructions. As mentioned in step 4, use your fingers to guide how short you cut, to ensure you keep to an even length and to avoid injury.

STEP 6: Use a soft brush to gently smooth their hair and sweep away any stray hair clippings.

STEP 7: Be sure to reward your guinea pig for a job well done with their favorite snack!

Do long-haired guinea pigs need haircuts? Yes, you can make this part of their grooming routine as pictured.

Do Long-Haired Guinea Pigs Need Haircuts? 

A guinea pig’s long hair grows all the time, so they need a regular trim, just like people do. Certain long-haired guinea pig breeds need a trim every other week, while others take a little longer to grow their luscious locks.

As a rule of thumb, many long hair guinea pig parents cut their pets’ fur once a month. Other ways to measure the right time for a new hair do: if it gets past 3 in long, or if it touches the ground. 

If you want to add a spring to your pig’s step, why not treat them to a stylish new haircut? Bangs are the latest trend for Peruvian long-haired guinea pigs - as long as the hair doesn’t bother them or hangs in their eyes.

If you’re taking a more practical approach to the new hair do, make sure to trim your pig’s sides, especially around their feet, so they aren’t stepping on their fur. It helps them move (and popcorn!) freely. 

The area piggy parents focus on the most when it comes to caring for long-haired guinea pigs is the bum. Things can get messy for long hair guinea pigs when they go to the bathroom, so you can stop soggy bottoms before they happen with a good trim. Did you know that a messy piggy bum can lead to health issues, like infections and sores? The stylish bottom trim is not just for fashion - it’s essential for your precious pet’s health.

Pictured is a long hair guinea pig with a great haircut, looking happy.

In short, do your cute cavy a favor by cutting their hair regularly, before it becomes a matted mess. They’re sure to thank you for it - though we’re not making any promises that they’ll love the new ‘do!

Clipping Cavy Claws for Long-haired Guinea Pigs

Not all piggies need regular hair trims, but every guinea pig needs a monthly nail trim. It’s best to clip them before they turn into cavy claws!

Like the hair trim, delaying the nail care can lead to health issues, so you can set your routine from the moment your piggies arrive. The furry floofers are sure to appreciate the pawdicure!

How often should I trim my long-haired guinea pig’s nails? 

A monthly claw clip is mandatory when caring for long-haired guinea pigs and their short-haired friends because their nails grow all the time, just like their hoomans’ do. Some pigs’ nails grow quicker than others, so your long hair guinea pig could need a trim every other week.

Nail trims are particularly important for long hair guinea pigs because their piggy paws are at an extra risk to get tangled in the fur. So staying on top of the nail and hair trims is key for piggy parents with long hair guinea pigs.

If left untrimmed, a piggy’s nails grow long and affect the way they walk. In extreme cases, long nails even lead to bumblefoot. So a great claw clipping routine will keep your piggy popcorning comfortably.

If their cavy claws scratch you during snuggle time, it’s time to pick up the claw clippers!

How to trim long-haired guinea pigs’ nails

The prospect of clipping your guinea pig’s nails can be a bit scary - the last thing you want to do is accidentally trim too much and hurt them! Follow these simple steps to get your pig ready for their nail trim:

  1. Put your pig on a potty-proof pad on your lap in a quiet area of your home
  2. Find your pig’s quick, using a torch for dark nails
  3. Clip each claw a little in front of the quick with small pet nail scissors
  4. Work your way from the front to the back
  5. Give your pigs lots of treats throughout

Cutting your pig’s nails can seem scary, but it’s even more important for our long hair guinea pigs. If their nails get too long, there’s a high risk they could get their claws stuck in the fur. When you’ve done it once, you’ll be a confident claw clipper in no time whatsoever.

If you cut a bit too short and your pig’s nail starts bleeding, don’t panic. It looks scary, and it’s a little uncomfortable, but if you dab a little cornstarch on the nail, the bleeding will stop quickly. It happens to the best of piggy parents, and your sweet friend will be absolutely fine.

Still a bit nervous? This blog post has all the info you need on guinea pig nail trimming!

Long-Haired Guinea Pig Baths

How often should you bathe a long-haired guinea pig? As often as needed. The pictured long hair guinea pig is enjoying a bath every 3-4 months.

Yes, just like the rest of us - guinea pig’s need baths! Bathing involves washing your guinea pig in order to keep them clean, and it’s a normal part of grooming long-haired guinea pigs. If you’re wondering how to bathe your long hair guinea pigs, and to find the answer to the question, ‘How often should you bathe a long-haired guinea pig?’, take a look at the next bit!

How often should you bathe a long-haired guinea pig?

Generally, it’s advised that all guinea pigs - no matter their breed -  are bathed between twice and four times a year. 

When caring for long-haired guinea pigs, regular bathing is an important aspect of your piggy’s care, as it helps keep them clean and healthy. However, it’s also important not to over-wash them, as this can strip their fur's natural oils and cause dry skin.  

Rather than following any hard and fast rule, trust your own instincts on when to give your guinea pig with long hair a bath. If your guinea pig’s bottom appears soiled, then it’s probably time for a bath - or at least a quick wash of that area in order to freshen it up. 

As we’ve already mentioned, guinea pigs with impressive coats are more likely to soil the long, dense fur around their bottoms, and it’s important to address this as soon as you notice it.

What you need to bathe a long-haired guinea pig

To make the bath as easy and comfortable as possible for you and your long hair guinea pig, you’ll need these items:

  • Wash basin with a flat base
  • Small towel (to place inside the basin)
  • Guinea pig safe shampoo (found online and in pet supply stores)
  • Towel for drying

How to bathe a long-haired guinea pig: useful tips

The prospect of bathing your guinea pig with long hair can seem a bit daunting, but it’s an important part of your guinea pig’s care.

Here are some useful tips for bathing your guinea pig: 

  • Ensure that you are bathing them in a calm, quiet room with no distractions and make sure it’s warm and dry so that your piggy won’t feel chilly when they come out of the bath wet
  • Pour around 3cm of warm (not hot) water into a flat based basin or a small container such as a clean washing up bowl
  • Holding your guinea pig carefully, let them try the water by dipping a foot in it
  • Providing they seem calm and relaxed, scoop some water and gently pour it over their lower body and bum, avoiding their face and ears
  • Shampoo them gently with guinea pig safe shampoo
  • Rinse the shampoo thoroughly out of their fur
  • Wrap them gently in a towel and hold them carefully until they’re completely dry
  • Give your freshly bathed guinea pig a cuddle to celebrate a successful bath time - and how about a yummy treat as a reward?

Cleaning Cavy Ears for Long-Haired Guinea Pigs

Aaah, earwax….not the most pleasant conversation topic but essential nonetheless. You may be surprised to hear that guinea pigs need their ears cleaned regularly as part of their grooming routine. 

Just like us, guinea pig ears can get a build up of earwax and long-haired breeds tend to produce more of the waxy stuff than their short-haired pals. 

How often should I clean my long-haired guinea pig’s ears?

It’s quite simple really - if your piggy’s earwax build up isn’t cleaned out, it can attract infestations of pests including mites, which can lead to further health complications, as we’ve already explained. 

It’s recommended that guinea pigs have their ears cleaned two to three times a year, although some long-haired guinea pigs may require more frequent clean outs. 

Keep an eye on your guinea pig’s ears and if you spot earwax building up, it’s probably time for a gentle clean.

How to clean long-haired guinea pig’s ears

To clean out your pig’s ears, you’ll need

  1. cotton pads
  2. cotton buds
  3. oil (mineral or olive)
  4. syringe without needle

And with the following steps, your guinea pig will soon hear you clearly when you tell them off for chewing your furniture:

  1. Put them on a potty-proof pad in a quiet room
  2. Draw a little oil into your syringe
  3. Add a few drops to the outside of your pig’s ears - avoiding the ear canal completely
  4. Gently massage the oil into the folds of each ear
  5. Remove excess oil and dead skin with a cotton pad
  6. Finish off by running a cotton put dipped in oil over the ear folds - avoiding the ear canal completely
  7. Don’t forget to give your pig their favorite treat

Caring for Long-Hair Guinea Pigs is a Rewarding Activity

If you’re already a parent to a long-haired guinea pig, we hope you’ve found our grooming guide reassuring and helpful. 

If you’re a prospective piggy parent dreaming of adopting a long-haired guinea pig, don’t be put off by the prospect of the brushing and trimming involved. 

Once you’ve got the hang of your long-haired guinea pig’s regular care routine, you’ll learn that grooming is a fun, relaxing and truly rewarding activity - a way for you and your guinea pig to get to know each other even better and to form a stronger bond. As with most things in life, when you put in the extra effort, you’ll reap the rewards.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that parents of long-haired piggies often report that their furry pals are very chilled, relaxed and laid back and with all the pampering time they get, it’s not hard to see why!

Hopefully you’ll find your guinea pig with long hair spa days enjoyable too. After you’ve finished and your piggy is all spruced up, why not cut up some fresh veggies for them to snack on as a reward? 

Don’t forget to save a couple of cucumber slices to pop over your own eyes so that you can put your feet up...and relaaaax.

Caring for long-haired guinea pigs is very rewarding. Pictured is a prize for the best long hair guinea pig parent.

Conclusion

There are lots of different long-haired guinea pig breeds, and their fur comes in different colors, lengths, and textures - and they’re all adorable! Caring for long-haired guinea pigs takes a bit more effort than looking after their short-haired friends. That’s mainly because of the extra care grooming long-haired guinea pigs takes.

A guinea pig with long hair is just as great a pet as other piggies. Pictured is a long hair guinea pig, looking adoringly at their hooman.

If you keep up with the long hair guinea pig care, you’re not only making a floofy friend for life - you’re also helping them stay happy and healthy, with fabulous fur!

FAKs - Frequently Asked Kavees about Long Hair Guinea Pigs

Really long-haired breeds, such as Peruvian long-haired guinea pigs, or those with curly dense hair, like Texels, will need their hair to be combed or brushed on a daily basis. Daily hair brushing sessions not only keep your piggy’s hair shiny and knot free, they’re also great bonding opportunities for you and your fluffy friend. Plan your brushing sessions around the same time each day so that your guinea pig learns to expect them and aim not to miss them. Postponed sessions will only result in matted, tangled hair and longer, stressful combing sessions for you and your guinea pig somewhere down the line. When it comes to Abyssinians, who have shorter but dense rosettes of fur, aim to brush their hair twice a week, always working in the direction that their fur grows to avoid causing discomfort.
Regardless of their hair length, never forget that guinea pigs have very delicate skin. If a brush or comb feels rough or sharp to you, then the chances are that it will feel even harsher to your sensitive piggy. For this reason, avoid wire toothed combs and brushes, as the sharp bristles could cause accidental injuries if your piggy makes sudden movements. Instead, choose either a fine-toothed comb (ideal for smoothing knots) and a soft-bristled brush - the type you’d use for a baby or young child.
Guinea pigs with very long hair will need a trim on a monthly basis to keep their manes under control. You can trim your guinea pig’s hair, as and when required during your regular brushing sessions. Trimming is especially important around your guinea pig’s bottom. As we’ve already mentioned, long hair around this area can become soiled and dirty more quickly, which may lead to infections and other health issues. If your guinea pig’s fur grows less than 3 inches long, you may not find that an overall haircut is necessary, but you may opt to trim any uneven patches of fur as and when you notice them.
Round tipped hair scissors are safest for trimming your guinea pig’s hair. Don’t use scissors with sharp ends, as they could cause accidental injuries if your guinea pig makes any sudden movements you’re grooming long-haired guinea pigs.
As we’ve already explained, some guinea pigs may be more skittish than others when it comes to grooming. If your guinea pig is particularly uncooperative, start gradually with short sessions. As always, snacks are your friend when it comes to helping your guinea pig relax and learn that grooming can be a positive experience. As your guinea pig gets used to being groomed, you can build up to longer, more frequent sessions.
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