Depending on where you live, this guinea pig is referred to as a silkie or a sheltie guinea pig. Either way, it is all sorts of CUTE! (but then again, all guinea pigs are. I…may be biased. ::ahem::)
Silkie guinea pigs have long, silky (go figure!) hair, similar to a Peruvian guinea pig. Unlike its Peruvian [LINK] cousin, however, the silkie guinea pig/sheltie guinea pig’s fur doesn’t grow over its face. Instead, it cascades gently over its shoulders and back, gradually getting longer further down the body to form a sort of ‘teardrop’ shape if looked at from above [wikipedia reference].
Also unlike the Peruvian guinea pig, the silkie guinea pig’s hair doesn’t part down the middle, or at all. It just swoops backward and spreads around in a big satiny ball of cuteness.
As for maintenance and upkeep, silkies require a bit less maintenance than the Peruvian, but still quite a bit more than a short-haired guinea pig. If you’re considering a silkie or sheltie guinea pig, you’ll need to be prepared to provide regular hair trims to keep your piggie’s coat clean and dry. Since their hair on their rump is longer than the hair on the upper parts of their bodies, it tends to get dragged around, picking up little bits of hay from their cage, and is unfortunately easily soiled when they go pee.
If you love your piggie’s long hair and don’t want to cut it, you can provide routine ‘bum baths’, where you gently wash, rinse and dry their rear with a high
quality, mild, speicially formulated guinea pig shampoo [link to gorgeous guineas] to keep things safe and tidy back there.
You may also want to brush your guinea pig regularly to prevent the onslaught of tangles that can rapidly turn into uncombable ‘guinea pig dreadlocks’ which must be cut out of the fur. Their hair is so smooth it’s fun to brush it (gently with a guinea pig brush) and feel how satiny and shiny it gets.
Do you have a silkie/sheltie guinea pig of your own? Send a picture of your little one to email@example.com and be featured here!