What Sort of Guinea Pig Do I Want? Find Your Perfect Match

What Sort of Guinea Pig Do I Want? Find Your Perfect Match

So, you’ve decided you want a pet guinea pig. But now you’re asking yourself, “What sort of guinea pig do I want?” Today, let’s dive into finding the perfect guinea pig companion for you.

In this blog, we’ll uncover the distinctive characteristics of each breed including their space requirements and grooming difficulty.

We’ll also discuss how to know if your daily routines will align with a particular breed. Still wondering, “What sort of guinea pig do I want?” Let’s find out together.

Guinea Pig Breeds and Their Characteristics

Deciding on “What sort of guinea pig do I want?” means understanding what makes each breed distinct. You can then ensure your new pal will fit seamlessly into your lifestyle and that you’re fully equipped to meet their unique needs.

  • Abyssinian guinea pigs have a distinctive coat pattern characterised by fur that forms swirling arrangements, called rosettes.
  • American guinea pigs are the most popular breed of guinea pig. They have a smooth coat and friendly temperament.
  • Baldwin guinea pigs are born with fur but it falls out within the first week of their life. They then remain hairless.
  • Coronet guinea pigs have long fur and a rosette on their head. They are created by crossing a Silkie and a Crested guinea pig.
  • Peruvian guinea pigs have long straight fur that needs daily grooming.
  • Rex guinea pigs have a short, fuzzy coat.
  • Silkie guinea pigs, also known as Shelties, have long fur.
  • Skinny Pigs are a hairless guinea pig.
  • Teddy guinea pigs have short, coarse fur and a gentle demeanour.
  • Texel guinea pigs are recognisable by their fuzzy, woolly coat. Merino guinea pigs are Texels with a crest on their head.

See our full list of guinea pig breeds here.

Satin guinea pigs are not a breed but a variety, characterised by their glossy, smooth coats. Common breeds with satin varieties include satin Texel, Teddy satin, American satin guinea pigs, and Abyssinian satin guinea pigs.

Guinea Pig Breeds and Their Characteristics

Space Requirements for Different Guinea Pig Breeds

Choosing the right guinea pig breed involves first considering their space requirements. Different guinea pig breeds come in various sizes, each with distinct energy levels and needs that influence the size of the hutch required.

Guinea Pig Sizes

You will need to ensure you can accommodate a particular breed’s needs before committing to purchase one. For instance, larger breeds like the Silkie and Texel may benefit from spacious enclosures to allow for comfortable movement and prevent feelings of confinement.

Abyssinians, known for their active and playful nature, also thrive in roomier setups that encourage exploration and play. On the other hand, smaller breeds like the American or Skinny may be content with slightly more compact spaces.

Jordan’s Tip: 

Most guinea pigs can be housed indoors or outdoors. However, hairless guinea pig breeds are very sensitive to cold weather so must be housed indoors only.

Guinea Pig Sizes

Grooming Needs Across Guinea Pig Breeds

Every guinea pig breed comes with a unique set of grooming needs. Understanding these requirements is key to keeping your pet healthy and happy.

Short Haired Breeds

Short-haired breeds like the American Guinea Pig and the Teddy Guinea Pig are known for their minimal grooming demands.

These breeds typically need a weekly brush to remove loose fur and prevent matting. Like all guinea pigs, they occasionally need their nails clipped. Only bathe them if required however they usually keep themselves pretty clean!

Long Haired Breeds

In contrast, long-haired guinea pigs like the Peruvian Guinea Pig or the Texel require much more attention when it comes to grooming.

Their beautiful coats can quickly become tangled if not brushed daily. Using a soft brush suitable for small pets will help keep their fur smooth and free from mats.

Besides regular brushing, these breeds may need occasional hair trims to prevent soiling and tangling around sensitive areas such as beneath them or near their face.

Owners should consider setting up a routine trim every few weeks or consulting with professionals who specialise in small animal care.

Hairless Breeds

Skinny Pigs and Baldwin guinea pigs represent an entirely different category – they are hairless. While you might think this means no grooming at all; that’s not quite true.

These unique pets don’t have fur protecting their skin which makes them prone to oil buildup and dryness. It’s recommended by many cavy breeders that owners regularly wipe their hairless cavies with a damp cloth, including in between their skin folds.

If they experience dry skin, they may require hypoallergenic oil or moisturiser to be rubbed into their skin. Always ensure products used are safe for small animals by checking labels carefully before application.

Grooming Needs Across Guinea Pig Breeds

Assessing Your Lifestyle and Guinea Pig Compatibility

Picking the perfect guinea pig breed for your household involves thoughtful consideration of your lifestyle to ensure compatibility.

Each breed comes with its own unique set of characteristics, and aligning these traits with your daily routine is key to establishing a harmonious companionship.

Free Time

Consider how much time you will have to play with and care for your guinea pig. For people who live busy lives, the American guinea pig is a great choice. They are relatively independent, thrive with moderate human interaction and have minimal grooming requirements.

Alternatively, those looking for a more interactive and social pet should consider breeds like the Peruvian. These guinea pigs are known for their playful personalities, appreciating extra attention and daily interaction.

They also have long hair so need daily brushing and regular trims, which may not be ideal for people with busy schedules.


It’s also important to understand the social needs of the guinea pig breed you are considering. We recommend you always keep at least 2 guinea pigs, as they are social animals and usually dislike being alone.

However, American guinea pigs are happy in pairs and don’t require too much interaction. Breeds like the Abyssinian require higher levels of play and mental stimulation.

They prefer to be kept in larger groups which means you would need a larger hutch to house them.

Their energetic nature means they also need extra human attention each day and lots of toys in their enclosure for mental stimulation.

Assessing Your Lifestyle and Guinea Pig Compatibility

FAQs in Relation to: What Sort of Guinea Pig Do I Want?

What is the best type of guinea pig to have as a pet?

The American Guinea Pig wins for its easy-going nature and minimal grooming needs, making it ideal for first-timers.

How do I choose a guinea pig?

Consider your lifestyle, space, and time you can dedicate. Visit shelters to meet them in person before deciding.

What breed of guinea pig is the friendliest?

Silkie Guinea Pigs are known for their gentle temperament and love for human interaction, perfect for families.

Are girl or boy guinea pigs nicer?

Boys tend to be more laid-back; girls might be lively. Both make great pets with proper handling and care.

What is the best type of guinea pig to have as a pet?

Jordan’s Wrap

In the wonderful world of guinea pig companionship, finding your perfect furry friend involves a bit of matchmaking. There are so many breeds to choose from!

When asking yourself “what sort of guinea pig do I want?”, consider if you are able to meet their unique requirements.

Ask yourself: Do you have enough space? Are you confident in advanced grooming? Do you have enough free time to interact with them daily?

A well-informed choice leads to a happy pet and an even happier owner. Take these insights on board as you bring home not just any guinea pig but the right one for you.