Alpaca Guinea Pig

Last Updated: August 31, 2020

Length: 8-12 inches
Weight: 600-1200 grams
Lifespan: 4-6 years
Colors: White, black, beige, brindle, cream, roan, albino
Temperament: Sweet and affectionate, they enjoy the company of people and cage mates, and they like it when you hold them and pet them.
Best Suited For: Experienced pet owners

The Alpaca Guinea Pig is a long hair breed of guinea pig that resembles a Peruvian guinea pig with wavy ends. They often have a single rosette on top of their head and can have more rosettes on their body as well. Their long hair requires daily grooming as well as a special diet.

The Alpaca guinea pig is an offshoot of the Peruvian guinea pig and is often mistaken for the Texel breed. The difference between the Texel and the Alpaca breeds is that the Alpaca has bangs that hang forward while the Texel doesn’t have bangs. Alpaca guinea pigs are not suited to outdoor life because of their long fur.

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Alpaca Guinea Pig – Before You Buy…

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the price of an Alpaca Guinea Pig?

Alpaca guinea pigs are quite rare, and because of that, they can fetch a high price. If you desire to own one of these pets, we recommend saving up at least $100 before you begin to shop as most Alpaca guinea pigs will cost more than that.

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3 Little Known Facts About The Alpaca Guinea Pig

Let’s look at some of the lesser-known facts about the Alpaca Guinea Pig.

1. They get their name from South American Alpaca camelid

Alpaca Guinea Pigs get their name from the Alpaca Camelid of South America because the two animals have a similar style of dense, curly hair.

2. Alpaca Guinea pigs are rare and highly prized

Alpaca Guinea Pigs are extremely rare and can fetch a high price on the market. Many people consider Alpaca guinea pigs one of the most attractive breeds because of their long, thick, curly hair and sparse rosettes.

3. Alpaca guinea pigs require a lot of care.

The long thick hair of the Alpaca guinea pigs requires daily maintenance to keep it free of tangles and debris. Any Alpaca guinea pig owner will need patience, time, and a soft brush.

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Temperament and Intelligence of the Alpaca Guinea Pig

The Alpaca guinea pig is an even-tempered animal that is affectionate and friendly toward humans and cage mates. They are easy to handle, and they like to cuddle. Alpaca guinea pigs have excellent special recognition and can navigate complex mazes by using symbols as road signs.

Are These Hamsters Good for Families? 👪

Yes, Alpaca guinea pigs are extremely friendly and make great friends for the entire family. They are smart and can learn tricks, and they love it when you hold and pet them. As long as at least one member of the family completes the daily grooming that these pets require, Alpaca guinea pigs make great family pets.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Yes, the Alpaca Guinea Pig is a friendly animal that gets along with all other small animals, and you can often find them snuggling with their friends. The Alpaca guinea pig is neither hostile nor territorial, and it has no problem sharing its cage with other animals.

Baby Alpaca Guinea Pig
Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning an Alpaca Guinea Pig

Let’s make sure you have considered everything before you purchase your Alpaca Guinea Pig.

Food & Diet Requirements 🥕

Alpaca Guinea Pigs require a diet like any other type of guinea pig. Their diet consists of mostly timothy hay that you should provide in unlimited amounts at all times of the day. According to the Small Animal Vet Hospital, they should also eat about 20% of their body weight in vegetables per day. Most of these vegetables should be green, but you can add a few colored vegetables to add vitamin C to your pet’s diet. Nutrients in vegetables can also help with hair growth. Your pet will also need about a ¼-cup of pellet food per day. This food should have vitamin C fortification and not contain any harmful chemicals.

You can also give tiny portions of high-quality fruits like blueberries and strawberries as an occasional treat to help add more vitamin C to your guinea pig’s diet, but you must take care not to introduce too much sugar to the digestive tract.

Exercise 🐹

Guinea pigs are active animals and need plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. According to the RSPCA, guinea pigs are typically active for up to 20 hours a day, only sleeping in brief intervals. Therefore, they need plenty of room to move around, walk, and explore their environment. The Animal Humane Society recommends a minimum cage size of 24-inches by 35-inches, but the larger the cage, the better. We recommend purchasing the largest cage you can afford.

Guinea pigs of all types prefer a large, open, flat space to a cage with multiple levels. Besides, not providing your pet with the exercise they need, they can also be dangerous if one of your pets were to fall off one of the higher platforms.

Training 🎾

Alpaca guinea pigs are brilliant animals, and they are not difficult to train to perform a few tricks. Training your guinea pig will help you and your pet get to know each other while providing exercise and mental stimulation. We have found that giving your pet a treat when they complete a task is the best way to train them. Try teaching your Alpaca guinea pig these tricks.

Litter box

Many people don’t realize that you can teach a guinea pig to use a litter box, but it’s easy. Place a litter box into the cage where they usually relieve themselves. Place timothy hay and fecal material in the litter box, and wait. When you notice the Alpaca guinea pig using its litter box, give it a treat. Once your guinea pig learns the litter box and the treat go together, it will always use the litter box, even without a treat.

Stand up

Training your Abyssinian guinea pig to stand up is easy. Hold a treat above their head while repeating the word “Stand.” After a while, your pet will stand to get the treat, and it will have heard the word several times. If you do this a few times a day, your pet will learn the word, action, and treat go together trick, and in a few days, it will do the trick on the first or second command.

Obey Commands

Guinea pigs can quickly learn to associate a word with a treat. If you practice calling their name and rewarding with a treat when they come to you, they will associate the word with the action and the treat. You can use this system to get them to roll a ball, walk through a hoop, or perform many other tricks.

Grooming ✂️

Because of the unique hairstyle associated with Alpaca guinea pigs, they require plenty of special care. The hair is long and curly, and it will pick up plenty of debris throughout the day as it exercises in its cage. You must remove this debris by gently brushing your pet every day. Doing so will also help loosen and break up knots and tangles that could lead to painfully matted fur.

Use soft, gentle strokes when grooming your Alpaca guinea pig, so you don’t pull their hair or hurt them. It can help to give them something to chew on to help keep them in place while you groom.

Adult Alpaca Guinea Pig
Image Credit: stronytwoichmarzen, Pixabay

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Alpaca guinea pig is a healthy animal with some pet’s living as long as eight years. However, there are some common health problems associated with guinea pig you should know.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is one of the biggest health problems that can affect your Alpaca guinea pig. Many guinea pigs can carry bacteria that cause pneumonia for many years without showing symptoms. Signs that your pet has pneumonia include not eating, watery discharge from the eyes and nose, and trouble breathing. If you notice these symptoms, take your pet to the vet.

Diarrhea

Alpaca guinea pigs, like all guinea pigs, have a fragile digestive system that becomes unbalanced very easily. Once the system is unstable, it can create uncomfortable gas and even diarrhea. Diarrhea, weight loss, low body temperature, and dehydration are all signs your pet’s intestinal tract is off balance and needs attention.

Scurvy

A lack of vitamin C causes scurvy, and it’s widespread in guinea pigs because they do not create vitamin C in their bodies. Guinea pigs rely on us to supply the correct amount of vitamin C to keep them healthy. If you notice a rough coat, diarrhea, reluctance to walk, or swollen feet we recommend taking your pet to the vet.

Urinary Problems

Another problem that plagues many guinea pigs is urinary tract problems. These usually come in the form of bladder stones that can sometimes get stuck in the urethra, causing even more pain or even death. Bladder tones typically come from a high calcium diet. If you notice bloody urine, a hunched over position, or frequent urination, call your vet immediately.

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Summary

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this in-depth look at the Alpaca guinea pig. These animals make great pets to have around the home, and they are friendly and attractive. They are a little more expensive than most other breeds, and they require more maintenance, but if you like to fuss over your pets, the Alpaca is a great choice.

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Featured Image: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock