|Dutch, tortoiseshell, Himalayan
|Energetic, vocal, and docile. Likes to snuggle to keep warm
|Best Suited For:
|Families and semi-experienced pet owners, warm climates
The Baldwin Guinea pig is a unique and rare breed of guinea pig that has no hair. Besides requiring a warmer environment than most other breeds, there are very few other differences in their physiology or their behavior. The skin is susceptible to sunburns and fungal infections if not properly maintained.
A recessive gene is responsible for the hairlessness of Baldwin guinea pigs, and you can breed them if you have two animals with the gene. Since the gene is recessive, many guinea pigs have it but look no different.
Baldwin Guinea Pig – Before You Buy…
What’s the price of a Baldwin Guinea Pig?
Baldwin guinea pigs are rare, but they are not as hard to find some breeds. You can expect to pay over $50 for your Baldwin guinea pig, but the price should remain under $100.
3 Little Known Facts About The Baldwin Guinea Pig
Let’s discuss some things you might not know about the Baldwin guinea pig.
1. Baldwins have a rubbery texture, with lots of wrinkles and floppy ears.
The Baldwin guinea pig has a unique appearance that might throw many people off at first. It’s a hairless creature with rubbery, human-like skin. It’s very wrinkled, especially around the neck area, and it has large floppy ears. The skin is colored and almost looks stained the color the fur would be.
2. Children love Baldwin guinea pigs
In our experience, children really fall for the Baldwin guinea pig. Something about their hairless nature makes them seem more vulnerable, and children pay extra attention, especially young girls who seem to treat it like a special need’s animal. Baldwin guinea pigs can be a great way to get some reluctant family members interested in caring for a pet.
3. Baldwin guinea pigs are born with hair.
Baldwin guinea pigs are born with a complete covering of hair. The hair begins to fall out a few days after they are born, and by the time they are two months old, all their hair will have fallen out.
Temperament and Intelligence of the Baldwin Guinea Pig
Baldwin guinea pigs have aa temperament like any other guinea pig. They are friendly and energetic, they love the company of humans and other guinea pigs, and they are smart enough to learn tricks. Without their thick fur coat, they tend to feel a little chilly. It’s not uncommon to find these pets hiding in cubby hole to try to get warm. They may seem needy as they attempt to cling to you to absorb your warmth, and they may also shake in your hand as you hold them.
Are These Hamsters Good for Families? 👪
Yes, Baldwin guinea pigs are low maintenance and don’t require constant grooming like many other breeds. They don’t bite, or scratch and children enjoy them. You probably want to keep them in a warmer part of the house away from drafts and add some extra bedding to their cage. Otherwise, they are great pets for the whole family.
Does the Baldwin Guinea Pig get along with other pets?
Yes, most guinea pigs like the company of other guinea pigs, and the Baldwin guinea pig is no exception. These pigs are more likely to be happy about a companion they can snuggle up with to stay warm than they are to be hostile.
Things to know when owning a Baldwin Guinea Pig
Let’s go over the critical things to know about your Baldwin guinea pig.
Food & Diet Requirements 🥕
The Baldwin guinea pig has the same dietary needs as most other breeds of guinea pig. They are also susceptible to many of the same dangers, including a fragile digestive system, and a predisposition towards Scurvy and bladder stones.
Your guinea pig should always have an unlimited supply of fresh clean timothy hay to feed on to keep their teeth and digestive tract healthy.
According to the Small Animal Vet Hospital, your guinea pig should eat about 20% of their body weight in vegetables per day. Most of these vegetables should be dark green, with only a few colored vegetables thrown in for variety and to add more vitamin C to their diet. You should avoid any foods high in calcium, as these can cause bladder stones.
Baldwin guinea pigs need between ¼ and ⅛ cup of food pellets fortified with vitamin C each day. This food is the guinea pig food you are likely to see in the pet store. There are many brands available, so take the time to choose one that is healthy and doesn’t contain preservatives.
You can also give your Baldwin guinea pig tiny portions of fruit every few days as a treat and to help boost vitamin C levels. Only use fresh, high-quality fruit, like kiwi, blueberries, and strawberries.
Your guinea pig requires plenty of space to move around and exercise. According to the RSPCA, your guinea pig can remain active for up to 20 hours a day, so being confined to a cage all that time is not good for your pet’s health. The Animal Humane Society recommends a minimum cage size of 24 inches by 35 inches, but we recommend getting the largest cage possible. Most people recommend at least 7.5 square feet for a single guinea pig and 10-square feet for two.
Baldwin guinea pigs are easy to train and eager to learn. The only thing to worry about when preparing to train your pet is that it’s warm enough. If your Baldwin gets chilly, it can become distracted and harder to teach. There are several tricks you can teach your pet, including the following examples.
Training your Baldwin to use a litter box should be a top priority for any pet owner. This training will help keep your pets cage cleaner, and it also makes it possible to do more travel.
After you do this several times, your pet will begin to understand and will use the litter box from then on.
You can train your guinea pig to do anything by following these simple tactics. All you need is a simple task, like sitting or rolling over. A word to designate to that task that you only use when training, and some treats to reward your pet with when they complete the task. With these steps, you can rain your guinea pig to do all kinds of tricks. Try to get your pet to do these tricks yourself.
Grooming is one thing you can almost forget about when you own a Baldwin guinea pig. They have no hair to brush or trim. There’s rarely even a need to give them a bath. In fact, bath water can cause your pet to become cold.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Unfortunately, Baldwin guinea pigs suffer from all the health hazards that plague the other breeds, let’s look at some of the most common problems these pets face.
Pneumonia is one of the biggest health concerns with American guinea pigs. The bacteria that cause pneumonia is widespread in guinea pigs, and a large percentage of them carry it with them for years without any problems when suddenly, it can flare up.
If your pet is not eating, has a fluid leaking from the eyes and nose, or has trouble breathing, take your pet to the vet immediately.
Diarrhea is a continuous threat to your guinea pig. Their digestive system is extremely fragile, and almost and change can throw off the delicate balance and send them spiraling towards diarrhea. If your pet seems dehydrated, isn’t eating, or you notice diarrhea, contact your vet immediately.
Guinea pigs cannot create their own vitamin C, and a lack of that important vitamin can lead to a condition called Scurvy. Scurvy can cause your pet to become lethargic, and it may even refuse to move. It might also develop a rough coat or dental issues. If you notice these symptoms, take your pet to the vet immediately.
Too much calcium in your pet’s diet is the leading cause of urinary tract problems in your guinea pig. Too much calcium creates bladder stones that can become lodged in the urethra. Symptoms include bloody urine, a hunched over position, and frequent urination.
We hope you have enjoyed this fascinating in-depth look at this unusual and relatively new breed of guinea pig. If you like pets that always like to stay close to you, this is the pet for you. If you have found this short guide helpful, please share this introduction to the Baldwin guinea pig breed on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Dolgikh Dmitry, Shutterstock