Coronets relish being adored and therefore, crave attention. Nonetheless, between their playful nature and good looks, they do not need to convince you to give them that attention. They are also curious and affectionate, which makes them an excellent companion.
Whether you are looking for a pet or show animal, you cannot go wrong with the Coronet. However, this breed is not recommended for people who do not have experience with guinea pigs, as Coronets require more care, especially when it comes to grooming.
If you are looking to keep a Coronet as a pet, consider trimming its coat and having it shorter than that of a show animal. Additionally, to keep a Coronet’s coat healthy and shiny, experts recommend brushing it regularly.
Background of the Coronet Guinea Pig Breed
These cuddly little animals came about as a result of breeding the American Crested Guinea Pig with a Silkie Guinea Pig in England in the mid-70s. In the late ’70s, however, breeders in the United States developed their own Coronet by crossing Silkies with non-conforming White Cresteds that have longer hair on their rump.
In 1998, the American Rabbit Breeders Association formally recognized the Coronet as a distinct breed of guinea pig.
Characteristics of the Coronet Guinea Pig
The Coronet is an average-sized guinea pig whose size varies between 8 and 16 inches and weighs in at between 1½ and 3 pounds. Coronets are sexually dimorphic, with the males being larger than the females.
The most telling traits of the Coronet are its short forehead rosette and long, flowing coat. The coat is a trait inherited from its Silkie parentage. However, unlike the Silkie, whose fur flows backward from its face, the Coronet has a small and short rosette.
Coronets are playful, fun-loving critters with a propensity for socializing. The Coronet’s easy-going nature allows it to be comfortable in just about any situation. Therefore, in addition to its looks, the Coronet’s temperament is also a big part of why it is such a magnificent show animal.
Caring for the Coronet Guinea Pig
Just like the Silkies, Coronets also pose significant grooming challenges. This is why these furballs are best left to experienced guinea pig owners.
The following are tips for grooming a Coronet guinea pig.
The Coronet’s long, flowing coat requires constant care to keep it healthy and beautiful. This means brushing and combing it every day using a stainless comb. However, you will also need to take them for regular professional grooming to ensure that their skin, coat, and nails stay in excellent condition.
While this might sound like a great deal of work to people who have never dealt with long-coat guinea pig breeds, grooming is one of the best ways of bonding with your Coronet, as they appreciate it immensely.
When brushing them, be careful not to hurt the animal when loosening tangles. It is thus recommended to use a baby brush. But as long as you are gentle and deliberate in your brushing motions, you should not have any problems even with a regular brush.
No doubt, the Coronet’s flowing mane makes for great looks. Unfortunately, it can be a health hazard. This is because it tends to trap things in its surroundings, which might include feces and urine. Therefore, even though Coronets do not like bathing, it is imperative that you bath them regularly.
Consider bathing your animal at least once a week. Getting these cuties to take that bath, however, is easier said than done. As such, you might need to coax them into cooperating using treats.
Since guinea pigs do not like being immersed in water, use just an inch or two of warm water for that purpose. Liquid Ivory or Dawn soap works well for their coats. Ensure that you rinse them gently and thoroughly to remove all the lather. Next, use a dry towel or hairdryer on low heat to dry the animal.
Unless it is a show animal, it is best to keep a Coronet’s coat short. As mentioned, long coats can be health hazards as they trap dirt and moisture. A shorter coat is much easier for the animal to handle.
While scissors are great for trimming, they require a skilled hand. As such, you might want to consider using electric clippers for that purpose.
Regular Ear Checkups
Long-coat guinea pig breeds are susceptible to ear infections due to wax buildup. Too much wax in the ear usually creates a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. To avoid that problem, take the piggy to the vet regularly for a checkup.
Additionally, clean their outer ears every other week using high-quality cotton swabs dipped in mineral oil. Try to remove any debris or wax from the ears. However, do not insert the swabs inside the piggy’s ear.
Monthly Nail Trimming
PetMD recommends trimming a piggy’s nails every one to two months. The frequency at which you trim a guinea pig’s nails depends on factors such as age, activity level, diet, and cage substrate. Generally, however, younger piggies grow nails at a faster rate than older pigs. Guinea pigs that are fed a nutrient-rich diet have a fast nail growth rate as well.
Cats’ nail clippers can also work for your munchkin. However, to avoid accidents, it is better if you teamed up with another person. One person should hold and comfort the piggy while the other carefully trims the nails.
It is easy to see why one would be interested in Coronets; they are the very definition of cuteness. Nonetheless, Coronets are high-maintenance guinea pigs. As such, they are not for anyone who is not up for daily brushing, as well as regular trimming and bathing.
This is why Coronets are not recommended for first-time guinea pig owners, children, or people with busy lives.
However, if you are up for their high-maintenance lifestyle, Coronets are lovely pets to have.
Featured Image Credit: Coronet guinea pig by Abrahami licensed by Creative Commons