Himalayan Guinea Pigs: Personality, Cost & More

Himalayan guinea pigs

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Whether you are considering buying a Himalayan guinea pig for your pet or are simply looking for a great breed of pig, you’ll want to learn all you can about these cute animals before bringing one home.

So here are some significant facts about these animals to keep you up to speed.

Introducing the Himalayan Guinea Pig

Originally from South America, the Himalayan guinea pigs are one of the rarest breeds of guinea pigs.

Some interesting facts about Himalayan guinea pigs:

  • The average Himalayan guinea pig weighs between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds (680 g to 1.13 kg) and is 8 and 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) in length.
  • Himalayan guinea pigs have an average lifespan of 5-7 years, although some have been known to live up to 10 years.
  • Female guinea pigs, or sows, can give birth to litters of 1-6 baby guinea pigs
  • They are herbivores and require fresh greens, vegetables, and timothy hay and can live for up to ten years.
  • Himalayan guinea pigs need plenty of fresh water and hay and must be kept away from the sun, as prolonged exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer.
  • This breed of guinea pig is primarily white, with dark spots on their feet, ears, nose, and eyes. However, their coloration can change with temperature, stress, and climate.
  • Himalayans are very friendly, and they love to be petted. They will also bond with other guinea pigs and are excellent for children and older adults.
  • While they can be slightly skittish when encountering a new environment, Himalayan guinea pigs are a fun breed as pets as they are playful, interactive, and affectionate.
  • They are also easy to care for and are generally healthy but can develop health problems if they don’t have a healthy diet.

Food & Diet Recommendations

Himalayan guinea pig eating lettuce

Having a proper food and diet plan is essential for the health of your Himalayan guinea pig. It’s best to feed your fresh pet vegetables, fruits and hay.

Fruits are packed with fiber and vitamins, and they’re a treat for a guinea pig. However, fruits are sugary, so you’ll have to portion them properly.

If you don’t feed your pigs fresh fruits and vegetables, they can develop respiratory infections.

You should also provide Vitamin C supplements for your pig. They can be offered in the form of liquid drops or chewing tablets.

Providing fresh water and hay, especially timothy hay, is also essential.

This hay has better nutritional value than other kinds of hay. It also helps prevent tooth overgrowth.

Exercise Advice

Himalayan guinea pig exercising

One of the easiest ways to keep your Himalayan guinea pig healthy is to provide him with plenty of exercise. For example, you can create an obstacle course in his cage or let him run freely.

It’s also a good idea to have some stimulating toys to encourage him to explore his environment. Consider getting a large pen for them to play in with plenty of toys and interactive areas.

You can also encourage them to move around by giving them tunnels, jumps, and other toys. They will also enjoy playing with puzzle balls and hay balls.

Grooming Tips

Keeping Himalayan guinea pigs healthy and happy requires proper grooming.

Himalayan guinea pigs have short coats, which makes them easy to groom.

However, they also have soft, teddy bear-like fur that tends to tangle and matte, so brushing them is essential. Depending on the breed, they can be brushed daily or twice weekly.

Himalayan guineas should be bathed with a mild shampoo made for small animals. They’re not recommended to be cleaned with dish soap because it can be harsh on their skin.

Instead, use a mild degreasing detergent and soak them for a few minutes. After rinsing, they should be dried off with a towel.

If your guinea pig has a grease gland, clean it thoroughly. It can build up with greasy residue and can cause infection.

When you brush the Himalayan guinea pig’s fur, be gentle. This will help you avoid damaging its skin and causing it to itch.

You should immediately take your pig to the vet if you find any lumps or bumps. They can also check for parasites and remove them from your pig’s coat.

Recommended Cages

Whether you are considering getting a Himalayan guinea pig or already own one, you should know a few things before purchasing a cage.

Himalayans need a large pen to run around and play in. This is important because a guinea pig can become bored quickly. Therefore, you should have at least a 20″ x 30″ cage for your Himalayan guinea pig.

This will provide a better life for your pet and help keep the cage’s scent from being too strong.

Choosing the right cage for your Himalayan guinea pig can help ensure a healthy, happy pet. In addition, you should select a pen that provides a variety of hiding spots and activities.

A large, open cage with lots of room for climbing and running will be ideal for your Himalayan. You can also find cages with tunnels and multiple levels to keep your pig active.

Our veterinary advisor Dr. Cheryl Bonk selected the best guinea pig cages for different uses and selected the Living World Deluxe Habitat as the best overall cage.

The walls of a guinea pig’s cage are usually steel wire frames. However, you can also choose a pen with tubes or coroplast, a corrugated plastic type.

For a cheaper option, you can buy pre-made C&C cages. These can be built into different sizes and can be purchased on Amazon.

In addition, you can build your cage using storage cube grids if you want a DIY option.

Choosing the Best Bedding

Choosing the best bedding for Himalayan guinea pigs is integral to caring for your pet. Several options are available, so select one that will fit your needs.

When selecting a material for guinea pig bedding, you should choose natural, odor-free, and non-toxic. Using a toxic material can cause your guinea pig to become sick or even die.

Paper is ideal for bedding because it is dust-free and super soft. In addition, it can help absorb your pet’s urine, which will help keep it clean and dry.

Aspen wood shavings are also an excellent choice because they are odor-free and less likely to cause a health problem for your guinea pig.

However, while they are also less expensive and environmentally friendly, aspen wood shavings are only partially dust-free and can be abrasive to your guinea pig’s feet.

Another option is to use shredded paper, which can be more costly. You can also use hay or straw. Using cloth materials, you will have to change your guinea pig’s bedding more frequently.

For a softer alternative, you can choose fleece. A top layer of fleece can prevent your guinea pig’s skin from rubbing on the lining of the cage.

Fleece also keeps guinea pigs’ feet comfortable. This type of bedding is also straightforward to clean.

Lastly, it would help if you looked for biodegradable bedding. These are made from raw materials that are naturally biodegradable.

Health Concerns for Himalayan Guinea Pigs

Despite being one of the most popular guinea pig breeds, Himalayan guinea pigs can suffer from the same health problems as other breeds. However, proper care can help to prevent these health issues.

In particular, they are prone to bladder stones. Also known as uroliths, these stones can obstruct the urethra. As a result, surgery is sometimes required to remove them.

Himalayan guinea pigs are also susceptible to respiratory infections. Therefore, providing them with a good diet and regular vet visits is essential.

If you are considering getting your Himalayan guinea pig from a breeder, ask them about their experience with breeding. Also, find out if the guinea pig’s parents had any health problems.

As mentioned above, the Himalayan guinea pig can live for up to ten years with proper care. However, the average lifespan for this breed is five to seven years.

Ideas for Naming Your Himalayan Guinea Pigs

Choosing a name for your Himalayan guinea pig can be challenging, as the breed is rare. However, with creativity, you can find the perfect moniker for your new pet.

You can also use your pet’s appearance, behavior, or color to inspire your name. You can also get ideas for names from celebrities or characters.

Some guinea pig breeds have unique looks and personality traits. You can use these to get ideas for names for your pig.

For example, when naming a male, you can consider names that describe his unique appearance.

For females, you can look at rock band names and names from movies. Disney movie names are also great options.

You can also take inspiration from guinea pig behavior. For example, a guinea pig that squeaks when hungry can mean that he is anxious or hungry. Similarly, a pig that purrs when relaxed can mean content.

You can also consider terms, like silver and gray, as inspiration. For example, a pig with silver or gray fur may be named after a character from a movie.

Final Verdict

Whether you are looking for a pet for your child or to introduce a new pet to your family, Himalayan Guinea Pigs make great pets.

They are friendly, easy to care for, and adorable animals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Sources & Resources

We also have a number of other guides related to guinea pigs, including:

Pet News Daily Staff
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