Whether looking for a new pet or a pet lover, you will be happy to know that sheltie guinea pigs are extremely friendly and can make excellent pets.
However, they are also very calm and gentle animals and require regular care, which we will discuss below.
In This Article
Introducing the Sheltie Guinea Pig
Also known as “silkie guinea pigs” in the US, these pets weigh 1 to 3 pounds (453 g to 1.36 kg) and, when measured from the tip of the nose to the rear, are about 7 to 10 inches (18 to 25 cm) long. The weight and length of a silkie guinea pig will vary depending on the age and gender of the pig.
Sheltie guinea pigs are descended from Peruvian and self-black guinea pigs. They were first discovered in the United Kingdom and are regarded as the most popular pet guinea pigs.
During the first eight weeks, the pig’s weight increases very rapidly. However, the pig’s weight will slow down at the end of this period.
While silkie guinea pigs have an average life span of 5 to 8 years, some shelties can live up to 14 years.
They can be found in various colors, including white, cinnamon, golden, rust, and cream. The hair on these pigs is very soft and silky, which is why they are also known as “silkie guinea pigs.”
Unlike some other breeds, the silkie guinea pigs are very soft-natured and are known for their obedience. Frequently, they are timid but very friendly and will love to be petted.
Below are some fun facts that you should know about sheltie guinea pigs:
- They don’t like bathing
- They have a shiny sheen to their fur
- They don’t like onions or garlic
- They need plenty of space
Food & Diet for Sheltie Guinea Pigs
The most important part of a guinea pig’s diet is vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps your pig keep its coat shiny and healthy. You can give them strawberries, kiwis, and citrus to get this much-needed vitamin.
However, while some foods are good sources of vitamin C, others are bad. For example, grapes, bananas, and oranges are all high in sugar and can cause teeth and mouth problems.
Carrots are full of fiber and vitamin A. However, they also contain sugar, which is terrible for your pig’s teeth.
So to avoid tooth problems, you should feed your piggies only small amounts of carrots.
Other good veggies for your piggies include bell peppers, carrots, and dandelion greens. You can feed your piggies these vegetables up to three times a week.
Exercise for Sheltie Guinea Pigs
Keeping your silkie guinea pigs happy and healthy means that you need to provide them with adequate exercise. You can do this in several ways.
These are simple methods, but you must know critical factors when exercising them.
First, your pet’s safety is the most critical aspect to consider. You want to avoid risking your guinea pigs being injured while they exercise.
Next, you should ensure that your guinea pig has plenty of space to move around and explore. Make sure your cage is large enough to give them room to roam.
You can also try rearranging the cage, encouraging them to explore. This doesn’t require buying new toys; you can move things around in your home.
You can also use PVC pipes to build your guinea pig tunnels or choose from the options on Amazon. However, you should remember that your guinea pigs are not minute animals, so you should be careful when making these DIY obstacles.
You can even teach them to go upstairs, which is a great way to exercise your guinea pig.
Grooming Tips For Sheltie Guinea Pigs
Whether you are a new or experienced pet owner, grooming shelties is a valuable part of your relationship with them. It can be a fun and bonding experience.
In addition, regular grooming can help catch health problems early. Guinea pigs have susceptible skin.
If the hair is uncut, it can become matted and filthy, creating a breeding ground for flies. It can also cause infections. So, if you notice excessive shedding, it is recommended that you have the coat checked by your veterinarian.
You will need a soft brush to work through loose hair gently. For longer hair, you may need a pair of scissors to trim any tangles.
When grooming, take the time to work from top to bottom. Removing tangles on the underside of the guinea pig’s coat is more accessible than on the top.
This is important because matted hair can be a breeding ground for infection.
Ensure that you have a good grooming kit. This should include safety items such as a soft towel and mineral oil.
Providing your guinea pig with a nice treat after grooming will keep them happy and calm.
The Best Cage For Sheltie Guinea Pigs
Choosing the best cage for sheltie guinea pigs is essential to their life. They need a safe, secure home where they can explore and play.
They are less active than other breeds but need plenty of exercises.
The best size for a silkie guinea pig cage is at least 10.5 square feet. The bars of the cage need to be close together to prevent escapes.
A sheltie guinea pig cage should have a clean area for bathroom trips. In addition, they should have separate areas for eating, playing, and sleeping.
A safe and secure environment will help them grow into adulthood.
Choosing the Best Bedding for Sheltie Guinea Pigs
Choosing the best bedding for silkie guinea pigs is vital for their health.
These small animals require a soft, absorbent bed to keep their bottoms clean and dry. However, not all types of bedding are suitable for small animals.
There are many different types of guinea pig bedding, including hay, fleece, and paper. While some of these beddings are suitable for piggies, others can make them sick.
You should also avoid using scented materials. Specifically, using scented bedding can cause URIs and respiratory infections.
The most popular bedding for guinea pigs is paper.
Paper is a good option because it is durable and soft on piggies’ feet. It is also environmentally friendly.
Aside from hay, other bedding options for silkie guinea pigs include fleece, sawdust, and wood shavings.
Fleece has become more prevalent in recent years.
The downside of fleece is its poor odor control. You can also choose to layer a fleece material with an absorbent layer.
Aspen wood shavings are another popular option. These are safe for guinea pigs, but you should purchase them locally or from a reliable source.
Health Concerns of Sheltie Guinea Pigs
One of the most significant health concerns of sheltie guinea pigs is their gastrointestinal tract.
These animals have an opportunistic bacteria population that may be able to cause disease. The bacteria tend to be gas-producing and can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and a loss of appetite.
The best way to ensure your silkie guinea pig is healthy is to follow a balanced diet.
Fruits can also be beneficial. They contain a rich source of vitamin C and should be given daily in small amounts.
Mentally, please remember that these guinea pigs are social animals that need stimulation. If left alone, they can become bored and exhibit abnormal behaviors.
Ideas for Names for Sheltie Guinea Pigs
If you are considering adopting a sheltie or want a new name for your cavy, here are some ideas for naming a guinea pig. No matter your guinea pig’s personality or color, you can find a name for it on this list.
If your cavy is red, consider a name that honors the color. For example, try Red Rover or Big Red. Or, for a white cavy, try Casper the Friendly Ghost.
You can also name your cavy after a famous movie or TV character. For example, if your cavy is a boy, you could call him Archie.
Or, if your cavy is incredibly cute, you could call him Ponyo.
Depending on your pet’s personality, you could use names like Pebbles or Luke.
If you are looking for a creative name for a girl, you can choose a name based on her coat or coloring.
For a girl guinea pig, you can try Blossom. This is an adorable name that evokes the flower-power days of the 1960s.
There are also several naming inspirations you can take from nature. For example, if your guinea pig’s fur is light or fluffy, consider a name in honor of her sunny temperament.
Keeping a sheltie guinea pig as a pet can be a great experience. They are friendly, cuddly, gentle, and among the most popular companion animals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Additional Sources & Resources
We also have a number of other guides related to guinea pigs, including:
- Our answer to the question “can guinea pigs eat strawberries?”
- Our answer to the question “can guinea pigs eat onions?”
- Our answer to the question “can guinea pigs eat avocados?”
- Our answer to the question “can guinea pigs eat watermelon?”
- Our answer to whether guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open?
- Our answer to whether guinea pigs hibernate
- Our answer to whether guinea pigs are nocturnal
- Our answer to whether guinea pigs sleep at all
- Our breed guide to Himalayan guinea pigs
- Our breed guide to Sheltie guinea pigs
- Our breed guide to Albino guinea pigs
- Our breed guide to white guinea pigs
- Our guide to finding the best cage for 2 guinea pigs
- Our guide to finding the best shampoo for guinea pigs
- Our guide to finding the best bedding for guinea pigs
- Our guide to finding the best toys for guinea pigs
- Our guide to understanding issues related to guinea pig poop
- Our guide to finding the best balls for guinea pigs