The crested guinea pig is a breed that’s characterized by the crest that it has on the top of its head. It’s a smooth coated, short-haired breed that can appear in any color with many different patterns. The Crested guinea pig has a lifespan of around 5 to 10 years and grows to a size of up to 12 inches.
To find out if the Crested guinea pig is the right breed for you, keep reading! In this breed spotlight, we’ll go over everything you need to know about this adorable cavy breed.
History of the Crested Guinea pig
The Crested guinea pig is one of many guinea pig breeds. The guinea pig is native to the Andes mountains in South America, where they roam in large herds on grassy plains and on the edge of forests. Guinea pigs have reportedly been domesticated as early as 5000 BC by native tribes. At first, they were domesticated as a source of food, but later on, they became our pets.
Once they became pets, breeding programs started which resulted in many different guinea pig breeds. One of these breeds is the Crested guinea pig. The crested guinea pig was first recognized as a distinct breed by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1974.
The Crested guinea pig’s defining feature is its crown. They have a single rosette on top of their head that makes it look like they’re wearing a crown, which is how this breed got its name. They’re a shorthaired breed, which makes them relatively easy to care for.
There are 3 different kinds of crested guinea pigs:
- The American Crested Guinea Pig
- The English Crested Guinea Pig
- The White Crested Guinea Pig
These 3 different kinds look quite similar to one another, they all have the characteristic “crown” on top of their head, but there are a few key differences. First, if the crest is white, and the guinea pig also has other white markings on its body, it’s an American Crested. Second, if the crest is white, but there are no other white markings on the body, it’s a White Crested. Lastly, if the crest has the same color as the rest of the body, it’s an English Crested.
A picture says more than a thousand words, and a video says more than a thousand pictures, so take a look at this video to see what the crested guinea pig looks like.
The lifespan of the Crested Guinea Pig
The lifespan of the crested guinea pig is the same as that of other breeds. On average, they have a lifespan of 4 to 8 years in captivity. Of course, how long they live depends a lot on the quality of care they receive. If you take good care of your furry friend by giving them a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and tons of love, expect them to live longer. The oldest guinea pig in history was named Snowball and lived for almost 15 years!
Crested Guinea Pig Personality
The Crested guinea pig is often described as being calm, docile, but also a little bit shy. Especially when you first get one of these animals, they can be a little bit apprehensive. If you treat them kindly though, they will come out of their shell and show you how loving and affectionate they can really be.
It’s also quite an intelligent breed. They can differentiate between voices, are capable of solving mazes, and can form strong bonds with individual members of the family.
Because they are so calm, docile, and smart, they’re quite easily trained and handled. This is one of the reasons why they’re a great choice for a first-time guinea pig owner.
The price of a Crested Guinea Pig depends on your location and the kind of guinea pig you want. As previously mentioned, there are 3 different kinds of crested guinea pigs. Typically, English Crested and American Crested piggies are cheaper than White Crested Guinea Pigs.
If you have many breeders near you, the price will be cheaper because of more availability. It’s difficult to give an accurate price of this breed because they’re quite rare and because it depends so much on where you live. On average though, they’re on the more expensive side, so be sure to budget appropriately.
Caring for Crested guinea pigs is relatively easy. Because they’re a shorthaired breed, grooming them is much easier compared to longhaired breeds. Still, it’s important that you feed them the right foods, give them a proper cage, and keep them healthy and happy. To learn more about how to do so, keep reading.
The diet of the crested guinea pig is the same as that of other breeds. Their daily diet should consist of the following:
- An unlimited supply of Timothy hay. Timothy hay is the staple of their diet. It helps your cavy grind down their teeth and aids their digestion.
- Fresh vegetables. Around 20% of their daily food intake should consist of vegetables. Leafy greens should make up the majority of their veggie intake, with smaller amounts coming from colored vegetables.
- Fruits & treats. Occasionally, you can feed your guinea pig some fruits or other treats. Do make sure to do this in moderation. Fruits are high in sugar, which can lead to weight gain.
- Fresh water. Always make sure that your cavy has access to fresh water. Be sure to give refill and clean their water bottle often.
The Crested Guinea pig is generally a healthy breed. They’re not more prone to disease than other breeds. However, they can still get sick, which is why it’s so important that you regularly take them to the vet for checkups. Veterinarians recommend that you get your cavy a checkup at least once per year.
It’s also important to know that guinea pigs are unable to synthesize vitamin C. Because of this, they need to get it from their diet. According to PetMD, if guinea pigs do not get enough vitamin C it can lead to weakness, lack of energy, bleeding, rough coat, loss of appetite, or diarrhea. If you notice that your cavy is showing these symptoms, take them to a vet immediately.
To prevent a lack of vitamin C, many cavy owners choose to supplement their guinea pig’s diet with additional vitamin C.
Crested Guinea pigs need a cage that’s large enough. The minimum cage size for 2 crested guinea pigs is 7.5 square feet, but 10.5 square feet is preferred. In general, 30 inches x 50 inches is a good size.
As for bedding, Carefresh Small Pet Bedding is generally recommended, while pine and cedar shavings should be avoided.
They also need access to toys such as tunnels, hammocks, and a hideout.
Guinea pigs have evolved to be very social animals. In nature, they roam in large herds, which means that they do not do well in solitude. This means that they need to have a companion. It’s not advised to own a single guinea pig because they will get lonely which can lead to destructive behavior, unhappiness, and a lack of appetite.
Make sure that you get a same-sex pair of guinea pigs, otherwise, you might end up with a large number of unwanted pups!
You should also keep in mind that even when they have a companion, you should frequently let them out of their cage so that you can play with them, train them, bond with them, and allow them to explore their surroundings. No animal likes being locked up 24/7.
I hope you enjoyed this spotlight of the Crested Guinea Pig. Now you know that there are 3 different kinds of crested guinea pigs; American, English, and white crested. Furthermore, you now know more about their personality, where they come from, and how to take care of them. Hopefully, this will aid you in making a decision on whether this is the right breed for you.
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