Guinea pigs are one of the most loved family pets today! These cute and cuddly creatures are a joy to have around the house. Did you know that guinea pigs are excellent self-groomers? You rarely need to bathe a guinea pig! These adorable piggies are easy to care for!
If you’re looking into getting one, you might want to get yourself acquainted with its fabulous selection of different guinea pig colors and breeds. Yes, guinea pigs, like dogs and cats have different breeds and fur colors. It’s important to know which one you’ll get because each variation will have different behaviors, coat, and needs. Be sure to get one that is best suited for you and your family.
Here we show you a brief overview of guinea pig breeds and the different colors they go by. There are show cavies, those you’d see in pet stores, and at the animal shelters. These guinea pigs have different colors and patterns.
Would you like a white, black, or red-colored piggy? Do you know that some of them have unique mixed patterns as well? You can have one that is black and white, black red, or white and red. You’re likely to have a shortlist before you pick the right one. Take your time and read through the list before you take your new favorite pets home!
Overview of guinea pig breeds
Guinea pigs have originally been wild animals from South America. When they became domesticated household pets, people have begun experimenting on breeding too. Guinea pig breeders deliberately select certain breeds to highlight specific traits or downplay other qualities. Now, there are new varieties that have come from combining different pedigrees that have highly coveted traits.
Different guinea pig breeds share common characteristics but also have their own unique traits. These are the things you need to consider prior to deciding on what kind can be the best fit for you and your home.
Below are 7 guinea pig breeds that you may contemplate on getting:
1. Abyssinian Guinea Pig
This breed is known for rosettes, circular hair tufts, all over their body. Abyssinian guinea pigs are hyperactive so they are better suited for individuals who have had piggies as pets before.
Abyssinian guinea pig colors
This popular show breed can have different colors:
2. American Guinea Pig
If you’re a new guinea pig pet owner, this breed is an excellent choice. They’ve become the most popular breed in the United States because of their chill temperament, low maintenance upkeep, and also because they are a healthy guinea pig breed.
3. Baldwin Guinea Pig
If you’re not a fan of furry pets or you have allergies, the Baldwin guinea pig may be the one for you. They are born with full coats but gradually lose it during their first year of life. These guinea pigs are better suited for more experienced pet owners because they require a bit more close attention and care than others.
5. Peruvian Guinea Pig
This breed is known for having silky, long hair that forms a forelock. You may get them as a house pet but they are a celebrated show breed too.
6. Silkie/ Sheltie Guinea Pig
Named silkie because of their long and silk-like coats, these guinea pigs are obedient and beautiful. They are a popular choice but their long coats need daily brushing as maintenance.
7. Teddy Guinea Pig
These guinea pigs are called Teddy because they look like stuffed animal toys. It’s a popular breed that has a short and low-maintenance coat making it a good option for beginners.
Guinea pig colors
Guinea pigs present with a variety of colors and patterns. At most, one guinea pig can have three different colors on their coat. Others will have a solid color but it will always be one of a combination of red, black, and white.
Their color variations are dependent on their genes. The color and genes of their parents will determine the coat color of their offsprings. Each parent provides 32 chromosomes and each chromosome has a specific phenotype. These phenotypes will determine what the baby guinea pigs will look like. Dominant traits are more likely to be passed on to the next generation.
These dominant traits include hair types and length, coat color, and eye color. This is the reason why some guinea pigs have pink eyes while some exhibit unique coats like tortoiseshell guinea pigs. Some have solid colors, others have two colors, while some have a different mixture altogether.
Phenotypes differ greatly depending on the breed and color of guinea pigs. We will divide the list into solid colors, mixed, and rare colors.
Albino guinea pig
These guinea pigs are quite a looker. They have a pure white coat and pink eyes (other like to say they’re red eyes). Some owners like to call them white guinea pigs instead of albinos.
Beige guinea pigs
These guinea pigs can be called self guinea pigs in a more general sense because of their solid color. Their coat is light brown with yellowish undertones. Some like to call the color a blend of white and brown that gives it a khaki shade.
Black or chocolate guinea pig
These are the darkest colors of guinea pigs. The exact shade is debatable. Some like to simply call the shade black especially if the coat has some dark blue undertones. Some maintain that it’s a more chocolate shade because of the brown undertones. Others just call it a black chocolate shade.
Buff guinea pigs
This shade is a rich rusted brown shade. It is quite a remarkable color for a guinea pig coat.
Cream guinea pigs
These exhibit a color that is a few tones lighter than beige and may have a dirty white appearance. Careful not to mistake them from white guinea pigs.
Gold guinea pig
The coloring is akin to a bright yellow hay color. It closely resembles cream but has predominant yellow, honey-brown, or tan tones.
Lilac guinea pig
This a particularly unique and pretty shade that is quite rare. The coat looks gray at first glance but if you look closer, you’ll see shades of purple.
Red guinea pig
A red coat is not a bright shade but a deep brownish red shade . It is a solid color and not to be mistaken for red and white guinea pigs.
Satin guinea pigs
These are any solid colored guinea pigs that possess a genetic trait that makes their hair look shiny. Satin looks particularly stunning on a solid white coat.
Slate guinea pigs
This is a striking metallic gray shade. A guinea pig that showcases this color might have parents with slate or white coats.
Self guinea pigs
This is a general term given to any guinea pig that has one color. They could be black, red, or white guinea pigs. As long as your guinea pig has one single coat color, they are called self.
Any piggy that has a combination of color on their coats will be under this list. It could be red and white, black and white, black red, black and white, or any other combination.
Agouti guinea pigs
These guinea pigs are characterized with coats that have a blended look. This is because each hair strand has two colors. Together they create a blended and somewhat salt and pepper look. It could be any combination of red and white, black and white, or a beige black. You won’t see a solid agouti with only one color it will always be two colors in one hair strand.
These are a popular choice for many owners and there are several types of agouti guinea pigs to choose from:
A combination of chocolate and red
Red and black
Black and yellow or honey
Chocolate and silver
Black and silver
Chocolate and cream
Brindle guinea pig
These guinea pigs have one dark color (black, black red, black chocolate, or red) mixed with white hairs all over their coat.
Broken coat guinea pig
This means that the combination is made up of large portions of color that alternate with parts of white hair. You’ll normally see black and white or brown and white variations.
Dutch guinea pigs
These are guinea pigs with predominantly white hairs. They have a white face and a white band in the middle of their body. However, their back area and the sides of their faces are black or red.
Roan guinea pig
These guinea pigs will have a mix of blended colors all over their coats. It may be two colors mixed or more. It could be black and red, red and white, or other combinations.
Harlequin guinea pig
These guinea pigs are characterized by a primarily black coat with small bands of white or red interspersed in between. Their face is usually one solid color but the rump and abdomen will have a mix of beige black, black and red, or red and white.
Himalayan guinea pig
These guinea pigs will have a white coat colour all over their body but have black noses, ears, and feet. They also have distinctive pink eyes. The mixture of white with the different color of other parts of their body differentiate them from albino guinea pigs.
Tortoiseshell guinea pigs
Tortoiseshell guinea pigs have a distinctly unique pattern on their coated bodies. Tortoiseshell guinea pigs can be found in different breeds much like other colors. They are characterized by black and red rectangles colours on the coat that are well-defined. These are markings that make them rare.
White crested guinea pigs
This is a really distinct coat that is characterized by one single color, usually black, honey brown, or red and a white tuft or white crest of hair in the middle of the guinea pig’s head.
Dalmatian guinea pig
Its name comes from the Dalmatian dog breed. These guinea pigs are characterized by a dominant white coat interspersed with black or red spots all over their bodies.
As we’ve mentioned, choosing the right piggie isn’t as simple as picking the cutest one in the store. For starters, aren’t all guinea pigs adorable, to begin with? Not only will you need to choose a breed, but you’d also need to make a color and/or pattern choice too.
The wide variety of colors to choose from make these cavies unique. For example, a specific breed with long hair and a satin white coat is beautiful! Long coats, however, need maintenance like brushing and trimming. Can you be responsible enough to do that? If you’re having second thoughts, maybe getting a shorter-haired piggie would be a better choice.
You shouldn’t let all these options pressure you. It’s important that you take the time to read these things in order to make the right decision. Check to see which breed and characteristics will work well for you. Make sure that you will be able to care for your guinea pigs correctly. Don’t forget to review their behavior and needs, too.
Now, did a particular color stick to you? Would you like a rare color or one with a unique pattern like the tortoiseshell?
Whether you like single, self guinea pigs, or mixed color ones, they’re all still the same cuddly creatures that make great pets and companions.
If you have had a guinea pig before, you know how they react when they see you come back after a long day at work or school. These sweet creatures excitedly jump and run around when they see their pet parents. Be a responsible owner and care for them well and they will return the favor by being the cuddliest companions you will ever have.