All guinea pigs are excellent pets, but a Himalayan guinea pig is unique!
There are several breeds of guinea pigs; all breeds have their distinguishing qualities.
Therefore, if you are looking to adopt a guinea pig, learn more about their breeds so you can opt for one suits you the most.
This article will explain all you need to know about the Himalayan guinea pig, a cute and cuddly small animal that’s surprisingly playful and adorable.
A Himalayan guinea pig is a surprisingly curious animal with an incredible personality.
10 Interesting Facts About Himalayan Guinea Pigs
Most piggies grow between 8 and 12 inches, and they are quite adorable additions to your household.
The Himalayan guinea pig is one of the rarer guinea pig breeds.
Because of its name – Himalayan – you might think that this breed originates from southeast Asia.
However, just like most other breeds of piggies, the Himalayan guinea pig comes from South America.
How Does the Himalayan Guinea Pig Look Like?
A Himalayan guinea pig appearance is quite distinct, as these piggies are albinos with a predominantly white coat and pink eyes.
Nonetheless, while most albino animals have pink noses and feet, these guinea pigs can have black or brown noses, ears, and feet can be brown or black.
An albino guinea pig is born white, with pink eyes, but a Himalayan guinea pig will develop dark spots as the animal ages.
Himalayan guinea pig colors are arguably the most defining characteristic of this breed, as they separate them from all other guinea pig breeds.
While the colored patches are charming, they’re also utterly random in their placement and color.
But if you don’t see any spots on your guinea pig, that’s ok.
Pigmentation occurs at different times for these small animals.
For most of them, it can start a few weeks after they’re born.
These furry little rodents can even take a few months before even signs of pigmentation start to appear.
Simply, don’t worry if your Himalayan guinea pig doesn’t get spots soon, as they will come in due time.
The spots on your Himalayan guinea pig can fade if they’re scared or because of too much sunlight.
And yes, these small animals scare easily.
They can also fade with age.
So, you might want to be sure you are providing proper care to your pocket-sized critters.
What Should I Know about Himalayan Guinea Pigs?
The Himalayan guinea pig temperament and personality are typical for all other piggies.
They adore attention and will send back love if treated right.
Like all other piggies, they can be timid and frightened easily, especially in new environments.
To make them comfortable, provide them with hideouts in their enclosures.
As herd animals and very social creatures, the Himalayan guinea pig needs to have the company of another guinea pig pet.
Therefore, if you want to adopt a Himalayan guinea pig or any other breed of guinea pigs, consider adopting a same-sex pair, unless you want to have many tiny guinea piggies running around very soon.
Himalayan guinea pig care and diet are also the same as that of other piggies, so no worries there.
Likewise, a Himalayan guinea pig can suffer from the same health problems as other pets guinea pigs.
What Are the Common Health Issues in Himalayan Guinea Pigs?
The Himalayan guinea pig is tough but susceptible to health issues.
One common danger to guinea pig health is vitamin C deficiency because this pet cannot synthesize its vitamin C.
Therefore, apart from fresh hay, such as timothy hay, your piggy needs fresh vegetables and fruits.
Lack of vitamin C causes apathy, weakness, weight loss, diarrhea, and even internal bleeding.
In Himalayan guinea pigs, a possible sign of vitamin C deficiency is the fading of the colored spots on their bodies.
Is the Himalayan Guinea Pig Diet Special?
The Himalayan piggy has the same needs as any other guinea pig pet.
Timothy hay (or meadow hay), and fresh vegetables are the most important parts of your pet’s diet.
Fruits are also welcome, but only as occasional treats.
Besides, you can buy commercial pellets, either hay or vegetable-based that are usually enriched with vitamin C.
Poor diet causes many health problems, so a proper diet is crucial.
Also, be careful, as your pet needs a balanced diet.
Never feed your piggies with the same food every day.
Also, learn which veggies and fruits are safe for your pet and in which quantities, as feeding them too much can cause stomach issues.
Does the Himalayan Guinea Pig Require Grooming?
The Himalayan piggy is a short-coat breed.
Just like most guinea pigs, they need regular grooming with a suitable brush to prevent skin conditions and maintain their healthy coat.
However, your piggy won’t need as much grooming as a long-coat breed, such as the Peruvian guinea pig.
The Himalayan Guinea Pig Fun Facts
1. Guinea Pigs Like to Stick Together and Talk To Each Other
One thing that is common among all guinea pigs is that they like to stick together.
Guinea pigs are social animals that show their love, affection, and mood to their human owners and friends, as well as other guinea pigs.
They need company as, otherwise, they can suffer from loneliness and serious depression, which reflects on their wellbeing and creates many health issues.
For that reason, for instance, owning a single guinea pig at one time is illegal in Switzerland.
Keeping in mind their need for affection, guinea pig owners will usually have more than one guinea pig.
Another reason for getting your furry little friend their roommate is the adorable chatter.
They communicate using a variety of sounds.
2. Guinea Pigs Are Very Curious
Guinea pigs are explorers.
They like to go around and investigate things while making loud noises.
Just like other piggies, the Himalayan guinea pig size (they grow as big as 12 inches) allows them to fit into most tight spaces.
Jumping is another impressive feat that they can achieve, especially when you notice how high they can go.
Ensure that they don’t hurt themselves while they’re examining things around them.
3. To Stay Healthy, Guinea Pigs Need A Steady Climate
All piggies like to stay in a very comfortable and steady climate.
However, the Himalayan guinea pig is especially susceptible to illness from changing weather.
These fluffy little rodents prefer a more moderate temperature, not too cold or too warm.
Furthermore, it would help if you kept them away from direct sunlight, as the sun not only fades their spots but deteriorates their health.
Also, take care of your guinea pig if it is too cold.
4. Guinea Pigs Need A Hug From Time To Time
Himalayan guinea pigs resemble humans in more ways than one.
They need hugs to stay healthy.
Your pet is a social creature and needs company.
However, apart from creating a bond with your pets, by hugging them, you will notice whether it has a rough coat, which can be a sign of a health problem.
Further, you will notice possible skin problems that can lead to larger issues or spot parasites.
If you happen to spot a parasite or notice a skin problem, head to a vet immediately!
5. Guinea Pigs Need Additional Vitamin C
One more thing that you will find similar between guinea pigs and humans is that they can’t create their vitamin C.
Vitamin C is vital to guinea pigs, as, without it, they can get scurvy.
Scurvy can lead to many different issues.
Besides, your piggy has a fragile digestive system, so it can develop serious related issues.
It can stop eating, lose weight, have diarrhea, and appear weak and lethargic.
Since they’re herbivores, they can easily munch down on different greens.
There is also the option to give them supplements for the necessary vitamins and minerals.
6. Guinea Pigs Do Not Get Along With Rabbits
Rabbits and guinea pigs don’t get along well for a multitude of reasons.
For one, rabbits are much bigger than guinea pigs.
Bunnies can also carry diseases that can prove too much for your little pet to handle.
Respiratory infections can be fatal to a guinea pig’s health.
They also have very different needs, making the act of raising a rabbit and a guinea pig quite a challenging task.
7. Guinea Pigs Mark Their Territory with Their Scent
Similar to other prey animals, Himalayan Guinea Pigs have very sharp noses.
Even in a domestic setting, they like to rub their smell onto most things around themselves, allowing them to familiarize their surroundings.
Instead, a Himalayan guinea pig spreads its smell by rubbing its cheeks and body on objects around them.
When cleaning out their cage, you must keep some of the old bedding inside so they don’t panic.
Of course, they have specific scents that they want to leave for their roommates as well.
By rubbing their bottoms on the ground, they will leave scent secretions for other guinea pigs.
These small messages are there to alert other furry rodents of their presence.
Try to keep objects that they interact with regularly on the floor when you let them out of their cage.
8. Baby Guinea Pigs Grow Up Very Fast
Baby guinea pigs, grow up faster than most rodents.
They open their eyes at just a few minutes old and run just hours after their birth.
They even have fur on them already.
This albino breed is born with red eyes, a pink nose, and ears, with white fur.
They finish weaning at three weeks old, and they reach maturity in three months.
Guinea pigs continue to grow up to a year after their birth.
9. Grooming Is Easy
The Himalayan guinea pig sets itself apart from other breeds with its different fur coat and color alone, but taking care of its coat doesn’t require much effort.
Unlike, the Peruvian guinea pig, the Himalayan guineas have a short coat as most breeds of this small animal.
You will have to clean their cage and brush their hair every week.
Brushing is essential as it can allow you to spot any severe illnesses.
Every eight or ten weeks, you will also have to trim their nails.
Nail trimmers for cats and kittens will work just fine.
Also, bathe them every three months or at least once a year.
10. They Can Bust a Move and Sleep Very Litle
While they certainly won’t cut the rug like you’re expecting, they can do a sweet little aerial maneuver called “popcorning.”
When their excitement starts to get them, they’ll jump straight up into the air and spin.
If you start hearing little chattering sounds in the middle of the night, don’t let it get to you.
Piggies need around six hours of sleep, which they get taking very short naps throughout the day.
Guinea pigs are great pets but the Himalayans are a real pearl among these pets.
The Himalayan guinea pig is an albino breed that’s born with white fur, red eyes, and a pink nose and ears.
Just like the most common breed of guinea pigs, the American guinea pig, these furry cavies need proper care and attention.
Make sure to clean the cage regularly, provide healthy food (feed them lots of hay and vegetables), and groom your pet frequently.
As soon as you notice anything unusual, make sure to contact a vet immediately.