Guinea pigs are wonderful small pets, but many people don't realize there are over a dozen recognized breeds. The texel guinea pig is one such breed that is gaining in popularity. Its classic long fur with waves and curls makes it stand out among other guinea pigs. Find out more about this breed of guinea pig and learn how to provide it with the care it needs to be happy and healthy.
Common Name(s): Texel guinea pig
Scientific Name: Cavia porcellus
Adult Size: 8 to 10 inches, 1.5-2.5 lbs. but can be larger
Lifespan: 4-10 years with 5-7 years being most common
Texel Guinea Pig Behavior and Temperament
Texel guinea pigs are popular pets for many reasons including their easy going temperaments and social personalities. They aren't loud like a barking dog or squawking parrot but they can be vocal in their own ways. Like other guinea pigs, texels can make a variety of noises but that's mostly due to the fact that they are also very social. They do best when housed with another guinea pig, love being pet and handled, and even develop their own personalities. They aren't typically aggressive and some even love to be cuddled.
Texel guinea pigs are small yet sturdy pets that average about two pounds in weight. They have short legs and bodies described as being cobby and eight to ten inches long. They are easy pets for children to hold in their laps or adults to carry.
Guinea pigs may not be very big but that doesn't mean they should be housed in a hamster cage. Texel guinea pigs need at least a 30 inches x 36 inches enclosure, but since they shouldn't be housed alone, it is more likely that your enclosure is going to be at least two 30 inches x 50 inches. This size enclosure will allow two guinea pigs to have enough space to play, eat, and sleep. Floor space is more important than height.
Specific Substrate Need
Bedding in your guinea pig's enclosure will help absorb urine and spilled water. Recycled paper substrates and aspen wood shavings are good choices. Avoid pine and cedar beddings as they can irritate your guinea pig's respiratory system.
Texel guinea pigs should be fed a variety of foods. The bulk of their diet (70%) should be grass hay and fresh, leafy green vegetables (8%). Minimal fruits and daily pellets (20%) fortified with vitamin C should also be offered. Treats should make up no more than 2% of your guinea pig's diet.
Fresh drinking water should be available at all times. Your guinea pig's diet should be supplemented with vitamin C—if using a liquid vitamin C supplement, be sure to change the water every day. Other options for vitamin C include cookie or treat forms. If using vegetables for vitamin C supplementation, consider adding in water or treat forms as well as most guinea pigs don't eat enough foods with vitamin C in them to get the amount they need. Both a water bottle and bowl should be provided to encourage your texel to drink as much water as possible.
Texel guinea pigs are susceptible to a variety of health problems. The most commonly seen issues include:
- Uterine and ovarian diseases
- Respiratory issues
Training Your Texel Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs are smart so some people may be surprised to find out that you can train your guinea pig to do a few things.
If you want to take your texel guinea pig outside, getting them used to wearing a harness and a leash can be beneficial. Don't expect to take your cavy for a walk, but a harness and leash can help keep them safe and prevent you from losing them. Select a harness that is designed for a guinea pig's body and have your guinea pig wear it for a few minutes each day while offering treats. Once your pig is comfortable walking around in it, attach the leash.
Litter box training your guinea pig is possible with some persistence and patience. Guinea pigs don't take to a litter box as naturally or easily as a cat or rabbit, but if you place the litter box in your cavy's favorite spot to go potty and then reward when you see them using the box, you may get lucky.
Texel guinea pigs need ample space to run around. This is not only important for their muscular health but also for their mental stimulation, overall happiness, and gastrointestinal health. Be sure to allow your guinea pig time and space to have a little fun.
When it comes to grooming, short-haired guinea pigs are a little easier to manage than long-haired ones, but that doesn't mean it's difficult to keep your texel looking great.
Texel guinea pig hair does shed but since guinea pigs are pretty small pets, it's not a burdensome amount. Expect to find a little fur on your clothes or floor after handling your guinea pig.
Texel guinea pigs have beautiful hair but it needs a little help to keep it looking good. Weekly brushing of their long, wavy fur will help keep it from matting and getting food or bedding stuck in it.
Occasional baths may be necessary to keep your texel clean. Since this breed of guinea pig has such long hair, it's easy for it to collect food, urine, and feces as your cavy walks around. When bathing your guinea pig, use a guinea pig-safe shampoo and don't allow the water to get too hot or cold. Spot cleaning or bathing sections of your guinea pig is better than getting them wet completely as they can get cold easily.
Most guinea pigs need to have their nails trimmed about once every month or so. If your guinea pig runs around outside on rougher surfaces, this may not be needed as often.
Food and bedding for guinea pigs will be ongoing costs, so you should plan on spending about $20 on bedding and about $50 on food for each guinea pig you own. Since guinea pigs need fresh veggies in addition to their hay and pellets, plan on visiting the grocery store on a regular basis. You should also budget for veterinary visits as well as periodic toy and enclosure replacements.
Pros & Cons of Keeping a Texel Guinea Pig as a Pet
Caring for a texel guinea pig provides you with a personable, fluffy pet that can learn their name and be fun to play with. They can live up to 10 years and are fairly easy to care for. They do, however, require regular enclosure cleanings, fresh food and water every day, and should be housed with another guinea pig. This means you shouldn't ever have just one guinea pig so if you want a cavy, plan for two of them.
Similar Small Pets to the Texel Guinea Pig
If you’re interested in pet guinea pigs, check out:
Otherwise, check out other guinea pig breeds that can be your new pet.
Purchasing or Adopting Your Texel Guinea Pig
It's not hard to find a place to purchase or adopt a guinea pig, but texels may be a little harder to find. Most pet stores have an abundance of short-haired breeds but if you want a texel, you will most likely need to contact a breeder. Breeders can be found online using the American Cavy Breeder Association website and by attending a guinea pig show or fair. Expect to pay $20-$50 per texel guinea pig and more if they are already spayed or neutered.
Guinea pigs should be housed with a friend but if you don't keep two females together, you'll want to get your pigs spayed and neutered. Breeding can occur naturally but birthing baby guinea pigs can cause problems for the females, especially if they don't give birth for the first time while they are still young themselves. Breeding a female guinea pig after they are six months of age is very risky.
Do texel guinea pigs make good pets for kids?
Yes! Kids love the fluffy fur and personalities of texel guinea pigs. They are not aggressive animals and are fairly sturdy pets, which make them good pets for kids.
How much does it cost to buy a texel guinea pig?
You should expect to pay at least $20 for a texel guinea pig. Some breeders may charge a little more, especially if they come from a champion blood line.
Do texel guinea pigs like to be held?
Yes! Texel guinea pigs often enjoy being cuddled and held by their owners. Every pig has a different personality but they don't usually mind being handled.
Fs1183: common mites of your rabbit and small animal part i: fur mites(Rutgers njaes).