American Guinea Pig

The American guinea pig is an old breed that originated in South America almost 10,000 years ago. These guinea pigs have short, low-maintenance hair, and they are known to be suitable pets for kids. We don’t know where the name ‘guinea pig’ came from. It has short straight hair and is also known as the English guinea pig in some places. People in the United States didn’t start keeping guinea pigs as pets until the early 1900s.

Facts about the American Guinea Pig

Common NameAmerican or English Guinea pig
Care LevelLow
Lifespan4 to 7 years
Size8-19 inches
Furshort, soft
Coat colorsBeige, cream, black, red, gold
TemperamentActive, friendly
Suited ForFamilies and inexperienced pet owners
Diethay, fresh vegetables
Weight700 – 1200 grams
American Guinea pig short facts

Physical Characteristics:

American Guinea Pig

American guinea pigs are usually 8-19 inches long and weigh 2-3 pounds. They have many coat colors like beige, cream, black, red, and gold. They come in different coat patterns, including Self, Solid, Agouti, Marked, and Tan. The English guinea Pig has a short, smooth coat without curls, and it comes in various colors and styles. Another type, the American Satin guinea pig, has a shiny, dense coat. They have a wide range of colors and patterns, with ten basic colors that lead to many variations.

Temperament and Behavior:

The American Guinea Pig is an ideal pet known for its sweet and playful personality. They are active, friendly and easy to care for, enjoy being handled, and respond well to affection. They are social animals that get along with other guinea pigs and are not prone to biting, so they are perfect to have around small children. These friendly and active pets are robust and resistant to illnesses. They are perfect for families with small children, enjoy being in the company of others, and can even be trained to do tricks.

Care and Maintenance:

Guinea pigs are very sensitive and care taking pets here are some tips and guidance on caring for American guinea pigs you can take care of your pig by following these tips.

Housing Requirements:

  • Guinea pigs need a spacious and clean cage to prevent foot injuries.
  • Ensure the cage has a solid bottom to protect their sensitive feet
  • For one guinea pig, minimum cage size should be of about 8 square feet.
  • A larger cage is better to provide more space for them to move and explore.
  • If you have more than one guinea pig, increase the cage size accordingly.
  • Choose a cage that has good ventilation.


Use safe and comfortable bedding materials like hay or paper-based bedding to keep the cage dry and comfortable for their rest.


  • Like all other guinea pig breeds, this breed also needs a proper amount of diet, including hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of guinea pig pellets.
  • Provide them clean and fresh water.
  • Avoid feeding them food that contains high calcium.


American Guinea Pig pic
  • Guinea pigs need proper exercise for mental health.
  • Provide a separate area for them to play and exercise.

Social Interaction:

  • Guinea pigs are social animals, so provide at least one companion to prevent loneliness and depression.


American guinea pigs have short hair, but they still need regular grooming to keep their coat clean. Brush them gently with a soft brush. Check their nails regularly and trim them if needed. Compared to other long-haired guinea pig breeds, like the Silkie guinea pig breed, American guinea pigs require less grooming due to their short hair

Veterinary Care:

  • Regular veterinary check-ups keep your guinea pig healthy.
  • Be aware of common health issues in guinea pigs, including dental problems and respiratory infections.


  • Keep your guinea pig cage clean by removing their waste daily.

Common health issues in American Guinea pig

Like all other guinea pig breeds, the American Guinea pig has the same health problems some are given below.

  • Dental Problems
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Skin issues 
  • Digestive problems
  • Urinary issues
  • Eye infection
  • Parasitic Infections
  • Stress-Related Problems

How To recognize and address common health issues?

To recognize and address common health issues in American guinea pigs, follow these guidelines:

Dental Problems:

  • Look for signs such as difficulty in eating or weight loss.
  • Consult a veterinarian if you notice signs of needing a dental check-up.

Respiratory Infections:

  • Look for symptoms such as sneezing or nasal discharge.
  • If your guinea pig has trouble breathing, go to the vet right away

Skin Issues:

  • Look for areas if their fur is missing
  • Consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Digestive Problems:

American Covey
  • Pay close attention to any changes in their appetite, bloating, or if they appear uncomfortable.
  • If you notice these issues continue, consider adding more fiber to their diet and consult a veterinarian for further guidance.

Urinary Issues:

  • Keep an eye out for any changes in how they urinate, like if it’s hard for them or if you see blood in their urine.
  • If you notice these changes, it’s a good idea to get a urinalysis and the right treatment from a vet.

Eye Infection:

  • Pay attention to signs like redness, or if their eyes are watering a lot.
  • If you see these symptoms, it’s best to take them to the vet for an eye check-up and possible treatment.

Parasitic Infections:

  • Look out for signs such as scratching, losing hair, or if you see any visible parasites.
  • If you notice these signs, it’s important to consult a vet for a proper diagnosis and the right treatment.

Stress-Related Problems:

  • Keep an eye on your guinea pigs behavior. If you notice any changes, like them acting differently, eating less, or seeming unusually tired, take note.
  • Try to create a calm and stress-free environment for them. If you feel like they still need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a vet for advice and assistance.


American Guinea Pig Cost

The price of this guinea pig breed is typically low compared to other guinea pig breeds, ranging from $10 to $40. In some cases, it may be even lower. The reason for the lower price is that it is the most common guinea pig breed.

3 common Facts about the American Guinea Pig

Let’s share some facts that you may not know about American or English Guinea Pigs.

Oldest Breed of Guinea Pig

The American Guinea Pig, known as the English Guinea Pig in most countries, is the oldest domestic breed. It is popular in families and among children due to its affordability and low maintenance. According to the American Cavy Breeders Association, it is one of the first Guinea pig breeds on record.

Colorful Guinea Pig

Guinea pig Food

American guinea pigs are available in Different colors most common colors are given below:

  • Chocolate Agouti – chocolate base and red tip
  • Lemon Agouti – black base and buff tip
  • Cream Agouti – chocolate base and buff tip
  • Golden Agouti – Black base and red tip
  • Silver Agouti – Black base and silver tip
  • Cinnamon Agouti – Chocolate base and silver tip

In addition to the typical agouti pattern, there is also a solid agouti pattern in American guinea pigs. Solid agouti guinea pigs have a ticked coloration all over, but they are relatively rare to find.

Little maintenance:

American guinea pigs have short hair so they don’t require much grooming. You don’t have to worry about regular haircuts or brushing because of their fur doesn’t tangle much. Only give them a bath if they start to smell unpleasant.

Are American Guinea Pigs Good for Families? 

American guinea pigs are wonderful family pets, especially for kids. Their low maintenance makes them perfect first pets for your child. Your child only needs to feed them once a day and clean their cage when necessary. The rest of the time is for playing, cuddling, petting, training, and exercising, and having fun and your child doesn’t need any special skills for this. The best part is, American guinea are gentle and don’t bite, so you don’t have to worry about any accidents.


The American Guinea Pig is a charming and delightful pet, known for its gentle nature and suitability for families, especially for children. They are low-maintenance, friendly, easy to handle and smart pets .  With proper care and attention to their health, these guinea pigs can make wonderful companions. So, if you’re considering a pet for your family, the American guinea pig is an excellent choice.


1. What is the origin of the American guinea pig breed?

The American guinea pig breed was standardized and recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA), but it’s not necessarily native to the United States. Its name reflects its recognition by the ACBA.

2. What distinguishes American guinea pigs from other breeds?

American guinea pigs are known for their short, smooth coats and straightforward appearance. They lack the long fur or specific patterns found in other guinea pig breeds.

3. What are the common coat colors of American guinea pigs?

American guinea pigs come in a variety of coat colors, including white, black, brown, cream, and various shades of gray and gold.

4. Are American guinea pigs suitable for first-time pet owners?

Yes, American guinea pigs are often recommended for first-time guinea pig owners due to their gentle nature and low-maintenance short fur.

5. How do I care for the coat of an American guinea pig?

Grooming an American guinea pig is relatively simple due to their short fur. Regular brushing and occasional bathing (if necessary) can help keep their coat in good condition.

6. What is the lifespan of American guinea pigs?

On average, American guinea pigs live for around 4 to 6 years, but with proper care, they can sometimes live longer.

7. Are American guinea pigs social animals?

Yes, American guinea pigs are highly social and enjoy interacting with humans. They often form strong bonds with their owners.

8. What do American guinea pigs eat, and what is their dietary requirement?

They are herbivores and require a diet of hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of pellets. Ensuring a balanced diet is essential for their health.

9. Are American guinea pigs suitable for families with children?

Yes, their gentle nature and friendly disposition make them excellent pets for families with children. However, supervision is necessary to ensure safe handling.

10. Do American guinea pigs require exercise?

Yes, like all guinea pigs, they benefit from regular exercise. Providing a spacious cage and opportunities for playtime outside the cage is important for their well-being.

11. Are American guinea pigs suitable for people with allergies?

Guinea pigs, including Americans, are generally less likely to trigger allergies in humans compared to other pets like dogs or cats. However, individual allergies can vary.

12. Can I participate in guinea pig shows with an American guinea pig?

Yes, American guinea pigs often participate in guinea pig shows due to their standardized appearance and popularity among breeders.

Including these FAQs in your blog post can provide valuable information to readers, addressing common questions they may have about American guinea pigs and helping them make informed decisions about adopting o

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