Guinea Pig Breed Spotlight â€“ The Rex Guinea Pig
With its short, dense wavy coat and it's hedgehog-like appearance the Rex Guinea Pig or Cavie makes for a popular pet. This Cavie is known for it's friendly, gentle and calm temperament. They love being handled and receiving pats, which makes them an excellent pet for children who can be gentle with them.
It's coarse coat stands on end and protects them from moisture, they also have very coarse whiskers. They also available in longer haired,Â wavy haired variients. Rex guinea pigs come in a variety of colour/pattern combinations including brown, white or agouti.
A Rex guinea Pig requires some special attention, as it's toe nails grow very quickly. For this reason, they require more grooming than other Guinea Pig breeds may. Their hair on the other hand, does not require as much grooming as other varieties.
Rex Guinea Pigs are likely to grow from 20-45cm in length and have a coat no longer than 0.5" (1/2 inche) long. They look slightlyÂ similar to a Teddy Guinea pig, however a Teddy Guinea pig has a much softer coat.
A Rex Guinea Pig will live for up to 6 years, depending on their environment they live in and the care they receive.
Rex Guinea Pig Diet
A Rex Guinea has the same food/dietry requirements as most other Guinea Pigs. As they cannot produce Vitamin C themselves, to prevent health problems ,you should provide your Rex Guinea pig with fruit and vegetables containing Vitamin C.
A Rex Guinea pig should be fed a mixed diet of various healthy and low-fat food, including:
- Fresh Vegetables
- Some Fruit (especially that high in Vitamin C, ie: Red Capsicum, Coriander, Kale)
- Fresh Water (changed Daily)
- Extra Water on hot days
- Avoid high carbohydrate, sugary foods as they can cause the bacteria within a guinea pigs stomach to change.
- Note: Do not be alarmed if, during winter, guinea pigs do not drink any water at all.Â If they are getting enough water from fresh vegetables and fruit, they may not need to drink water in cold weather.
- Good Quality feed pellets: Ensure that your protein content in your pellets never exceeds the fibre content. A good feed pellet will contain 15-16% crude protein and at least 20% fibre (preferably more) and a low fat percentage preferably 1- 2%. If possible, try to pick a feed that has the highest fibre content.
- Grass hays : Also used for bedding, this can form part of a Guinea Pigs diet.Â Good grass hay is essential in a Guinea PigÂ diet that consists of only Vegetables and Fruits. Important Note: Ensure the hay which is being used is not chemically treated and is safe for consumption by your Cavie.
Rex Guinea Pig Care
A Rex Guinea pig needs the same care as most other Guinea Pig breeds do, they require no extra care aside from grooming their toenails more often.
When housing a Rex Guinea Pig, choose an enclosure/cage that is as large as possible. The minimum dimensions for your Guinea Pigs' home should be at least 0.5 meters by 0.25 Meters High.
When housing a Guinea Pig in summer, ensure that their home is placed in an area with ample shelter from the sun, as they do not tolerate heat stress well at all.
We recommend using a "dripper" type water bottle, and adding at least 2 of them to your pets cage. Occasionally these drink bottles become blocked, which is why we recommend having at least two. Avoid using a water 'bowl 'if possible as these become very easily soiled and may be knocked over leaving your pets without any clean drinking water.
When preparing your Guinea Pigs' home, ensure you use bedding materials like shredded paper, straw or hay and change their bedding often.Â Whatever material is being used for your Cavies bedding, ensure it has not been chemically treated and is safe for consumption by your Rex Guinea Pig.
For playtime, add some "hiding" places for your pet, such as overturned boxes. Add at least one hiding place per Guinea Pig.
When grooming your Guinea Pig, keep in mind that a Rex may require their nails be clipped much more often than other Guinea Pig breeds. As their coat is short and rough, it does not need brushing as often as other breeds, however you should ensure you do regularily brush your pet Rex.
Keep an eye out for any potential Health Problems in your Rex Guinea pig by seeking attention from a qualified Vet should your pet develop any of the following symptoms:
- Coughing or Open Mouth Breathing
- Nasal and/or Eye Discharge
- Overgrown Teeth
- Any skin problems, ireggularities
- Changes in their food consumption
Like most pets, Guinea Pigs benefit from Regular check ups with a local Veternarian to ensure their health is on track.
Toni Benton - Toni has a lot of experience with keeping pets and pet enclsoures, with her very cheeky British shorthair cat named Charlie and a rescue cat Rosie who is now nearly 17. Toni's pets also includes Dwarf Lop rabbits and Australorp cross Chickens.