The Rex guinea pig, also known as the "Royal Rex," is a unique and exotic breed of guinea pig that has captured the hearts of animal lovers all over the world. With their thick, plush coats and distinctive personalities, Rex guinea pigs are a favorite among pet owners and breeders alike. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the history, characteristics, care, and common health problems of this majestic breed.
The Rex guinea pig was first discovered in France in the early 1900s. The breed was developed through selective breeding of guinea pigs with a genetic mutation that causes their hair to grow in a unique, plush pattern. This mutation is known as the "rexing" gene, and it gives the Rex guinea pig their distinctive, fluffy coat.
The Rex guinea pig quickly gained popularity in Europe, and by the 1920s, they were being exhibited at animal shows across the continent. In the United States, the breed was not recognized until the 1950s, but it has since become a favorite among American pet owners and breeders. Today, the Rex guinea pig is recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA) and is a beloved pet all over the world.
The Rex guinea pig is known for its gentle and friendly personality. They are sociable animals that enjoy the company of humans and other guinea pigs. They are also active and playful, making them a great choice for families with children. However, it's important to note that like all animals, each Rex guinea pig has its own unique personality and may have different temperaments.
The Rex guinea pig's most distinctive characteristic is its thick, plush coat. The rexing gene causes the hair to grow in a unique pattern, giving the coat a uniform, velvety appearance. The coat is also shorter than that of other guinea pig breeds, making it easy to care for. The breed comes in a variety of colors including white, black, cream, and many more.
The Rex guinea pig is a hardy breed that is easy to care for. They require regular grooming to keep their coats in top condition, and they should be provided with a clean, spacious cage and a diet that includes hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of pellets. They also need regular exercise and should be handled with care to prevent injury.
Common Health Problems
Like all guinea pig breeds, the Rex guinea pig is prone to certain health problems. These include dental problems, respiratory infections, and mites. Regular veterinary checkups and a healthy diet can help prevent these problems and ensure your Rex guinea pig lives a long, healthy life.
The Rex guinea pig is a medium-sized breed that weighs between 1.5-2.5 pounds. Their body is compact and round, with short legs and a short, round head. They have small, round ears and a short, upturned nose. Their eyes are large and expressive, and their coat is thick and plush.
Coat and Colour
The Rex guinea pig's coat is one of its most distinctive features. The rexing gene causes the hair to grow in a unique pattern, giving the coat a uniform, velvety appearance. The coat is also shorter than that of other guinea pig breeds, making it easy to care for. The breed comes in a variety of colors including white, black, cream, and many more. Some of the most common coat colors for the Rex guinea pig include white, black, cream, orange, and agouti.
Diet and Nutrition
A healthy diet is essential for the well-being of your Rex guinea pig. They should be fed a diet that includes hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of pellets. Hay should make up the majority of their diet, as it provides essential nutrients and helps keep their teeth in good condition. Fresh vegetables, such as carrot, lettuce, and celery, should be provided on a daily basis. Pellets should be fed in small quantities as a supplement to their diet.
How long do they live?
The lifespan of a Rex guinea pig can vary depending on their living conditions and diet. However, on average, they can live for around 4-6 years.
How much do they cost?
The cost of a Rex guinea pig can vary depending on where you purchase them from. On average, they can cost anywhere from $20 to $40. However, it's important to note that the cost of owning a Rex guinea pig goes beyond the initial purchase price. You will also need to factor in the cost of food, veterinary care, and housing.
The Rex guinea pig is a unique and exotic breed that is beloved by animal lovers all over the world. With their thick, plush coats and friendly personalities, they make great pets for families and individuals alike. While they are easy to care for, it's important to keep in mind that they do have specific needs when it comes to diet and exercise. With proper care, your Rex guinea pig can live a long, happy life by your side.