If you're in the market for a guinea pig, you may be curious about the different types of guinea pigs you see advertised by breeders, rescue groups and pet stores. While dwarf guinea pigs are periodically advertised or discussed by guinea pig enthusiasts, it's important that you have a thorough understanding of what is and isn't normal for healthy guinea pigs.
Dwarf Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs do not naturally come in "dwarf" sizes, nor are any breeds of dwarf guinea pigs recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association or other guinea pig breed association. If you've encountered anyone advertising or selling dwarf guinea pigs, be aware that, while the animals may be smaller than average, they're not going to be a true dwarf because there are no true dwarf breeds.
Guinea Pig Size
According to Cavy Spirit, a guinea pig rescue, the average female guinea pig matures to weigh between 700 and 900 grams, or between 1 1/2 and 2 pounds. The average male guinea pig is a bit larger -- between 2 and 2 1/2 pounds, or 900 to 1,200 grams. Guinea pigs are physically mature when they reach 1 year old.
A "Dwarf" Guinea Pig
Technically, a guinea pig who matured to a smaller size than she was supposed to might be considered a dwarf by some people. Small size can be the result of genetics or occur due to a lack of nutrition while the guinea pig was growing. If a guinea pig breeder intentionally breeds the smallest animals he owns to one another, he might succeed in creating a line of smaller than average guinea pigs, but they would still not be considered a unique breed.
Things to Consider
If you have a young guinea pig who you do not believe is maturing like she needs to, you need to take her to the veterinarian. A lack of growth could be a symptom of an underlying medical problem. It could also be a sign you're not caring for her or feeding her properly. Your veterinarian can help you determine how to best care for your small guinea pig as well as make you aware of any potential problems you may face due to your pet's smaller than average size.
Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.