The Rex Guinea Pig is a common domestic guinea pig and very well-loved in the guinea pig community. These guinea pigs have a short and wavy fur coat that resembles that of a hedgehog as it appears to “stand up”. It has a mellow personality and is very calm and gentle with owners, especially kids. Not all Rex Guinea Pigs have short fur as some do have longer fur.
These are great guinea pigs for first time owners due to their low-maintenance and longer lifespan. These guinea pigs tend to be on the larger side compared to other breeds.
Rex guinea pigs look very similar to the Teddy guinea pig breed and are often mistaken for them. The main difference between the two is how soft their fur is, the direction the hair grows and the hair around their eyes. A Rex guinea pig will have hair that grows towards the back of the guinea pig and it will not be as soft as a Teddy. The Teddy guinea pig will also have a hair fringe around its eyes whereas the Rex will not.
Key Facts on the Rex Guinea Pig
|Length:||8 to 15 inches|
|Weight:||1 to 2 lbs|
|Lifespan:||5 to 8 years|
|Color:||Gold, chocolate, red, cream and white|
|Temperament:||Warm, loving and gentle|
|Best Suited For:||All guinea pig owners|
Rex Guinea Pig Colors & Fur
The Rex guinea pig has a dense and compacted fur, similar to a Teddy guinea pig but it sticks out more like a hedgehog. Their short hair is caused by a unique recessive gene that most guinea pigs don’t have making their fur short and coarse.
There are several color variations of Rex guinea pigs but most are a solid color, such as black, or combined colors mixed in such as brown and white. The most common colors of a Rex guinea pig are: Gold, Chocolate, Red, Cream and White.
How to Care for Your Rex Guinea Pig
The Rex Guinea Pig is cared for much like other animals and other guinea pig breeds. A majority of the guinea pig breeds will follow the same daily care checklist that you should work through.
To maintain a healthy Rex Guinea Pig you’ll want to:
- Give them fresh vegetables and fruits daily.
- Give them fresh water and keep the water flowing.
- Clean their cage daily and clear out any soiled bedding to avoid sickness.
- Make sure they have tons of hay throughout the day.
- Make sure they have fresh pellets rich in vitamins and others to keep them healthy.
- Make sure they are given the appropriate living space to exercise and play.
- Engage with your guinea pig and show them affection.
- Do health checks weekly to make sure they aren’t gaining or losing too much weight.
- Keep their nails trimmed.
- Brush and clean their fur thoroughly every now and then.
Rex Guinea Pig Health
The Rex Guinea Pig suffers from all the common health problems guinea pig’s get, such as pneumonia, diarrhea and scurvy. These guinea pigs are pretty basic for their health needs and routine care, unlike other popular brands.
Prevent Health Issues with Your Rex Guinea Pig
The best way to prevent health issues with your guinea pig is to maintain a healthy environment, feed them the appropriate food and properly groom your guinea pig.
Follow these guidelines to as a basic care routine:
- Feed them plenty of clean and fresh hay.
- Keep the cage and living environment free of urine buildup or other waste.
- Make sure your guinea pig is getting adequate vitamin C.
- Minimize their contact with other animals as other animals can transfer disease and vermin.
- Keep them properly groomed with their teeth and nails.
- Provide plenty of space for the guinea pig to roam, lay and rest.
- Make sure you’re keeping your guinea pig in the correct temperature for their breed.
- Keep an eye on any abnormal behavior or weight gain or loss.
To learn more, read our guinea pig checklists for a wide range of things you should be doing for your guinea pig on a daily and weekly basis. To keep the lifespan of the guinea pig as long as possible you’ll want to get in the habit of proper care and maintenance.
What is the Lifespan of an Rex Guinea Pig?
The lifespan of a Rex Guinea Pig is 5 to 8 years, matching the average lifespan of most guinea pigs. Most guinea pig breeds will live an average of 5 to 7 years. The better care you give your guinea pig the longer their life expectancy will be. Their lifespan is affected mainly by genetics, environment and their diet.
How Much Should Rex Guinea Pigs Weigh?
There is no “healthy” weight for a guinea pig. Most guinea pigs should be within a range of 1.5 pounds to 3 pounds as a full grown adult. If your guinea pig is below 1.5 pounds or above 3 pounds it’s likely you are not caring for them correctly. If your guinea pig is looking too skinny or too heavy you’ll want to speak with your veterinarian as an active guinea pig will typically keep it’s weight in check and any excess weight gain or loss could be the start of health problems.
The Rex guinea pig is one of the lighter breeds so it’s not uncommon if your guinea pig weighs under 2 pounds. You’ll want to just make sure to monitor their weight gain and loss and look for any abnormalities as it could be a sign of diseases or illness.
Do Rex Guinea Pigs have Good Personalities?
The Rex guinea pig is a very affectionate and friendly cavy. They love attention from their owners and being handled. It’s important that you spend time with your guinea pig so they open up to you.
The Rex guinea pig makes the perfect pet for inexperienced guinea pig owners and kids as they are fairly easy to take care of compared to some other guinea pig breeds.
Are Rex Guinea Pigs Good with Kids?
Yes, the Rex Guinea Pig is great with kids who have owned pets before as they have a very affectionate nature. These guinea pigs love to be handled and enjoy affection. The Rex guinea pig is very active and sociable if their owners spend time with them. These guinea pigs don’t come with much more maintenance than doing standard care making them great for younger kids.
How to Train an Rex Guinea Pigs
The Rex Guinea Pig can be trained just like any other animal and other guinea pig breeds. They may not be able to fetch a stick but they can be trained to listen to commands. The guinea pig is a very intelligent animal and most breeds are very active and love to engage with humans. The Rex Guinea Pig is smart enough to learn a few tricks and commands if you have a lot of patience.
You shouldn’t try to train them early and should wait until they are around 9 to 12 months old.
You should try to train your guinea pig to use the litter box and obey basic commands like stop, stand up, come here, etc. The key is to pair the training with a reward of some sort like a treat or petting from the owner. By properly training your guinea pig you can get them to use the litter box to pee and poop instead of their cage along with making sure they listen to you when they are out of the cage.
Things to Know Before Buying an Rex Guinea Pig
If you’re considering adoption or buying an Rex Guinea Pig you should really know the basics of care, diet and their habitat. Guinea Pigs are pretty robust animals but it’s very easy to make them feel depressed or cause health issues without proper care.
Food & Diet Requirements
The Rex Guinea Pig requires the same basic diet all guinea pigs need. You want to make sure there is a good supply of high-quality timothy hay for them to eat. The hay will wear down their teeth and is high in fiber to help them with their digestive system.
According to the Humane Society, your guinea pig should eat around 1 cup of vegetables per day. They should have leafy green vegetables like romaine lettuce, kale, cilantro and parsley. You should provide a variety of vegetables for your guinea pig and change it up each day.
Some of the best vegetables for guinea pigs are rich in vitamin C such as broccoli or bell peppers.
Your guinea pig can consume fruit but you will want to be careful as most fruit is high in sugar which can make the guinea pig sick. You will want to keep the portion of fruit small and avoid fruits high in sugar and prioritize fruits high in vitamins and antioxidants.
Your guinea pig will need quite a bit of room to roam and exercise. Some guinea pigs can remain active for up to 20 hours a day. You should try to get the largest guinea pig cage possible. Make sure your cage has as much open area as it can so they can run around. Guinea pigs don’t like to climb so a larger and single level open space with things to do is more appealing to them.
Care & Grooming
The Rex guinea pig requires basic grooming and maintenance but you should pay more attention to their nails. Much different than other guinea pigs, the Rex will have their toenails grow much faster than other breeds. Usually their nails will get filed down walking around the cage or playing with toys but you should keep an eye on the length. You’ll likely need to clip them regularly to prevent ingrown nails and infection.
You should build a daily and weekly care and grooming checklist for your guinea pig. You’ll want to spot check all of their health signs, such as weight, and handle all grooming. Before you bring a guinea pig home you’ll want to make sure you understand how to trim their nails, how to brush their hair and proper cage maintenance.
Guinea pigs ultimately don’t require a lot in their home to stay active but you should look into the basic supplies needed for a guinea pig such as a water bottle, food dish, toys and gnaw sticks.
Common Questions About Rex Guinea Pigs
How Much are Rex Guinea Pigs?
As pets, guinea pigs are one of the cheapest domesticated animals you can buy or adopt. The price of a Rex guinea pig is lower than other breeds as they don’t require more maintenance and are not considered a show breed.
A Rex guinea pig is around $30 to $50. In some cases, such as adoption, you can get a guinea pig for less than this range or even free. The one thing to keep in mind is that it’s cheaper to purchase an Rex Guinea Pig but the real cost comes with proper care and housing.
To properly care for a guinea pig you’re looking at around $100 to $500 per year per guinea pig on the lower end. This includes cages, toys, food, bedding and more.
Are Rex Guinea Pigs Intelligent?
Guinea pigs are very intelligent creatures and want to learn and explore. They do not want to sit in their cage all day long and need interaction and exploration to remain happy. The Rex guinea pig is no different than any other guinea pig except that they will require more engagement than others.
You should expect to entertain your guinea pig often by changing up their cage layout, letting them roam the house and spending quality human interaction time with your guinea pig. You can begin to teach your Rex guinea pig several tricks and habits at a young age.