The Argente guinea pig has a ticked pattern over most of its body, excluding the belly.
Its belly is a solid color that matches the ticking pigment on the tips of its other hairs.
Argente cavies usually have a pink tint to their eyes, which is an easy way to tell them apart from the similar Agouti.
Read on to learn more about whether the Argente guinea pig will be a good addition to your family.
What is an Argente Guinea Pig?
Argente guinea pigs are a breed with a popular ticking pattern to their coat.
They can be easily confused with the Agouti guinea pig, which also has this beautiful ticking coloration.
However, there are some key ways to tell them apart, which we will look at in more detail in a moment.
Argente guinea pigs are friendly and social, like most breeds. So, they can make great family pets in the right home.
However, they require the same level of care and attention as other short-coated guinea pig breeds.
Let’s take a closer look at what you should expect from an Argente.
What do Argente Guinea Pigs Look Like?
Now, we know that the main distinguishing feature of the Argente guinea pig is its coat pattern. It will have a ticking marking made up of two shades.
The color on the tip of each hair will also match the solid color on the belly of this cavy.
These cavies have short, broad heads and a gentle curve to their whole body.
They have short, easily maintained coats, which are soft and silky to the touch.
Argente guinea pigs most often have pink eyes.
According to the breed standard by the British Cavy Council, Argente guinea pigs have a number of acceptable coat colors.
This includes base colors of beige or lilac, with a ticking of gold, lemon, or white.
It’s possible to have other markings or colorings on an Argente guinea pig, even patches of unticked fur.
Colors and markings like this won’t be a problem unless you are planning on showing your guinea pig.
Argente vs Agouti
The Argente ticking pattern is very similar to the ticking markings of the Agouti guinea pig.
However, you can tell them apart by looking at their eyes and their bellies.
Argentes often have pink eyes, or at least a pink tint to their eyes. Agoutis usually never have this trait.
Additionally, Argentes have a solid color on their belly that matches the ticking pigment. Whereas, Agoutis have their ticking pattern all over their bodies.
Argente Guinea Pig Temperament
Like many other guinea pig breeds, the Argente is usually friendly and social. These piggies do best when kept with other guinea pigs.
If they are kept alone, they can become stressed and depressed.
Argentes can be great choices for families with children. But, you must handle them regularly to encourage this social, friendly personality.
Like any other guinea pig, the temperament of individual Argentes can vary. Some may be more nervous than others.
But gentle, regular handling will help nervous cavies feel more at home with you.
Argente Guinea Pig Health
There are very few studies looking at the health issues that can plague the Argente breed in particular.
So, you should look at health issues affecting guinea pigs as a whole to ensure you’re prepared.
Some of the potential health issues that guinea pigs can suffer from include:
- Respiratory problems, such as pneumonia
- Scurvy (vitamin C deficiency)
- Urinary problems
- Parasites and skin problems
- Barbering (chewing/pulling out own fur)
- Pododermatitis/Bumblefoot (sores on feet)
Another serious concern for guinea pigs, including the Argente, lies in their dental health.
Guinea pig teeth never stop growing. This is why fibrous foods like grass and hay are so important – they grind down guinea pig teeth.
If guinea pigs don’t get the opportunity to grind down those teeth, it can lead to some nasty problems.
Long teeth can cause ulcers and painful sores in your guinea pig’s mouth. They can also develop abscesses.
If you’re worried about your cavy’s teeth, it’s a good idea to speak to your vet.
Argente Guinea Pig Care
Argente guinea pig care is very similar to any other cavy.
We’ve briefly touched on it already, but they must have plenty of fibrous grass or hay to grind down those teeth.
They must also have enough vitamin C in their diet. This can be found in plenty of green veggies, but make sure to check new foods are safe before offering them.
Argente guinea pigs are very social. So, they must be kept with other guinea pigs.
If they live alone they can become easily distressed.
These cavies have short hair, so they won’t need a huge amount of grooming.
Keep their hutches clean, and make sure they have constant access to fresh water.
Are Argente Guinea Pigs Good Family Pets?
Argente guinea pigs can make great family pets for the right homes.
They have interesting and beautiful patterns and colors on their fur. So, if you’re looking for a guinea pig that stands out from the crowd, they’re a great choice.
Like any other cavy, their personalities will vary. So, some may be more nervous than others.
They don’t require a huge amount of grooming, but will require the same general care as any other guinea pig.
Argentes must be kept at least in pairs, as they are very social. So, you must be prepared to get at least two piggies.
They can be great in families with children, but make sure kids are supervised when handling Argentes.
Do You Have an Argente?
The Argente guinea pig has a wonderful coat pattern that can be hard to tell apart from the similar Agouti.
They can make great family pets for the right home, as long as they are kept in pairs or small groups.
Do you have one of these lovable cavies at home? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences with them!
References and Resources
- ‘Argente Breed Standard’, British Cavy Council (2009)
- Donnelly, T. & Brown, C. ‘Guinea Pig and Chinchilla Care and Husbandry’, Veterinary Clinics Exotic Animal Practice (2004)
- Herman, P. & Herman, C. ‘Cavy Genetics’, Caviar Rusticana (Accessed 2020)
- Meredith, A. ‘Guinea Pigs: Common Things are Common’, Veterinary Record (2015)
- Norman, R. & Wills, A. ‘An Investigation into the Relationship Between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia Porcellus)’, Animals (2016)