Skinny Pig

  • Skinny Pigs in Great Britain
  • Skinny Pig in the UK
  • Skinny Pig in Great Britain
  • Skinny Pig

Thinking of buying or adopting a Skinny Pig?


Introduction

The skinny pig, with its unique appearance, usually surprises a lot of people. However, their hairlessness does not make them less of a pet material. These hairless guinea pigs are not only good family pets, but they are also good for people who are allergic to fur.

The skinny pig originally came from a spontaneous genetic mutation. They were developed in the year 1978 with the purpose of creating a new breed perfect for dermatology studies by scientists at Montreal's Armand Frappier Institute. They are crossbreeds of haired guinea pigs and a hairless lab strain.

A skinny pig does not always equal to a hairless guinea pig. In fact, there are two types of hairless guinea pigs: the skinny pig and the Baldwin guinea pig.


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Appearance and Grooming

A skinny pig is not as hairless as everyone thinks it is. Despite being known to be “coat-free” for having no hair in major parts of their body, they still do have quite some fur on their nose, legs, and feet. Other skinny pigs also have a thin layer of fur on their backs as well.

They come in a variety of colours, such as cinnamon, chocolate, lilac, white, silver, and gold. In special cases, there might also be an albino and a Dalmatian-coloured one. A healthy skinny pig has no trace of spine or ribs on its body, and has predominantly smooth skin with some wrinkles in the neck and legs.

In contrast with the Baldwin guinea pig, the skinny pig is not entirely hairless, although baby skinny pigs naturally are. They will eventually start to grow hair overtime.


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Temperament and Intelligence

Skinny pigs are smart and are quick learners; they can recognise things and sounds pretty quickly. With that being said, they will instantly come running towards the direction of the sound they find familiar and interesting even if they are a room away, like the rustling sound of a bag containing food, or the sound of either the refrigerator or the door opening.

They are outgoing and friendly creatures. They love spending time with their own kind and gaining the attention of their keepers. Additionally, because skinny pigs will most likely spend their time indoors, they get the chance to have more interaction with their owners, making them become more of a family member, just like the feline and canine pets. A well-cared-for skinny pig will be more clingy and affectionate towards their owners.

On the other hand, skinny pigs are messy. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to litter-train them. They will pee and poo in the same area where they eat and sleep. It will surely take a lot of patience and attention to keep them clean. When owning one, you have to be prepared to change the bedding often.


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Nutrition and Feeding

Due to their lack of fur, skinny pigs have higher metabolism than most guinea pigs with fur. Meaning, they need to eat more because they have they need to maintain their body heat.

Hay is a necessity for skinny pigs. 80 per cent of their diet consists of hay. Hays are a huge help in maintaining the length of teeth. It is also a good source of fibre, which can help them keep an active digestion.

Besides hay, you can also feed them plain pellets, fresh vegetables, and fruits, along with vitamin C supplement.


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Health and Exercise

Since they do not have as much fur as most guinea pigs, cold places are not good for them. They are prone to catching colds and any other related diseases easily. It is best to keep them indoors or in warmer environments.

However, during the summer, you have to be mindful when taking them outside. It is advisable to apply a good layer of sun cream on their face and body to avoid getting them sunburnt.

Skinny pigs are fragile pets as well. They are not as flexible as the others, so they are best suited for lower and smoother grounds. Hamster balls and wheels might also easily injure their back and legs. They also have poor eyesight, which affects their perception of depth. Leaving them on high places such as tables and kitchen counters might be dangerous as they may jump. It is important to keep an eye out for them.

But a well-cared-for skinny pig can live up to seven to eight years, and some can even reach the age of ten.


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Cost of Ownership

A skinny pig can costs from £50 to £250. However, they love the company of another, so keep in mind the possibility of investing in two or more skinny pigs. They also eat more, therefore they are quite pricier to keep. Additionally, keeping extra cash aside for their health checks, medical care, and emergencies would be of help.


Skinny Pig Breed Highlights

  • The skinny pig makes a good family pet due to its playful trait.
  • They are unique pets!
  • They make a wonderful companion due to their sociable personality.
  • Enjoys getting people’s attention and having people around.
  • You always have the option to show off their interesting appearance to everyone.
Disclaimer:
The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.