Everything You Need to Know About Hairless Skinny Pigs

Posted by Tori Holmes
Skinny Pig

Just because it's not fluffy, doesn't mean it can't be adorable! The Skinny pig is changing up the world of guinea pigs. These skinny piggies may have an unusual look about them, but they make great pets and are gaining in popularity.

Skinny guinea pigs are ideal for anyone dealing with allergies, thanks to their small amount of hair. They require minimal space and are relatively easy to care for. Here is everything you need to know about Skinny pigs.

History of the skinny pig

These nearly hairless little creatures may look prehistoric, but, in fact, are the newest breed of guinea pig. The Skinny pig was developed in 1978 by scientists who were conducting dermatology studies. They crossbred a haired guinea pig with one of their hairless lab strains due to a spontaneous genetic mutation, to create a brand new breed perfect for their studies.

Since then, the Skinny pig has moved beyond the lab and is gaining popularity in Europe and North America as a family pet.

Hairless pigs with various colors

The term "Skinny pig" is often used to describe any hairless guinea pig, but it is, in fact, a distinct breed. Unlike the other type of hairless guinea pig, the Baldwin guinea pig, Skinny pigs actually do have some hair.

The fun thing about Skinny pigs is that despite being nearly hairless, they come in a variety of colors and patterns. Skinnies can come in a variety of colors and patterns, such as Dutch, tortoiseshell, Himalayan and many others. This hairlessness also makes them a great pet for people who have allergies to pet dander or have a weak immune system.

Differences between skinny pigs and guinea pigs

While they look very different, the differences between Skinny pigs and haired guinea pigs are minimal. They have friendly, outgoing personalities and, with proper handling, enjoy spending time with their humans. The biggest difference from other guinea pig breeds is that Skinny pigs need to eat slightly more each day to maintain their body temperature. Owners can help with body heat by making sure their Skinny pig always has access to proper bedding and blankets.

Skinny pigs have an unusual physical appearance. Their bodies are largely smooth, with some wrinkles around their legs and neck. A healthy skinny pig will have a plump body and you shouldn't be able to see its spine or ribs.

Hover over the image for more information.

Body

The Skinny Pig has smooth skin with some wrinkling around the legs and neck. The body itself is plump and bones such as the spine or ribs should not be protruding.

Coat

While the Skinny Pig is nearly hairless, it does have a small amount of hair on their muzzles, feet, and legs. A thin covering of fuzzy hair can also sometimes be seen across their backs.

Temperament and Personality

Skinny pigs have friendly personalities and are often more outgoing than other haired breeds. When handled properly, they enjoy spending time with their humans.

Health

Skinny Pigs are generally healthy, but due to their exposed skin they will need sunblock applied before spending extended time in direct sunlight. They are also prone to dry skin, which can be easily fixed by applying an unscented baby lotion to the dry areas. A final concern for Skinny Pigs is mites, which if suspected should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian immediately.


Caring for a skinny pig

Skinny pig care is fairly simple but these pigs do have some particular health concerns. Because their skin is exposed, you'll need to apply sunblock to your pig if he'll be spending a long time in direct sunlight. Skinny pigs also often develop dry skin, but you can apply unscented baby lotion to the affected areas. These piggies may also contract mites, and if you spot mites on your pig you should bring it to a vet right away. Skinny pigs have a  life expectancy of about seven to eight years.

Do you have a Skinny pig? Tell us in the comments below!

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Everything You Need to Know About Hairless Skinny Pigs