Just because it's not fluffy, doesn't mean it can't be adorable! Here is everything you need to know about Skinny pigs.
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.
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.
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.
Other important guinea pig care advice for healthy Skinnies include avoiding direct sunlight, due to avoid dry skin, and having a clean cage! Their life expectancy is about seven to eight years.
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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.
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.
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.
Do you have a Skinny pig? Tell us in the comments below!
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