Skinny pigs have almost no hair.
They usually have hair on their feet and nose. They can sometimes even have little patches of fur on their backs, but that’s the most fur you’ll see on a skinny pig. In 1978 scientists identified a genetic mutation that made hairless guinea pigs and started breeding guinea pigs with the genetic mutation. That means skinny pigs have only been around for 45 years! They aren’t that different than regular guinea pigs, with one main difference being they need to eat more to maintain body heat. Of course, more eating means more cage cleaning. Making sure their bedding is dry is necessary for their skin health. There’s another breed of hairless guinea pig called Baldwin guinea pigs. Baldwin guinea pigs have no hair. Their skin has a rubbery texture, their ears are droopier, and they’re slightly larger than skinny pigs.
A skinny pig’s skin is sensitive.
Skinny pigs have the same personalities as regular guinea pigs, and as long as you bond them before housing them all together, they should get along just the same. Skinny pigs have a higher chance of being injured if your guinea pigs fight because they don’t have any fur to protect their skin. A skinny pig’s skin is similar to human skin, so they’re unfortunately used for testing for skin reactions and pigmentation. Recently though, guinea pigs have been used less often for testing. Skinny pigs have a high metabolism and, because they have no fur, will eat almost twice as much as their furry counterparts. Having no hair means they use more energy to stay warm. Did you know that skinny pigs experience pigmentation change when exposed to UV light? They’re also susceptible to sunburn and DNA damage from UV light exposure. Skinny pigs can develop dry skin if they’re not cared for properly. They’re also sensitive to things that wouldn’t affect them if they had fur. They have allergic reactions similar to people when exposed to skin irritants. There aren’t many safe products to apply to your skinny pig’s skin, but coconut oil is a good option for combating your skinny pig’s dry skin. Skinny pigs are more susceptible to fungal infections. Being sure their bedding is clean and dry is necessary for their health.
Important skinny pig care info.
The ideal temperature for skinny pigs is 72-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Using Guineadad fleece liners can help keep them warm and are healthier than wood bedding. Keeping an extra blanket or towel in the cage for them to stay warm is also important. Having fleece items throughout their enclosure is another way to help keep them warm. Keeping your skinny pig’s nails trimmed regularly is significant because it’ll help prevent them from scratching themselves, causing injuries or infections. It’s good to have experience caring for guinea pigs before bringing home a skinny pig. They require extra care, and if you decide to get a skinny pig, be sure you can handle all the responsibility of caring for one. Caring for a skinny pig requires the same care as furry guinea pigs, besides the extra care regarding their skin. Skinny pigs may even be more willing to cuddle up to you in the winter when it’s harder to keep warm, but be sure they always have a heat source!
Skinny pigs are a great addition to any guinea pig herd, and I’m sure your piggies will have fun with their new companion. They may be intrigued by their new friend’s hairless skin! Of course, you should monitor your piggies if they fight to ensure your skinny pig doesn’t get injured.
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