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In this podcast episode I share:
- all about the skinny pig breed
- all the variations that this ‘hairless’ guinea pig breed comes in
- why they require more care & what these differences are
- & lots of other fun facts!
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Skinny pigs are hairless guinea pigs.
There are a variety of different hairless types. There are many colourings such as Dalmatian, Albino, Dutch, Tortoise-shell, Himalayan & many more.
Although we describe as ‘hairless’ they do tend to still have some hair or fuzz on their nose, head, legs, feet & sometimes down their back.
If a skinny pig has fur down their back, head & shoulders then they are also given the special slang term ‘werewolf’. These ‘werewolves’ can typically lose or gain fur throughout their lives because of their hormone levels.
Due to them being hairless, skinny pigs should only be kept as indoor pets because they are intolerant to direct sunlight & cold temperatures.
They can be popular pets for people who have a fur allergy. However, as hay is 80% of their diet & it is important to not have a hay allergy.
Skinny pigs can suffer with terrible skin irritation because they don’t have any hair. Therefore they should not be kept on scratchy bedding materials. Instead it’s important to use soft bedding such as paper-based bedding or fleece liners.
Skinny pigs have a high metabolic rate than other guinea pigs meaning they need more food & water to maintain their body temperature. Therefore, they will require more regular cage cleaning because they also poo & wee more too.
The modern skinny pig breed originated in the 1970s & sadly they are still used in laboratory studies such as dermatological tests.