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These nude cuties are an unusual new addition to the pet scene.

No, not on an island, but rather in a lab.

Using a cross between a hairless lab strain and haired guinea pig, scientists were able to breed the Skinny Pig. And because of that spontaneous genetic mutation discovery, they were able to use the related strain to create a brand new breed of guinea pigs. So why were they trying to create this new, abnormal breed? For research, of course. As you may know, guinea pigs used to be very common test subjects in the past few decades.

They were seen as valuable test subjects because, like humans, they were mammals with a thymus and a normal immune system. They are still very energetic and have great personalities like every other type. They eat the same foods and they make the same guinea pig sounds. Pretty much, the only difference is the hair, or rather, the lack of hair. The hair or coat of a guinea pig acts as a layer of protection to their immediate skin. So by taking that away, their skin is just as exposed as ours. I would recommend slightly upping their food supply because they typically need to eat a little more to maintain body fat and a higher body temperature.

Getting their body temperature between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal, which is slightly higher than the average body temperature of guinea pigs with hair. Skinny pigs with exposed skin make them extremely vulnerable to injuries and infections.

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"skinny pig" - Rodents, Rehome Buy and Sell in the UK and Ireland

I would recommend trying your best to keep them indoors in a controlled environment as a precaution. You should NOT try this at home. It may be difficult for you to find some that specialize in breeding Skinny Pigs, but they do exist. Before doing your research on breeders, I would locate your nearby guinea pig rescues and check there first. Although it is not likely, there still is a slim chance that a rescue has a Skinny Pig. Saving a guinea pig from a rescue is by far the best way in finding a guinea pig and should always be the first place you look. In addition, it feels more rewarding knowing that you saved a guinea pig from usually a bad situation.

Another option is to use a pet finding service like PetFinder. Usually it is free or very little of cost to rescue a pet from platforms like these. Petco and Petsmart will not have Skinny Pigs, though.

What Makes the Skinny Pig Unique?

Look through forums and ask around for Skinny pigs. It takes a lot of persistence, dedication and research to find a Skinny Pig. But if you really want one, you may eventually find one. It is not impossible to find a Skinny Pig. But they are really great breeds that act like any other guinea pig. If you have any more questions regarding Skinny Pigs or how to care for them, please leave a message in the comments section below!

The Skinny on Guineas | Pet Poison Helpline

They are beautiful animals! I currently have a 1yr old female that I purchased from PetSmart. Looking to find her a friend but would rather get from a rescue this time not having much luck, though. This may be an incredibly dumb question, but assuming you let them out of their cage to roam around, do they poop everywhere?

I have some friends and relatives with toddlers who crawl all over the floor, so I would just worry about the germs. Yes, they will poop everywhere…especially in my experience near the walls. Thanks for the article! Our new guinea pig just had babies and I thought something was wrong.

We bought mom and dad maybe in December and she must have already been pregnant. Dad has hair but it is very course, thinking he carries the gene! Petsmart actually does have them!! Was just at the one by me and I had never seen before!! Im looking to buy a skinny pig , i live in Buckinghamshire , dont seem to find any with out travelling hundreds of miles.

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I purchased both of my female skinny pigs from Pet Smart. Who regularly get them in once a week. If they can get them. But, it is possible to find them there so maybe update that part of the skinny pig section. I currently have two haired guinea pigs, I was wondering if it is okay to add a hairless guinea pig to the mix? I seriously love your blog.. Did you build this website yourself? No fighting as of yet. I arranged the cage so they each had their own sleeping houses. Should I just wait and watch or should I just divide the cage? I am also thinking I might have to re-home one of the boys!

I did buy a baby sow from Petsmart last year. Unfortunately she had a bad URI and died 2 days later. I was crushed Lola was a beautiful little girl. Nor would I ever buy one again from a commercial breeder, pet shop. Also they range in cost from depending on colors or patterns.

Pearls of Wisdom From the Lips of Sam Elliott to Your Ears

Also try and buy or adopt local, shipping really stresses pigs. The vitamin C quickly loses its potency in water a fresh supply must be made at least daily, if not twice daily. Also, guinea pigs may refuse or reduce their consumption of water with added vitamin C due to the taste, and this may lead to other health problems.

It is also very hard to know if your guinea pigs are getting enough vitamin C using this method of supplementation. Pellets Commercial guinea pig pellets should be fed daily. Choose a good quality pellet designed guinea pigs. Since the vitamin C in pellets also loses its potency over time, look for pellets that use a stabilized form of vitamin C, or at least one with a "use before" date ensure freshness, and also buy in small quantities and store in a cool dark place.

For growing guinea pigs, alfalfa based pellets are fine, but for adults, it may be better to search out a Timothy hay-based pellet. Also watch for high sugar content sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, etc and foods with lots of preservative or added chemicals. The Guinea Lynx site has a great article on selecting good quality pellets.

Fresh Hay Hay should be a staple in the diet and a fresh supply available at all times. Grass hays such as Timothy hay or orchard grass are the best for adult guinea pigs. Alfalfa is richer and higher in calcium and is a good supplement for growing guinea pigs as well as pregnant or nursing guinea pigs , but is not a good staple for most adult guinea pigs. Fresh Vegetables and Fruit In addition to the hay and pellets, a variety of fresh vegetables especially leafy greens and some fruits should be offered daily.

Leafy greens should make up the bulk of the vegetable supplementation, and fruits and other vegetables can be offered in small quantities. Avoid iceberg head lettuce as it has very little nutritional value. Good choices include kale, spinach, turnip greens, parsley, romaine lettuce, and dandelion greens. Avoid or limit cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, bok choy and other cruciferous vegetables as they can lead to gas production in the digestive tract. Try avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes. Carrots, carrot tops, green and red bell peppers, apple, apricots, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes can also be fed.

If you have a guaranteed pesticide-free source, grass, dandelions, clover, and chickweed can also be offered, especially new growth which is tender and the most nutritious. Any greens, vegetables or fruits should be introduced gradually or a digestive upset may result. Remember freshly sprouted seed like Oats, Barley or wheat is fantastic for added nutrition.

As with other animals, during digestion a toxin can be created. It may be harmful to Skinny Pigs as well, and certainly not worth the risk! Due to the fact they don't have fur which naturally keeps them warm when the weather is cold; skinnies are prone to catching cold or even hypothermia very easily. You would need to make sure their indoor cages are fun places for them to live in with an area that's cozy and warm so they never feel the cold. During the hotter summer months, you have to be careful about a skinny pig getting sunburnt.

Therefore if you do take them outside, you would need to make sure you put some sun cream on their bodies and face, being extra careful not to get any cream in your pet's eyes. These funny guinea pigs have become hugely popular with people who cannot otherwise keep pets due to allergies they suffer from which is usually caused when they come into contact with animal fur. More and more people who love animals but who could not be around them due to their allergies, are now the proud owners of skinny pigs, and just like a guinea pig, they make fantastic family pets.

Being such funny, inquisitive little creatures and being so friendly, skinny pigs are making their mark on the animal world with breeders now established in many parts of the country. Because skinnies have to live indoors, they really do become part of a family very much like a cat or a dog. Since they don't have any fur on their bodies, every little detail about them is accentuated and this includes any markings where fur would have grown. However, skinny pigs do have a little fur on their noses and on their feet, but other than in these areas, they are absolutely coat-less right from the moment they are born.

However, skinny pigs have different skin pigmentations which include the colours chocolate, cinnamon, silver, lilac, and white, golden and there are even albino and Dalmatian too! These delightful markings consist of black spots on white skin. To date the most popular colour with skinny pig lovers is chocolate. Taking the time to properly bond with your piggy will ensure a much better relationship over the lifetime of your pet. Not only will they be a better pet, they will have a better quality of life and will come to enjoy your company and seek out your attention.

A super tame guinea pig can be almost dog-like in personality, and often follow their person around like a puppy. In addition to this, a tame guinea pig is much more trainable and will learn new tricks significantly faster than one that is nervous of you and their environment. Further down this page, you can find some tips for bonding with your guinea pig.

Remember that in order to properly bond with your guinea pig, you should be prepared to spend time with them consistently every day, regardless of the method s you choose to try. The best way to tame and bond with a guinea pig is to simply spend lots of time with them in a positive manner. This essentially means you let them come to you, and offer veggies whenever they approach. An enclosed environment such as an exercise pen or a dry bathtub with towels laid out is a great place to sit with them and let them come to you.

Offer some food when they approach you, so they associate you as something positive, rather than a potential predator. If your piggy won't come close enough to take food from your hand, lightly toss the food to them whenever they come in your direction, and wait until they come a little closer each time before offering the food. Talk to them in a happy voice and offer their favorite veggie treats. Hanging out with your piggy frequently and consistently is key to having a sweet and social piggy, and forming a solid bond between you. When your piggy is comfortable approaching you and taking food from your hand, you can start having them come onto your lap to get the food, first by rewarding for putting their front paws up, then luring them onto your lap all the way with the food.

If you can get your piggy doing this consistently for their veggies, you'll be in a really good position to start teaching tricks, as this demonstrates that the guinea pig is comfortable around you, and will follow a lure in the form of food. If your guinea pig won't eat veggies in your presence at all, you can still form a positive association with yourself by draping a blanket over your leg and onto the floor to form a tent for the guinea pig to hide in. This gives the guinea pig a place to hide and feel comfortable while also getting used to being near you, rather than running away and hiding from you.

Some people also put the guinea pig on their lap with a blanket or baggy sweater and let them bury themselves inside. This is another way to keep the guinea pig comfortable while in your presence until they are no longer scared of you. In addition to this, guinea pigs also have poor eyesight, so tend to spook easily as a safety reflex. It is always a good idea to talk to your piggy as you're approaching their cage and reaching in, so they know it is you. It's also a good idea to pet the guinea pig a little before actually lifting them up as well, to give them a heads up of your intentions.

This is normal for a prey animal, and is to be expected. They are going to be most comfortable with their feet on the ground, in control of their own actions. Or the piggy that happily explores every corner of the room they are used to, yet freezes in fear when brought to a new room 5 steps away from their usual place. You may want to get the guinea pig used to other people and places for various reasons.

Otherwise, your guinea pig will be unlikely to perform any tricks with someone watching. You can do this a few times for each person, and repeat the process with a few different people. Getting a guinea pig used to new places is a bit more time consuming, but the more places you get your piggy accustomed to, the more adaptable they should be with new places in the future.

To introduce a guinea pig to a new room or area, try starting out by putting a pen up to fence off a small portion, to let the piggy roam in just a small area of the new room. Bring the guinea pig back a few different times; making the space they have to explore a bit bigger each time. A more confident guinea pig might be happy to explore the whole area all at once, so if you have a piggy like that, you can give them access to more space right away if you want. It will probably take any guinea pig quite a while to be completely comfortable in a new place though, so lots of time and patience is essential.

Being fed, held, and let out of their cage to run around are all activities that your guinea pig will be more comfortable with if they occur around the same time each day. Guinea pigs feel more secure and safe if they know what to expect.