How to Look After a Hairless Guinea Pig (Skinny Pig)

How to Look After a Hairless Guinea Pig (Skinny Pig)

There are some gorgeous little guinea pigs around, some with long silky hair, others with short hair, some cavies boast extraordinary markings and there are even some that have no hair on their bodies at all!

These delightful looking “coat-free” piggies could never be found in the wild because they are the result of experiments carried out in a laboratory. These funny little creatures are in fact, genetic mutations that were first created in 1978 in the laboratories of the Institute Armand Frappier, which is located in Montreal, Canada.

For those people who remember the TV programme called “The Clangers”, these funny hairless cavies look very much like the animated animals that featured in the children's series. Skinnies, as these fur-less guinea pigs are called, have gained a lot of popularity over recent times, although a few words of caution have been published by animal rescue organisations worried about their welfare which is understandable.

Skinny Pigs Need Lots of Special Care

Since “skinnies” don't have any fur, except on their noises and a little on their feet, they must be kept indoors in a warm environment. 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 cosy 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.

Skinny Pigs Are Popular with Allergy Sufferers

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 includes the colours chocolate, cinnamon, silver, lilac, 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.

Here are a few interesting facts about skinny pigs

  • Skinny pigs are born without any fur – and stay that way. The only fur they have even when they are older, is found on their noses and feet
  • Skinnies cannot live outdoors because they feel the cold too much due to the fact they have not fur. They must live in a warm, heated house
  • If you let your skinny pig out in the garden in the summer, you would need to put sun cream on them to protect their delicate skin from being burnt – sun factor 50+ is the ideal choice
  • Skinny pigs have a higher metabolism than guinea pigs with fur because they need to maintain their body heat. This means they eat much more food, munching away all day if possible!
  • Skinnies can be a lot messier than their furry counterparts – this means they need cleaning out a lot more frequently
  • Skinny pigs can be much noisier than their furry counterparts too!
  • Skinnies are very quick to learn, and recognise things pretty fast as well, especially the sound of a fridge door opening or the rustle a bag that might contain food – they soon let you know they have heard what is going on even when in a different room!
  • Skinny pigs like their hairy brothers and sisters, are very entertaining little animals with each one of them having their own unique personalities!
  • Skinnies may have started life out as genetic mutants, but today these adorable little animals with so much character are ethically bred in the UK
  • Skinny pigs if well looked after can live up to six years of age
  • They love the company of their own kind – and they adore having lots of attention paid to them by their owners!
  • If well handled right from birth, skinny pigs are extremely affectionate family pets with the boars often being more loving than sows

If you're keen to find out more about skinny pigs, the best place to look is on the Internet where you can find reputable breeders who absolutely adore these adorable little animals that originated in a lab in Canada. You would have to be prepared to set up an indoor cage in a lovely warm area of your home, and make sure your new skinny never, ever gets cold.

The other thing you have to remember is that skinny pigs have higher metabolisms than their hairy brothers and sisters, and therefore they eat a lot more food which means they are more expensive to keep. Lastly, you would have to be prepared to pay well over one hundred pounds for the privilege of owning a skinny pig – and because they are always a lot happier when they have the company of their own kind, you would need to invest in two of the gorgeous little rodents and who wouldn't want to!



Pets for studWanted pets

Accessories & services

Knowledge hub


Support & safety portal
Pets for saleAll Pets for sale