Skinny pigs are highly social and friendly animals, so will get on just fine with regular guinea pigs. They also have the same dietary and environmental requirements as guinea pigs, so they can be kept in the same cage without issue. The only difference is that skinny pigs cannot be kept outside due to their lack of fur.
What are skinny pigs?
Skinny pigs are a breed of hairless guinea pigs. They are born with no hair at all, but sometimes grow wiry hair on their muzzles, legs or back as they grow into adulthood.
It is believed that skinny pigs came from a random mutation in the 1970s, which led to them being bred to be hairless by the 1980s. Other than being hairless, their temperament and needs are similar to any other guinea pig.
Similarly to typical guinea pigs, there are a few colours you can choose from, including brown, silver, and golden.
Can skinny pigs live with guinea pigs?
Skinny pigs are just as social and friendly as other guinea pigs. They love being around other guinea pigs as well as being with people.
Because of this sociability, it is recommended to have more than one skinny pig giving them company and social stimulation. This means it’s great to keep them with regular guinea pigs. They are rarely confrontational or aggressive, so you won’t have to expect territorial altercations between the pigs.
They’ll often chatter with excitement when in the company of others. They also sometimes ‘popcorn‘ like other guinea pigs, where they quickly jump around when they are happy.
With other pets, skinny pigs are usually completely fine. You’ll just need to make sure that any large animals that could prey on them are kept at a safe distance.
Housing skinny pigs
Skinny pigs are fairly easy to look after, with essentially the same setup as a regular guinea pig. For each skinny pig (and guinea pig), you’ll need about 8 square feet of space in their tank. They like exploring different areas, so its great to get a tank with a few levels for them to climb between. They’ll also need a large play area or safety-proofed room, with plenty of toys to keep them occupied.
The only care difference between skinny and guinea pigs are extra precautions for their lack of fur. You’ll need to make sure their tank is nice and warm, typically above 20°C. This means they cannot be kept outside like regular guinea pigs. They should also have lots of substrate at the bottom of their cage, such as paper shavings. This allows them to dig down into the substrate if they’re feeling cold.
You should mostly feed your skinny pig hay, as it has great nutrition for them and keeps their teeth healthy. They also need a source of vitamin C which they can get from a huge choice of vegetables such as sweet peppers and tomatoes. If you keep your skinny pig with guinea pigs, you can give them the same treats and food bowls without worry.
You can also give them fruit, but only as a special treat. Fruit contains lots of sugar so has the potential to cause health problems.
Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshop where your will be able to see, learn and interact with the guinea pigs and other wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more that will be perfect for an animal party. We can also come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about animals and have fun too.