Common Household Dangers to Your Skinny Pig!
After skimming this list, you may be worried that your home is a warzone for your skinny pig to navigate. And while, yes, there are many things that can harm your precious piggy, a few simple precautions and preparations for when you let them out their enclosures is all that is needed to keep them safe from harm.
The key takeaway is simply to ensure that when your skinny pig is out of the safety of their enclosure, they need to be supervised at all times. This significantly reduces the risk of an accident happening.
Your skinny pig may mistake an electrical wire for a twig or branch and chew on it, putting themselves at risk of electrocution or burns. The best option is to make sure the cords are out of your skinny pig’s reach, but if this is not possible, you should cover all wires that your skinny can access with split wire loom tubing.
You need to make sure your skinny pig cannot chew on any houseplants as some are toxic. It is best to keep houseplants out of reach unless you have researched which ones are safe.
Skinny Pigs should not eat human foods (other than fruits and veg) - while it might look cute to see your skinny nibbling on a burger, human food can make your skinny pig very sick. Processed foods, breads, cakes, sweets etc are toxic to skinny pigs and should never be left lying around where your skinny pig can eat them.
This one is a no-brainer - please put your medications away after taking them. Certain drugs will have fatal consequences if your skinny pig ingests them.
As you know, keeping your skinny pig at the right temperature is crucial for their well being. Since skinnies are so sensitive to changes in temperature, you should avoid placing their cage near radiators, air conditioners, or in direct sunlight, which can cause overheating or chilling. Ideally you want to have a warmer place and a cooler place that they can access independently in order to regulate their temperature themselves - this is especially important if you are out of the house for long periods each day.
- Chemical Cleaners:
Harsh chemicals from household cleaners can linger in the air and be absorbed through the skin, potentially causing skin irritations or respiratory issues in skinny pigs. Use natural, pet-safe cleaning products whenever possible.
- Perfumes and Air Fresheners:
Skinny pigs have delicate respiratory systems. Perfumes and air fresheners, especially those with strong synthetic fragrances, can be irritating and even harmful. Choose fragrance-free or pet-safe alternatives.
If you're a smoker, be mindful of your skinny pig's exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoke particles can settle on their skin leading to respiratory problems and other health issues.
Plastic Bags or Other Plastic Bits
If a curious skinny pig somehow gets stuck inside a plastic bag, there is a small risk of suffocation and if they chew on the plastic they could choke - make sure all plastic carrier bags are safely packed away.
If skinny pigs chew on kids toys and ingest this plastic it can lead to intestinal blockages. Please make sure all this stuff is picked up off the floor before allowing your skinny pig to roam free.
Rough or Sharp Surfaces
The absence of fur means that skinny pigs' skin is exposed and can easily get injured on rough or sharp surfaces. Ensure their living area is free from anything that might scratch or cut their delicate skin and when they are out of their living space, try to ensure the area they are exploring is free from things that can scratch them.
Small objects are choking hazards. Skinny pig’s are curious and like to chew things so be sure there are no small things lying around that they could accidentally choke on, such as loose buttons, small toy parts, or beads.
Skinny pigs are prey animals and other family pets (no matter how friendly) could scare your skinny pig at best or hurt them at worst. Cats and dogs are natural predators for small creatures like skinny pigs and it only takes a second for the worst to happen. Always introduce your pets to each other slowly and in a controlled way and never leave a skinny pig unattended where another pet can get hold of them.
Most kids love animals and want to squeeze them to death “Elmira-style”, however, children are also unpredictable and should always be supervised when handling your skinny pig. Always take the time to teach your kids how to safely handle and gently interact with animals before ever leaving them unattended. Accidents happen in the blink of an eye. If your skinny nips your child, your child may drop them and this can cause injury.
By being aware of these common household dangers and taking proactive steps to mitigate them, you can ensure a safe, comfortable, and happy life for your mini hippo. Remember, a little precaution goes a long way in protecting your pet.
Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!
April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H