Skinny Pig Daily Care Chart
As responsible skinny pig parents, I don’t need to tell you that caring for your herd can sometimes seem a little overwhelming - there is just so much to do to ensure your piggies stay healthy, happy and thriving.
As with anything, getting organized and developing routines that become habits are the keys to successful skinny pig care.
There are certain daily tasks that cannot be skipped if you want to keep your skinny pigs in optimal health. These are:
- Fresh Food - Skinny pigs need a consistent supply of high-quality guinea pig pellets, fresh hay, and fresh vegetables. Make sure to remove any uneaten food to prevent spoilage.
- Fresh Water - Ensure your skinny pig’s water bottle is clean and filled with fresh water every day. Skinny pig’s require access to clean water at all times.
- Grooming - a quick visual check for any skin issues, dirt, or oil buildup is a good daily practice. If needed, use a soft, damp cloth or RenewedPet reusable wipes and cleaning solution to gently clean their skin.
- Playtime - Be sure to spend time with your skinny pig for socialization and mental stimulation. They enjoy company and will benefit from some playtime outside of their cage.
- Spot Clean - Every day you need to remove visible waste and soiled hay etc. Skinny pig’s thrive best in a hygienic environment and making this part of your daily routine will ensure that you keep expensive vet visits to a minimum.
- Temperature Check - make sure your skinny pig has access to a warm area and a cooler area so they are able to regulate their comfort levels independently. Keeping warm is essential for all pets without fur.
The tasks that can be done weekly are as follows:
- Cage Cleaning - Once a week, thoroughly clean the entire cage. Remove all bedding, wash any fleece or blankets and clean the cage itself with a pet-safe cleaner. Wash and sterilize all food and water containers and refill them freshly.
- Nail Trimming - Skinny pigs' nails can grow quickly and may require weekly trimming. Ensure you have appropriate pet nail clippers and have someone demonstrate the proper technique if you're unsure.
- Health Check - Observe your skinny pig's overall health. Look for any signs of illness or discomfort. If you notice anything unusual, consult a veterinarian.
- Vegetable Preparation - Wash, chop, and prepare a week's worth of fresh vegetables for your skinny pig. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. This is for all the working pet parents out there - an extra step of organization to shave some time off your busy day. (Pro-Tip - Glass containers are better than plastic)
- Toys and Cage Enrichment - Rotate and clean any toys, tunnels, or accessories inside the cage. Introduce new items or rearrange the cage layout to provide mental stimulation. This is especially important if you work and are not at home for long periods - your skinny pig will need to be able to keep themselves active and stimulated in your absence.
Remember that the specific needs of your skinny pig may vary, and it's essential to adapt your care routine to suit their individual preferences and health requirements. Regularly consulting with a veterinarian who has experience with guinea pigs is also crucial to ensure their well-being.
Now I have recently found an incredibly useful website in guinea pig care. If you visit Guinea Pig Academy, you will find some awesome FREE printables to help you get organized. You can download and print out to-do list charts that you can put up in a visible place in your home to check off each item as you have done it. There is a done-for-you option, a blank template for you to fill in your own personalized schedule and even an ink-saver option. I highly recommend these charts (especially for new skinny pig parents) until you have committed the care routine to muscle memory. Forgetting even one of these daily chores can lead to health issues that may have long-term consequences.
Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!
April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H