The History of Skinny Pigs!

The History of Skinny Pigs!

The History of Skinny Pigs!

If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting a skinny pig, you know there's something undeniably bewitching about their hairless appearance and affectionate personalities. 

But did you know that these adorable mini hippos have a fascinating history that goes beyond their role as beloved pets? 

It’s time to delve into the origin story of these cherished companions.

Accidental Beginnings

The story of Skinny pigs begins in the 1970s in a Canadian laboratory, where researchers were delving into genetic mutations in guinea pigs for medical research. During these experiments, a spontaneous and surprising genetic mutation occurred, leading to the birth of the first hairless guinea pigs. With their unusual lack of fur, these creatures stood out immediately, and researchers saw potential for their unique physiology in dermatological studies.

Lab Rats

For the next 10 years or so, skinny pigs were bred to be lab rats. Their skin has striking similarities to human skin and sadly they were used as test subjects for skin care products, skin disorders, and dermatological treatments. 

From Lab Rats to Pet Stars

As research continued, some of these hairless guinea pigs found their way into the hands of breeders and individuals connected to the laboratory. These pioneers recognized the appeal of these little guys and began selectively breeding them to maintain their distinctive physical characteristics and friendly temperaments . The 80’s are often remembered as a decade most would like to forget (hello leg warmers and luminous clothing), but one good thing that came out of the 80’s was skinny pigs becoming available in the pet market.

Enthusiasts and breeders played a crucial role in transitioning skinny pigs from laboratory test subjects and gradually shaping them into the lovable companions we know today. The initial wave of interest in skinny pigs was fueled by their distinctive appearance, setting the stage for their rise in popularity and by the start of the 90’s skinny pigs were well established as exotic pets.

The Enduring Appeal

What is it about skinny pigs that captures the hearts of pet enthusiasts worldwide? 

Beyond their utterly unusual appearance, skinny pigs are known for their social and affectionate nature. These little guys crave companionship and thrive in the company of their human counterparts. Whether it's snuggling under a blanket or popcorn-hopping around their enclosure, skinny pigs bring a unique kind of joy to their owners' lives.

From their humble beginnings in a Canadian laboratory to their fully cemented place in the hearts of pet enthusiasts globally, I think we can all agree these tiny creatures have come a long way and made a huge impact!

Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!


April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H

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