Things to Consider Before Adopting a Skinny Pig!

Things to Consider Before Adopting a Skinny Pig!

Things to Consider Before Adopting a Skinny Pig!

Before you decide to bring a skinny pig into your life, it's essential to educate yourself on the responsibilities and realities of their care. Many find themselves in over their heads, leading to a sad cycle of rehoming these sensitive animals. 

Here are the key considerations to ensure you're fully prepared for this commitment.

Understand the True Cost

The financial commitment of owning a skinny pig goes beyond the initial adoption fee. These little ones require a spacious living environment equipped with toys and multiple warm hideouts, a diet rich in fresh vegetables and high-quality hay, daily Vitamin C treats, and regular health checks, which can all add up quickly. Unlike their furry counterparts, skinny pigs are more susceptible to environmental changes and health issues due to their lack of hair. This means there are additional costs for climate control (temperature and humidity) in your home and unexpected vet visits. Investing in a house thermometer and humidity measure are good ideas to ensure the environment is at the correct levels at all times.

Space and Comfort

Skinny pigs are social creatures that thrive in spacious environments where they can explore, play, and socialize. A small cage won't do for these energetic animals. You'll need a large, comfortable habitat that allows for free movement, enrichment activities, and a cozy, warm area where they can retreat. Given their hairlessness, they require bedding that will keep them warm without irritating their skin. Investing in the right environment is crucial for their physical and emotional well-being.

Diet and Nutrition

A balanced diet is critical for a skinny pig's health. They need a variety of fresh (preferably organic) vegetables daily to ensure they're getting the necessary vitamins, especially Vitamin C, which they cannot produce on their own. It's a good idea to get some Vitamin C treats to give them every day. High-quality hay should be available at all times to aid in digestion and dental health. While it might seem straightforward, providing a diverse and balanced diet requires knowledge and consistency. It's not just about feeding - it's about nourishing, because a healthy diet is the best preventative measure against health issues.

They're Not Solo Artists

Skinny pigs, much like their furry cousins, are incredibly social. They do best with companionship, either from another skinny/guinea pig or from their human family members. However, adding another skinny pig to your family doubles the responsibility, space, and financial commitment. If you're not able to commit to more than one, you'll need to ensure you're providing ample interaction and stimulation to keep your single skinny pig happy and healthy.

Grooming and Health

While it might seem that a hairless guinea pig wouldn't need grooming, they actually require careful attention to their skin. Without fur, they are prone to dry skin, fungal infections, and other dermatological issues. Regular baths with gentle, pet-safe products like RenewedPet's shampoo and conditioner are essential to healthy, soft, and supple skin. Investing in a skinny pig grooming kit will ensure you have everything on hand to make grooming a breeze. While it seems like a cost-effective solution, never use coconut oil on your skinny pig - it causes more problems than it solves.

Additionally, their health should be monitored closely, with regular visits to a vet who specializes in exotic pets. Dental health, weight, and behavior should all be closely observed and as responsible pet owners you should be vigilant for signs of distress or illness.

The Emotional Investment

Adopting a skinny pig is not just a financial and physical commitment but an emotional one as well. These sweet little hippos are capable of forming deep bonds with their owners, offering affection and companionship. The joy of seeing them happy and healthy in the environment you've created is immeasurable. However, it's crucial to consider if you're ready for the responsibility of another life, with all its ups and downs, for the entirety of their lifespan, which can be up to eight years.

Welcoming a skinny pig into your home is a decision that should be made with care and consideration. It's not just about providing a space in your home - it requires a commitment to meet their needs. The rewards are plentiful—unique companionship, endless entertainment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're providing a loving, forever home to a creature in need. If you've thought it through and are ready for the commitment, a skinny pig can indeed be a wonderful addition to your life. 

Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!


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


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