Your New Skinny Pig is Pregnant - HELP!

Your New Skinny Pig is Pregnant - HELP!

Your New Skinny Pig is Pregnant - HELP!

Surprise! Your Skinny Pig is Expecting…

You've just adopted a skinny pig from the pet store, excited about the new addition to your family, only to discover... surprise! She’s pregnant! 

This actually happens more often than you might think, and yes, it’s terribly irresponsible of pet stores to be selling unknowing customers pregnant sows, but that doesn’t help you navigate the situation.

Once you get over the initial shock, here’s all you need to know to ensure your skinny pig stays healthy through her pregnancy.

Firstly, it’s a good idea to confirm the pregnancy. Unlike other pets, determining pregnancy in skinny pigs can be tricky, especially if this is the first skinny pig you have owned. If you are not up to speed on the ideal weight for skinny pigs, a chunky little piggy might have just seemed extra cute, but generally these pets are quite lean and shouldn’t be especially round.

If your piggy has a very round abdomen, you might feel the movement of the babies inside when you hold her. Just be very gentle so you don’t hurt her or the babies. If you suspect a pregnancy, it's a good idea to make an appointment at the vet. The vet can do either an X-ray or an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy and do a thorough examination to make sure mama pig is in good health. They will be able to give you some valuable guidance on how to care for her and the babies when they arrive.

Here’s how you can ensure a healthy pregnancy for your skinny pig:


Pregnant skinny pigs need extra Vitamin C, along with lots of fiber. Fresh veggies and high-quality pellets should be given every day. Always make sure there is fresh water and a high quality hay available for her. 

Accommodation Upgrade: 

Your piggy’s home will need some tweaks. More space is non-negotiable, as pregnant sows need room to move. Soft bedding, such as fleece, will keep her comfortable and warm. Make sure there are some cozy hideaways for her to rest in too.

If your skinny pig enclosure is multi-level, you may want to move all the necessities to the lower level so she can get to them easily. Especially as the pregnancy progresses, mama pig may not be able to climb up steps to get to her food or favorite sleeping area.

Minimize Stress: 

Keep her environment calm and soothing. Loud noises, sudden movements, or frequent handling might stress her out. Do not try to introduce her to your herd if you have one now, and keep other pets and children out of her space.

All that’s left to do now is wait…

Skinny pig pregnancies last about 59 to 72 days. As the due date approaches, prepare yourself for the birth. This doesn't require a piggy obstetrician, but you should know what to expect.

Labor and Delivery: 

Skinny pig deliveries are usually smooth and quick. The sow will do most of the work, but monitor her for prolonged labor or distress, which are signs to call the vet.

Post-Birth Care: 

Immediately after birth, the sow will clean her babies and encourage them to nurse. Ensure they’re nursing and keep an eye out for any piglets that might be struggling.

Hands-Off Approach: 

Resist the urge to immediately swoop in and handle the newborns. Give them time to bond with their mother and start nursing.

After the excitement of birth has settled, your role as a piggy grandparent begins. Here’s how to ensure those tiny bundles of joy thrive:

Nutrition is Key: 

The babies will nurse for the first few weeks but will also start nibbling on solid food quite early. Ensure there's plenty of food and water available for both the sow and her offspring. Make sure everything is fresh each day - do not leave food out for more than 24 hours.

Early Socialization: 

Once the babies are eating solids, you can begin handling them gently. Handling the babies gently from a young age will help them become well-adjusted pets. Just ensure hands are clean and sessions are short to avoid overwhelming them. 

Health Checks: 

Regular vet visits are crucial to ensure the litter and the sow are healthy and thriving. The vet can also guide you on when to wean and how to properly care for the babies.

Finding Forever Homes

Unless you plan on starting a skinny pig sanctuary, you’ll likely need to find homes for the babies. Start early, screening potential owners to ensure they understand the commitment of caring for a skinny pig. 


What started as an alarming surprise can turn into such an enriching experience. Watching a litter of skinny pigs grow and develop is nothing short of magical. 

Remember, the most important ingredients through this unexpected journey are patience and a sense of humor. Each day will bring its own set of challenges and delights. 

By following these guidelines, not only will you navigate unexpected piggy parenthood with ease, but you'll also enjoy the voyage.

Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!


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

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