What To Do If Your Skinny Doesn't Like To Be Held...
Skinny pigs are generally affectionate little creatures and love cuddles with their humans, however, every so often, you get one that avoids contact. Here’s what to do so you can enjoy some quality snuggle time with your skinny pig.
Begin by spending time near the skinny pig's cage without attempting to touch them. Let them get used to your presence and voice. Speak softly and move slowly to avoid startling them.
Associate your presence with positive experiences by hand-feeding your skinny pig their favorite fresh fruit, veggies, or treats. This helps build trust and a positive connection between you and your pet. Who says bribery is only for toddlers???
Gradually introduce gentle touches, such as stroking their back or scratching behind their ears. Pay attention to their body language; if they seem uncomfortable, back off and try again later. Many skinnies do not like to be petted on their nude areas, so initially only give soft pets/ light scratches on their fur-patch areas - generally, they like to be touched on the nose, between the eyes, and the top of their head.
Use a Blanket or Towel:
Some skinny pigs may feel more secure if they are covered with a soft blanket or towel while being held. This can create a cozy environment that helps them feel protected. You can also warm it up briefly in the dryer first to make it extra inviting for your piggy.
Consider using a bonding pouch designed for small animals. These pouches can be worn around your neck or shoulder, allowing your skinny pig to feel close to you while still having a sense of security.
Create a calm and quiet space for bonding. Loud noises and sudden movements can be stressful for skinny pigs, so choose a peaceful environment for interaction.
Always make sure your hands are very warm – a skinny pig’s naked skin gets cold easily. You could also sit near a heat lamp so your body is a really warm and inviting place for your skinny. Alternatively, you could put a heat pad on your lap and sit them on you for cuddles - they will love the warmth – just ensure they can move off the pad independently if they need to.
Consistency is Key:
Be consistent with your efforts. Spending regular, short periods with your skinny pig can help build trust over time. Consistency is crucial for establishing a positive relationship with your pet.
Respect Their Boundaries:
Pay attention to your skinny pig's cues. If they show signs of stress or discomfort, respect their boundaries and give them space. Forcing interaction can harm their trust in you.
Remember, each skinny pig is unique, and it may take time for them to feel comfortable with handling. Patience and a gentle approach are key to building a strong and lasting bond with your skinny pig.
Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!
April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H