10 Skinny Pig Facts Everyone Should Know

1. Hay Must Be Available At ALL Times

This is a mistake that I see new Skinny Pig owners do all the time.  Hay is either not provided at all or not enough. Nearly 80% of a Skinny Pig’s diet is made up of Hay and should be always available for them. Hay is great in that it is the only natural product that helps grind down their back molars and keeps their digestion constantly moving.

2. Large Cages Are A MUST!

The larger the cage for your Skinny Pig the better. The small desktop sized cages that you see at the pet store are much to small. Skinny Pigs may be small but they are very active and require lots of exercise. A common cage size is 2’x4′ for two Skinny Pigs. Pet store cages don’t come close to this size. The bigger the cage, the more room your Skinny Pig has to run around!

3. Skinny Pigs Need Vitamin C

Skinny Pigs don’t create their own Vitamin C, so they need to get it through their diet. It is an important and vital nutrient for bone formation, a strong immune system, and healthy teeth. Ensure your Skinny Pig is getting the correct amount of Vitamin C and that the pellets you are feeding them come from a high quality, reputable maker. You should feed them fresh veggies like bell pepper or give them chewable Vitamin C tablets.

4. Skinny Pigs Have Poor Eyesight

 Skinny Pigs do not have the best eye sight. They are prey animals so they have great movement detection all around them but it affects their depth perception. Do not ever leave your Skinny Pig on a table or other place high up. They will not know how far the ground is and will try to jump if they think they can make it. They can seriously injure themselves in a case like this or even cause death. Please be very careful and never leave them unattended.
Skinny Pig Facts

Skinny Pig Snack

5. A Skinny Pigs Life Span

Skinny pigs can live on average 5-7 years BUT there are plenty of stories about piggies reaching 8,9 and even 10 years old. This means if you’re thinking of guinea pigs as pets, you need to think about where you will be in the next 10 years, can that include Skinny Pigs?

6. Skinny Pigs Are MESSY

It is basically impossible to litter train a guinea pig. They will always poop/pee where they eat and sleep. Guinea pigs are incredibly messy and you need to be aware of this. They take a great amount of care in order to keep their living conditions clean. If you are using fleece, be prepared to spot clean two or more times a day. Make sure you are ready to change bedding often, wash beds and remove soiled hay! They take a lot of time, so they aren’t for everyone.

7. Skinny Pigs Are Expensive

Guinea pigs are not a small cage, pellet and water type pets like some believe.
They require large cages, pellets, vegetables, hay, water, bedding, medical care, toys, and accessories! Make sure you have it in your budget for their weekly needs and some to spare for emergencies.

8. Skinny Pigs Require Vet Care

Small pets are just as important and large pets. Skinny pigs are prone to illnesses or injury. Skinny pigs need vet care and only exotic vets specializing in guinea pigs are appropriate. Make sure you have funds set aside for medical care, emergencies and health checks, as they can be costly.

9. Skinny Pigs Aren’t Extremely Agile Or Flexible

Skinny pigs have short legs and are low to the ground, making them best suited to smooth, one level terrains. Never house your Skinny Pigs in cages designed for rats, chinchilla’s or rabbits because they do not have the ability to balance and climb. Do not have high up areas expecting your Skinny Pig to jump up or down from, don’t have things out of their reach and never put them in hamster balls or give them wheels in their cages. Guinea pigs have extremely fragile legs and backs.

10. Skinny Pigs Are Prey Animals

I hear it all the time, “My Skinny pig is scared of me”, “My Skinny pig doesn’t like me” or “Why doesn’t my Skinny pig like being picked up?” Guinea pigs are prey animals, meaning they are the ones that get eaten in the wild. It is in their nature to run, hide and be afraid of getting picked up. You can’t have expectations of guinea pigs being cuddly or super tame, those things take time and even then, some pigs will always be unable to hide their true instincts. Start off small with them and build on it. Start by feeding snacks and veggies.