This utterly adorable breed of guinea pigs known as ‘Skinny Pigs’ is naturally hairless, apart from the presence of several stubbles on their muzzles, feet, and legs. Identified by the scientific name Cavia porcellus, these hippo-looking cute creatures were the result of a cross-breeding carried out among a hairless guinea pig and a hairless lab strain, in 1978.
Over the years, these outgoing and friendly animals set off as popular house pets in European and North American households. Though there are no considerable disparities between skinny pigs and furry guinea pigs, these silky cuties do require some special attention.
Skinny pigs have very sensitive skin due to having no hair, so they are unable to withstand heavy sunlight. Owing to this fact, when staying outdoors for longer time periods, it’s very important to apply sunblock lotion on them. Unprotected skin is heavily susceptible to sunburn, other injuries, and viral infections. They also need cozy blankets to keep themselves warm and they eat a relatively bigger amount of food in order to maintain their body temperature.
The average life expectancy of these mini hippos is 7–8 years.
Healthy skinny pigs possess a smooth, plump body, and its spine and ribs are invisible. Coming with a variety of colours and patterns such as Dutch, Tortoiseshell, Himalayan, etc., these little pigs can be considered as ideal pets for people with allergies.
These endearing little animals will be the closest we will ever get to owning hippos, at least for now.