Pets are not only beloved pets, but also practically members of the family. In apartments where there are children, you can often find cats, dogs, parrots, fish and hamsters. In recent years, guinea pigs have been especially popular. Cute and funny creatures differ in breed, color, size and the presence of wool. Biologists recommend paying attention to the unique leathery skinny guinea pig.
Skinny guinea pig is a naked animal that was obtained as a result of genetic changes in the Hartley breed. The unexpected loss of hair in these animals triggered a four-year study to develop a new breed of leathery guinea pigs.
The resulting animals had a high susceptibility to diseases and for a long time were grown only in laboratory conditions for testing various cosmetics. And only crossing skinnies with selfies made it possible to get a strong immune system, and animals gained wide popularity among ordinary residents.
The ancestors of guinea pigs are wild animals that the inhabitants of America caught and tamed for skins and meat.
In Europe, you can find other names for this animal – Guinea, Indian and Dutch pigs.
Hairless pigs are funny pets with a maximum body length of 35 cm and a height of about 65 cm. The standard weight of an adult is 1500 grams, but in comfortable conditions you can often find animals weighing about 2 kg.
The color scheme of the skin color ranges from brown to pink, and shapeless spots of black, white and gray can be seen on the body of some individuals.
The main features of pets are the presence of wool on the bow of the head of a standard size, hanging ears and the complete absence of a tail.. The length of the hairs can reach 10 mm.
A large eyeball can be red, ruby, brown and black. The body of adult animals has a large number of skin folds on the legs and neck. Affectionate and friendly creature will delight its owners for more than 8 years.
The animal has an unusual feature: sleep with closed eyes for 10 minutes, half-asleep state with open eyes – 4 hours.
Specialists recommend purchasing a rare and unusual animal from professional breeders who have special documents confirming its pedigree. The main signs of a healthy pig:
- the presence of a smooth and shiny skin;
- developed muscular system;
- proportional physique;
- the presence of a wide chest;
- curved nose plate;
- the presence of large eyes and flat ears;
- lack of bald patches and traces of skin pests;
- well-fed physique;
- the presence of hairline only near the nostrils;
- high level of mobility and activity;
- absence of purulent discharge from the eyeball and nostrils;
- dry paws;
- absence of mechanical damage to the skin and traces of inflammation;
- clean area of the anus.
Due to the lack of hair, zoologists recommend getting hairless pigs for people suffering from allergic rashes and rhinitis.
The choice and arrangement of the cell
Like any animal, the guinea pig needs its own home, in which it can take a break from the excessive attention of its owners.
Experts recommend giving preference to cages made of metal or plastic.
The optimal size of the dwelling is 50 by 100 cm.
The main feature of this product is a flat floor without cracks and holes that can cause damage to the pet’s limbs. Dry sawdust should be used as bedding material, the thickness of which should not be less than 10 mm.
The cage should be equipped with a feeder, drinker and various toys.
In specialized stores, you can buy a cage with all the necessary accessories, as well as an empty house that you can equip to your liking.
In the corner of each cage there should be a low covered room with a height of no more than 8 cm and a width equal to the size of the cage. On the roof of the house it is necessary to install a drinking bowl. The location of this accessory at a height will prevent debris from entering the water. On the opposite side, two feeders must be fixed, one of which is intended for hay, and the other for raw complementary foods.
There is no need to occupy the space of the room with a container of sand. This device for cleaning the skin is enough to put in a cage several times a week for a short period of time.
The presence of a special attached enclosure, where the pet can run and play, will have a beneficial effect on its physical shape.
Experts recommend building cardboard tunnels for the animal and lining them inside with a soft cloth. Pigs will be happy to spend more than one hour a day in such labyrinths.
In the habitat of the animal there should be no sharp and traumatic objects that can damage its delicate skin. A fall, even from a small height, can cause irreparable harm to the pet.
Guinea pigs quickly find a common language with other inhabitants of the house, and love to be held in their arms. A fed animal can be given into the hands of even small children.
To prevent weight gain, the animal must sometimes be released from the cage. In the room where the animal will run, it is necessary to protect a certain space so that the animal cannot get into an unpleasant and dangerous situation. In the summer, when the air temperature reaches + 25 degrees, the guinea pig can be taken outside for a walk.
Some owners equip a house for an animal in a transparent aquarium, the walls of which do not interfere with observing the life and entertainment of a pet. The use of a closed container, in which air movement and gas exchange is difficult, and a high temperature regime is constantly maintained, is not advisable.
Constant inhalation of vapors from urine and feces adversely affects the health of the pig and significantly reduces its life span. Among the positive aspects of this living space, it should be noted that the temperature inside is kept higher and the aquarium cannot absorb specific odors from the animal.
In the case of planning for offspring, it is imperative to equip a warm nest. As a building material, you can use a terry towel or a piece of woolen cloth.
Maintenance and care
Hairless guinea pigs are finicky animals that need a lot of attention from their owners and can be a real hassle when kept at home.
The animal drinks only clean water, which must be changed several times a day. If necessary, water-soluble vitamins and medicinal preparations can be added to the drinker.
Due to the lack of a warming coat, the animal needs to maintain a stable temperature regime at +26 degrees. In the summer, you need to protect your pet from direct sunlight on the skin. In winter, the animal can get sick even with a minimal drop in temperature, as well as from small flows of cold air. Special clothing will help reduce the negative impact of the environment.
When the first signs of dryness and peeling of the skin appear, it is necessary to lubricate the pet’s body with baby cream and regularly trim the nail plates. If redness, itching and various rashes occur, you should definitely consult a doctor.
For an independent solution to the problem, the use of penicillin is strictly prohibited.
A common skinny disease is the formation of a malocclusion, which can be caused by the irregular shape and inclination of the teeth. The first signs of such a defect are the slow consumption of food and the use of not all teeth. Help in solving this problem can only be in a specialized veterinary clinic.
To prevent the formation of ear plugs, it is necessary to regularly remove earwax with small cotton swabs. Darkening of the ear discharge is a sign of an ear mite infestation.
Despite its marine name, the animal does not need water procedures. If it is necessary to bathe the pig, experts recommend diluting a small amount of shampoo in a container with warm water and carefully washing off all the dirt. A prerequisite for bathing is to protect the area of \u200b\u200bthe head and ears from water ingress. During water procedures, you can not use cleaning, flavored and alcohol products.
To prevent the spread of an unpleasant smell of urine and feces in the apartment, it is necessary to clean the used sawdust daily and fill empty spaces with a new wood composition. Complete disinfection of the house and all its parts must be carried out at least 1 time in 7 days.
What can be fed?
A nutritious and balanced diet is the key to a pet’s health, as well as the ability to maintain a stable body temperature.
The diet of pigs should consist of hay, root crops, grain mixtures and greens. High-quality dry grass should be constantly added to the feeder, and juicy complementary foods should be removed at the end of the day. Particular attention should be paid to the constant presence in the cage of branches of fruit trees, on which the pig grinds its teeth.
The animal loves to eat sprouted wheat and oats. The most favorite vegetables and fruits are: pumpkin, carrot, apple, green lettuce, parsley, zucchini and sweet pepper.
Sometimes the animal can be pampered with dry cookies, unsweetened crackers, nuts and dried fruits.
To prevent curvature of the limbs, it is imperative to use special supplements in the diet that contain phosphorus and calcium. Chalk, grains of oats, corn and barley can serve as natural sources of these elements.
The diet of pregnant females should be dominated by nuts and sunflower seeds.
It is strictly forbidden to use boiled and fried meat products, stewed vegetables, sweet pastries, milk, cottage cheese, sweets, potatoes, hot peppers, garlic, radishes and mushrooms in the diet.
Skinny guinea pigs are not only very active pets, but also prolific. Many owners purchase two pigs at once and put them in one cage. Experts do not recommend doing this due to possible fights of same-sex animals and the frequent appearance of offspring between heterosexual pets.
Sexual maturity of females occurs at the age of about 3 months, however, experienced breeders advise planning a pregnancy for 5 months of age.
The gestation period is about 2 months. More than 4 newborns are born in one litter. An animal can give birth to cubs in a maximum of 30 minutes. Females take care of their young on their own and do not need outside help.
Animals can please their owners with offspring at any time of the year.
Skinny guinea pigs are friendly and playful animals that need affection, care and attention. Before acquiring a pet, you need to carefully study its character, conditions of detention and diet, so that the animal does not become an unnecessary burden in the apartment and disappointment. When in contact with children, it is necessary to protect the pet as much as possible from possible injuries and falls, which will have a negative impact on his health.
For more information about the skinny breed, see the video below.