Skinny Pig

Hairless Guinea Pig

Family: Caviidae Skinny Pig or Hairless Guinea Pig, Guinea Pig PicturesCavia porcellusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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How long do skinny pigs live?  GARY

   Though called a Hairless Guinea Pig, the Skinny Pig actually does have just a bit of hair!

  The Skinny Pig is a very unusual, yet an increasingly popular breed of Guinea Pig. There are actually two types of Hairless Guinea Pig, this one and another called the Baldwin Guinea Pig. These nearly hairless critters have a funny way of winning the hearts of nearly all they come into contact with.

   Skinny Pigs are as curious and mischievous as any other breed of Guinea pig, but some owners and breeders claim that they are more outgoing. They are quite playful, and they love attention.

   Skinny Pigs do not require the brushing that other Guinea pigs need, but they do have certain special needs. They are more susceptible to injury than breeds with hair covering their bodies, and they are more sensitive to sunlight and temperature. They need a responsible owner to keep them happy and healthy.

Guinea Pig Information - Guinea Pig Care
Guide to a Happy Healthy Guinea Pig

Geographic Distribution
Cavia porcellus
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Data provided by
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Family: Caviidae
  • Genus: Cavia
  • Species: porcellus
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   The Skinny Pig's origins go back to the late 1970s. The breed is the result of inbreeding in laboratory Guinea Pigs, which produced a genetic mutation that caused offspring to be born with virtually no hair. These animals were very unhealthy and had short life expectancies. But once in the hands of capable breeders, they were bred to healthier Guinea Pigs, and the health of the fledgling breed improved. They also developed a variety of colors and patterns.


  The Skinny Pig has almost no hair on most of its body. The only exceptions are usually the nose and feet. Some have a small amount of hair in other areas such as the rump and shoulders. Its skin is somewhat wrinkled.

Color differences:

   The Skinny pig can display any of the basic colors and patterns of the Guinea pig. This breed is not recognized by the ACBA or ARBA, so there is no set standard for coloring.


Keeping Guinea Pigs:


   Be sure to provide your guinea pig with a good home and a proper diet. This will keep it happy and healthy and ensure a great pet for a long time.

   Guinea pigs need plenty of exercise and they also love to play. You can let them outside or run around in the house for short periods of time under supervision. They love to explore and need at least one hour of supervised 'floor time' every day.

   When picking up a guinea pig make sure you do not grab it only by its shoulders. Just keep in mind when picking your pet up to do it evenly. With your hands, support it's entire body, and be careful not to drop it.

   Guinea pigs are social creatures and will like to have a companion. They are great companions for children.

   Take time to learn what your guinea pig needs, including:

  • housing
  • care and feeding
  • social behaviors
  • activies
  • handling and training
  • breeding guinea pigs
  • baby guinea pigs.


   Skinny Pigs are becoming easier to find, but breeders may be hard to come by in some areas. Prices are higher than most other breeds, averaging $60 to $70 apiece
   Guinea Pigs come in many varieties and are readily available at pet stores, shelters, and rescues. When looking to acquire a pet guinea pig make sure it is a healthy animal. A healthy guinea pig will have brilliant eyes, good sound teeth, and a healthy coat. Any age and either sex will make a good pet, however you should plan to get more than one as they are very social and do best with a companion. Get a same sex pair or you could end up having babies.


Pattinson, Emma Louise, "Origin of the Skinny Pig", Copyright JACBA
"Skinny Pigs Information", Guinea Pigs Club Malta, Copyright 2006-2008
"Skinny Pig Cavy",The Rabbit and Cavy Directory
"Skinny Pig",Wikipedia, Copyright 2008

Lastest Animal Stories on Skinny Pig

GARY - 2011-01-16
How long do skinny pigs live?

  • anonymouse - 2011-07-01
    5-6 years. Mine died in about 10 months though ):
  • penny - 2014-06-03
    I think its about 6 years that skinny guinea pigs live.
jamie - 2012-03-25
Hi we have a skinny pig great little guy.We have him caged with a Chinchilla they get along great.The Chinchilla keeps him nice and warm with his fur.But what I'm wanting to know is I give my Chinchilla a sand bath but is there any way to bath my skinny pig?? Know they can not get very cold and do not want to but them in water if it's not good for them.Just seeing if there;s anyway to clean them??

  • Jazmyn - 2012-05-24
    All you do it either get a damp baby wipe with aloe or get a luke warm damp cloth and wipe them down
  • Katie - 2012-11-07
    You can bath your skinny pig in the sink. Make sure the water is warm test it with your wrist. Try not to bath it for long as it may get chilled. Use normal small animal shampoo for guinea pigs and rabbits etc. Once done dry softly with a soft towel as fast as you can without hurting it. Once you have done that you will need to put just a bit of normal hand moisturiser on it to make sure the shampoo doesn't dry out its skin. Hope this helps oh btw try not to wet it's head or get water in its ears
  • Tonya Page-Rose - 2013-11-13
    100 percent Coconut oil is the best for skinny pigs! Can be bought at a local grocery store. This not only moistens their skin but removes any dead dry skin as well! I oil my piggies once a week. Sometimes twice if they look a little dry!
  • Anonymous - 2014-03-09
    You can rub them in coconut oil.
Harley - 2014-02-13
Hiya I have a week old baby skinny pig, her skin is really dry and bumpy. It doesn't seem like normal dry skin, as she is covered in tiny raised bumps! Any help or advice?!

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-16
    Skinny pigs still have hair follicles, and usually become rather 'fuzzy' as they mature. I'm guessing this is what they are. As long as she is eating and acting normal, I wouldn't worry to much.
Shar - 2012-12-11
i have 2 Abyssinian guinea pigs and i just got a skinny pig yesterday, i slowly introduce them one by one then all 3 of them were getting along on the couch, playing eating etc. but once i put the skinny in the cage with them then the other 2 seemed to get territorial and aggressive, now i have the cage split in 2 so now they are separated but will they always be aggressive? or will in pass? i don't want to have to keep the skinny piggy separate and alone

  • Clarice Brough - 2012-12-13
    You may have a couple of males. Females almost always get along while males will tend to fight if there is a female around. Males usually get along IF they were raised together, but if there is a female around then they may start squabbling as well. Also, older guinea pigs don't always take to a new comer (especially older males).
  • renee - 2012-12-24
    I separate the pig causing commotion and eventually the fighting subsides. I leave the trouble maker by itself for a few days and when the piggie gets ornery I seperate it again. I do this until it learns that it will get along or be lonely.
  • tamara - 2013-05-22
    if you clean the cage completle and switch everything around it will help them to be less territorial because it no longer has their scent or anything, in a way i guess it almost confuses them
  • julie - 2013-08-24
    Hi I have a 3 year old male guinea pig and I have just got 2 baby skinny males, I put them all in a brand new house where there is no scent, and I have not had any problems at all. xx
jen - 2012-12-27
Hi my mom got my son a skinny pig for christmas and I hnow it had 2 owners before we got it. His name is dexter and he's so sweet, he loves to give my son kisses and he came home yesterday. I think he had seizure or something, he was getting snuggled and he was purring next thing I know he started to shake. Really bad and moving really weird then he was fine again. Now it's the next day he was fine all morning I went to go make myself a coffeee and I found him on his side. I just wanted to know if anyone out there knows what's going on I'm a little sad and scared cause my son already loves him so much already can anyone help me please?

  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2012-12-27
    Do you know how old the skinny pig is? They usually only live 2-3 years so he may just be getting older. If he seems healthy otherwise it may just be his age. It does sound like he's having a seizure from you description though... so if it continues to happen and you are worried you may want to take him to a vet. I don't believe there is anything over the counter you can give him for seizures.
  • jen - 2012-12-28
    Hi its jen we took dexter to the vets we found out he was a old skinny pigs and he had a masive tumor in is brain the vet gave us some pain meds to keep him comfable he passed away last night at 10 I already miss him so much does anyone knoW where to get another skinny pig? I don't now how to tell my son he's only 7 its gonna break his heart he loved dexter so much and he gave the best kisses I can't stop crieing just thinking of him and how to tell my son I really want to get another one so if anyone nows where to find one or adopt one please let me know. Thanks for the support threw all of this :'(
  • jake - 2013-01-27
    You can get a skinny pig at petsmart for around 80 dollars, even though they're expensive they are a great investment!:)

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