Guinea pigs can be great pets and are quite social. If cared for properly, they can live up to 10 years but the average is 7 to 8 years. Recently, hairless guinea pigs have become popular choices as pets but they do require some extra care due to their lack of fur. Their environment needs to be kept warm and should never drop below 68 degrees or be above 85 degrees. They also should never be in direct sunlight or near drafts.
History: two varieties of hairless guinea pigs: Skinny pig, which does actually have a bit of hair and the Baldwin guinea pig
Size: 8 to 11 inches long
Life Span: Average 7 to 8 years
Grooming: Do not need to brushed but need extra bedding to prevent injury and can get sunburned and are extremely sensitive to temperature changes
Personality: Easy to handle and prefer routines.
Guinea pigs are social creatures who are curious, playful, and mischievous. They may hide inside of an object and will poke their heads out when they see you coming to their cage. They may also grunt, gurgle, or squeak to let you know they are happy. When they are super happy they may “popcorn” or bounce up and squeal for attention.
They have almost no hair on their body but you will find small tufts on their feet and not and some will have some fur on their shoulders. The skin is wrinkled and can come in a variety of patterns and colors. To maintain good health, make sure their diet is balanced and contains Vitamin C. Hairless guinea pigs eat more than their fur covered cousins because their body burns more calories to keep warm. They also need exercise and love to explore so make sure you can give you guinea pig a few hours a day of playtime.
The cage you provide for your guinea pig needs to be big enough to accommodate them, their food and water, bedding, toys, and still have enough room to move around. You should let your pig out to play and these periods of freedom are important to them as it stimulates their mind, body, and keeps them feeling content. Their cage should be at least 7 ft. sq. for one and 12 ft. sq. if you decide on two!
Hairless guinea pigs should never be kept near drafty areas of a house, heaters, radiators, or bright lights. They can have natural light but make sure their cage is not in line of direct sunlight as they can become sunburned or overheated. An overheated guinea pig is an unhappy pig and in extreme cases, they can have a stroke.
If you have allergies to pets, a hairless guinea pig can be your answer to having a buddy without the sniffles!