Guelph Humane Society’s fashionable Mr. Potamus finds new residence
One of the Guelph Humane Society’s most talked about animals of 2021, Peter Potamus, is looking warm, cosy and happy with his new family.
The little guy made quite a buzz online when the team posted a picture of him in November. The skinny pig was only around six months old when he was brought to the GHS. “His previous owner could no longer care for him,” Guelph Humane Society’s Natalie Thomas shared.
It didn’t take long for the team to find Peter a new family though. Peter was the only skinny pig they’ve had so far at GHS since they moved to their new building in March 2021. A GHS foster volunteer decided to make Peter part of their family eight days after his arrival.
“He looked like a little hippopotamus and we fell in love with him at first sight,” said Jennifer Holman, Peter’s new mama. Jennifer along with her husband Chris adopted Peter before Christmas. “My husband’s favourite Christmas song is ‘I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas’ and the timing was perfect and we felt it was fate.”
The little guy got to spend a wonderful holiday with the family. “Peter welcomed his holiday foster brother Clooney (a rabbit) with a long welcoming discussion when he arrived,” she shared. He’s also been enjoying the company of a female companion named Wynona, another guinea pig the family is fostering. Peter has been “chatting” with her all day long. “He is a very talkative pig which we love,” Holman said.
“We are very happy with our decision to adopt Peter and love having him as part of our family.”
What is a skinny pig and how do you care for one (or two)?
Peter is a skinny pig or skinny, a type of hairless guinea pig. They have the same care requirements that any other guinea pig would have, with the biggest difference being their skin, registered veterinary technician (RVT) Sonia Maiorano explained in an interview with the Guelph Mercury Tribune.
Since skinny pigs are hairless and their skin is exposed, those caring for them would have to keep an eye on their skin. “Watch out for things like black heads,” she said.
You would also have to change their bedding more often. “While you should always change your guinea pigs’ bedding often, it should be even more often with skinny pigs because you want to protect their exposed skin from wetness (from urine or feces),” she added.
Like other guinea pigs, they also need to have a lot of hay in their diet to keep their teeth chiselled, and vitamin C supplements or else they can get scurvy. The latter is a type of vitamin C deficiency that can cause blood clotting and joint problems in guinea pigs.
They are also known for eating too much so it’s important to check in with the vet each year to make sure your little guy isn’t putting on too much weight, which could lead to heart problems, Maiorano explained.
“And finally, never forget that guinea pigs (including skinny pigs) are social. You can’t just leave them in a cage by themselves. They do much better in pairs!”