Let’s take you back a bit and ask you do you remember a commercial that aired a couple a years ago. The main message of the ad was to not believe everything you see on TV. The whole thing was like a nature documentary, and in it was a little hippo that was running around the house. It was called the North American House Hippo. Obviously, we didn’t believe it was real, but when we first saw that commercial, we instantly fell in love with that little guy.
But what if we told you that a house hippo could be a real creature. Let’s be honest. It is not actually a tiny hippo, it is a hairless guinea pig, but just take a look at them and tell us that they don’t look like a small hippo.
Back in 1978, some cross-breeding was done, and what we know today as the “Skinny Pig” was created. Apart from some hair on its legs, feet, and muzzles, this guinea pig is hairless. 40-some-years ago, scientists cross-bred a hairless guinea pig with one of their strains, and the Skinny Pig was created.
Since their creation, these guinea pigs have started being kept as house pets all over Europe and North America. The only difference between these tiny hippos and the normal guinea pigs we are used to is the no hair part. They are quite social and outgoing. Because they have no hair, they need to be fed more so they can maintain average body temperature. And it is always smart to have a small blanket lying around for them to tuck in. Also, because of the no-hair part, they can be pretty sensitive when they are out in the sun, so keeping them in the shade is the right thing to do.
If owners want or they know that their pets will be in the sunlight for a more extended period, they should apply some sunblock on them. Also, their skin can get a bit dry. So once in a while, the owners should cover their bodies in some lotion. Have another look at them, they are just so tiny and cute.
At the end of the day, they are not tiny house hippos, and you won’t find them in the middle of the night roaming around in your kitchen having a snack. But they are super adorable and are the closest thing we will ever get to own a tiny, little hippo in our house.