How do you handle irresponsible stories about pet pigs? You educate. Recently, we were made aware of a story that aired on Fox news as well as shared to their many Facebook page feeds and added to their website. Naturally this story glamorized pigs and how small they stayed, the usual myths that are tossed around by uneducated people. I don't blame Fox news entirely, but I do place some of the blame on them for not checking facts before airing such a ridiculous story. Despite the wealth of information available to people, unfortunately, they will believe what they want to believe. They will take bits and pieces from different websites and groups and come up with their own conclusion about pigs and this mythical micro pig.
http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/arizona-news/micropigs. They likely didn't mean to cause a riot, but I know I reached out to them privately as did several of my friends when we were alerted to this story. Thankfully, the news has reached out to several rescues and will be doing a story on the unwanted pigs across the US to counter the inaccurate story they already did. I am happy to report they did, in fact, do a story about rescue that can be seen by clicking the following link. (http://www.fox13news.com/news/news/pigrescuesoverwhelmed-story) It is stories like the first one that cause a surge of people to run out and get a pig on a whim. We are the ones left to network and find homes in a few months, once the novelty wears off. Rescues do not have any more room for any more pigs. People do not have any more room in their homes for any more pigs. Shelters aren't equipped to handle pigs, craigslist isn't a place that I would ever suggest a person to try and rehome their pig on. It has gotten so out of control, and this is only February, the pigs that were bought as Christmas gifts are about to start being rehomed in the next month or so too....stories like this do not help the already overpopulated pig problem. If you are considering getting a pig for you and your family, please go check out a pig rescue. Volunteer for a day. Get to see firsthand what having a pig is like. You may even see the big ball of fun that was destined to live with you right there at that rescue. But, don't believe the lies. Trust your science community who have come up with actual breeds of pigs. Trust your universities who have done extensive research to be sure you are fully informed about what you are getting yourself in to. Trust the pig rescues that bring these unwanted/unloved pigs to their homes when they "grow too big" or are much different than what these people expected when they brought these pigs home. (Click here to see a list of pig rescues all over the world) These are the people who KNOW the truth and have evidence to support their way of thinking. I would say the 2 main reasons why pigs are rehomed are 1. Pig outgrows expectations and 2. The pig grows up and isn't a cute little piglet anymore, so ultimately the novelty wears off. That is a shame. People should be ashamed of themselves when they "have" to "get rid of" their pig because it's growing up. I pray these same people who don't take the responsibility seriously will care for their children should they have any.
Anyone in pig world knows there is NO breed called teacup or micro or micro-mini. (Click here to read more about the teacup myth and how these annoying terms have fooled ALOT of people.) These terms are used to market these pigs and often mislead people into thinking they're getting something that they aren't. They're going to end up disappointed with what they find several years later, especially if they have unrealistic expectations. If you were to buy a BMW car only to find out in 5 years that it was a mini-van, you would probably be quite disappointed. Essentially telling people that these pigs will stay piglet size is doing just that. While we understand there are a few pigs out there that have stayed relatively small, they are the exception and not the rule. Let me add, the overall well-being of these pigs is also in question, especially after hearing the "expert" on the segment refer to these pigs as micro pigs, and the fact that you can see their bone structure indicates to me that they should weigh more than they do.
If the weight of a pet is the most important factor when choosing what type you want to add to your family, then you should reconsider getting a pig. Pigs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are tall, some are long, others are short. Some pigs are fat, some are healthy and some are, simply put, starved. Pigs come in all heights, lengths, colors and each of these pigs will have their own unique personality to go with it. What are some physical signs that a pig may be starving?
-Head is to large for their body (Often times bobble headed)
-Sunken (hallow) eyes (No brightness, very dull eyes)
-Gap under their chin (If you run your hand under their chin you will feel an indentation)
-Low energy or lethargy (No zoomies)
-Pigmentation of their skin is off
-Legs tend to bow (Malnutrition also effects the skeletal system)
-Resting their head on objects *this was a huge thing for me as that made me think, wait, MY pig does that! This doesn't convey when your pig does this occasionally, but when your pig can't stand or hold its' head up for long periods of time, this is a problem.
-Hair is thinner and rougher, typically dull
-Hair doesn't lie flat
-Poor skin and coat
-Pigs can also get super hairy when they're underweight too because the body is trying to compensate for the lack of body fat as well. So lack of hair or a lot of hair, both can point to a pig being underweight.
-Some pigs gait is staggered or unsteady-affected by the malnourishment and they're not able to walk straight, often falling or they have a walking disorder such as goose-stepping due to vitamin/nutritional deficiencies, some can't walk at all
-Eyes may have a glazed look or have a sadness to them
-Backbone tends to curve upwards leaving a hunched-over stance
-Bones visible through the skin. You should not be able to identify the skeletal structure from looking at a pig. This includes the facial structure. No, there shouldn't be excessive fat rolls, but you shouldn't be able to see the eye sockets and nasal bones either.
-Lack of engagement. (These pigs seem to have ADD- they're often too tired and starving to pay attention or follow commands)
-Bloated or distended belly. (It is the same thing that happens to humans when they have very little to eat, the belly fills with gas giving a "bloated" look. There are other medical reasons for this as well, but combined with other symptoms from above, it points to a malnourished pig.)
-Often times people know they're starving these pigs and will keep clothing on them to cover the bones. We are NOT saying all pigs that wear clothes are starving. We ARE saying that people will try to hide it though.
-Aggression can be a result of a starving pig. Pigs that are hungry can also be angry. A starving pig may try to fight for more food. This is LIFE or DEATH for them!
-Pigs that eat ANYTHING in sight. A starving pig will eat anything to try and fill their belly. Some pigs have nutritional deficiencies and eat odd things, like drywall. But a starving pig will eat carpet, drywall, toys, flooring, anything they can fit in their mouths and swallow. Pigs have a natural curiosity that usually results in them "tasting" many things (including the list above) but they're not desperately looking for food. YOU know whether or not your pig is starving and YOUR pig is the one who will suffer and pay the ultimate price with their life if you continue to do this to them.
These aren't the only signs, but these are clear identifiable signs that a pig is being starved. Starving pigs is a cruel way to stunt the growth. They may not show immediate signs of being starved, but eventually they will. There are no healthy, fully mature pigs under 50 pounds that I am aware of to date. There are no breeders that can consistently produce pigs that stay small. There may be breeders who claim they do, they may even have a pig or two that have a smaller stature and that is typically what they focus on...those particular pigs. Be extremely wary of breeders who tell you that in order for your pig to stay small, you need to buy the food THEY manufacture. Seriously? What's in this "feed"? Is there a label? Is this food nutritionally sound? Are the key ingredients tested routinely to be sure their vitamin/mineral's relatively remain consistent? I wouldn't buy some unknown brand of food for my pig with no identification for ANY reason. There are major brands of feed that we KNOW are healthy. These same companies have feed recommendations that you can follow to ensure your pig stays healthy from a nutrition standpoint.
Do you know why people with these smaller pigs are discussed with such passion from those in the pig community? Because the pigs do NOT look healthy. I don't care what your vet has said, I don't care what you might think, when you can see the bones in the face, that pig is starved. Most pigs that are moderately starved will start to have behavioral issues, attacking or acting aggressive due to not getting enough to eat. This is a fairly common reaction. People who have to fight for food are the same, they'll do whatever they can in order to secure nourishment for their body. Some of these pigs are so starved, I highly doubt they have the energy to attack anyone.
Are smaller pigs somehow better than bigger pigs? I don't think so. Having a pig that is smaller can certainly have its' benefits, but an angry, sad and starving pig? I just don't see the glamour in that. Having a small pig isn't worth the toll it takes on my pigs body. There is a huge gray area where body scoring is concerned. Fat pigs aren't any fun either, but a fat pig at least has the joy of eating, obviously these starving pigs have been denied that pleasure. When a pig doesn't get the appropriate amount of nutrition, there is a domino effect. The body can't grow like its supposed to leaving growth that is significantly stunted. The bones need nutrients found in correct amounts of feed, when this is not being given, these bones are weak and can become easily deformed. Sometimes these bones aren't strong enough to support the weight or begin to bow leaving disfigured legs or backbones and taking the ability to walk away from these pigs. These pigs suffer from broken bones or easily fracture their extremities. The lack of proper nutrition also takes a toll on the lymphatic system rendering the immune system worthless. These pigs will likely get sick often or won't be able to fight off common viruses or bacteria that other pigs can carry and never suffer effects from. These same illnesses can claim the life of starved pigs. The organs contained within the pigs body rely on nutrition to help them perform their duties within the body and although they will take the nutrients they can get, eventually, the capacity to function as they're supposed to will diminish.
Starvation is one of the most deadly conditions on the planet; according to some studies, the effects of starvation play a major role in between one-third and one-half of all worldwide deaths of children under the age of five. The same rule applies to pigs. By depriving the body of nutrition, starvation slowly allows the body to devour its own reserves, including muscle, fat, and organs, up to the point of complete system shut-down and death. Understanding how starvation affects the body is important to recognizing the signs of malnutrition and preventing a growing nutrition-based problem from worsening beyond repair.
The body is an effective storage device for fats, nutrients, and other important components. These stores are regulated by nutrition in the form of food, beverages, and vitamin and mineral supplements. When lack of nutrition occurs, the body quite quickly turns to stored reserves, beginning with glycogen, in order to keep vital functions up to par. As the body begins to devour more and more stored components to keep running, the physical effects of starvation become apparent.
One of the first effects of starvation to occur is a drop in metabolism. In order to maximize efficiency, the body protects its insulating fat stores by consuming muscle stores instead, using these reserves to make up for the lack of calorie intake. Dropping metabolism can lead to feelings of fatigue, decreased capacity for activity, and mental sluggishness. This often results in staggering gait or neuro-like symptoms as well. This is sometimes visible early on, but sometimes the long term effects are not immediately identified.
Since the body is busy keeping vital systems going, many non-vital functions slow or cease. Hormone production is often disrupted, Intact pigs may stop menstruating entirely, or experience erratic heat cycles. Malnutrition and starvation, therefore, can have serious developmental effects, even after recovery (if this is rectified), as normal hormonal functions may be temporarily or permanently thrown off track.
The effects of starvation on the brain cause a lack of concentration, loss of motor skills, and increased likelihood of anxiety and depression. As the condition progresses, brain function decreases, leaving the victim, in this case, a pig, in a state of fatigue or torpor. Apathy continues to increase, until the pig may no longer be able to attempt to find food or survive.
Initial weight loss will quickly turn to emaciation because of the effects of starvation. The limbs become extremely thin as muscle and fat stores are depleted, while the eyes and face begin to appear sunken. Lack of vital proteins can lead to the loss of hair, poor skin condition or development of edemas, which appear as large swollen areas. The stomach may protrude enormously, as part of a syndrome known as kwashiorkor. This can present as a bloated belly and even mimic the appearance of a large belly in general. (See the video below for examples)
Starvation is frequently a result of uneducated people who have chosen to do this on purpose, but there have been times people have been told to feed extremely restricted diets by the very person who told them there was such a thing as a "micro" pig. While the effects can often be reversed up to a point, acute starvation can cause serious organ damage and often leads to long-term health conditions including cardiovascular problems. If a pig, particularly a piglet, is exhibiting signs of starvation, it is important to try and intervene. Perhaps this person doesn't know the long term effects of malnutrition? Maybe they do and have chosen this as a way to attempt to keep a pig at a particular size, but that is called abuse. Unattended, starvation leads inexorably towards death. Not necessarily immediate death, but the effects from long term starvation WILL ultimately lead to death. Educate, educate, educate. Anything can be said tactfully without a hostile undertone. There may even be circumstances you're not aware of, such as a pig being recently rescued from horrific situations, so be sure to ask and not accuse if you are truly trying to help. Do NOT jump all over someone because their pig is skinny, instead, take that opportunity to educate them. Once you lose your temper and get nasty with your comments, that person isn't going to listen to anything you have to say. Stay kind, be kind with your verbiage. Some of these people who have these pigs honestly do not know, they're listening to someone they feel is an expert, although we know otherwise, this person may not, even despite articles like this that are available online. You don't know the circumstances unless you ask. Some of these pigs may actually have recently been rescued, please keep that in mind as you're in conversations with people. NEVER assume. Keep your words sweet in case you have to eat them later.
Starving pigs is causing psychological harm, although the degree of severity can be hard to truly determine. A pig trusts its human caretaker. By taking away the one things pigs love...food...essentially you have robbed them of their one achievable desire. What kinds of psychological harm do animals suffer?
Rejecting: an active refusal to provide emotional support
Terrorizing: the creation of a “climate of fear” or an unpredictable threat or hostility, preventing the victim from experiencing a sense of security.
Taunting: teasing, provoking, harassing.
Isolating: active prevention of social interactions and companionship.
Abandonment: desertion and termination of care.
Over-pressuring: placing excessive demands or pressure to perform and achieve.
Starving a pig can fall into many of these categories. It may not be based on the descriptions above, but terrorizing and taunting comes to mind right off the bat. Knowingly limiting the amount of food your pig is able to eat in a way to "keep your pig small" is not only ignorant, but also abuse. DO NOT LIMIT YOUR PIGS FEED TO A TEASPOON OF FOOD BECAUSE SOMEONE IGNORANT TOLD YOU TO!!!!
Here are a few pictures of pigs that we know of that were starved.
You may or may not know the story of Sophie. Sophie was a pig that was not only starved, but also made to live in a bathtub her entire short life. When she was finally rescued, she was found to be malnourished and had multiple broken bones, likely as a result of starvation, but also due to her attempts to escape her horrible living situation. Very sad. The worst part of this? Her owners didn't see a problem with it. Sophie wasn't able to survive her injuries, but we are hopeful her story is enough to show others what starving a pig can ultimately do. Rest in paradise sweet girl.
This unfortunate pig was saved and rehabbed by a friend. What was thought to be an issue with the spine was later discovered to be a result of malnutrition. This particular pig was also found to be pregnant in this picture, sadly enough. She did recover and was returned to her owner who "didn't know" about nutrition and is being carefully monitored by the friend who took her in and got her healthy.
This is Frankie the pig. Obviously starved and full of mange, he was thankfully saved and is living a happy and healthy life!!
These pigs were at a pig rescue (that is no longer around). Obviously malnourished and starved, they too, were saved and taken to a good rescue where they have recovered and are thriving in their new healthy life.
These charts are NOT intended for piglets, but more for pigs over a year old...however, if your pig is a number 1, your pig needs to gain some weight regardless of the age. STOP STARVING PIGS TO KEEP THEM SMALL!!!!!! You will never get respect for abusing your pig, not from us or any respectable organization that has a genuine love for pigs. Big pigs are beautiful. There are no recognized breeds named teacup or micro. Check out the links below to see the sources, there are links on these pages from universities and the science community research studies. These are credible resources, not just some person who said so. Don't let your selfish desires outweigh the needs of a pig. Many are simply not equipped or prepared to bring one home and do so anyways. I was one of the people. You can read the heartbreaking article that I wrote in his honor that depicts his short life by clicking here.
A few links for you to look at.
Healthy versus unhealthy pigs.
Guide to nutrition
Teacup pig myth
Realistic sizes of pigs from real owners
Let all that information soak in and we will even give you the opportunity to form a counter argument. By all means, post a comment or let us know what you think. We can provide scientific data to support our thoughts, can you? We welcome your questions or comments, we also welcome a well thought out counter argument supported by facts. But please be prepared to post credible resources because, we are. Someone telling you something doesn't make it credible, FYI.
This is the same pig pictured from the top of the blog, his name was Jack-Jack. He was saved and rehabilitated by Gretchen Schlueter Kendall. Sadly, Jack passed away in 2012 due to twisted gut, likely as a result of scar tissue that formed after a procedure he had much earlier in his life. While we HATE seeing pictures of pigs in this condition, it is very important that people see the long term effects of blatant neglect to properly care for their pigs. THIS is what is left when you no longer want the responsibility. Jack-Jack was one of the lucky pigs who was able to overcome his past and was always a great pet pig. He just wasn't given enough time here on earth. Rest in peace sweet angel. Your story will help to educate many others. You can read more of his story by clicking the following link. http://www.skippingkunekunes.com/jack__jill
This is Oscar, he is a pig that was being starved and eaten alive by rats at the age of 7 years old, nearly dead weighing in at about 20-25lbs because the breeder told the owner to feed 1/4 cup of food DAILY. Does this look like a healthy pig?
This wound was almost to the spine. Without proper nutrition, the body can't heal effectively. The body relies on the nutrients in order to maintain the skins integrity and build immunity and strong muscles, etc.
This is the same pig about a year later. Miraculous recovery after being appropriately cared for and fed correct. He has a permanent deformity to his side due to his past neglect, but overall, has recovered quite well despite his former situation. Thankfully, Katherine Wilson saved his life!!!!
Here are a bunch of starving pigs. Very sad to see people posting pigs like this. This picture was shared by our dear friend Sherri Boley. I believe these are pigs posted by a breeder, but not entirely sure. If so, this is sad, sad, sad. I can only imagine the nutrition advice this person would give someone new to pigs. EXACTLY why this website was created....to tell the truth!
In honor of National love your pet day, we have compiled a list of things to spoil your piggy.
A well mannered pig is a happy pig. Help your pig learn by making it fun. There are several methods you can use to accomplish this, but positive reinforcement is definitely one. http://www.petexpertise.com/dog-training-aids/treat-n-train-remote-dog-training.html
The "Bob-a-lot" treat dispenser can keep your pig occupied while promoting exercise at the same time. Put in some cheerios or even use this for feeding dry pellets. http://www.amazon.com/StarMark-Bob-A-Lot-Interactive-Pet-Large
Do you miss your pig sometimes and wish you could see and talk to him? Well here is a solution to that problem. Not only can you see and talk to your pig, you can also have a treat dispensed via wifi. http://www.amazon.com/PetChatz-HD-Greet-Treat-Videophone
Of course a belly rub is ok too....(and this costs nothing but your time)
Would your pig like to take a ride? Perhaps a bike ride? http://www.amazon.com/Aosom-Elite-Bike-Carrier-Trailer
Take a few minutes and sit down and watch a movie with your pig...
You don't need fancy toys or treat dispensing cameras to make your pig happy. You don't need a day to honor the commitment you made to your pig when you decided to add him to your family. The most important thing you can do is love your pig unconditionally, even when they aren't on their best behavior.
There aren't many things like the smell of that obnoxious bad breath that some pigs get. Halitosis is a relatively common complaint in pig world, but more importantly, why do they get it and how do you get rid of it?
Most of the time, bad breath is a result of periodontal disease- which is found in about 85% of all pets! As bacteria build up on the teeth and form plaque, the resulting smell can get very noticeable indeed. As untreated periodontal disease progresses, the smell only worsens. Combine the inability to brush the teeth with a pelleted diet that is recommended to be soaked first and you have nothing substantial to even help remove the plaque from the teeth. (As in, nothing hard that can help scrape the build-up off the teeth). . Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) is one of the first changes to occur. However, the majority of dental disease occurs below the gumline, where a pet owner is unable to actually see the damage being done to their pet’s teeth.
In these cases, treating the periodontal disease helps the symptoms resolve. The most beneficial treatment is a full cleaning at the veterinarian, though home care such as toothbrushing and dental chews can help preserve dental health in between cleanings. You should start this excellent dental hygiene when your pig is a piglet (preferably) and continue for the rest of your pigs life. Once a routine has been adopted, your pig will be much less likely to resist that type of care. Whimzee's are a popular "dental chew" type of treat many pig parents use. However, because pigs tend to swallow and not always chew food, it is imperative that you find the correct size treat for your pig, if swallowed whole, it can cause a host of other problems like choking or potential obstructions. Keep in mind, teeth can decay and become infected, when this happens and left untreated, these infections can become systemic and spread throughout the body. This is the perfect spot for bacteria, which love moist, dark, nutrient rich places to thrive. Look in your pigs mouth, feel around for anything unusual, smell your pigs breath to be sure you do not to intervene in any way. Dr. Curt Coffman’s wrote a research report on the emerging data confirming the serious negative health implications for pets' internal organ systems as a result of the movement of oral cavity bacteria from the mouth into the bloodstream, much the same as humans. Evidently, periodontal disease can shorten your pigs life by affecting vital organ systems, again, just like humans. For instance, bacteria can migrate to the heart affecting the endocardium, which is the lining within the chambers of the heart, resulting in growth of bacteria to the valves which affect the blood flow, atrial kick, back flow and the overall pumping of the heart. These heart murmurs (which is what this causes) over time can cause significant damage to the heart. The compromised heart is required to work harder to meet the body’s demands for blood flow and oxygen, so heart failure ultimately ensues.
Aside from the periodontal disease, halitosis can also result from other medical conditions. Conditions of the mouth and throat such as bacterial infections, fungal overgrowth, or cancer can create bad breath. Systemic diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease are also known for affecting the breath. An experienced veterinarian can often differentiate the uremic breath of kidney disease from the ketone breath of diabetes, but for most of us that diagnosis requires bloodwork. For example, a sweet fruity smelling breath may indicate ketoacidosis which can be deadly if not treated promptly in humans. (I assume pigs aren't any different) There have been cases of abscesses along the lining of the throat that weren't discovered early on that could have possibly been identified earlier had bad breath been an issue. So pay attention to everything. Since pigs can not talk, we rely on their body language and our ability to identify a potential problem in order to catch these kind of things early on.
Lastly, bad breath can be diet related, especially if the pet is on a strong-smelling fish based diet or has a habit of eating poop (a condition we call coprophagia.) In mini pigs specifically, they have "pockets" in the mouth that can collect different substances from dirt to grass and anything else that has been ingested, so be sure to check the mouth as well. You can do this by getting your piggy down for a belly rub just before bedtime. Put a little sugar or jelly on one finger, and feel around inside piggy's mouth. Pigs jaws do not open very wide (a cat or dog can open theirs' really wide), so don't push too hard. Feel for anything that doesn't belong inside the mouth. There's often a pocket behind the last molar that collects bits of food and other stuff. Be sure to check the gemlike above the teeth as well, this is also an area that commonly collects bits and pieces of food. Or, if your piggy is young and has recently lost a baby tooth, the gap may be filled with food or dirt. Do this every night for several nights in a row, then keep at it at least once a week.
If the breath is bad enough to bother you, it’s probably something that will need a vet exam to solve. If you decide to try brushing your pigs teeth, use a pet toothpaste and a traditional toothbrush or one of the finger brushes (assuming your pig is not a biter). The good news is, most cases of halitosis are highly treatable.
To read more regarding dental health, click here to view our page that discusses tooth and tusk care.
Talk to your vet about your pigs dental hygiene, determine if your pig needs a routine cleaning done by a veterinarian dental specialist, and be sure to discuss any symptoms your pig may be having. (such as bad breath or broken teeth, etc)
It's Superbowl Sunday and you have a big party planned. Have you had any thoughts about your pigs safety? It's ok, now you can read some tips to make sure your pig stays safe.
The food served at Superbowl parties can be beautiful to look at. Keep in mind, your pig also finds the food to be aesthetically pleasing and will likely want to sample every single piece. If given the opportunity, they'll likely eat until they vomit. While some of these foods may not be toxic to them (leaving room for some that may be) human food, with the exception of veggies and some fruit, isn't appropriate to feed a pig. They do not have the metabolism to burn off calories for food like this. An overweight future for your pig isn't something to be desired. (Trust me, my own pig has been battling obesity for some time now, it's not easy for them to lose weight.)
While a bowl of unshelled nuts can make a lovely centerpiece for a football party, please keep in mind that if your pig is able to get a hold of this bowl of nuts, your pig will likely try to eat them. Unshelled nuts (with the exception of peanuts) can kill your pig. When they chew these shells, bits and pieces of the shell scrapes and cuts the mouth, esophagus and everything in between until it reaches the colon. Often times, animals survive a day or so before passing on due to internal bleeding. It isn't worth the risk. Make sure your guests know how important it is to keep any shells up off the floor and appropriately contained where your pig cant get them. Remember, your pig can easily knock over a trashcan and grab them from there is your pig has access to the trashcan. Practice safety!! Use a tupperware container for shells until you're ready to take your trash bag out to your outside trashcan or whatever waste management system you have in place.
As much as I would love to go to a party that had drink like this, it is not a place i would want my pig to be. We do not endorse giving pigs alcohol. Pigs can be mean drunks too, so remember this as you're picking up 1/2 empty glasses, your pig may be looking for something to drink as well and one of these drinks will taste good to your pig (most likely). Pigs can get alcohol poisoning, so don't risk your pigs health by allowing your pig to drink any alcoholic beverages.
Aluminum cans may still have a hint of fluid in them making your pig tempted to want to consume whatever is in that can. Since pigs aren't able to hold a can and tip it appropriately to get any fluids out, they tend to chew on them in order to get access to the contents. While they may not swallow the metal (and some of them have) the damage that can be done to the mouth and tongue should be enough to make you create a place where people can safely dispose of their cans.
Be mindful that your pig will likely be scared if people are loud and screaming when their team misses a field goal. Perhaps working with your pig to sleep in a room away from the crowd on Superbowl Sunday may be best? You know your pig better than anyone else, so just know that most pigs scare easily. Dippity pig is a big concern with pigs in stressful situations. If your pig has ever had dippity, you know how it presents and how scary this can be for owners. Luckily it is a temporary condition and will resolve within 48-72 hours, but nonetheless, no one wants this to happen to their pig.
Your pig doesn't want to miss out on any fun, so be sure you know where your pigs are at all times. Keep your door shut and be sure your guests know to make sure the door is shut behind the when coming and going. Following these simple tips will help you have the best Superbowl Sunday ever!!
Pigs are such emotional creatures and much like people, develop relationships with other animals besides pigs. Ideally, a pig will have another piggy friend, but in some cases, this isn't possible and/or something the owners are interested in. So, what is the next best thing? Another animal friend, of course!
It has been noted time and time again that dogs and pigs are NOT great companions. Why you ask? Pigs are prey animals and dogs are predators by nature, so while it may appear as if the two are playing, often times it starts as play and gets rough, and a dog will win the battle in the end. It is NEVER a good idea to leave dogs and pigs unsupervised. Click here to see our page dedicated to pigs and dogs and why it is a dangerous combination. Does this mean we are telling you that every dog is dangerous? No, thats not what we said or trying to imply. What we ARE saying is that keeping a pig and dog(s) together is putting your pig at risk. Look at the link, read the information, see the pictures for yourself. We have seen it week after week, month after month, same thing over and over again. DO NOT risk your pigs life, it's not worth it!
Some animals do well while others are not big fans of another pet in general. How do you know which animals will do well with a pig? You don't. Animals that aren't considered predators are usually pretty safe to introduce to your pig. However, leaving them unsupervised still isn't a good idea until you determine how well they'll actually do together. You likely didn't find your best friend in 10 minutes; as soon as you met, don't expect your pig to either. Relationships of any kind take some time to develop, so give your pig time to become acclimated to a new buddy. We definitely don't want or suggesting that anyone to run out and get a second animal you're not prepared for, we just wanted to show you some unusual pig friendships. Here are some piggy BFF's that we found.
Sometimes it is a human friend like in this family.
We have found that typically cats do well with pigs.
Surprisingly enough, some have decided to add more than one "exotic" pet to their family!
That's right, it IS a pig and her skunk friend!!!!! (I have personally never even seen a skunk up close, so I am SUPER jealous of this...lol)
What about those animals that don't historically do so well with pigs, like horses?
And an inspirational story that was shared in our group, we love potbelly pigs...the story of Batman the pig who acts as a seeing eye pig for this blind Shetland pony, Queenie. It honestly doesn't get more precious than this! And this is a long lasting partnership that has been ongoing for some time now.
How about our avian friends? Do pigs do well with birds?
Pigs have been picking up "chicks" for quite some time. Just be careful about leaving the chicken feed where your pig cant get to it, chicken feed has too much sodium for pigs and can really cause some damage to the nervous system if they get into it.
You want more? No problem! Did you want to know about turtles?
Other barnyard creatures? Absolutely! Pigs are so social, they can get along with practically anyone else in the barnyard!
What about bunny rabbits? How do they tolerate each other?
Perhaps your pig feels like he has a monkey on his back....or maybe he DOES have a monkey on his back. Not typically a pet we see bonding with our mini pigs, but it could happen.
Sometimes that special friend is exactly what we needed. The perfect soul to match our pigs soul. The absolute, without a doubt, perfect companion for our pig.
As you can see, pigs CAN get along with other domesticated animals as well as other animals you wouldn't normally consider to be a friend of the pig. Just remember your pig has limited defenses, so be cautious when placing your pig in the same area as an animal who could harm your pig. They may get along beautifully, or they may not. These are all cute, sweet moments. Just because these animals got along ok doesn't mean that a pet YOU bring home would do the same. Each pig is different and each animal will react differently to each other, but it can lead to a great friendship!
Our names are Brittany Sawyer and Nicole Cox and we are pig parents, pig advocates and also the authors of the "Dear Pig Whisperer" blog. Follow our blog that will feature topics to help you become the best pig parent you can be...along with some other fun things. We will also feature guest bloggers from time to time who want to share their life experience or knowledge with anyone who is interested in learning.