We have all been there...you get home from work only to find that your pig discovered that the fridge DOES open...or those spectacular flowers you spend 6 hours planting? Gone.
Did you know pigs can be destructive when they're bored? A lot of pigs tend to get into some mischief when they have nothing better to do or nothing to keep their little minds occupied. So, what is the solution? Enrichment activities for your pig(s)!!
First let's see some destructive behavior from pigs that had too much time on their hands. (Or too much freedom)
We call this "hoarder corner" at my house. Anytime someone is missing something, they automatically know to check hoarder corner.
For some reason, pig love to hear the ripping sound made from fabric as well as paper.
Dirt + pigs will always equal a mess. Maybe there was some kind of treasure in there or maybe he was just curious...nonetheless, those bags were there and within reach, so they were fair game.
So, how do you avoid this?
You will hear many different answers to that question. Probably the most important and common factor, as in these situations pictured above, is that they all occurred indoors. Pigs NEED outdoor time. Not only do they need sunlight to aid in the absorption of essential vitamins/minerals, they need to have a place where they're not penalized for acting like a pig. Pigs like to dig, they like to look for things you may not have known were even there. Pigs have an incredible sense of smell and they use it to their advantage. I assume everyone has heard of pigs being used to hunt for truffles. This dates back to the 15th century and they were able to identify these fungal investments that were 3 feet deep! It was thought that natural sex hormones of the male pig are similar to the smell of the truffles and others said pigs simply love digging for food making them a great source to find the truffles so many were eager to get their hands on. Some have argued that their particular taste for truffles leads to a more devoted beast and ultimately, countries began to prohibit pigs from truffle hunting because they weren't careful diggers and caused damage to actual truffle while digging for it creating a drop in their production rate. Pigs love to dig, that is all there is to it. Taking that ability away from them by not allowing them to have time to root and investigate can lead to behavioral issues and/or destruction in the home.
Make sure your pig has an appropriate outdoor space. If you like having a nice yard, then a pig isn't the right pet for you, unless you can dedicate some separate space for your pig to be a pig. A secure fenced in area is ideal for a pet pig. Plenty of room to run around in and plenty of dirt to dig in is the type of environment a pig will thrive in.
Another important factor is providing a stimulation type activity for your pig. This can be indoors or outdoors. Some love treat dispensers, but some pigs get frustrated and quickly lose interest in them. However, to encourage exercise, as well as positive reinforcement, treat balls are often recommended to help curb a bored pigs mojo. The Kong, Busy ball and Bobalot treat dispensers seem to be a big hit for pigs. (All can be bought on Amazon.com)
Another suggestion heard frequently is puzzle type treat dispensers. These can range from fairly simple to rather complicated. Most treat puzzles are easily mastered by pigs. So, you may not want to invest in super expensive treat puzzles in case your pig quickly catches on rendering that puzzle useless. (Although, old toys can be "new" again if put away for a period of time and reintroduced later on)
Balls seem to make a lot of pigs happy as well. Big balls, bowling balls, sports balls, such as basketballs or soccer balls are all good choices. I will warn you, if you get a plastic ball that can easily be punctured or has a flimsy surface, your pig will likely poke a hole in it and it will deflate. This can cause a potential choking hazard, so be careful to choose a ball that is pet friendly. The example below is a horse product called Horseman's Pride Jolly mega ball and is 30" in size. Pet specific balls can cost little more, but they're made for them specifically and are usually a safer choice. The one below is around 29.99 on Amazon.com.
Oddly enough, one of my pigs favorite things to do is rip through a phone book. These aren't even delivered in my area anymore, so I let her have junk mail and newspaper instead sometimes. But phone books or thin paper can be a way to keep your pig from being bored. They love to hear the ripping of pages and will chew on the paper for a little bit, but they do not typically "eat" it. To be sure, watch your pig and make sure they're not swallowing excessive amounts of paper so there are no complications from letting them participate in this kind of activity. Overall, my pig LOVES this though and would prefer ripping paper to any toy I have purchased for her.
Probably the most important thing you can do is train your pig. Pigs love social interaction, but they only know what YOU teach them. Working with your pig to teach them basic tricks or how to stay using positive reinforcement will take you a lot further than ANY toy or treat dispenser. This is a basic need for pigs and shouldn't be overlooked. Neglecting to train your pig often leads to a pig that displays undesirable behavior. This is NOT your pigs fault, this is YOUR fault. Your interaction with them teaches them manners and respect as well as positive behaviors get rewarded whereas negative behaviors do not. Sit and spin are typically the simplest tricks for pigs to master. Soon enough, your pig will greet you by spinning in circles or sitting because they know they get treats for this type of positive behavior normally. This particular pig, in the video below, had some aggression issues for months prior to him being able to be trained. So once he was neutered and his hormone level normalized, he was obviously a much different pig than he was while we waited for his surgery date. Once trained, he turned out to be one of the best behaved pigs and well-mannered pigs I have ever seen and made a very good pet. To date, according to his pig mom, he is still well mannered and behaved and a "joy" to be around. (FYI, if your pig is intact, sometimes the trouble is based on the fact that they're trying to find a suitable mate. They don't realize that there are no other pigs within that vicinity, so they leave "hints" for others, just in case. Please spay or neuter your pigs!! Click here to read more about those procedures)
Or perhaps work on the command "stay"....this pig knows what she has to do before she gets dinner. This is much more advanced training. It requires a lot of patience since pigs are extremely food motivated to begin with. You must first build the foundation with your pig realizing you are to be respected and what you say goes. Do NOT give in, not even once, because your pig will remember that and continue to test the boundaries hoping that you will just let them eat and won't enforce the rule.
You can work with your pig on very specific skills such as painting pictures. You can then hang these in your home or even donate them to various pig rescues who can auction off one of a kind pieces and help your pig community. This is fairly easy to accomplish. Using non-toxic after based paint and a flat canvas, any pig can be an artist!! Combined with positive reinforcement, your pig will love to paint as much as you love their paintings. I have been doing this with my pig for a couple of years now and although her technique changes with each painting, her art is always a masterpiece.
Creating activities for your pig isn't as hard as it sounds. I have used baby toys as a training tool as well as other child electronics to teach my pig the concept of positive reinforcement. Again, they can quickly master these toys, so you may have to step it up a notch fairly quick after starting your training. My pig learned that the end result was a treat, so she would push the button, twist the button, press the button and slide the button to get a treat. For the easy ones? She would close the pop up pieces and reopen them again and expected her treat, after all, she did it again. The one I used was similar to the one pictured below.
Using household objects or household products to create an activity can be just as good for your pig. PVC pipe are often the product of choice because of their durability. Drilling holes big enough for a treat to fall out of and hanging that from something sturdy can provide hours of entertainment for your pig. This particular picture is from The California Potbellied Pig Association's website. http://www.cppa4pigs.org
Summertime can bring a host of other problems, but one way to keep your pig cooled off and hydrated is to freeze water, with or without other items added in for them to find. But since hydration is so important, using a frozen treat in the heat does create an additional water source for your pig during the hot months. (again, photo is from The California Potbellied Pig Association's website linked above)
An outside agility course can promote exercise as well as disciplined behavior. Agility courses can be homemade or bought as a set from a store, such as this set from Amazon.com. This particular course is around 200.00, but provides you everything you need to set up a working agility course right in your backyard!
Using food as motivation typically works....as long as your pig can actually eat it. This is Harley Swan's video she shared with us last year with a brilliant idea for apples. This was an easier task for one than it was for the other, but nonetheless, a great idea and way to keep your pig busy!
Pigs can bowl, its an activity that they learn the end result is what you're after, so when I was training my pig to "bowl", she would run to the end of the room and knock the pins down with her snout before the ball ever made it down there. Still fun to watch though. A cheap set of children bowling toys are less than 20.00 and can be found at most toy stores or Walmart.
We have a section of the website dedicated to enrichment for pigs. It is available, but will be updated soon, so check back often to see updated ideas and products that you can use to help your pig stay entertained. You can visit that section by clicking here. Sometimes a pig that tends to get in trouble isn't because of boredom at all, but rather persistence. These are the group of pigs that pig proofing was made for. If your pig has plenty of outside time, plenty of "enrichment" to keep him/her occupied but still tends to get into things? Well, your pig knows there is food in that cabinet, or is flat out being defiant. Again, something you can work on using training to teach respect and exactly who is in charge, but you should be sure to keep anything your pig may be tempted to "get into" out of reach or locked away.
Whatever method or technique you decide to use, just do it with consistency. Your pig is likely used to a routine (or would like to be), so taking the time to train and making it a part of your routine will give your pig something to look forward to. Pigs love to learn and explore, give them an avenue to satisfy that craving. If you have additional ideas for enriching your pigs life, we would love to hear about them or see examples. Feel free to send us pictures and/or stories and we can get them added to the website/blog.
Pigs are the new cats?
Uh, no they're not!! When a cute little piglet post is made by a celebrity or someone with some buying influence, I post 3 links. The "teacup" and "micro" myth, PLEASE read before you get a pig, and one of our blogs, what having a pet pig is REALLY like. Hopefully, it resonates....
Far too many times, we see celebrities flaunting their pet pigs and creating quite a ruckus with soooooooo many "OMG, I want a teacup pig!" comments, it literally makes us sick. So where are these pigs now? As always, pigs grieve when they need to be rehomed whether that be they got bigger than expected, the novelty wears off, you don't have the time, you got pregnant, etc. Without proper education, this will likely be the case. You have to know how to care for a pig in order for it to work.There was even talk that piglets were being given away during one of the Golden Globe awards shows (http://www.dailystar.co.uk/showbiz/Golden-Globes-follow-Posh-lead-and-give-away-mini-pigs)...wow. Pigs are used in cartoons, movies, TV shows and even commercials. No wonder everyone wants a pig....
Comedian John Bishop has adopted a rescued pig after his wife “fell in love” with the animal when she watched an RSPCA rehoming video. Thats AWESOME! I can't think of a better way for a family to add a pig to "the herd". Milo continues to enjoy his new home!! http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebrity-news/john-bishop-adopts-rescued-pig
Introducing Dom Joly and Wilbur the pig. Wilbur lives here on my farm in Brockhampton. He moved from Cheltenham where he lived, with a very nice family, in a pink Wendy house in the back garden. When he got to six months old, he announced – in no uncertain terms – that he had outgrown the place: it was basically Babe in the City. Wilbur has two main hangouts here on the farm: his own residence, which is an old room with windows, a fireplace and a little run; and the main house, which he comes into for four or five hours a day. He’s really sociable. He loves to hang out with the dogs – can’t say the dogs feel the same, but I don’t think he lets that bother him.
One of the most famous pet pigs was Max, George Clooney's pig. Max lived to be 18 years old.
Max not only had a good beginning, he led a life of comfort and privilege befitting a Hollywood pet. George and Max have been described as "inseparable" by the celebrity press - which is surely just porkies. But Max was often seen rooting around on set while Clooney was filming and was allowed in the mega-star's bedroom. Max has been blamed for bringing at least two of Clooney's relationships to an end (the model Celine Balitran apparently got the wrong answer when she issued an "It's me or the pig" ultimatum). Clooney even took Max on a trip in John Travolta's private jet. Rest in paradise sweet angel Max....
A tribute to Max: http://www.theguardian.com/dec/06/georgeclooney
Jillian Michaels was accused of using her pet pig as a fashion accessory. A post to Facebook in November 2014 "Dear Santa - a.k.a. Heidi Rhoades All I want for Christmas is a rescue pig. And some foster bees. But that's all. I swear. Oh... and maybe some fencing lessons. But really that's it. Can't I have one. PLEASE!!!!" She must have been a good girl!! Stella has lived for Jillian for a little more than a year. http://www.starwipe.com/article/jillian-michaels-has-pet-pig
Mario Balotelli has raided the piggy bank and introduced the newest member of his family to fans. With his latest amusing purchase, the Italy international has surprised us all yet again with his odd lifestyle choices and bought a pet PIG! Posting a picture on Twitter, Balotelli told his 1.1million followers: 'Finally my little pig arrived! She is only 2 month old! Is a she but i called her SUPER!'
In 2014, he was upset when his pet pig was denied entry into the UK, red tape is keeping the pig from being allowed to move from Italy to England: "Government rules mean to get the black-spotted animal here he must first register as a breeder, then get a certificate of health from an Italian vet before she is allowed to fly."
Still no word about the reunion....no additional pictures have been publicly posted.
Tori Spelling and her daughter and pet pig, Hank. Picture from People pets 07/2011. http://www.peoplepets.com/people/pets
A Quote from her reality show....
"You might have noticed that our backyard farm has grown since last week. We welcomed Hank the pig to our family and our baby blackbird hatched. Hank looks so small on screen. We were told he’d be 25 pounds full grown. Well, he’s now over 100! But we love the guy."
Last that I could find, Hank was sent to a farm where he could "be a pig" a while back.
Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen has had to put his pet pig out to pasture after the animal became too porky. "Romeo was purchased by Stevie Cohen as a piglet, but he grew to be over 150 pounds. Romeo is actually a very domesticated, intelligent and affectionate pig, but recently he started to get a little moody. The family got advice from a vet that Romeo would be better in the company of other animals, so Steve arranged for him to go to a farm to be with other pigs," a source told the Post. Ultimately, the pampered pig got too big for the 35,000-square-foot mansion after his weight grew to 150 pounds. After having this pig as a valued family member for FIVE years, Romeo was sent to a rescue in Florida by private jet. Yeah, that doesn't make you a responsible pet pig owner. This is not his pig, I am not able to locate a picture of his actual pig, but used the picture referenced in the news article instead.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/Hedge-fund-billionaire-forced-send-150--walking-piece-art-pet-pig-farm-fat-family-mansion-despite-having-room.htm
Denise Richards posts about her pig quite often. In 2008, she already had 2 pigs named Charlotte and Bert, but added a 3rd during the season of her reality tv show. This picture was taken after the show aired, but more than 2 years ago....no more pig pics since which isn't a surprise given the problems she and her ex, Charlie Sheen, are having. (via online news)
She ended up breeding her pigs and eventually? You guessed it, dumped them at a pig rescue.
A prized pig owned by Princess Anne was tragically killed by a wild boar after he broke into the pen at her home.The attack came just hours after another wild boar caused an accident which killed a man on the M4, 15 miles away. Anne’s beloved Gloucestershire Old Spot was killed on Tuesday night at her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire. Rest in peace sweet girl.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/Princess-Anne-Gloucestershire-Old-Spot-pig-savaged-death-wild-boar-broke-pen
Who can forget Honey BooBoo's pig? Glitzy was returned shortly after arriving.
Paris Hilton's "Royal Dandie" guaranteed to weigh no more than 25lbs. haha, yeah right. People with millions of dollars at their disposal can't purchase a "teacup" or "micro" pig. This should tell you something. Thankfully, as of 2016 sources, she has kept her big pig despite outgrowing these ridiculously misrepresented sizes. And guess what? She can afford to not care what anyone has to say about her pig, Princess Piggelette.
Did you know Rupert Grint, Ron Weasley of the Harry Potter series, also has a pet pig?
Buying into trends has its consequences, as Harry Potter star Rupert Grint would know. In the midst of the U.K.’s teacup pig craze, Grint bought a pair of the tiny porkers, which can sell for up to $1,100. However, there was a rumor that Grint was actually ripped off and bought a normal pig instead. In response to the controversy, the actor told NBC in 2010 that the pig was getting “kind of big now. We’ve got him living outside now.” When asked if his pet species of choice is really the most intelligent, Grint replied, “I haven’t really seen proof of that yet.” He named them Stanley and Oscar...sadly, Oscar passed away in 2010. Run free sweet baby.
Sorry Rupert, you got exactly what you paid for...a pig.
Reese Witherspoon was caught piglet shopping....There is no word on whether or not she actually purchased one though. It's been rumored that she did buy two piglets, but I am not able to find proof of that.
In 2010, Joey King visited The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this week and received quite a surprise. Joey revealed that she’s wanted a little pig for a while and Jay surprised her with one! Afterward, she tweeted: I LOVE @jayleno !!!!! I am the luckiest little girl in the whole WORLD! (i’m talking the WHOLE world!) She even named her pig “JayJay” after Jay Leno. Last post about Jay the pig was back in 2012....
Megan Fox gave her pig away in 2012 when he became sexually aggressive. A neuter probably would've worked, but, it is so much easier to just give him away versus doing the right thing.
Miley Cyrus is another high profile person with a pet pig. She was caught snuggling up with a piglet in August 2014. She isn't known for being reliable, but it appears that her pig, Bubba Sue, has been a turning point for Miley. In 2015, she posed naked with her pig for a magazine cover pictured below. I believe, based on some of the news stories, she is learning very quick how difficult it really is to care for our porcine companions.
Here she discusses her Bubba Sue, now renamed "pig pig" on the Jimmy Kimmel show.
Kevin Schmidt from the "Young and Restless" makes regular posts about their piggy friend, Yuma. He added Yuma to his family sometime in early 2012. His brother Kendall has taken a likin' to Yuma as well; often posing with the photogenic porcine playmate.
Ruby Rose has posted some hilarious social media photos of her hanging out with Hazel, the little black and white pig she owns with her fiance Phoebe Dahl since early 2014. Hazel the pig has her own Instagram account too. In October 2015, there was a story done on this couple regarding dinner party they had in L.A. with pigs roaming the lawn...That's a good sign! However, it looks as if this power couple split in 12/2015 and Hazel may be living elsewhere....
Read more: ruby-roses-pet-pig-is-hogging-the-limelight-in-LA/story
Hazel The Pig and Millie's IG account: https://www.instagram.com/hazelthepig_and_millie
Prior IG https://www.instagram.com/hazelthepig
At his mountainside estate in Hawaii, Mick Fleetwood could be mistaken for an eccentric country gentleman, spending quality time with his pet pig, Tilly. Mick Fleetwood is part of the classic rock band, Fleetwood Mac (for those who don't know) In 2012, a story was done and in it reveals he has a pet pig. "Off to one side, a fenced pen with a tasteful wooden shed houses Tilly, an 18-month-old black-and-white potbellied pig that is blissfully excited by the sudden arrival of guests."
Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mick-fleetwood-plays-on
David Beckham's wife, Victoria bought him a pair of pigs for Christmas 2009. The couple named them after close family friends, David Furnish and Elton John. They were "micro pigs". haha
No pictures of the pigs could be found though. There was once a video online, but it appears as if even that has been removed....
The latest addition to the Pataky-Hemsworth household is a piglet named Tina. In March 2016, Elsa Pataky - the wife of hunky Hollywood actor Chris Hemsworth - introduced the newest member of the family in a sweet Instagram post.In the endearing picture, the mother-of-three is seen cradling the sleeping piglet in her arms.
Thankfully for us in the pig community, we have a HUGE presence with Esther the wonder pig and Esther's Army to help the world learn more about pigs.
Movies are no better. There are little piglets, as well as big pigs featured in many movies furthering the "I want a teacup pig" trend.
Uptown Girls starring the late Brittany Murphy
National Lampoons Europeon Vacation started off with the Griswalds being "pigs".
Magic Mike featured "Henry the pig" in a few segments.
Winner of the “Special Jury Prize,” “The Lobster” is a deadpan sci-fi comedy-drama set in a world in which lonely people are turned into animals if they’re unable to find a partner within 45 days
Albert from College Road Trip
"Mr. Pig" was reviewed at the Sundance Movie Festival in January of 2016. This movie is about 75-year-old Ambrose (Danny Glover) hiding several things from his daughter on a road trip — at least the fact that he’s losing his hog farm to the bank.
2010’s The Spy Next Door briefly features a potbellied companion.
"Sweaty Betty" 2016 First-time filmmakers Joseph Frank and Zachary Reed tap into a strong sense of place as they follow two sets of characters around the streets, stores and row houses of Prince George's County, Maryland, on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. in this documentary type movie about a 1000lb pig and a pitbull.
How I met your mother, season 6, episode 16 titled "Hooked" featured Carrie Underwood...and a piglet.
Shirley Temple was even pictured with pigs....
The Boost Mobile “Unwronged” pig advertisement.
It doesn't even have to be a movie when models are carrying them down the runways. Piglets & models on catwalk for Korhani Home at Toronto Fashion Week.
Lets not forget, Miss Piggy from the Muppets, Piglet from Winnie the pooh, Porky pig, Peppa Pig, The Lion King Movie, The Barnyard Movie, Chicken Little Movie, Home on the Range movie, Babe, Gordy, Pig's Day Out, Green Acres, Spider Pig from the Simpsons, Maxwell from the insurance commercials, Wilbur from Charlottes Web (and they used 47 piglets to play Wilbur in this movie...a little movie trivia you may not have known), Okkoto, leader of the boars, from Princess Mononoke, George, from the Movie, My brother, the pig, Scruffy from the TV show, Full House, Little Cory from the show Boy meets world....so many pigs featured, there's too many to list! Some are shown in a favorable manner, some are not, but ALL are pigs that we have come to know and love. As long as people keep glamorizing pigs, the hype will continue. If small is what you're going for, you definitely do NOT need a pet pig. Perhaps a guinea pig would be better suited for you?
I am all about pigs as pets, but ONLY for educated and prepared families. Please do your research before running out and getting a pig. Do not let movies and commercials fool you, pigs are NOT easy to take care of all the time.
Why are people fascinated with pigs?
Pigs fascinate people. They always have. Even people who have pigs as pets can tell you about the love/hate relationship they have with their pet pigs. Most of us have experienced both of these feelings, as well as a range of others, sometimes all in the same day. Pigs are anything BUT subtle. They behave in obvious and interesting ways. They are such unusual creatures, a greater extent than most animals, that they capture and hold peoples attention. Anyone who has a pet pig will tell you the same thing. There isn’t a better pet for select families, but, pigs as pets are NOT for everyone. Pig parents are responsible for some of the hype about having an unconventional pet, we tend to post those cute pictures of our pigs with painted toe nails and a cute outfit, what people do not realize is that it took 2 1/2 hours to get that perfect, Facebook worthy picture. They didn't see the nail polish all over the carpet or hear the squeals that sounded like someone was being tortured in your house as you were trying to get that pig into that cute little outfit. They also weren't a witness to the 712 pictures you took until you finally captured the perfect one, nor did they see the box of cheerios you had to entice your pig with in order to get them to stand there long enough to even take the pictures.
It is probably fair to say most of you have read or seen the movie based on the children’s book Charlotte’s Web. Those who have likely sympathized with the animals in this story, and if you are reading this, on an educational website meant for pig parents, odds are, you too were “rooting” for the pig. I would have to say, that is where my personal pig obsession began. (Because who doesn’t want a talking pig) Obviously as I grew older, I realized pigs couldn’t talk, but I remained intrigued by pigs. Over the last 8 years or so, I have learned a great deal about pigs. Some of these lessons were based on my own experiences and some I have lived through others experiences all while I laughed and cried with fellow pig parents as they endured life and challenges with a pig as a pet, not much different than my own experiences.
If you're lucky enough to have a pet pig, so many emotions run across your mind. When you first see this pig, you want to laugh, you want to smile and you want to cry because you're so glad y'all crossed paths and so happy to have this pig in your life, but scared to death at the same time in fear of losing them. So, what is it really like to have a pig as a pet?
I personally think it is great and I also think it sucks sometimes. Pigs will test the limits CONSTANTLY. They will quickly figure out if they start squealing, someone will check on them and they also know if they continue, someone will likely give them a treat. This may first happen at 6am, then 5 am, finally at 3am, and you're over it. But this is how a pig will act if they are rewarded for undesirable behavior. Your pig has YOU trained. Many do not know this in the beginning, so it escalates into something far worse. This is typically a problem with younger pigs, new pigs versus older established pigs. BUT, it can happen with them as well. Negative behavior needs to be corrected, not rewarded.
What starts your day off like you "woke up on the wrong side of the bed?"
When you are already running a few minutes behind and can not find that adorable sweater you were planning to wear today when you get out of the shower. So, you go hunting for it, it's not in the closet where it was last night, it isn't in the drawer where you would've put it instead...no, instead, it's in hoarder corner. Your pig made a nest with your brand new sweater you planned to wear to that special function at work, tags still attached and then you notice, not only did your pig take the sweater, but also chewed holes in it. Thanks pig.
You stayed up late doing some work on the computer, thankfully finished it around 11pm and go to bed. You go ahead and print off copies for your colleagues because your printer is slow, or mornings are just not the right time to sit around and wait for it. When you go to collect all these copies you made, you notice all the sheets are damaged. Then you see it, hoof prints and bite marks in all these fabulous pieces of paper. Now, you have nothing to wear and your presentation is also ruined. Awesome job pig.
You walk into the kitchen to grab a quick bite to eat and you are left to ponder the question....why didn't I put those child proof locks on the cabinets last weekend? Your kitchen is destroyed, there are 1/2 empty boxes of macaroni and cheese on every surface, along with packets of oatmeal and hot chocolate. There is water all over your floor, either from the water bowl your pig decided to tip over or it could be from the open freezer door on your refridegerator. Items are thawing out in your freezer because, somehow, your pig also got into your freezer and once you look a little closer? Some of the popsicles are also MIA. At this point, your pig is nowhere to be found, so you are also panicked over that and this is only 30 minutes into your day. It is easy to follow the trail of damage to locate your missing beloved pig. Now you have nothing to wear, an unusable pile of papers AND total destruction in the kitchen. Now is when you start wondering "what was I thinking when I decided to get a pet pig?"
You find your pig, in the living room, with the trash can that she has knocked over and dragged through the house and notice the red spaghetti sauce on your white carpet....you are seriously wondering why you EVER got a pig as a pet at this point. Now, you have to re-plan your outfit for work, find a commercial printer to print off 30 packets for your presentation at work, you really need to clean the kitchen and there are red stains on the carpet from the spaghetti sauce you threw in the trash last night that this sweet precious little piglet dumped out that may not come up after work, so you really need to get your carpet cleaner out to do it right this second. On top of all this, now you need to go to the grocery store to replace the food your pig bit holes in or dumped on the floor, not to mention none of your canned foods have labels now, the family isn't thrilled about having a "mystery" item every night with dinner since you have NO idea what is in these cans. But overall, this is a GOOD day! Days can be much worse than this. At this point, you likely just want to call in sick and go back to bed.
At times, it is pure terror, especially when a pig gets sick. Unlike traditional or conventional pets, pig vets, in particular, good ones, are more difficult to find. So when a pig gets sick, and they tend to mask symptoms of being sick until they're really sick, it is frightening when you can't reach your vet or when you do not know what's wrong with them. All you know is that your pig, the same one who gets into EVERYTHING now doesn't want to get up and isn't interested in eating or drinking. (FYI to those who don't already know....a pig that doesn't want to eat or drink is a sick pig) When you see your pig is hurting, there is nothing more you'd rather do than to help her feel better though. I am fortunate because I do have a few vets in my area that I can use and ones that will come to my house to see my pig, but not everyone has that luxury.
At times, it is funny because your pig will have so much personality. And if you have a pig like mine, well, you're in for a treat. I think I should've named mine Sybil because she has more than enough personalities to keep everyone occupied. We love her regardless of which personality she will have that day, but it is fun to watch her walk around, strutting her stuff, while trying to be inconspicuous as she is looking in and under every surface to find something to put in her mouth.
At other times, it is frustration. WHY is my pig acting like a jerk? WHY is my pig squealing at 4am? WHY did my pig just pee under my bed? WHY does my pig want a bite of EVERYTHING anyone is eating? HOW does she hear me opening up a bag of M&M's in my closet? (Another FYI...Your pig will hear you open ANY food-at ANY time.)
All you want to do is protect this little angel/devil pig from anything that will harm them. Sometimes you may go overboard, but nonetheless, it's done not only because you can see the two of you growing old together, but because you can't imagine life without this pig. (And honestly, you can never be too careful when you have a pig, there are never too many precautions to make sure they're safe or protected.)
Pigs have real emotions. Emotions you can feel and see for yourself. If you have never seen a pig cry, pray you never have to. Pigs probably resemble the human emotion the closest of any other animal. A pig will change its tone of squeal or grunt when it’s happy or sad or scared or upset. A pig will show remorse, a pig will show excitement and joy, a pig will show fear and a pig will show hate. Much like people, a pig will show you raw emotions, they do not know how to tell you that they’re sad without showing you tears, they can not tell you how excited they are, so instead they get the zoomies and run all over the place.
Being prepared and pig proofing your home is a MUST. My pig has broken down the crawl space door that leads UNDER my house and ate rat poison, twice in the same day (had to get weeks of vitamin K injections because thankfully, she ate the type with an antidote). She has eaten the touch-up paint for my truck...she has gotten into things I never would've imagined her being interested in, but then again, I can't remember when I was 2 years old, so I do not share that same mind set as her. So, you literally now have locks on anything that opens or closes to protect your pig. (And to protect your things/food/clothes/remotes/phones/plants/carpet/rugs/cords~you get the idea)
Pigs and their overall behavior have been observed for hundred’s of years, so some people already knew pigs had compassion and they knew pigs were smart. The rest of us didn’t realize how smart they were though, especially not most of us who got a pig because we have always wanted one and come home one day to find that the cabinet where we keep snacks is open….and bare. Pigs KNOW where you keep food. Not only can they smell it, but they see you go in that cabinet and then watch you eat your snack. They watch you open the cabinet door and watch you reach your hand in there and pull out something yummy. As soon as the opportunity presents itself, your pig will mock your actions and go to that cabinet, possibly the others too, and try to mimic everything they saw you do....a lesson most of us learn the hard way.
There are also good days, days when nothing bad happens, days that you are so proud of your pig for learning a new trick that the bad days are forgotten about. There are times when my pig just wants to lay in my lap and be cuddled, there are more days when she does NOT want this, but I enjoy the days when she does. The times when I take her on walks or to a store are the best. My pig doesn't mind putting on a harness (she was trained very early on) and it is fun to watch the neighborhood kids/other customers run out to pet her. (although this can be an issue at times, depending on her attitude that day) Everyone wants to touch her snout, I don't understand why anyone would out their hands near any animals mouth when they don't know them, but people are just curious and most have never seen a pig in person. But, when she is good, she is a blessing to have at my side and I am grateful for every minute.
For me, my pig was always asked to participate in events, especially kiss the pig events. She was such a cute little girl. BUT, she had a BIG attitude some days, so while we did some events, I had to closely monitor her behavior and she wasn't able to do many before she had to retire from public service.
Even though she was socialized quite often as a piglet, she didn't grow very fond of people as she grew older. She started nipping and charging at people by a year old and even though her behavior was corrected, she continued to do it to anyone who was not me. (The response in the video was exaggerated because he was trying to be funny, but this did become a real problem at my house. What is cute at 20 pounds isn't cute at 120 pounds. As she got older, she learned to respect people and people learned to respect her as well.) That is a tough spot to be in, seems like you are now the ONLY person who loves this pig unconditionally. The family doesn't want to participate in behavior modification and it won't change without their participation. So you keep on working on it, but do not have much support. As your pig grows older and bigger, things tend to calm down a bit, but an untrusting pig doesn't miraculously change. This is something that has to be worked out. If your pig doesn't trust your spouse or children, and you don't work on it, your pig will continue to not trust your spouse or children. We have pages on our website to help with this and if you cant find what you're looking for on the website, reach out to us and we can put you in touch with others who have consultation services for problems like that. Sometimes the answer is another pig. Pigs need other pigs. Sometimes that isn't possible due to the living situation or zoning ordinances, but these are all things to consider BEFORE you get a pig.
I have taught my pig to paint pictures and donate those to various charities to raise money for pigs in need or auctions to benefit different rescues, naturally, I have a few pieces hanging around my home as well. But this is something not everyone can say they have or can do with their traditional pets. My pig has helped me with the junk mail, my personal shredder service. Obviously she is GREAT at tilling up the soil for plants or a garden and helps out often, even in places where I didn't necessarily need the ground to be tilled. Nonetheless, she is MY pig and MY helper and I love her dearly, so i overlook some of the undesirable things she may do at times. I knew getting a pig as a pet would come with some issues that I wouldn't necessarily like, but I accepted that as a part of having a pig in my home. I do not regret one minute of it, there are some things I wish I had done differently, but overall, I know I have made good decisions for my pig and that she will never have to worry about where she will lay her head at night, and ultimately, that is all that matters to me, my pig is safe.
Finding someone to watch your pig while you go on vacation or out of town for work? Even thinking about your pig not having you there is scary, but not having someone you can trust is even worse. It is almost impossible to find someone that would care for your pig as you do. Making sure your pig gets that good night belly rub and a body check before being tucked in and a kiss on the snout? Yeah, highly doubtful someone else will treat your pig the way you do. Not to mention, your pig not being agreeable to having an unknown person to interact with them...stranger danger. Some pigs will behave very badly for another person while you're not home.
Pig life isn't for everyone, just ask ANY pig rescue and they'll tell you the same thing. People do not truly know whats involved with having a pet pig until they have a pet pig and then decide that a pig isn't the right pet for them. Visit a pig rescue before you decide to get a pig, see what having a pig is truly like. (Click here to see a list of pig rescues) It isn't all rainbows and butterflies. There are going to be bad days, but there are also going to be good days.
Pigs get bigger, they don't stay piglet sized. If you are expecting that, you will be extremely disappointed. Pigs require training, you cant expect a pig to know what you want them to do without teaching them to do it. Pigs aren't animals that can be left in a crate 12 hours out of the day. Pigs need outdoor time. They need to root around and find treasures in the yard. Pigs need social interaction and activities so they don't get destructive. These aren't wants, these are NEEDS for a pig. It is heartbreaking to see any pig that is unwanted or unloved. It is even worse to see one that is being mistreated. It is sad to see people starving their pig to keep them small, and it is equally as sad to see a morbidly obese pig struggling to walk. BUT, all of these things can be addressed. (and we have pages here on the website that can be helpful for all of it) Sometimes it's not the pig that needs training, but the pig parents instead. Ask for help, ask for advice, good, experienced people are willing to help. Don't post your pig as a rehome if there is a chance that your pig can stay. Don't let common problems, that can be fixed, cause you to lose your faith in your pig. Fight to keep your pig, not to find another home. I understand there are some circumstances, beyond your control that limit your options and there is no other way but to find your pig a great new home, but do your part in finding one. Screen potential families, ask lots of questions, ask for help from those who do this on a regular basis. It is bad enough your pig has to go somewhere else to live, but don't make that worse by finding an inappropriate home, try to really find somewhere you want your pig to go and check them out first. NEVER hand your pig over to someone you do not know anything about. There are an equal amount of bad people out there as there are good ones. Don'y buy into the "teacup" or "micro-mini" pig lie. Click here to learn about the marketing terms people use to entice you to buy a pig from them. The volume of people who are looking for pigs is far less than the hundreds of pigs looking for a home. It is hard to GIVE a pig away, much less try and recoup any money you may have spent to buy one. Remember, even though you spent money buying your pig, and maybe even for a spay/neuter, there are MANY years left that someone else will have to pay for. Feed isn't free, vet care isn't free, hay/straw/houses aren't free. You are not doing anyone a favor by selling them your pig at a reduced rate, a pig isn't a novelty item, a pig is a responsibility for life.
As we always like to say, if you can...rescue a pig in need, or adopt a pig that needs a home, if you cannot do that then consider sponsoring a pig at one of the many pig rescues/sanctuaries, maybe you can help transport a pig that needs help getting to a new home, you can always donate to a pig charity, like Mo Money For Pigs, to a pig in need or directly to a pig rescue, and donations don't have to be money, hay/straw/feed/blankets are always needed at rescues/sanctuaries, ask if there is volunteer program or if you can lend a helping hand to a pig rescue for a day. If you're not able to help financially or physically, you can help pigs by being an advocate and most importantly by educating others.
The information on the website was posted to be educational. Sometimes pictures we post may be funny, some may be sad, some may find them to be cute or inspirational. We have every emotion you could imagine running through our minds at one point or another when creating new pages and posting to our Facebook page. We get private messages constantly, which we do not mind, but there have been a lot of times when the person asking the questions clearly hasn't done their homework. It can be extremely exhausting and frustrating, as a pig parent, to answer these very basic questions while being politically correct. We quickly learned that kindness will always take you further than a bitter attitude. People reach out for help because they need help, not a lecture about how they should've researched before bringing a pig home. Sometimes, it is hard not to say that because that is the feeling we sometimes get. Everyone has a different background, varying degrees of knowledge about pigs and some think they know more than they actually do. We do not claim to know everything there is to know about pigs, but between everyone who is a part of our team? We can usually pull our resources together to help with any questions that are asked. There are times when a pig just needs a vet and no amount of information is helpful and ONLY a vet should be involved. If we advise you that your pig needs to be seen ASAP, that is because we feel like your situation is urgent and truly feel like your pig is at risk if not seen and treated by a licensed veterinarian.
Negativity isn't something we endorse, tolerate, engage in or condone. We try very hard to treat everyone with respect, we do not belittle anyone who reaches out for help and we will go above and beyond to help anyone who does chose to contact us, whether that be via Facebook, private message or email. Everyone was new to pigs at one point or another. For example, when I got my first pig, there was no Facebook, there were no groups that were around to answer any questions about my pig. This is one of the reasons why we created one. (Mini Pig Info Group) But we also understand that not everyone has access to social media or choses to have a Facebook page or Instagram account which is why we felt it was so important to create a website for those who were searching for answers and finding it difficult to sort through the responses to get an accurate answer. We don't necessarily have all the answers to every question...but we do have a team of people that we can consult that DO know the answers. Some of our mini pig info team works behind the scenes and are a blessing to everyone in the pig community. We have vet support, rescue support and other experienced piggy parent support and we are grateful for them all. What each person brings to the table is a unique point of view and options that some of us may not have known were available. If you haven't made the decision to get a pig, please read some of our articles that discuss things you should consider before getting a pig to be sure a pig is the right pet for you. You can start by clicking here.
Our goal is to give accurate, up to date information to those who need it and to educate anyone who wants to learn about pigs. We do not make money by working on this website, we do not get paid for answering questions, we have nothing to sell. Therefore, we have nothing to gain by doing what we are doing. Everyone on the MPI team does it for the love of pigs. Thats it. We love our pigs, we love your pigs, we love everyones pigs and never want to see any of them mistreated. Our mission is to advocate and protect pigs and we like to bring awareness to the good pig rescues, mainly so people know they're out there. I wasn't aware of the unwanted/homeless pig problem until about 3 years ago. I had NO idea there were so many pigs searching for a loving family and it makes me sad to see there are so many more that need homes because a family wasn't prepared for a pig to begin with. We have many many pages on the website to help guide you through the various stages of a pigs life. Our new piggy parent section is a great place to start if you are new to pigs and have already brought a pig home. You can click here to read that section. The website is as all-inclusive as possible, but it will never be done. We constantly add information and pictures and improve on what's already there. So please check back often for updates. Please let us know if there is something you feel needs to be added to the website too. We are always looking for new information, new techniques and additional resources for others to have at their disposal.
The basics of pigs is relatively easy...but something you need to start from day one. You will know your pig better than anyone else. While it is extremely important that you build a relationship with a veterinarian, it is also important that you are able to identify that there may be a problem that will require your veterinarian to be involved. You want to seek out an experienced veterinarian. Having that experience can be the difference between life and death. An inexperienced vet may not be able to recognize symptoms of life threatening diseases early on. Early detection and treatment increase your pigs chances of survival tenfold. Take your pig in for routine visits, vaccinate based on your vets recommendations, spay and/or neuter. This relationship can be put to the test when it comes down to an emergency. Always have a back up plan or back up vet. Know who you can call in the event there is an emergency. Murphy's law tells us our pigs won't get sick Monday thru Friday, but instead, they'll show signs of sickness on weekends, nights and holidays. Click here to see our list of vets that see pigs. The list is 95% confirmed and more are added everyday. Establish a relationship with your vet and find out how to handle emergencies. Ask for mobile vet recommendations from your vet in case you need someone to come to you. Remember, as pigs grow, so does the issue of transporting them. It is extremely difficult to get an unwilling 150lb pig into a vehicle in order to take them to the vets office to be seen. Plan ahead, crate train, get a ramp and/or harness and make car rides something your pig enjoys. (Click here to read more about harness training your pig)
All pigs will grow. There are the rare few that may stay on the smaller side, but there is NO such a thing as a teacup pig, micro pig, micro mini pig, designer pig, pixie pig, "genetically altered pig" (which I have seen to be the latest lie), apartment pig, pocket pig, dandy pig, or any other term referring to small pigs. These are NOT breeds. These are just terms that have been used to mislead people into thinking the piglet they're getting will stay small. Some will argue that they've seen the parents and they were small, and they may be on the smaller side. BUT, how old are the parents? Pigs can breed very very early and although these people are putting their pigs at risk by breeding them so young, a lot of these "adult" pigs are actually babies themselves, and aren't nearly done growing yet. To call them adults is a flat out lie. Pigs can grow until they're 5 years old, the majority of the growing will be done within the first 3 years, but maturity is defined as the time when the epiphyseal plates in the long bones close, this typically occurs around 5 years old. We asked our fans to show us baby pictures and post more recent pictures for comparison reasons, you can click here to view that page and see realistic sizes of pigs. You can click here to read about actual breeds of pigs, notice mini is also NOT a breed, but rather a classification of pigs typically seen as pets. Click here to read more about the "teacup" pig myth. We will always recommend that you adopt a pig in need, some pig rescues have pigs that have reached maturity, already trained, very loving and just waiting on a forever family to take them home. Please consider rescuing a pig. You can click here to see a list of pig rescues. We recently added a page for others to post adoptable pigs. You can click here to see the map of adoptable pigs available.
Whether you are rescuing an older pig or bringing home a piglet, if you have other pigs, you need to separate them until you have a clean bill of health. Pigs need time to get used to the idea of having another pig in their area and when introductions are rushed or not done right, pigs will fight and things can get vicious. Pigs who aren't given time to become acclimated to a new pig will try to prove who the "top hog" will be. That includes fighting. A pig that is given the opportunity to see and hear another pig with a barrier is far less likely to show signs of aggression when introduced face to face than a pig who is just put in the same area with another pig and no barrier. The risk of disease should be enough to stop you from doing that, but again, back to the basics, some aren't aware of the possibilities. Mites can spread pig to pig, some of the skin disorders and diseases can be spread from pig to pig...so its best to get a new pig checked out before placing with your beloved pet, just to be on the safe side. Remember, intact pigs WILL try to attract a mate and they will breed if left together. Pigs separated by a gate have been impregnated by another THROUGH a barrier with large enough spaces for the genitalia to push through. ALL pigs should be spayed/neutered to prevent future health problems in addition to additional unwanted pigs, you can click here to read more about why it is important to spay/neuter your pig(s). All these things need to be considered when bringing a new pig home. Click here to learn more about how to properly introduce a new pig to your family.
You should always get a baseline temperature on your pig when your pig is NOT sick. Core body temperatures somewhat vary from pig to pig and region to region. Time of day can impact the temperature as well and so can activity. So, you should take your pigs temperature, using a digital thermometer, several times a day and record your results. Include time of day and activity prior to you checking it so you know what the normal core body temperature should be for your pig. Click here to read steps you can take and appropriate medications that can be safely used with pigs should your pig have a fever.
Remember, a behavior change combined with a fever may indicate an underlying infection, should this be the case, be sure to call your vet.
Building a trusting bond with a pig is certainly important. Pigs are not naturally trusting animals, they make you earn trust, they don't hand it out to just anyone. Doing things a pig may not enjoy later in life when they're young and making these positive experiences will be paramount to your success as your pig ages. Hoof care, for example, is maintenance care that can be home at home by someone without a ton of experience. In order to accomplish this, you will need to start touching the hooves and using tools just to get your pig used to the idea of having their hooves worked on without protest. Click here to read more about hoof care. Once you make this part of your daily/weekly or monthly routine, when the need arises, your pig will let you trim the hooves versus having to call a vet or farrier for assistance. The pig who lets their piggy parent trim their hooves will also not be subject to risky sedation because typically, the pigs that are trained to allow this, will not need medications for you to accomplish this goal. That same theory applies to most of the routine care. Bathing, for example, isn't usually a pleasant experience the first time, however, a pig who has a good experience to refer back to will be less likely to fight when a bath is needed. You're pig will soon realize there is nothing to be afraid of. Although tusk trims "can" be done in the home setting, we do not recommend an inexperienced person trim a pigs tusks. There are too many risks for an untrained person to trim tusks and fracturing a tooth or exposing the tooth pulp can lead to infections and other problems later down the road. Touch their mouth, ears, hooves, every part of their body and desensitize them to you touching them so they don't get scared when you have to. Not only will this allow you to be able to do routine things yourself, but also provides your pig with that security he/she needs to build that trusting relationship with you. Desensitizing your pig to routine maintenance type things is key.
Some pigs begin to display behavioral issues as they age, some is due to spoiled pig syndrome, some are due to food aggression and other times a pig is acting out in an aggressive way. ALL of these issues need to be addressed and we have pages that discuss how you can accomplish or at least get started. Aggressive pigs-click here. Food aggression- click here. Spoiled pig syndrome- click here.
Most people do not factor in the cost of spaying and neutering their pig. Intact pigs do NOT make great pets. Between the hormone driven behavior and the mood swings (PMS), you will soon find that spaying and neutering is one of the most important things you can do for your pig. Intact pigs have a really high % of developing life threatening reproductive tumors and in order to save your pigs life, you will have to pay for a risky and complicated surgery to remove the tumor and the vet will likely spay/neuter at that time, only now? It will cost 10x more. All of this can be completely avoided if you spay and neuter early on. Spaying/neutering when your pig is young ELIMINATES the risk of them developing reproductive tumors/infections, allows their hormones to normalize which also helps with any behavioral issues and prolongs your pigs life by a long shot. Doing this while your pig is young is also a less risky procedure, they do not require as much iso gas for sedation reasons because they don't have the fat that the gas must perfuse though, because of the lack of adipose tissue, the surgery is less complicated and most vets who spay/neuter also feel more comfortable doing these procedures on a smaller pig because the time under anesthesia is far less than when they're bigger. These surgeries vary in price from region to region and vet to vet. Depending on the experience level and market demand, the prices can range from 100.00 all the way up to 1500.00. Do it early, save yourself some heartache and money. Click here to read about the importance of spaying and neutering and also to see pictures from actual procedures so you will know what to expect. We have a section on the website dedicated to appropriate sedation/anesthesia as well. You can read about that by clicking here and you can read about how to care for your pig before and after a surgical procedure by clicking here.
Know your pigs potty habits. Take one weekend and write down when your pig has to defecate or urinate after eating/drinking. Write this information in a dedicated pig journal. Do this once a month for a few months so you get a good idea of its accuracy. By doing this, you will know when your pig hasn't peed or pooped. A pig that has ate and drank, but struggling to urinate or defecate can indicate big problems. Being able to identify this early on can potentially save your pigs life.
If you know your pig usually poops 4 times a day and hasn't, you can use that information to eliminate some possibilities or decide that there may be an underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed by a vet. Combine no urination, no pooping and/or with a fever; these symptoms can can point to UTI, obstruction, and many other things, but these diagnoses need to be given by a vet who has done a hands on assessment. We also have a health form that you can download and use to try and have as many details as possible if your pig should become ill. You can click here to read more about common illnesses.
You can purchase pet health insurance to help with the costs of routine care as well as any health issues that may arise. Click here to learn more about pet insurance and who provides insurance for pigs.
Vaccinations can lessen your pigs chances of contracting some of the more common illnesses. Click here to read about vaccinating your pig.
Know your pigs likes and dislikes when it comes to food. A balanced diet is super important to your pigs overall health. Not providing correct nutrients can lead to serious medical complications and vitamin/mineral deficiencies. If you need to "hide" medications at anytime and you know what foods your pigs would do anything for, you now can create a medication delivery system. Incorporating nutritious foods into your pigs diet can help them with a well balanced diet. Click here to read more about nutrition. This section is broken up into a few pages such as how to help your obese pig lose weight, pig approved veggies/fruits and what an unhealthy versus healthy pig looks like, etc. If you click next at the bottom of each page, the discussions will continue or you can hover your mouse over the nutrition section and the subsections will display if there is one particular subject you're interested in reading more about.
It was recently brought to our attention that there are breeders that will give very specific instructions regarding how to feed your pig. One set of guidelines, that I hope and pray aren't true, is to feed the piglet ELEVEN pellets and iceberg lettuce. FOR THE ENTIRE DAY!!!!!That's it. I was appalled that anyone would number 1, ever tell someone to starve their pig and number 2, shocked that anyone would EVER actually do it. But apparently it has and does happen. That is HORRIBLE!!!!!! Do not starve your pig. Feed them based on the recommendations from the companies that spend millions of dollars formulating feed designed to meet your pigs nutritional needs, do not listen to some random person with no degree in nutrition and expect to have a healthy pig. Starving a pig is cruel for a number of reasons, but know that a pig who is malnourished will not live a long happy life. Their lives will be miserable and sad. Click here to read about starved pigs and how that affects them. Try it for yourself. Take 11 pieces of cereal and make that last the entire day along with iceberg lettuce. See how good you feel when you are starving and feel like you're going to pass out from the hunger. Now imagine that there is nothing you can do about it because you're a pig.
Know every inch of your pigs body. Ideally, a body check should be done every night. The temperatures have started to rise in the US, with warmer weather coming about, some of the parasite type insects are out in full force, like ticks. Ticks are a pest and use our pigs as a host. Some ticks have been identified as carriers of Lyme's disease. If your pig has a tick attached, the tick needs to be removed. Click here to learn more about summertime pests and how to control them from invading your pig. But noting differences on your pigs body can help you identify life threatening illnesses, and increase the chances of recovery if caught early. If you see something that wasn't there yesterday, utilize the form on our website to help you track what may be going on and paint a clear and detailed picture of the situation for your vet so that a diagnosis can be easily achieved. You can find that form by clicking here.
Providing your pig with a safe and pig friendly environment will allow your pig to thrive and be a pig without the threat of being attacked from predator type animals. Dogs, for example, are known enemies to pigs. Click here to read more about the dangers. Outdoor time is super important for pigs. They love to root and essential vitamins and minerals can be found in the soil. Pigs that are kept indoors 24/7 tend to have obesity issues, behavioral problems as well as nutritional deficiencies. A sturdy outdoor shelter out of the elements, free from drafts is also very important to your pig feeling secure. Click here to see shelter and pen ideas. Because the pig version of Maslow's theory is difficult to read on the mobile version, we included a downloadable file under the picture so you can zoom in and read what we have added to utilize his theory with pigs.
There are also toxic substances that can potentially be in a backyard including plants or chemicals. Click here to read more about items that are known to be toxic to pigs.
First aid for your pig. This is a MUST know. What medications can be given for an upset belly? What should you do if your pig is vomiting? All of these questions as well as a basic first aid kit should be on hand and the information to build a kit as well as directions for simple illnesses can be found by clicking here. You can learn how to do CPR and the Heimlich maneuver for a pig by clicking here.
Keeping these things in mind, along with the willingness to participate in your pigs care, will pave the way for you and your pig to live a long happy life together. Know when to reach out for help, research often, feel free to message us or send an email for any questions, but ask for help if you need it. Educate yourself, but know your limitations. Know when it's time to involve a vet and know what you are able to manage in the home setting.
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.