Summer brings sun and heat...there are things that we, as pig parents, can do to help our pigs in the miserable heat though. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are real ad they can kill pigs. Your pig should have plenty of opportunities to cool off or be in an area that is shaded or cooler for them. Remember, they can't sweat to cool their bodies off like people can. Sweat is designed to evaporate off the body which cools the core body temperature. The humid conditions don't help either. Please check up on your pig often or make sure your pig is safe from these dangerous heat waves that may be in your area.
Heat stroke/Heat exhaustion information. Other summertime concerns/solutions.
Every pig NEEDS outside time, mid-July isn't fun to be outside for people or animals though. Your pig should have a shade structure or a shaded spot in the yard. Ikea has cute circus tents for 20.00. A shaded wood structure is actually super easy to build and would cost less than 50.00. Sun shades are a great way to create a shaded spot, Ikea has those available as well for a reasonable price. Gazebos are another great way to give your pig an area where he/she can go to that's shaded. My gazebo has an outdoor ceiling fan, so it provides shade and also a constant flow of air. Obviously an outside enclosure is something we have always recommended.....but.....pigs will actually go inside an "outdoor pig house" and bake inside....so houses need to have excellent ventilation and having a heat/AC system would be even better. ALL pigs need a spot out of direct sunlight or extreme elements.
Access to water
Water deprivation is dangerous. Some people refer to this as "salt toxicity", but in reality, what happens is that a pig doesn't have access to fresh water for an extended amount of time and when water is finally available, they drink and drink and drink. Pigs can't process large amounts of water like that. (If your pig doesn't have access to water and seems extremely thirsty when you realize it, do NOT give massive amounts of water, hydration needs to be done slowly over 24-48 hours. I keep at least 4-6 water bowls scattered all over the yard to be sure there is always a bowl of fresh water available.
In the heat of the summer, it's tough to keep the water cool. (other tips to help with this below) Making sure the water bowls and pools are in a shaded area most definitely helps, but in the direct sunlight, the water can reach temperatures that can actually burn your pig! Metal bowls are the worse, but any color or type can get hot. I keep the water bowls either under the gazebo or under tress where there is no direct sunlight. Because of this, the bowls need to be scrubbed out daily though as they develop that slimy biofilm which poses its' own threat.
Kiddie pools are a great way to be sure there is always access to fresh water, but if the pool is kept in the sun, the water becomes hot and is pointless. Again, if it's kept in a shaded area, it can become contaminated with biofilm, so the water will need to be changed regularly, if not daily. This is especially helpful if you have a pig who tends to tip their water bowl over.
The amazing pool in the picture above is available by the food train. I have a similar pool made by Heartland, but its truly a great pool and I've had mine for 5 years and its not ripped, torn or even worn. That was well worth the money I paid for it and I highly recommend these types of pools for pig families. They're easy to clean, and more importantly, easy for pigs to get in and out of.
Dawn Camp made a fantastic suggestion:
Buy a hose timer and set it to go off every few hours. I bought one that has two hose stations. One is hooked to a sprinkler and the other to (ideally) run water into a pan. I feed at 6 AM and 6 PM and the timer is set to go off at 10 AM, 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM. So far it's working, though the pig who needs it moves his water pan/tire combo out from under it. My timer is an "Orbit" and came from Home Depot. The timer can be set to run anywhere from 1 minute to 360 minutes, up to 3 times a day. This could be lifesaving for pigs when there is no one home during the day to check waters. (You will need to be sure the water in the line doesn't become scalding hot)
Water misting systems & water hoses
I bought a system that connects to the water hose and attaches to a deck or other structure of your choice to provide periodic fine mist to keep your pig cool. However, I found that the water in the hose is sooooo hot, that it makes the whole system worthless and actually dangerous because the water that mists out is so hot. I have always tried to be proactive versus reactive in terms of keeping my pig happy, but this is one product that I wouldn't recommend unless you have the ability to keep the water in the hose cool.
In the same theory, I have come home and used the hose to spray my pig down on super hot days, and again, you must be aware of the temperature in the hose line because you can cause injury to your pig if the water inside the hose has been baking in the sun all day and you turn the water on and squirt your pig with scalding hot water. Always allow the water to run for a few minutes to be sure any hot spots have run through and won't burn your pig. (This is also true when filling up water bowls, be sure you're not giving your pig hot water to drink) You can keep your water hose in a box or shaded area to help keep the water inside cool. I simply haven't had much luck with mine based on the location and lack of shade where the water line is located outside.
As mentioned before, pigs are creatures of habit, so if they have an outside house and they use it, some will go into their house, and will stay inside regardless of how hot it gets. You need to check up on your pig often, this is even more important in extreme temperatures. Some pigs will just go into their outside structure and as the day warms up, they may not realize how hot it is and they just sit in there and bake. Adding a window, an open door or even a heat/air conditioning system is a great idea. Heat/AC systems can be rather expensive, but they're amazing and can regulate the temperature in your pigs outdoor enclosure.
Ways to keep water cool?
Admittedly, this is difficult to do, especially if you work outside of the home. I am gone most of the day, so I fill old 2-liters and water bottles with water and put them in the freezer overnight. Before I leave in the morning, I toss those frozen bottles into the pools to try and keep the water temperature down. I am thankful because I typically stop off at home 1/2 through the day and remove those bottles and replace them with ones fresh from the freezer. It isn't always 100% effective, but along with creating the shaded areas, it has worked so far this summer. I believe you should have at least 2 kiddie pools for every pig, (and this is more so for families with only a couple or a few pigs, not a rescue or larger pig family-that would be difficult to achieve under those circumstances.) 2 pigs? you should have 2-3 pools. 3 pigs? you should have 3-4 pools. Remember, they often use one to pee and poop in....
While this may not work for every family, it may work for some who are looking for solutions to their problems. Take that frozen 2 liter bottle and add a way for your pig to drink from it as it thaws! (Genius!)
Most pigs will not have any issue with eating a frozen treat. Ice cubes work great too, but you can freeze grapes which you can place in their pools to entice them to get in and cool off too. I found that using flavored water drops, which do not contain a ton of extra calories, or using fruits and vegetables (used sparingly, of course), you can freeze them in ice cube trays, silicone molds and even in some bowls to create a fantastic frozen treat.
Popsicles can also be used (OCCASIONALLY) as a frozen treat that your pig will likely love.
Hopefully you have found some information that will help you care for your pig in the extreme heat that is occurring everywhere. If you have additional tips, feel free to comment below!
Don't take your pig to a shelter
This is a true story as told from the eyes of a pig.
As I was sitting in my pen one day with my friends, some people came in and said they were seizing us from my owner. They said it was an abuse situation and were sending us to a place called a "shelter".
I was happy about this because, I was expecting my babies soon. I hoped for a safe place to have them. They packed me and two of my piggy friends up and brought us to the "shelter".
The place they brought us to, the “shelter”, it was so loud, there were dogs barking and we could tell the dogs didn't like us very much. I was afraid, but hoped it was safe for me and my babies.
A few days after we got there, one of my friends, Houdini, was attacked by a dog that escaped it's pen! He was screaming so bad, but he was a much bigger pig than me, thankfully someone ran over and protected him. She was able to stand between the dogs and him, she saved his life. Shortly after that, she was gone. We don't know where she went, she just wasn't there anymore. A few days later, Houdini was attacked again. This time, no one helped him and he was gone. That left just Papa and me. A couple of days later, Papa was attacked by a dog that got out of his pen. The “shelter” people were able to pull the dog off in time, and Papa was hurt, but not badly. Then, it happened again. Papa was attacked and this time, there was no saving him. I watched as the dog killed Papa. I was so scared, I can feel my babies, I know they are coming soon. I had to get out of this place, so I broke out of my pen and ran....I ran as fast as I could into the woods.
I kept going back to the place where we were kept, looking to see if maybe one of my friends was there, maybe I could help them escape this horror too, but they weren’t there. I wasn't going to let them catch me....I had to protect my babies. I didn't know that the very next day, I was supposed to be picked up by a rescue, people who knew how to care for me and would love me. They searched and searched for me, but I was hiding, I didn't know what these people had in store for me. I found a place in the woods to have my babies and I tried really hard to protect them from the world out here. I was able to keep two of my babies alive, but I'm cold and hungry. I need someplace warm to keep them, the cold is coming. I went back to that awful place one more time and I smell something, there it was-food! I went in, and a door closed on me and my babies. I didn't really care because I was sooooo hungry.
They put us in a shed, there was straw and food....I sighed with relief that my babies and I were finally safe, we couldn't go outside, but we were safe.
After a couple of days, the food stopped coming, the water was empty. I would hear people outside, I would run to the door, are they coming with food for me? Maybe some water?....but it didn't come. Every day this would happen, and still nothing. My babies are hungry, they are my world, my sole existence is to protect and care for them. I continue to feed them, but I'm growing weaker, I'm hungry, I'm tired and thirsty. I hear people again, is today the day I will get a drink? Perhaps some food? The door is opening! Finally, they come in, but no food, no water. They take my babies!! They’re screaming, I'm trying to protect them, but I'm so weak, I can't do much. The door closes. I'm alone. It's dark, I'm cold, the straw is gone, I'm so hungry, and now my babies are gone. They were everything I was staying alive for and I'm crying, but no one is listening. I have protected them for the last 6 weeks, and now they are gone. Days later, the door opens and someone is coming in to feed me, but at this point, I can't walk anymore. I can't even open my mouth, I'm so cold. I hear one of the “shelter people” arguing with someone on the phone. I hear them saying something about a vet, but the people who have me are saying they can't do it because they have no money. I don’t even know what that is, all I know is that I desperately need help. Finally, I hear them say, we'll take her in the morning. I'm not sure what this means, but anywhere is better than where I’m at.
I’m not so sure that I can last until tomorrow morning, but I'm going to try. All I want is to see my babies, are they ok? I lost some in the woods, are these two girls now dead too? I can't complain, I can't even move. Maybe, this "vet" will have my babies so I can see them again.
Now I'm in this cold metal pen, people are sticking me, touching me, poking me with sharp things. I don't know what's going on, I can't move, my legs give out when I try to stand and my babies aren't here. I’m starting to think of giving up, I hurt, I'm starving, but I am still trying, just to see my babies. I hear the vet on the phone talking to someone. I hear him say he doesn't think I'll last through the night, and that he had never seen any animal, this thin, alive. Please, I just want to see my babies.
The next day, Miss Terry and her husband picked me up from the vet, and they found my babies! I'm in this crate, wrapped in a big soft blanket, in the car. Miss Terry whispers to me, look, we found your babies...holds one of my girls close to my pen, I see her! I see them both! I want to go to them, I want to love on them, but I'm so weak, and with all my might, I raise my head up to sniff them in the next crate. I lay down listening to their little grunts and watching over them. They're scared, but they’re alive! It was a long ride, actually hours and hours....but, I relaxed as I was watching, listening and smelling my babies.
Miss Terry brought me in the house, put me in a crate, and covered me up with another soft blanket. She pushed my crate next to a pen, and there they were, my babies. I could see them, we could touch noses through the bars. Miss Terry came in every 3 hours though the night, and had this thing that would put liquid in my mouth. It tasted good, Miss Terry would talk to me and pet me, is this love? I had never felt it before. I heard her talking to my babies. Her voice soothed me. Every time she came in, she would smile and talk to us. She would sit on the floor and pet me and talk to me while she was putting that thing in my mouth.
The next morning, Miss Terry came in, I still couldn’t move, I wanted to, but my malnourished body was too weak. I heard her say "good morning ladies" and I wiggled my ear, and even tried to smile for her.
This made Miss Terry smile....she knew I appreciated what she was doing. But even more, I loved what she was doing for my babies. It was the only thing I could do to thank her. Miss Terry left for work that day, and I looked at my babies, thankful that they were finally safe, all I wanted was for my babies to be safe.
I smiled one last time, and drifted off to sleep. I can leave now, everything I had been hoping for has come true. I'm loved, I'm safe and foremost, my babies will be loved and are safe. I know it’s time for me to leave. I passed away a couple of hours after Miss Terry left for work on Saturday December 8th 2018, despite every effort to save my life.
One last thing, this sweet girl only wanted her babies to be loved and they need homes. Please consider adopting one or both of these little angels. They are both females. You can message Spamala's Orphanage for Wayward Swine for more information and an application for adoption. Potential adopters will be thoroughly screened.
The pictures tell her story and what she had to survive through to keep her babies safe. The last photos are of her two little girls, both need homes. They are approximately 6-7 weeks old....Please help this mama's wish come true, and be the home she was wishing for-for her babies.
This is a true rescue story from Spamala's Orphanage for Wayward Swine (S.O.W.S.), yes, this actually happened. YES, the shelter seized these animals from an abusive situation and left them to be attacked and left a nursing mama pig to starve. The shelter is in Lincoln County Alabama. All of this occurred even after they had guidance from an experienced pig rescuer. Terry spoke to the shelter people multiple times letting them know to give mama extra feed while pregnant and nursing, not to take the babies from her until they were old enough to be weaned, etc. We could not believe that people, who claim to be animal lovers, could do this to these animals. They are in the process of getting names and numbers so that a campaign of writing letters can be started to prevent this from ever happening to any other animals. Miss Terry, and several who were involved in this rescue, have been crying all day. We do want to send a special thank you to Mo Money For Pigs, who jumped right in and help them with most of the vet bill, the remainder having been paid by the generous donations from others.. They are so grateful for the assistance for these pigs when they needed it so badly. This sort of thing happens all over the country at countless numbers of shelters, though some shelters are obviously better than others. We must stop it!
Please, S.O.W.S. needs your help to continue what they’re doing. They could use donations. Please go to their page, like the page and click on the donate button. It will help them to provide a good life for all the animals that are in their care now, as well as all the future ones! Ideally, they would love to build a new housing structure and get enough straw to last through the winter. You can also message them on their page & become a sponsor for one (or more) of their pigs. For just $25 a month, you can sponsor one of the pigs and every month you will receive a photo and a letter from your sponsored pig!
You can read more about this rescue by clicking here. A special thank you from MPI to Miss Terry and her husband for everything y’all did to help these precious piggies. We are incredibly sorry for your loss, but we are hopeful that her story will help other pigs in similar situations.
Pigs don’t belong in shelters.
We are well aware that you love your mini pig more than words can describe, hopefully you are taking your pig into the vet's office for regular vaccinations and/or veterinary care and you likely gush about the deep emotional feelings you have for your pig, as many of us do. But chances are, you may be overdoing it, overlooking important things and/or ignoring issues, in some cases. Here are 14 things we would really like the mini pig community to STOP doing.
From a breeder's website Naturally, they are wrong....it depends on your city's ordinance or animal laws/regulations, most "pets" are required to have routine vaccinations INCLUDING rabies since pigs can absolutely contract it and my city REQUIRES the rabies vaccine to be given. I am a firm believer in being proactive when it comes to the health of animals, so I DO believe that pigs should be seen at least once a year for a basic check up as well.
1. Getting medical advice from breeders.
Is your breeder smart? I don't know. Is your breeder knowledgeable about the health and well-being of your beloved piggy? Who knows?!? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to breed animals and it certainly doesn't require a DVM behind their name for them to think they know more about mini pigs and genetics linked to serious health issues depending on their breeding practices. Nonetheless, many of them don't have a clue about zoning ordinances, travel restrictions or basic care for pigs, so they likely have very little to offer in terms of medical advice. This isn't applicable to every single breeder, of course, but I would say that a breeder isn't qualified to give medical advice, just like anyone else who isn't a veterinarian. In one of the examples above, the blue letters discusses tusks in pigs. The information isn't accurate though, at least not all of it. ALL pigs do have tusks. However, contrary to what this person writes, the tusks can protrude more than 3 inches from the lip well before the 4th birthday in either sexed pig regardless of whether or not a pig is intact or the length of time that has passed before desexing a pig. This is more about genetics rather than opinions. Any pig has the ability to grow tusks just as long and sharp as the ones you see on tv though. It is thought that the tusk root in female pigs closes once they hit maturity, but the males tusk root never closes, so the tusks continue to grow throughout his lifetime.This is something that needs to be considered when you are thinking about adding a mini pig to your family.
Let me add, whether or not vaccinations will be given to a mini pig are often decided by the pig parent, although some cities require certain vaccinations be given in order to be in compliance with the city's ordinance. Rabies, for example, is not common in pigs and there is no "pig-approved" rabies vaccination available, but the rabies vaccination is often used "off-label" in pigs when a city ordinance requires a rabies vaccination. As with anything, some pigs may have a sensitivity to certain medications and may even have reactions to vaccinations, but this is a calculated risk and something you should discuss with your veterinarian. Other vaccinations are offered for pigs and you can read more about them by clicking here.
2. Replacing your veterinarian with Google or social media.
A Google degree is worthless and the unsafe and downright dangerous advice being given by other mini pig parents is not only irresponsible, but could also lead to your pigs death. If you search Google for answers to your pigs problem, you may find exactly what YOU think is wrong with your pig and possibly even what the treatment would entail, but this educational information should NOT be what you use to medically diagnosis and treat your pig because who knows if that's truly what's going on with your pig? Our website provides a lot of information about illnesses and diseases, but again, only a veterinarian, who has access to your pigs entire medical record and can physically assess your pig, should be telling you how to treat your pigs ailments.
I feel that the problem is even worse on Facebook, IG, Twitter, etc. Do you know the person who is giving you potentially life altering advice for your pig? Are they qualified to do so? What if they're wrong? I believe people use social media for a lot of healthy things, such as posting pictures to update friends and family, stay connected with people you haven't seen in a long time, make new friends, about situations you may be proud of or even venting about the ones that have you upset, but medical advice for your pet should NOT one one of them.
If you are looking for a vet that treats pigs, click here to view our veterinarian map. Establish a good relationship with your veterinarian early on so you can ensure your pig will have the best chance at a long & healthy life.
3. Following the feeding instructions on feed bags or from morally constipated breeders.
Since every pig is different in size and mobility, following "standard" feeding instructions on feed bags can cause your pig to be over or underfed. We recommend feeding your pig according to the body scoring chart because it demonstrates if a pig is receiving too much or too little food simply by the condition of their body. I have literally seen texts, emails and private messages from breeders to new pig parents giving them very specific instructions on feeding their pigs, ridiculous amounts like "11 pellets". Please do NOT follow advice like this that restricts a piglets diet to such minuscule amounts. Piglets need substantial nutrition, as this is the time when their body is growing and building the "foundation" for their future. Limiting their feed to small/unsubstantial amounts is potentially going to affect them for the rest of their lives, possibly even causing a lot of harm during this critical time in their lives. I am, by no means, saying that all pigs should be fat, but piglets specifically should not be skin and bones. They actually should be a little pudgy so they have the reserves to grow without causing them to look emaciated. And, body scoring charts are NOT to be used as a reference for pigs under a year old. Those charts are designed for maintaining healthy body shapes in pigs whose growth has slowed down. The first year of life is typically when pigs do 75% of their growing with the last 2-4 years at a much slower rate. (not all pigs, but most of them)
4. Feeding your pig whatever you want.
Pigs should be fed a feed designed and formulated for miniature pigs. Production pigs have different nutritional needs, dogs have different nutritional needs, humans have different nutritional needs. Your pig does NOT need donuts, potato chips, ice cream or other sugary/processed foods. Is the occasional bite of cake ok? Absolutely, but this must be limited to rare occasions and not a routine thing. Obviously those who choose an "all-natural" diet for their pigs are the exception, but you cannot pick & choose the foods that you give them, you must create a balanced diet. ALL nutritionally sound diets need to have all the major components of a balanced diet represented in what you have decided to feed them. (and this isn't recommended for novice pig parents at all.) Read more about nutrition by clicking here and healthy treats by clicking here.
5. Following food fads.
Just because your baby's daddy's best friend's aunt's cousin allegedly fed their pig something that was "organic" or "grain-free", that doesn't mean it's the best thing for YOUR pig and your pigs nutritional needs. Fads that are trendy for humans isn't what's best for our porcine pals. Stick to a solid reputable mini pig feed and fresh veggies. Sometimes these fad diet trends lack essential vitamins or nutrients that your pig really needs and by not feeding your pig a balanced diet, you could be jeopardizing your pigs future health.
6. Going overboard with treats.
Trust me when I say, I used to be just as guilty as others with regards to treats. Your pig will do the same spin, hoof shake and sit command for 1/4 of ONE Cheerio. Your pig will go outside in the cold or rain without you having to entice them to do so by throwing treats outside. Learn how to train your mini pig to follow commands using other methods of positive reinforcement such as clicker training and/or strick routines.
I hate scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and seeing mini pigs being fed pizza, ice cream, french fries and other human foods....these foods are not what's best for your pig. Again, moderation is key, the occasional bite of a special treat is ok, but the problems arise when newer piggy parents constantly see this and think it's normal to feed mini pigs a diet of junk food. If they don't have appropriate support systems in place or anyone to advise them differently, they end up with a 200 pound food aggressive mini pig by the time the pig is a year old and that is not ideal.
7. Not seeking veterinary care at the first sign of illness or injury.
Your pig may be just fine if you decide to hold off on veterinary care when you believe your pig doesn't feel good.....however, this does not come without consequences. Imagine your pig is sick and you wait several days before calling your vet and setting up an appointment. In the meantime, you have tried all the advice your new pig friends gave you, such as "give your pig 100% pure canned pumpkin", or coconut oil, but your pig passes away, before ever being seen by a vet. Later you find out the illness could've been easily treated with antibiotics and death could've been avoided all together. Can you live with that decision? As soon as your pig shows signs of being sick, such as not eating, drinking, peeing or pooping, you should call your vet. Period. We do have forms on the website that were created to help you collect important information about the clinical situation to give your vet in order to help, and you can download one of those forms by clicking here.
8. Turning down pet insurance.
"Exotic vets" can be pricey. The number of veterinarians who routinely see miniature pigs definitely do not outnumber the ones who see more traditional animals like cats and dogs, so essentially, they can charge what they want having very little competition to worry about. In my experience, I have found that to be the opposite..the vets that I have dealt with are extremely reasonably priced, but I do realize that isn't the case everywhere. Having pet insurance can soften that blow or sometimes even eliminate a costly vet bill in its' entirety. Does it hurt to get a quote? Not at all, it may be much more affordable than you think. Click here to learn about which companies offer mini pig insurance.
9. Quit buying pigs on a whim! Matter of fact, please consider rescuing a pig in need versus paying a breeder $1000's of dollars for the same pigs that are currently in rescues, shelters or in need of a new home.
Paying $1,000.00 or $5,000.00 is NOT going to get you a better pig than anyone elses. Period. End. of discussion. Many breeders customers pigs, which cost these families A LOT of money, are already living at pig rescues, sanctuaries and/or in animal control or posted on social media looking for new homes now. This isn't one of those "the pricier the pig, the better quality" type of thing. Genetically defective pigs, pigs with behavioral issues, along with pigs of all shapes, sizes and colors can be purchased from a breeder. I have seen short, tall, long, not-so-long, "behaviorally challenged", black, white, brown, orangish, striped, fat, skinny and every other adjective you can imagine come from breeders. I have seen the same types of pigs/piglets at pig rescues too. Possibly even a distant relative of the ones that someone paid a lot of money for. Pig rescues have pigs of all ages, shapes, colors and dispositions. They have piglets, they have "mature" pigs and GREAT pigs that would make awesome pets, pigs that would LOVE to be part of a family. Please consider this before rewarding someone for contributing to the already saturated mini pig market.
10. Not spaying and/or neutering your mini pig.
It is a well known fact that intact pigs do NOT make great pets. They're often unpredictable and usually display undesirable and aggressive behaviors which could all be eliminated by simply having your pig fixed. A lot of families no longer want the pig once these issues surface and look to find a more "suitable" home....what they don't understand is that spaying/neutering can rapidly change a pigs behavior and in turn, alter their life for the better while also avoiding costly medical issues that will most likely arise over years, such as uterine or testicular tumors, by simply having those organs removed early on during a routine spay/neuter procedure. Read more about the dangers of not spaying or neutering your pig by clicking here.
11. STOP calling your "mini pig" a breed!!!!!
"Mini pig" is NOT a breed! It is a adjective-based classification tool that's often used to differentiate between larger production type pigs and smaller breeds such as potbellied pigs or kunekune's. While I often have to argue with people about the existence of "mini pigs", if the context is appropriate in the use of the term miniature pig, meaning as compared to farm pigs, there absolutely are "mini pigs". There are NOT Teacup, Micro, Nano, Pixie, Designer, Apartment, Micro-Mini pigs and these adjectives are misleading and deceptive. Regardless, MINI pig is NOT a breed of pigs though. Click here to read more about actual breeds of pigs.
12. Quit allowing your pig to run all over you.
When your pig has you trained, it's a disaster waiting to happen. Work with your pig, teach your pig manners ad respect. Teach your pig tricks, do NOT allow your pig to choose dinner or breakfast times. The more this behavior is reinforced, the worse it's going to be. Read more about common behavioral issues in mini pigs by clicking here.
Training your pig is a bonding experience, it teaches them about the herd dynamics in YOUR home and also teaches them valuable lessons like respect and manners.
13. Stop purchasing underaged pigs.
Underaged piglets are already at a disadvantage because they were taken away from mama pig too soon. Not only can this be lead to high mortality rates (deaths), but your pig misses out on learning how to "be a pig!!" You can't teach your pig as another pig can. It's unethical for ANYONE to sell a "bottle baby", a pig that is still nursing or under 6-8 weeks old. Again, if you reward a breeder for poor breeding practices, they will continue to do it.
14. For God's sake, do NOT leave your pig and dog together unsupervised.
We have warned and warned and warned people about the dangers of prey versus predator types of relationships, but some just cannot imagine their dog doing anything to hurt their pig. Some of those same people come home one day to a dead pig because they elected to ignore those warnings. That's just dumb. Furthermore, don't tell others it's safe and perfectly acceptable to do so. Do NOT listen to people with NO pig experience who have no business advising new or potential pig parents about the care of pigs, especially when they claim it's perfectly acceptable and actually encourage people to keep the two together. This isn't an urban legend, this isn't some scare tactic everyone uses to somehow misguide or mislead people into thinking their beloved family dog who is 6 years old and "always friendly" could accidentally or unintentionally hurt pig, it is FACTS. They are facts because there have been hundreds, if not thousands of cases, when this has happened and it is 100% avoidable if you'd simply use safe methods to protect your mini pig when you cannot be there to supervise your pets. 100% avoidable! Dogs and Pigs should never-ever be left alone!
So, it really should've been 15 things we would like to see the pig community stop doing because as the day went on, someone brought something else to our attention which does warrant mentioning here.
STOP ATTACKING EACH OTHER! We all make up the mini pig community. All the pig parents, all the pig rescues, rescuers, people who transport and yes, even the breeders. When one group of people blatantly attacks other, we all lose. If it's not bad enough for the general public to say ugly things like those people let gross farm animals live in their homes, we cannot even tolerate and respect each other, so we will never gain respect from the people outside of our own community if we cannot respect ourselves. I get it, sometimes there are inflammatory comments that hit a nerve, or a truly ignorant comment, but you can make someone feel small in a respectable way without dropping the "F" bomb. Education is key. Don't argue, teach. Every moment you spend arguing with someone who already knows it all is a missed opportunity to teach people something. I also realize this completely contradicts statements I made above, in terms of being respectful to one another, but I do not feel I was disrespectful with my wording, I feel like I was blunt and honest. (others may feel differently though) Every one of us have made mistakes, all of us have learned something from each other, and we were all new to pigs at one time or another. People who simply don't know come to us for answers, not to be belittled. If you have a personal issue with someone, keep it personal. Don't encourage an entourage of people to harass and bash someone else. Don't join in on hateful conversations based on information you don't know to be factual. Assumptions are just that, facts are proven results. Don't hate someone based on another persons feelings, make your own judgement call. There are a lot of people that I don't personally care for, but I don't demand that my friends dislike them to in order to stay friends with me, that's ridiculous.
Think of these 3 simple things when responding to a post or comment.
1. Is it true?
2. Is it kind?
3. Is it necessary?
If the answer to any of those questions is no, move along and keep your comments to yourself.
Don't be mean for the sake of being mean. Handle things privately as long as you can and handle situations with dignity and grace. Other people don't seek help from hateful people and you cannot bully anyone into your beliefs.
In closing, I would like to add that Mini Pig Info was created as a strictly educational website. We do NOT sell pigs, matter of fact, we don't sell anything. We don't provide unnecessary registries for pigs, no certificates, no merchandise, but we do offer solid educational information and we are always here to assist you on you and your family's journey with your porcine family member. Our goal isn't to become the "authority" on mini pigs or for notoriety of any kind. We are a team of people who love pigs and want to help other pig parents by providing a place for them to find accurate and credible information about the health, training and care of their pigs. Our efforts are genuine and our love for pigs is pure. I say all this to say that just because we don't create articles and pages on our website designed to make us appear to be "leaders" of the mini pig community, that doesn't make the information any less credible than any others who are attempting to do just that. We would prefer that you take that money you might spend on an unnecessary registration or membership and donate it to a pig rescue, Mo Money For Pigs or simply use it to care for your own pig. I know we have a lot to offer those who want to be helped, and we are more than happy to do so. If you have questions, feel free to message us on our Facebook page or email.
Things We Would Love To See Changed In The Mini Pig Community