How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since I brought home my very first baby mini pig.

The whole process was a shock to my system, much like having your first baby.

Now I have three mini pigs and like having more children, it is a little bit easier, but always an adventure.

I’d like to add to it by sharing with you my best care tips for raising mini pigs. After having 4 years of experience now and see how they change from babies to adults.

Right now I own three mini pigs. My male Bentley who is 4, female Olive who is 4 and Piper who is 1.

From the quick Tiktok video above ( I love TIKTOK, if you are on it let’s be friends!) mini pigs don’t stay mini.

We rescued Olive from a local adoption shelter near us. She has always been smaller than our male.

Piper we rescued from a friend who couldn’t keep her anymore. She was told Piper was mixed with Juliana.

I’m pretty sure Olive who we adopted is Juliana.

For me, Piper is looking exactly how Bentley was at that age- I think she’s gonna be a big girl.

The fact is, they don’t stay mini. These pigs have some girth. But their personalities do stay loving. Keep in mind no matter what you’ve been told about your mini pig, no one knows for sure the size it will get.

FACT: Mini Pigs don’t stop growing until the age of 4-5.

They Watch You- Be Careful

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

Mini pigs are smart. You’ve probably heard that but wouldn’t actually believe it to the full extent until you raise one yourself.

Keeping Bentley inside until he was 2, he knew what cupboards had food. He knew if he squealed at 5 am every morning he would get his breakfast.

The key is to train them. From a young age do not let the pig be top hog. You are the top hog. That means if your piggy is squealing at 5 am, you are going to have a few brutal days of letting him/her cry it out.

I will say as the pigs get older that squealing for food does stop. Bentley used to do it, now he just bites chunks of wood of his pen door while I get the food ready.

Piper our youngest she still squeals- but she knows it doesn’t make me go any faster and she still gets fed last.

They know if you leave the pen door slightly open or if you didn’t latch it fully. They know where all the food is and can easily flip huge bins of food over. They know how to get lids off and open things.

They are smart.

And it’s one of the best things about owning mini pigs. With that in mind it’s a blast to train them.

You can Train them Like a Dog

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

Yep, you can train your mini pig to do tricks. Again like my first child, I was all about sign language home made baby food, baby books etc. With our first mini pig I was all about training.

Plus he was in the house. Now all three pigs are in the barn.

It is important to train them whether they stay outside full time or inside. They need to know their boundaries.

The tricks all three of my pigs know are sit, circle, come, inside.

You can teach them basic commands. It’s a good idea to make your pig do something for their food, before just giving it to them.

Bentley- my biggest boy, is always the first one to sit and stare at me as soon as I enter the pen with food. Even though he knows he goes outside to eat from his treat ball. Why? Well he’s adorable! And because he knows he has to do something for food, and he wants his food right away.

I also taught Bentley to play a kids piano. He would go for daily walks before we expanded the outdoor pen, and all I would have to say is ” Bentley go to your pen and there he goes.” I lured him every time and still do with these pig treats.

They are strong- Pallet Fence

This leads me to why we stick with pallet fencing. First it was free. So that usually would be enough, but the pigs can root up so many things and are so strong. It’s amazing what they can flip with their snout.

Pallet fencing has worked wonders. You can see how we did it in this post here.

Long Life

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

Pot belly pigs have an average lifespan of 15-20 years. That is a long commitment- again like our children. Really give it a good though if you are willing to commit to the animal this long. There are too many mini pigs being dropped off at shelters all over, because of misinformation.

If you are considering a mini pig- adopt one. We got Olive when she was a year and a half old and her personality is so sweet. We missed out on the crazy toddler stage and that’a good thing. They will bond to you no matter the age. It’s all in their personality.

For my locals in New York- we got Olive from Lollipop farms. I wrote about her first day with us here.

Babies Won’t Cuddle Immediately- Like a Dog

I talk more about this in my dos and dont’s with a mini pig– but they aren’t like a puppy when you bring home a baby mini pig. They are terrified. It takes time and patience before they warm up to you.

The good news is once they do it’s like riding a bike- it comes natural every time they see you.

As mini pigs grow that constant need for attention changes. They are more mature about it. For example when I’m out petting the older pigs our one year old pig will still be a brat and act like she should be the only one to be pet.

They learn as they grow. If they tend to nip or head swipe over this- that behavior needs to be corrected right away.

The older pigs will usually care less and walk away and let the little one get the attention.

Tired of your pigs ripping up all the blankets? You need this.

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

Keep in mind to always bring food to them when you are getting to know a new pig. They love food and it will teach them to be excited when they see you.

Things we started with ere raisins and cheerios, cut up carrots.

Now this bag of treats gets my pigs no matter the age to do whatever I want.

They love water

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

If you aren’t sure some of the odd things pigs love, check out my 9 things you didn’t know pigs love here. One of them is water. You will want to have a kiddie pool for your piggy. Pigs don’t sweat and to keep cool they will roll in mud or soak in the pool.

Depending on where you live your mud may be too dried our or your pig may not be a big fan of rooting. A kiddie sixze

Adrienne Kruzer, BS, RVT, LVT, has worked with a variety of animals for over 15 years, including birds of prey, reptiles, and small mammals.

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How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

Pot bellied pigs have been gaining in popularity for several years. Many celebrities have owned pot bellied pigs and in 2010 vouchers for Royal Dandie Miniature pet pigs (pigs that stay under 40lbs.) were even given away to some at the Golden Globes. These little piglets are becoming popular! The reasons why pot bellied pigs and other pet pigs are so popular are numerous, but one thing can’t be ignored — they sure are cute!

Lifespan

12-18 years (but sometimes over 20 years)

Normal Body Temperature

99.3 degrees Fahrenheit (you can easily check this with a thermometer from the drug store) rectally

There are a few different varieties of pot bellied pigs and they are classified by their size. Breeders disagree on names for sizes, the appropriate weight of said sizes, and whether or not you can achieve a healthy “teacup” or “mini” pig so there are many varieties. The height of different kinds of pigs also plays a role in determining what title they are assigned.

The kinds of pot bellied pigs below may be called different things depending on the breeder, rescue, or organization. If you are purchasing anything other than the regular pot bellied pig, be sure the pigs are not just malnourished or underfed to achieve a desired weight and size. Some breeders will breed young pigs who aren’t full grown to make it look like their “adult” parents are small since pot bellied pigs don’t fully mature until they are 2-3 years of age. Most pot bellied pig experts say there is no healthy way to have a pig smaller than 50 lbs. and if you do have a small pig their lifespan will be greatly reduced to only a few years since their health has been compromised in the breeding process. Needless to say, there is much debate in the pig world on this topic.

  • Pot bellied pigs, Pot belly pigs, Vietnamese pot bellied pigs, Chinese pot bellied pigs, and sometimes referred to as Miniature pot bellied pigs — about 125 lbs. to over 200 lbs. and 16 to 26 ” tall
  • Miniature pot bellied pigs (certain breeders) — 35 to 60 lbs. and 15 to 16″ tall
  • Teacup pot bellied pigs — 35 to 45 lbs. and 14.5″ tall
  • Toy pot bellied pigs — 35 to 40 lbs. and 14″ tall
  • Royal Dandies — About 29 to 39 lbs.
  • Micro Mini Pigs — 18 to 30 lbs. and 10 to 12.5″ tall
  • Dandie Extremes — About 12 to 29 lbs.
  • Mini Julianas — 15 to 28 lbs. and 8 to 12.5″ tall

Other names for different sizes of pigs exist but these are the most commonly seen varieties.

Watch Now: Pet Pigs–Cute Names and Fun Facts

Pigs are very easily overfed. Many full grown pot bellied pigs (of all sizes) are obese simply due to overeating. Although weight can vary from pig to pig, there are some key signs that your pig is overweight. For example, if a fat roll covers your pig’s eyes then he is overweight. Your vet will help you decide what the ideal weight for your pig is based on his height and body condition.

As a basic rule of thumb, piglets can be fed regular pot bellied pig chow starting at 3 weeks of age (but you shouldn’t be getting a piglet until they are at least 6 weeks of age). 2 cups of pig chow is a good starting point but you should be adjusting this amount if your pig is too fat or too thin. Most people recommend free feeding throughout the day but others still prefer the two meals a day method.

25% percent of your pig’s total diet can consist of vegetables (limit the starchy veggies) and fruit should only be offered in very small quantities since it is high in natural sugars. Use this basic guideline of what to feed your adult pot bellied pig:

  • High quality, low protein, low fat, high fiber pot bellied pig pellets — roughly 1/2 cup per 25 lbs. daily (but most adult pigs eat about 2 cups a day)
  • Fresh, non-starchy vegetables (such as cucumbers, peppers, and carrots) to make up 25% of the total daily diet
  • 1 children’s chewable multi-vitamin daily
  • Allow rooting in untreated soil for necessary iron and selenium (or supplement if your area is deficient — consult a vet first)
  • Alfalfa hay or bran can be added to the diet to increase fiber if necessary

Remember to not overfeed, do not feed chocolate or salty foods, do not feed fatty foods (especially animal fats), do not feed dog or cat food, don’t offer food directly from the fridge (they will learn how to open it), and make your pig work for their food by putting it in a ball or pan with dirt to root in.

Basic Care

  • Pot bellied pigs are usually kept indoors but they do need time to run around outside and root in the unfertilized dirt. This will help them get the necessary exercise, nutrients from the soil that they need, and prevent constipation from not moving around enough.
  • They only sweat through their snout so your pig’s nose may be wet if he is hot.
  • If your pig stops eating take him to the vet as this is never normal.
  • While living indoors, provide your pig with a space of their own and pig proof your house as you would for a toddler. A tent or sleeping box are popular options for indoor pig owners.
  • You can easily potty train your pig to use a litter box or go outside like you would a dog but do not use treats as a reward. Praise is all your pig needs for a potty time.
  • Provide your pig with an indoor rooting box with large river pebbles and a treat to make him move the rocks around and find the treat.
  • All pigs should be spayed and neutered by your exotics vet.

Pot bellied pigs are great pets for the right person but be sure to check with your local laws prior to acquiring one.

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How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

Potbellied pigs aren’t difficult to care for or look after, but they do need regular grooming, occasional ear and eye cleaning, dental care, tusk and hoof care, and socialization and enrichment.

Grooming

Grooming can be the best way to get to know your pigs and maintain a positive relationship with them. They have bristles instead of fur, but pigs still require regular brushing to remove loose hair; exfoliate dry, flaky skin; and improve circulation. Potbellied pigs are native to humid, tropical climates, so it’s common to see dry, itchy skin. Pigs can shed bristles in the summer and grow them back in the winter. To ensure that your pigs have the best possible coat, brush them regularly and feed a healthy, balanced diet.

Ear and eye cleaning

Potbellied pigs often require ear and eye cleaning, and these vulnerable areas must be kept clean to prevent infection and make the pig more comfortable. Teary eyes and waxy ears can be common for potbellied pigs, and having a positive relationship with your pigs will allow you to clean their ears and eyes without stressing them out. Use soft towels or pieces of gauze to clean these areas, because fingers or cotton swabs can cause injuries or discomfort.

Dental care

Pigs can get cavities and tartar, and they can even break teeth. Your veterinarian should be comfortable sedating your pigs and giving them a regular dental and polish. A healthy, balanced diet with little or no processed human food can keep your pigs’ teeth healthy.

Tusk and hoof care

All pigs can grow tusks, but only male pigs require regular trimming of their tusks. All pigs require hoof trimming from time to time, although active pigs do not need hoof trims as regularly as more sedentary pigs. Talk to your veterinarian (who should be someone experienced with caring for pigs) about how to get your pig’s tusks and hooves trimmed.

At Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, our pigs get a regular “spa day.” After sedating the pigs, we trim their tusks and hooves, and do a dental checkup. While tusk and hoof trimming can be done when pigs are awake, the procedures take patience, practice and more time than when a pig is sedated. The downside to sedating a pig for hoof and tusk trimming is that it can be expensive.

It is a good idea to periodically examine your pig’s feet while you’re grooming or giving a belly rub. In some pigs, the pads of the feet can separate from the hoof wall or become infected. It’s important to catch these problems early to prevent them from getting worse.

Socialization

You should handle your pigs regularly so they are accustomed to being touched and so you know what’s normal for your pigs and what’s not. When you’re brushing or relaxing with them, rub their bellies and touch their toes, ears, tails, eyes and snouts to get them familiar with handling.

If they feel safe with you, they should let you do these activities with no issue. If they show signs of not feeling safe, take your time and use the “approach and retreat” method so your pigs become more comfortable with you handling them. Here’s what to do:

  1. Move your hand toward a pig’s toes, and if he lets you touch them, do so briefly and then retreat.
  2. Repeat a few times and then see if you can hold his toes.
  3. Repeat a few times and then see if you can examine or manipulate his toes.

All the while, be aware of your pig’s body language. If he seems uncomfortable at any point, back up to the previous step.

You can use the principles of relationship-based training with your pigs to create lifelong trust and confidence. Using relationship-based training principles and clicker training, you can teach your pigs to go into a crate, meet new people politely, and enter and exit a vehicle.

Enrichment

As part of their daily care, pigs need both physical and mental stimulation. Treat balls (aka food puzzles) intended for dogs can be used for pigs. They provide mental stimulation because the pet has to figure out how to get the treats out of the ball. Instead of kibble, use potbellied pig pellets, unsalted almonds or small pieces of dehydrated veggies.

Another way to provide enrichment is to toss pellets, bits of dehydrated fruit or veggies (with no added sugar), and unsalted almonds around the pig’s enclosure several times a day. Try doing this after the pig finishes breakfast and dinner, as well as once in the middle of the day, as a lunchtime snack. The activity of looking for the treats provides the pig with both physical and mental exercise. And it helps to satisfy pigs’ innate desire to root around.

Lianne McLeod is a veterinarian and epidemiologist who previously had a small animal veterinary practice. She has 11 years of experience covering pets.

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

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Potbellied pigs have individual personalities, but initially many baby pigs (called piglets) often do not like to be held or touched. Usually, baby pigs grow up to enjoy being near the people they bond with. At first, piglets can be quite aloof or fearful, especially if they have not been well socialized by their breeder.

Socializing and Training Baby Pot Bellied Pigs

Even well-socialized potbellied pigs may take a while to learn to trust their owners. When you bring a baby pig home, you first need to gain their trust in order to have them accept you handling them.   Then work on training basic behaviors (such as leash walking and house training). You must also learn how to restrain your pot-bellied pig so necessary grooming and medical care can be done as needed. Although most pigs quickly outgrow their dislike of being picked up, it is worthwhile to get them used to being picked up as they will be more willing to be handled and restrained if they are used to being carried.

Positive reinforcement is the key to success with most pets, including pot-bellied pigs.   They won’t respond well to force or punishment. To a pig, the most obvious kind of positive reinforcement is food. Most pigs will be happy to work for small treats such as raisins, small pieces of apple or other fruit, or even pieces of their regular rations. When you are trying to tame a stubborn piglet, you may even want to hand feed them all of their food, since the quickest way to a pig’s heart is through their stomach. Obesity is a common problem so keep treat foods to a minimum and make sure you are not overfeeding your pig during training.  

Bonding With a New Baby Pot Bellied Pig

When you bring your new baby pig home they will probably be very nervous and scared. Be patient. You will want to keep your pig in a small, confined area until they are more comfortable in their new home.   Let your pig explore; once they seem less apprehensive, try to get them to approach you by tempting them with food. Sit on the floor with your pig and offer a bit of food (for piglets, it is probably best to just use their regular food for most of the training) to entice them. At first, you may need to put the food on the floor in front of you and gradually work up to your piglet taking the food from your hand. Do this repeatedly over the course of the first few days at home. Have everyone in the family have a turn so that the piglet can bond with all the family members.

Once your piglet is comfortable being near you and taking food from your hand, you can reach out and try to scratch your piglet gently under their chin or along their sides. Move slowly and speak calmly and gently to your pig. Remember to give treats as you do this and your piglet will eventually realize this is a pleasant experience. Move at a pace that your piglet is comfortable with. If they resist being scratched or pet, back off a bit until they are more accepting.

There is a fine line between spending enough time with your piglet and spending too much time with them. While you will want to get to know your pig and gain their trust, you will also want to make sure you do not lavish too much attention on your baby or they will come to expect attention all the time. This is also true of using food as a training tool. In addition to offering your pig food, be sure to spend time with your pig without giving treats. Otherwise, they may start to expect or demand food constantly. Keep the bonding and training sessions short and regular, with breaks to give your baby pig time to rest and develop the ability to entertain themselves a bit too.

Picking up a Baby Pot Bellied Pig

Generally, pigs do not like to be held or picked up.   When a pig feels threatened, they will squeal loudly.   Even though you may be trying to pick up a baby pig to cuddle, the baby pig may be scared and squeal. Over time your piglet will bond with you and they will eventually trust that you are not going to hurt them.

Once your pig is used to being handled and scratched, try to entice them to sit in your lap. If your piglet has a favorite blanket you can put it on your lap and encourage your baby pig to lie in your lap. Once your pig will climb into your lap willingly, gradually work from petting their body to eventually gently wrapping your arms around them. Then start to apply gentle pressure with your arms while holding your pig. You’ll want to cradle your piglet gently but firmly. Hold them against your body so they feel secure. Continue to pet, talk gently to your baby pig, and give them treats (having a helper to feed treats while you try to cradle your pig works well). Once your pig is okay with being cradled, try and lift them up a bit. If they squeal or scream for more than three seconds back off and work on just holding them longer. Do this slowly and be persistent. Offer treats and distract your pig while you are picking them up. Repeat this process three times each day until your pig is okay with being picked up.

Teaching a piglet to be picked up can be difficult since it requires teaching them something that they naturally do not like to do. If you are patient and remember that training is a gradual process, you and your piglet will be happier in the end.

In case of emergency such as an orphaned piglet or litter, harmed piglet, or unsafe mom/environment, intervention may be needed to save a litter or a piglet. It is not recommended or acceptable to remove a piglet or litter from the sow unless it is to save a life.

  • In the first 24 hours of a piglet’s life it is essential that it gets the first milk or colostrum from mother. This milk increases a piglet’s protection against bacteria and viruses. If a piglet or litter has been orphaned and the mother is unable to provide the colostrum a colostrum replacer or goat’s colostrum are the best choice for feed the first 24-48 hours of life.
  • The piglet or piglets are unable to produce their own body heat, so they must have a heat source that will keep them 85-90 degrees with no drafts. A heat lamp or heating pad are a good source. Straw bedding, small blankets that will not trap the piglet can also provide warmth. Their area must be kept dry and warm.
  • Piglets need feeding every 1-2 hours the first 24-48 hours allowing the piglet to take in what it can of the colostrum.
  • Bottle feeding is never recommended. Pan or syringe feeding is the preferred method to deliver the colostrum. Bottle feeding is associated with a risk of aspiration that can lead to respiratory issues, such as pneumonia which can be fatal quickly.
  • Syringe feeding can be done slowly and gentle, but never forcing the colostrum into the piglets mouth. Gentle, slow drops of colostrum and measuring the consumption and times to track intake.
  • Pan feeding is a preferred method that may take a bit of persistence and patience, but safer intake of colostrum and eventually milk replacer or goat’s milk.
  • To initiate pan feeding simply dip your finger in the colostrum and apply to piglets mouth. Try this over and over allowing the piglet to take the colostrum from you finger while drawing the piglet closer to the shallow dish. Bring the piglet close enough over time so that the snout is over the dish and the piglet can be lead to dip a snout in and drink. If this method is not effective you can be more direct and dip the piglet’s snout into the pan of colostrum 2-3 times. If you have a piglet that is successfully pan feeding allow it to teach the others.
  • Once the piglet or piglets have received the 24-48 hours of colostrum or colostrum replacer they can receive goat’s milk. This can be fresh goat’s milk or the canned or powered from the grocery. All species milk replacer from the feed or farm supply store is also a good choice for supplementing. Again, this should be from a shallow dish and offered every 2-3 hours.
  • Infant rice cereal can be added to the milk to gradually thicken over time and add extra nutrients. By the end of 4-5 weeks of pan feeding that milk can be thickened with cereal to the consistency of oatmeal. Thickening can ease the transition to pellets.
  • At 3-5 weeks pellets can be added to the milk and cereal and dissolved to form a mash, allowing the piglets to get a taste for the pellets. Gradually cut back on the amount of milk/cereal leaving only pellets over time.

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

Pot-bellied pigs are beginning to become so fashionable and they are already kept as companion animals worldwide. Many Pot-bellied pig owners actually live in flats and take their porky friends for walks through the streets. If you are thinking of buying one of these precious pigs, you have to know some things about them and one of the very important things is to know what to feed a pot-bellied pig to ensure its correct nutrition and well-being.

Pot-bellied pigs really are pigs, but it is not recommended that you feed them swill – which is more suited for livestock. That’s because swill basically serves as a food to fatten pigs.

The best food to feed a pot-bellied pig is feed for horses, as it has plenty of fiber and it’s low in fat. There are also other commercial pre-packed food in many pet shops and specialized shops that are specifically designed for this animal.

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

Pigs are omnivores, so they can also eat some fresh food. As long as it only accounts to one quarter of your pot-bellied pig’s diet, you can give it vegetables such as carrots, green leaved vegetables, cucumber and even potato. Some fruit every now and then can be fed to them but only as a treat as they have a high percentage of sugar.

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

If you want to give your pot-bellied pig some extra fiber, you can feed it some hay too as a supplement to their diet.

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

It is also vitally important to know what you shouldn’t feed your pig. Never give it chocolate or pre-packed food for human consumption due to its high salt content. It’s also important you limit the dosage of starchy vegetables if you want to keep your pot-bellied pig healthy.

It’s very important for the pig’s water to always be clean, as they dirty the water quickly because their snouts are often dirty too.

If this article has been useful for you and your little porker, we’d love to hear your opinion and / or experience.

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

If you want to read similar articles to What To Feed A Pot-Bellied Pig, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

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How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

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Dry skin is a problem many people and their pets battle, especially during the winter. Potbellied pigs lack the fur that many of our other mammalian exotic pets have and are also prone to dry skin but not all products to combat dryness are safe to use on them.

Most pigs have what we would consider dry skin and it’s not necessarily problematic but if your pig is itchy it may indicate a bigger problem.   Make sure your pig’s diet is appropriate, your house isn’t too arid, bathe them only when necessary, and occasionally apply lotion to your pig and you shouldn’t need to do to anything more to keep their skin healthy and hydrated.

Causes

One of the most common reasons for dry skin in potbellied pigs is a lack of humidity in their environment.   Potbellied pigs spend the majority of their lives indoors where our houses are purposely kept dry to avoid mold issues. Due to the lack of humidity in the environment though, pot-bellied pigskin can suffer the consequences and dry out. Dry outside air can also contribute to dry skin if your pig spends time outdoors.

Another common reason for dry skin is a skin parasite infestation.   Mites, also often referred to as mange, are common in pet pigs. These itchy ectoparasites will cause rough, scaly skin and your pig will be very itchy. The skin will often become red, inflamed, and may even bleed if your pig scratches hard enough.

A poor diet can also contribute to dry skin on your pig.   If your pig gets a lot of junk food and lacks the essential vitamins and minerals in their diet their skin may be dry. Nutrition plays a vital role in many bodily functions, including natural skin moisture.

Stripping natural moisture off of your pot-bellied pig’s skin can also happen if you are using a harsh shampoo or bathing them too often.

Treatment

Depending on the reason for your pot-bellied pig’s dry skin you should be able to easily remedy the issue. If the flaking is mild and more of an annoyance for you than a health problem for your pig, you can simply take a wet towel and wipe away the excess skin flakes weekly. If you want to bathe your pot-bellied pig on occasion, an oatmeal-based or coconut oil-based pet shampoo is safe to use and is non-drying.

If your pig’s dry skin is bad enough that you need to do something about it, you can start by using a lotion. An aloe-based lotion or Avon Skin So Soft™ are popular options with potbellied pig owners. Coconut oil can also be liquefied and applied to their skin.  

Increasing the humidity in the environment in which your pig lives is a simple solution to battle dry skin as well.   If you can’t increase the humidity in your entire house, room humidifiers are good options for areas where your pot-bellied pig spends most of its time.

If a dietary issue is suspected as the cause of your pig’s dry skin, make sure your pig is getting a large variety of vegetables, a small amount of fruit, and a formulated pig food daily. If after making a dietary change you find that the skin is not what you had hoped for, you can add in some vitamin E oil to their food. 400 IU’s of vitamin E is an often recommended amount and you should be sure not to give your pig too much of this fat-soluble vitamin.   Otherwise, look into purchasing a supplement designed for potbellied pigs with omega-3 fatty acids in them.

If skin mites are causing dry skin you must get rid of the mites before you will see an improvement in skin health. Ivermectin or doramectin treatments will be needed to effectively rid your pig of those pesky mange mites.   Some people opt to treat at home by purchasing medication from a farm supply store or online while others prefer to have their exotics vets provide the treatments.

How to care for a miniature potbellied pig

The Miniature Pot-Bellied Pig or pot bellied pig is intelligent, clean, affectionate, playful, easily trained and odor free. The Miniature Pot-Bellied Pig is a victim of the exotic animal fad problem. A 150 pound animal is not easily gotten rid of. Most shelters will not take pigs. Many pig rescue groups have attempted to fill the need for these unloved and abandoned pets. I cannot think of a nice way to put this, but many of these unwanted pets end up in the icebox.

The Miniature Pot-Bellied Pig first entered the pet industry here in the United States in 1985. They originated from Vietnam and China. They quickly became popular. Many families that have a pet pig love their pig and would never part with them. I can certainly see why after seeing how affectionate and smart they are. They are very easily trainable. They quickly become part of the family. They will live in your house and sleep with you in your bed.

A miniature pig is a wonderful animal they do have a few drawbacks as pets. If you allow them to live in the house with you be prepared to live with some destruction. You know that silk blouse you just bought? The pig redesigned it for you. Remember the food that used to be in the refrigerator? It has been relocated. They have a never-ending quest for food. They have strong rooting instincts. A good way to satisfy these instincts is to give him a place to satisfy these rooting urges. A place in the yard that can be his own to dig up as he pleases.

Another drawback of the pig being a pet, most pigs do not bite; however, there are some that are going to bite. They have very sharp canine teeth and very powerful jaws that can inflict very serious damage. If you have children, or are, ever planning to have a child in the next 18 to 20 years a Miniature Pot-Bellied Pig is not a good choice as a pet. If you do have children supervise the child and pig 100% of the time.

Purchasing a pig
Before you even look around and take the chance of falling in love with a sweet little piglet. Think about where you are going to keep this animal. Are you planning to keep him in the house? Now, please imagine a 150-lb animal sitting in the recliner. He will be getting into your stuff and tearing it to shreds.

Do you have a safe place in the yard to keep him? The proper temperature for a pig is seventy degrees. If you build a pen for the pig, it will need to be of adequate size. The pen will also need a heat source to keep the temperature above 70 degrees. The pig will have to be kept cool if the weather gets warm. Pigs do not perspire and need to cool off with water. This is why through the ages pigs have been depicted as wallowing in mud. They need to cool off. If it gets cool out they need a warm place to sleep and live. He could live in an extra bedroom with a litter box. If he lives in the house, he will need a pool outside to cool down in. There are many things to consider!

Toilet Training
Pigs can be trained to eliminate outside or they can be trained to use a litter box. I just as soon not clean a litter pan of a 150-lb animal. It is a good idea to train them to do one or the other so they do not become confused. Most likely, they will catch on to using both methods on their own.

When you first bring your pet pig home, confine him to a small area. Take him outside frequently, at least every couple of hours and after eating and waking up. When he does go, praise him, and tell him what a good piggy he is. This will establish a routine and he will quickly catch on. Never punish your pig. When he has an accident and you catch him in the act, gently scold him by saying no and take him outside. Clean the soiled area with vinegar or a pet stain and odor remover so he does not return to that spot again because of the odor.

Nutrition
There is commercially prepared Miniature Pot-Bellied Pig food available. Feed this along with vegetables and fruits. Pigs like humans enjoy variety. Make sure he has plenty of fresh water available to him at all times.

Grooming
Miniature Pot-Bellied Pig does not need a bath very frequently. Their skin has a tendency to dry out and is sensitive. Use a mild shampoo. They should be brushed everyday with a soft bristle brush. This is also an excellent time to bond with him. They do need to have their hooves trimmed on a regular basis. Male pigs have husks; these will need to be trimmed also.

Vaccinations
There are several vaccinations your pig will need. At six weeks of age, he will need an atrophic rhinitis, erysipelas, leptospirosis, and transmissible gastroentertis. The pig will have to receive booster shots again at nine weeks and six months. Then the boosters will be needed once a year.

Legal Issues
This could be a potential problem. Many areas consider the Miniature Pot-Bellied Pig as livestock. If your are is not zoned for livestock your out of luck. Check on the regulations before you consider a purchase.

Summary
Pigs are intelligent and can make a wonderful pet for some people. They can become an entertaining and a very loving pet. Many people mistakenly think of the Miniature Pot-Bellied Pig as a small pig. Only when they are babies! The average weight of a miniature pig is 125 lbs. Pigs are sensitive but can also be very stubborn and headstrong. They also become bored and very destructive. Pigs can become territorial and become quite aggressive.

It is important to know the many downfalls as well as the advantages. Exotic pets often are not what people expect and quickly become bored and disillusioned with their pet. If you are interested in purchasing a Miniature Pot-Bellied Pig, please do a complete job of researching this animal. Above all else enjoy your pot bellied pig!

Anytime you are considering an exotic pet, or any pet for that matter, you truly need to know as much as possible about the pet. My articles are brief overviews of the pet. There are a number of books on the market that claim authority about the animal. It takes diligence to weed out the bad to mediocre books to find the book or books that will help you the most.

Pot-Bellied Pet Pigs: Mini-Pig Care And Training

Pot Bellies and Other Miniature Pigs (Complete Pet Owner’s Manual)

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