Tips to Properly Care for Your New Pig!
27 May, 2015
Pigs can be great pets and provide your home with joy and laughter. Pigs are better suited for homes (not apartments) so they can have some room outside and inside. Pigs are not ideal for small children as they can be intimidating to your kids. Pigs are clean pets, very healthy and with a little love, care and the proper housing, they can thrive and become a happy member of your family.
Pigs are mostly outdoor pets
While some pigs enjoy being inside the house, they also require outdoor time to root around, relax in the sun. Pigs acquire certain critical nutrients from soil and therefore must be given an opportunity to be outdoors. You can keep your pig outside during the day and allow him to sleep inside at night. While outdoors, your pig will need to be protected from the elements. Provide your pig with a properly secured yard, a house with bedding and with an overhead shelter like a tarp or canopy to protect him from the sun, wind and rain. If given a choice, some pigs prefer to live outdoors, so need to provide a proper outdoor home.
Pigs need a certain enclosure for sleeping
Many pet owners use doghouses or a shed for their pigs to sleep in outdoors. If your pig sleeps indoors, he or she should have his own cozy bed filled with bedding, a large crate or a children’s play tent are all good. Pigs living indoors need comfortable soft bedding. Outdoor houses can be packed with straw or hay.
You should plan ahead and ‘pig-proof’ your home
As you would for any pet, make sure that household cleaning products, insecticides, medicines, lighter fluid and other toxins are out of reach. Remove plants that could harm your pig. Take potted indoor plants off the floor and don’t leave handbags within reach. Pigs love lipstick and chewing gum! If needed, secure your cabinets with childproof locks. Avoid feeding your pig out of the refrigerator…if your pig learns to open the fridge door, you might have to install a latch! Tape up computer, telephone and electrical wires where possible. We recommend that pigs be kept away from open swimming pools as you would with dogs.
Pigs get along great with cats
Pigs and cats have been known to get along great. Dogs, however, are another story, and it is best to separate your pig from your dogs. While your small dog may eventually get along with your pig, they must always be closely supervised. As tame as your dog may be, keep in mind that dogs are natural predators of pigs and can turn on pig even years after living together. A dog can easily kill a pig. Don’t leave your pig and dog unattended.
Pigs tends to thrive on grains and protein
You should feed your pig a combination of grains and protein. Pigs love corn, barley, wheat; the rest of his or her diet should consist of protein-rich foods, such as dairy products like cottage cheese, whey, yogurt, milk powder or even ice cream. They also like fruits and vegetables.
Provide plenty of fresh water for your pig, ensuring that you replace the water daily to prevent parasites or insects from getting inside the water bowl or bucket.
Pigs love human connection and/or touch
Scratch your pig on its back or belly. Pigs loved to be scratched and often scratch themselves against anything that doesn’t move. Excessive scratching, however, could indicate a disease or insect bites. If this is the case, take your pig to a veterinarian that knows how to care for pigs.
Most pigs don’t like their feet touched. If you need to trim your pig’s hooves, it’s best to scratch his or her stomach first to get it to relax a bit.
Make sure to play with your pig
You should play with your pig and give him toys, such as buckets, balls and chew toys. Pigs are very playful animals, but they get bored quickly so rotate the toys on a regular basis.
Pigs are smart and curious creatures
Remember that pigs are very smart and curious. Once they learn how to do something (pull up the carpet, open the fence door, and so on) they won’t forget and you need to stay one step ahead of them. They can also be very sneaky and might try to manipulate you to get their way. So, keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get out or do something that you might not like!
Pigs are very healthy pets
With proper care, most pigs have few health problems. However, there are several serious problems that occasionally arise. Pigs can become easily constipated, leading to impacted bowels, which is a life-threatening condition. It is important that you provide your pigs with a high-fiber diet and plenty of fresh water. Male pigs can also have serious urinary tract problems, which can be costly to repair. Don’t overfeed your pig as obese pigs will inevitably have crippling joint problems, respiratory problems, both conditions can lead to immobility and his or her end.
With the proper care, enclosure, and diet, your pig will thrive and be a new happy member of your family.
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