Everything You Need to Know to Care for Mini Pigs
A pig for a pet? Why not! Mini pigs (also called micro or "teacup" pigs) make for great house pets, as long as you know how to take care of them. Discover what to feed them, how to train them, and more pig care tips and tricks below.
Mini pigs are having a moment as wannabe pet owners take a turn toward the exotic. Instagram and Facebook are filled with videos of adorable piglets in tutus being bottle fed or getting their bellies scratched in a happy human's arms. But as adorable as they are, there are some important things you need to know if you're considering becoming a mini pig owner. Pigs aren't guinea pigs or pink dogs, and they do have unique care and feeding needs. Check out the info below to find out how to best take care of your new family member.
How to Care for Mini Pigs at Home
Mini pigs are intelligent animals and they love to navigate and explore. They have lots of curiosity, just like human toddlers, and they will seek to get into your cupboards and cabinets, closets, and bins. For your mini pig's safety as well as the protection of your possessions, "pig-proof" your home as you would child-proof it for your tot. Here's how:
- Try child-proof locks on cabinets, and block off areas you do not want your mini pig to explore.
- Make sure there are no sharp edges or objects around the home that could injure your pet as he wanders from room to room.
- Supervise your pig, especially when young, when he roams the house.
- Leave him in a smaller secured area or pen when you leave the home.
What to Feed Mini Pigs
Pet store-bought pellets made specifically for a mini pig's dietary needs are your best choice. Wholesome brands recommended by your veterinarian and/or pet food store worker will be nutritionally sound and enjoyable for your mini pig.
Be mindful of serving size and how often you feed your mini pig. He will be inclined to overeat if given the chance, and mini pigs are prone to obesity. You can also feed your mini pig dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, etc.) and cruciferous veggies like broccoli. Nuts and seeds are good choices as well.
Always be sure you leave plenty of fresh water for your mini pig to drink throughout the day. Because mini pigs don't sweat like other animals, it's even more important that they stay hydrated. A mini pig can drink easily from a small dish or bowl.
How to Bathe Mini Pigs
Mini pigs do not need to be washed or bathed every day, so check with your vet to find out how often to do so. About once per week should be enough to keep her clean and healthy.
Pet pig care cleaning tips:
- Use shampoo/soap designed especially for mini pigs (human shampoo/soap, and even shampoos formulated for cats and dogs, can irritate and dry out a mini pig's extremely sensitive skin).
- Since your pet is so small, bathe her in the kitchen or bathroom sink or a small basin on the table, countertop, or floor.
- If you prefer to use the tub, be sure you do not fill it too full.
- Keep the water lukewarm for your mini pig's comfort.
- Use a good scrub brush to remove any dead skin from the body of your pet mini pig.
- Be sure to rinse well and gently towel her dry.
- Apply a gentle lotion or baby oil to keep her skin moisturized.
Bedtime Routines for Mini Pigs
Mini pigs love to get snuggly, so put together a sleeping spot that is cozy and soft. You can use lots of small blankets and pillows or a small pet bed for confinement. They especially love fuzzy blankets all their own that they can burrow in. Your mini pig will enjoy a space all his own, so you can get a little playpen or fenced-off area he can consider his "bedroom." Deck out this space with his litter box, food, water, and maybe a few toys. Mini pigs also enjoy sleeping with you or snuggling with other pets.
How to Potty Train Pigs
Mini pigs can be "potty trained." Like indoor cats, mini pigs can be taught to use a litter box/pan, making "bathroom" time simple for your pet and easy to clean up for you. Do not use cat litter in a mini pig's litter box as they are likely to eat it. Some recommended materials include wood chips, newspaper clippings, or pine pellets.
Train your mini pig by bringing him to the litter box. (Your micro pig will not be able to climb over a high lip, so select a litter box with a low height so he can step in and out with ease.) When you complete, reward him with a tasty treat like a small piece of vegetable or fruit or a nut. The positive reinforcement will turn the behavior into a habit.
Clean the litter box regularly and your mini pig will be happy to use it when nature calls.