Congratulations new Pot Belly pig parent/s! You will soon find out how wonderful, intelligent and loving PB’s are if you did not already know.
This “piggy manual” will change often as I remember things or have more stories to share! A lot of what you will read is my opinion. It is what works for myself and my healthy pigs. You will hear and read different ideals in other places….
I am not an expert but at ANY time day or night call with questions, concerns or if you just want to talk “pig”. IF you can not find your answers within these pages. 612-290-7539. I always make myself available for my piggie parents, for questions or for someone to just understand. Your friends may think your nuts and not understand. PB's are very special creatures, and are SO misunderstood as people think that pigs are just dumb and dirty and that we eat them.
(I have a creative mind and you will find that my thoughts will wander and I will skip around in these info pages. Please excuse my poor sentence structure, run-on sentences and punctuation. I apologize.)
Improper paperwork can lead to the confiscation of your precious
piglet/s. Some states are very strict about their policies. It is YOUR
responsibility to check your local zoning laws to be sure you are
allowed to have a Pot Belly Pig. www.petpigzone.com is a website that
can help with changing your zoning laws.
GENETICS ARE GENETICS. ALL WARM-BLOODED ANIMALS HAVE A MATURE SIZE. ONLY COLD-BLOODED ANIMALS IE: REPTILES AND FISH CONTINUE TO GROW. WITH-HOLDING FOOD FROM YOUR PB IS CRUEL!!
If your PB is starved, he/she will have a shortened life. You will cause in most cases irreparable damage to their organs and bones.
It makes me ILL when I hear of people out there telling this to others. If you hear this from someone… they are definitely a “back yard breeder”. Every mammal has a mature size as far as length and height. Now, obesity does change the dynamics of things however, your PB is going to be as tall and as long as their genes have decided.
You will find that some of these "Breeders" are telling people to feed mere Tablespoons to 1/4 of a cup of feed per day.... This stunts the pigs growth which will lead to a multitude of health problems. NOT to mention that it is ANIMAL CRUELTY!!
I raise healthy, disease free Mini-Pot Bellies, PB’s. Yes, there are smaller PB’s out there than what I raise. However, the micros, pocket pigs, nano pigs and tea cups have not been bred long enough to know what life longevity they have or what types of health issues will arise or IF they even truly exist. All tiny miniature breeds come with a whole different line of health issues. I have not heard a lot on the ‘tea-cups” as they have not been around that long but I had talked to one lady that had one and he was not born with a pancreas. He barely live one year. Also heard of another one with hip dysphasia. And another that died at less than 1 year of age, she did not have a necropsy done. All of these medical issues come from inbreeding and from starving the Piggie of its nutritional needs to keep them small.
A tell-tale sign of a malnourished Piggie is a disproportionate head and long hair.
Piggies are hypoallergenic! However, they have been exposed to many different animals including cats and dogs at my place. You will need to bathe your piggy and their blankie prior to introducing them to your home/family that has pet allergies.
PB’s are highly intelligent. Most experts say pigs are smarter than apes. Look for a show called “Hog Genius” on the Discovery channel. It is a very insightful show!
PB’s are very sensitive. They feel many emotions just as us humans. They feel jealousy, embarrassment, humor, anger, love, happiness….. And they do get upset by major change. (moving, if you are gone and they have a pig sitter…etc). They are very sensitive and can easily have their feelings hurt! I know it sounds crazy but they do. They know when someone says something mean to them or makes fun of them. They will shy away and pout or they will act out. They KNOW most times when they are naughty. If you make them mad, they will sometimes retaliate and nock something over or get into things.
PB’s need to be taught to respect their owners! YOU are the piggy parent! YOU are the boss! Not the piggy. They are SO intelligent that they think we as humans are stupid! And they will try to get away with what they can! They are creative and can problem solve! They are very cute and very smart and will have you eating out of their hooves! It is very important to set rules and boundaries! Teach the word "no" and use gentle but firm discipline. Pigs respond well to positive reinforcement (i.e.; using praise and treats when the pig is doing something desirable), PB’s do not do well with physical punishment. NEVER strike them in the face. Sometimes babies will nibble. Tell them NO! and walk away. If this does not work a little flick in the nose will let them know along with a sharp NO! You do NOT need to use a lot of physical force. Use force as you would on a toddler. A light swat. Do not resort to any physical discipline unless you do not have to. AGAIN NEVER hit them in the face! EVER! And definitely do not use any physical discipline for the first month or so. They will never trust you.
Some people will use a squirt bottle. Be very careful to not get water in their ears or directly in their eyes. You can cause ear and eye damage. This is why I chose not to use a squirt bottle.
I will usually stomp my feet, or clap my hands really loud near them, and yell NO! This is very effective. Especially if you catch them in the act and come up and surprise them. They will most likely not do it again.
I have had to give a spank on the butt a time or two. Not hard. It is just like when you slap a toddlers hand, it is not hard but it hurts their feelings and makes them realize they have done wrong. I tell them I am giving them a spanking. PB’s will test their limits…especially when you are busy or on the phone! When I have one that is being naughty they get 2 warnings and if that doesn’t work I tell them I am going to spank their butt and they 99% of the time they stop! I can not stress how smart they are!
Here are a few wonderful Piggie stories. I am very proud of one of my own; Owen who lives with his family in ND.
There was an aggressive dog that had come into the yard and was going
towards the kids. Owen ran in front of the kids and charged at the dog
and scared him away!
Their daughter Haley is type 1 diabetic..
When Haley's sugar is high, Owen will not leave her side not even for
food until her Mom and Dad come to help her. When Haley's sugar is low,
Own will have a fit, scream and squeal and will go and get someone to
come to Haley's side.
The following stories were taken from an ASPCA affiliate website:
been known to save the lives of others, including their human friends. According
to London's The Mirror
pet piglet called Pru was praised by her owner … after dragging her free from a
muddy bog." The owner said, "I was panicking when I was stuck in the bog. I did
not know what to do and I think Pru sensed that. … I had a rope with me that I
use as a dog lead and I put it around her. I was shouting 'Go home, go home' and
she walked forward, slowly pulling me out of the mud."
In addition to
Pru, there is Priscilla, a pig who saved a young boy from drowning; Spammy, who
led firefighters to a burning shed to save her calf friend Spot; and Lulu, who
found help for her human companion, who had collapsed from a heart attack. A pig
named Tunia chased away an intruder, and another, named Mona, held a fleeing
suspect's leg until the police arrived.
Many pigs in sanctuaries ended up in new homes after jumping off of
slaughterhouse-bound trucks and escaping, and in
England, a stone
carving of a pig named Butch was placed upon a historic cathedral after Butch
and his friend Sundance escaped from a slaughterhouse and roamed the country for
several days before being captured. Fortunately, a national outcry against
slaughter allowed Butch and Sundance to go to a sanctuary.
GETTING READY FOR BABY
I start them in a doggie litter box. (Walmart/Petsmart) they do out grow this quickly. They are very long in the body and will often “miss” if the box is to small.
The best thing is a Rubbermaid container. The low profile under the bed storage container. They do have them in varying lengths. Sometimes you may have to cut a section out and cover the sharp edges with duct tape.
I use a wood pellet litter. It is called “Wood Pellet Fuel” for wood burning stoves. It is the same thing as Feline/Canine/Equine Pine litter. I get it at Menards in the fireplace/heating section. For those not in the Midwest, Fleet Farm or Farm supply stores, Home Depot, Lowes or any place that sells fire places/wood burning stoves. Depending on where you go, it will be $4-$6.00 for a 40# bag.
If you go to any of these home improvement/farm stores and ask for “Wood Litter” they are going to think you are nuts! Remember it is for Wood stoves. : )
They do have feline, equine and canine pine wood pellets. However, you will pay a lot more for the same product because it is labeled specifically for those animals.
I like this litter because it is clean, a recycled product, you can recycle it again and it wont stick on them. DO NOT use clumping cat litter. They can get sick from it. It can build up in their intestines and can cause blockages.
You can use a cat scooper, it works good for the poo. I honestly use a metal dust pan. I scoop the wet and the poo out and I throw it in the fire or outside to recycle back into the Earth.
I like to use the ceramic crock type bowls with flat sides, no lip. If they have a lip on the bowl it is far to tempting for a piggy to flip it over. If you get the stainless bowls with the rubber “skid free” on the bottom. Save yourself the trouble and remove the rubber. They think that it is fun to pull it off.
You should get a heavier bowl at least for the water. With the food it is not really an issue if they spill as they will find every morsel if it is a food that is pleasing to them.
I like to have a mat underneath my bowls. They do dribble a bit when they drink and a lot of piggies like to play in water…. Blowing bubbles and what not. They will all wash their faces in their bowls and some will wash their feet in the bowls. It all depends on the piggy.
I got a “boot tray” from Menards ($3-4.00) and I put the water bowls on that tray. It saves a lot of clean up. I did get a rubber Cat/Dog food mat. However, it is not as deep as the boot tray and it was a lot more expensive!
Most people sleep with their babies. Some will get them their own beds. Some of my babies out there have toddler beds and king size dog beds!
So, this is up to you and your life style. They love anything soft and fluffy.
This is VERY important! Piggies LOVE to snuggle in their blankets. Anything like polar fleece, faux fur or materials like that. The softer the better, One blankie for a piggy is not enough! They will steal blankets and clothing if they are not satisfied! LOL! They also love comforters and sleeping bags.
Some of my piggy parents will give them soft sweaters and sweatshirts that they have worn so their piggy had their “smell”. make sure the sweatshirt arms are cut so a baby can not get stuck!
If you are not home all day, I suggest confining baby to a smaller area. May it be a kitchen, spare bedroom, bathroom etc. Best if it can be where their potty box is!
Babies can get overwhelmed with too much new space. It is like a human child walking into a toy store!
You may need to get baby gates or things of that matter.
Another very important thing! My babies are used to having it at 80*. I am a freeze baby too! You may need to have a heating pad for them or a warmer area until they can adjust to the temperature change.
You can also put sweaters on them. The sooner you start training them to wear clothes the better!
If they are huddled up and look like a porcupine or shaking, that is a sure sign that they are cold.
Baby lotion or other moisturizing lotions. Piggies have really dry skin and need some extra help to stay moisturized. Coconut opil and Olive oil are better alternatives as well as oral supplements. * see dry skin tab
Flinstone vitamins (or generic brand). I give them ½ of a vitamin until they are 6 months old and then I give them a whole one.
Babies love to play with one another and at times can get pretty rough. Sometimes your babies will come to you with scratches and scabs from roughhousing.
PB’s like a variety of different toys. Stuffed animals, toddler toys, balls, dog chew toys, rope, etc. It is best to give them a toy or two and swap out toys every few days or so. Piggies love to hunt for treats, a lot of my piggy parents have a container filled with plastic balls (like those play places that have all of those balls you jump and swim in) Put the balls in a low profile bin and sprinkle some snacks in there before you go to work. You can also put treats in a paper lunch bag and crumple it up and it will keep them entertained for a while.
PB’s are easily bored. They do like some dog treats to chew on. Some of mine love “busy bones” and Greenies (the bigger ones) it keeps them entertained for a while.
One of their favorite games is “kill the plastic bag”. (cut the handles open on the plastic shopping bags so they do not get them stuck on their heads)They like to have fun shredding paper bags as well as TP, PT, cardboard boxes, newspaper….
Because of their high level of intelligence, pigs that are kept as FULL time house pets can become bored easily and are often destructive when finding ways to entertain themselves. Be sure that your PB has plenty to entertain them!
Food! Most im
portant to Piggies! I send them with a few pounds of food. Local people are welcome to by a few bags of feed from me. $12.00 per 50# bag. I have it mixed at a mill. Any mill can duplicate the mix. (Recipe is found below under DIET)
Snacks: cereal, fruits, veggies (non-citrus), nuts, granola, salad, stay away from dried fruits that are preserved with sulfur or sulfates ……… etc. Piggies can be very picky. You may have to try different things. In general they hate mushrooms, peppers and onions unless they are hidden in Pizza, Chinese food or some other dish.
Each Piggie will differ as each human differs with their metabolism. Start with a cup per day. I feed 3 times a day plus snacks. So they would get 1/3 a cup per feeding. If your baby is looking more plump then cut back 1/8 of a cup or more. You really will have to gauge their food on a weekly basis until you get a “feel” for it. At 1 year they should be at 2 cups of food. Sometimes this is not the case. Some piggies need more and some need less.
If you have ANY questions contact me! I do not have DSL at home so I do not get on the computer at home. If you email me and you do not get a response in a few hours, CALL ME! 612-290-7539! Or Text me! I do not mind, and if I cant talk at the moment I will call you back. I would rather you call me than wait for a few days for me to get back to you!
yes piggies can climb stairs. They are different than my steps so they may take some getting used to. If you have slippery wood steps you may need to get some of those gripper pads and put them on. The best way to teach them is to put cheerios or something like that on the steps. Now, only fall for this once or twice as they are FAR SMARTER than we are… So they think…. Some will only go up or down a few steps, then you as the human puts more food on those steps… then they eat the food off of those steps again… and you put more food on those steps… then they eat the food off of those few steps again… Do you put the food on the steps again? Depends on if your piggy is smarter than you. I thought I would save you the embarrassment and give you a heads up on that one! J
ramps are most helpful for your piggy to get in the car, Camper/RV and boat. Yes, piggy parents take their piggies camping and boating! The easiest way to make a piggy ramp is with 2 x 4’s and plywood. Cover the plywood with carpet or you can get some rubber matting that comes on a roll. Most Home stores carry it in their flooring section. Tell them your measurement and they will cut it for you.
Some piggies are just stubborn and think its great that you have to lift their little fat butts up into a vehicle. Amazing how they will jump out on their own! I use a ramp for their safety, one of my piggies Rosie gets too excited and wants to jump out! She lost her balance and did a face plant and skinned up her little nose, after that I built a ramp.
After I completed my ramp, I thought that it would be easiest to show my old mini- Heeler Stella how to go up the ramp so Rosie could see how it was done. While I was pleading with Stella to go up the ramp assuring her there were treats on the seat, Miss Rosie walked right up the ramp into the car! LOL!
You will see a picture at the bottom of the piggie manual of my ramp. I used logs as I own a log furniture company but you will get the idea.
If your baby is naughty, walk away or put them in a time-out room, not
crate! You never want to associate a crate with being naughty! If the
time ever comes that you need a crate, you will not have an easy time of
putting them in! Use an extra bathroom or some other room they do not
Sometimes, you just need to walk away and ignore them! They will be
insulted and have their feelings hurt. They know when they are naughty.
Be sure before you get too mad to ask yourself what did YOU do wrong?
Have you ignored them? Were you late? Were you gone a long time?
From day one, the owner should be setting the rules and enforcing them.
Consistent rules, praise for good behavior, and correction/redirection
with lots of repetition and patience will help produce a well mannered
piggie with a good relationship with its family.
PB’s are VERY verbal. They have a myriad of vocalizations and they mean
different things. They have some vocals that sound similar but will have
a slightly different pitch to mean something else. The more aware of
these vocalizations you are, the better you will be at communicating and
understanding your PB!
It is hard to type into words how some of their sounds are... Piggies have over 20 different vocalizations, from oinks, grunts, squeals, barks,whines, air blowing, teeth grinding, lip smacking... and some of them sound alike but pay attention to the pitch.
Whining- well, that is pretty straight forward, they want food, someone made them mad, or is messing with them when they do not want
"Aroooooo"- means feed me NOW!
"Ahhhh ahhhh ahhh"- is a familial greeting. It means they see you as family
"oink, oink, reeeeeee"- means they are searching for someone, or something and they are a bit nervous about it
"Woof"- it sounds like a bark. This has two meanings. Excited in a good way, they will bark and run and play. If they say it in a higher pitch it means DANGER and they will run away.
"Ooof" (while blowing air) - usually means annoyed, but can mean nervousness
"Rarararaa grumble grumble"- means I AM NOT moving off the couch!
Teeth grinding- can be confusing, it can mean they are teething and have discomfort, in pain, and some do it for contentment
lip smacking- can merely mean they are enjoying their food, they have food stuck in their mouth, (sometimes they will froth at the mouth) this usually means they are angry and ready to fight (with another animal), it can also mean they are horny (part of the mating ritual)
Continuous oinking- I call this "echo location"- they are just oinking to see if someone is around, searching for their family, usually the first few days it means they are searching for us, after that they are searching for the members of their new family.
Screaming- this means they are mad because they are hungry, confined or cant find you. Now dont be fooled by this one, if they are screaming to be fed at a non-scheduled feeding time- DO NOT give in,. just ignore them or they will continue this behavior
Grunts- they have soooo many of these.... Most are happy grunts, they have different sounding ones that come with belly rubs, when you get the "right spot", petting, happy I am eating food grunts
It is hard to list all of them and all of the meanings as each Piggie will adapt a different sound to different things. Some develop noises for wanting to go outside, having to potty, I do not like this, I am scared, I am happy, I want to play......
Your baby does not know you and will need some time. PB’s take a while
to trust. Be patient!! Some PB’s adjust immediately and sometimes it may
take them a few days to (in very few cases) a few weeks. They are used
to me holding them. They do not know you. The quickest way to their
heart and to win their trust is with food. Feed them snacks by hand as
much as possible. When you pick up your PB they will scream bloody
murder… This is very important. DO NOT put them down until they have
calmed down. Sometimes it takes a while. Try giving them snacks to calm
them. If you put them down when they scream, they will learn quickly
that “If I scream, the humans put me down”.
It may take a while to build trust. Lay down on the floor with some
treats in your hand. If they do not come to you, make a trail of treats
to your hand. Talk to them so they get used to your voice. NEVER push
them. If they run away, start over. First let them get used to eating
from your hand. Then slowly move your hand to scratch under their chin
or their bellies. Do not push them. NEVER bring your hand over the top
of their heads. This is very scary for them. BE PATIENT! I can not
stress this enough. They do not know your hand. Imagine some stranger
walking up to you and putting their hand in your face. You wouldn’t like
and neither do the piggies. Once they are used to you it will be fine.
But, just give your baby a while to trust you. When you introduce your
piggy to new people, have them come from underneath their head and not
over the top.
I have gotten many calls from piggy parents nearly in tears. It just
takes some of them a little time. Food is the way to their heart and the
best way to build trust. I assure you that I have socialized them a
lot. They are just scared and in a new place with strangers. Just
remember to move slowly, talk to them and have lots of snacks on hand. I
know people just want to scoop them up and snuggle them right away, but
you do not want to scare the poo out of them. Some babies are just
naturally more shy than others, some more bold. You will be surprised
how quickly they come around. I know the first few days seem long and
frustrating. And then there are some that walk in and immediately try to
own the place and kick other animals out of their beds! It is hard for
me to predict how they act once they leave my place. I have been proven
wrong many times. Ones that are a little more shy or laid back, go to
their new homes screaming, “I am pig, I am your new boss!”. Sometimes
ones that are bold and independent become shy for a short time. They are
very emotional creatures and stress effects them all in different ways.
REMEMBER: they need time to adjust to their new home, new people and new
smells. Do not give up on them! I know the first day or two can be
disheartening. If they sense your sadness/frustration/hesitation they
will feel it to! You need to be a confident piggy parent to help your
piggy child to adjust quickly.
Children…. I do not have any and it will be an adjustment for your PB to
be around children. Please make sure your children to do not chase,
hit, terrorize, throw things or hurt your PB in any way. PB’s are very
sensitive and your children may cause your PB to be scared and shy all
of the time as well as very withdrawn. If you have “wild” children,
slowly introduce them to each other. Lay down the rules with your kids
as to proper behavior and to be calm, quiet and gentle. If they are not
calm, quiet and gentle it will be a very hard adjustment for your PB.
Your PB has not been exposed to fast and loud little humans. It will
scare him/her. Once the family gets to know one another and your PB is
well adjusted, the loud and fast little humans will not be scary any
Baby PB’s are very curious and much like a puppy. They like to “taste”
things, nibble on shoe laces, tags, shoes and may sometimes mistake your
fingers for food. Much like a human toddler putting things in their
mouths. PB’s “feel” with their mouths as they do not have hands. They
also like to nibble and pull on your hair. Nibbling on your nose, toes
or fingers can also be their way of saying PAY ATTENTION to me! Some
PB’s may carry this behavior into adulthood, most of them grow out of
PB’s are very intelligent and easily trained. You can train them to do
tricks, sit, fetch, etc. I do not recommend teaching them to beg. It is
cute when they are little, not so cute when they are 50-60 lbs and just
about knock you over. But, it is up to you! BE CAREFUL in what you teach
them. They are very smart and learn fast. I do not recommend teaching
them to open the refrigerator. They will do it when you are gone and you
will have one big mess and a sick piggy. PB’s naturally will carry
things around in their mouths, root and if you are missing a soft
sweater or any blankets…. Look for your pig! PB’s LOVE soft things; like
polar fleece! Be sure they have a nice soft, safe spot for their bed!
They are curious and playful, but also head-strong and sensitive.
Without appropriate stimulation, they will become easily bored, and
Pigs are also unrelenting in their quest for food - and can learn to
open the fridge, cupboards, pantry - wherever food may be lurking. They
can become demanding, begging for food, and even getting aggressive with
kids that have food.
PB’s can get into your cabinets. PLEASE put any hazardous chemicals out
of reach. They will also dig in your plants, put your plants up. Someone
asked me if you could teach them not to dig in plants. Well, it is
possible…WHY torture your pig and yourself? Put the plants up or get rid
PB’s can jump! They will jump on the couch and your bed. I allow this at
my house so you may have some “un-training” to do if you have problems
with animals on the furniture. PB’s are proverbial “bed hogs”. PB’s will
also take issue if someone new comes into “their” bed. They may protest
by screaming and trying to push the other person out of the bed or may
just simply leave. PB’s tend to be a bit on the jealous side!
Other pets… your PB has been around my dogs ( Chihuahua mixes), cats, Flemish Giants, horses, donkeys, chickens, goats.. Etc. Please be very
careful around horses, some horses do not like small animals and may try
to stomp or kick them. Pretty much every animal including cats. Be sure
your cat has very short nails, or is de-clawed. You do not want to wind
up with a blind piglet or one missing an eye. It can happen! Years ago I
took my wolf pup for a visit and my aunts cat sliced her eye ball open.
Thousands of dollars later, Kodi was able to see. Learn from my
mistake. My piglets know their animal buddies. There will be an
adjustment for them to get to know the animals in your home. Please keep
a very watchful eye the first few times they meet. You do not want your
new baby to get hurt. Your PB will want to nuzzle his/her nose in their
fur. Especially to cats because they look like their skunk and cat at
home! Some people say never bring a PB around a dog…. If you have an
aggressive dog that attacks other animals in the neighborhood and ate
your neighbors cat, I would worry. Otherwise, in general dogs are not
going to just eat your pig. However, always be cautious around new
animals! Especially animals you are not familiar with.
I would not advise putting out Easter baskets within reach or your PB.
Even if you do not have chocolate in the baskets, they will still get
sick from eating too much candy. Remember their noses smell far better
than ours and if they smell a basket full of candy, they will do their
best to get it by any means possible!
Do not put candy or popcorn or anything edible on your tree. You may
find your tree a mess! Do not have any foods/candy wrapped in packages.
Piggies have an INCREDIBLE sense of smell. A box and wrapping paper is
not going to stop them from smelling food. You will have a mess and
possibly a sick piggy!
PB’s are very curious and may tear apart packages. PB’s are also have
OCD when it comes to tags or strings hanging off of anything! You may
find some missing tags and bows around the house. If you hate to wrap
like me and you put things in bags….. You may find the contents of the
bag not in the bag. Why? Because they are smart and curious and they
can! SO to prevent your piggy from getting into trouble and you being
upset… keep the gifts out of piggies reach until Christmas! Now some
piggies may not bother anything. I am just giving fair warning for the
Safety of your piggies and your state of mind.
PURSES/JACKETS/BRIEF CASE BAGS:
PB’s can smell gum/candy through anything! Be sure to put your
belongings up! They CAN open zippers! No lie! I learned many years ago
when I had left my briefcase bag on the floor with gum in it. I found
the entire contents on the floor along with gum wrappers and chewed-up
gum on the floor!
You would think I would know better…. Left a pack of gum in a rain
jacket pocket on the back of a chair. They could not get the pocket
open, so they ripped it to get the gum out. Learn from my mistakes! Take
the gum/candy out or put your stuff up high.
Sugar free gum is bad for all animals! Some dogs have died from
ingesting sugar-free gum! Most PB’s love to chew gum! Mine spit it out
after the flavor is gone! It is quite humorous, if one is chewing a
piece of gum and I offer them a new piece, they will spit out the other
piece and take the new one! They will also do this with food. If they
are eating something and you offer them something better, they will spit
out what they are eating!
DO NOT EVER FEED YOUR PB’S CHOCOLATE. THEY WILL GET VERY ILL AND MAY POSSIBLY DIE FROM THEOBROMINE POISONING.
NEVER HIT YOUR PB WITH YOUR HAND. USE A SQUIRT BOTTLE OR A NEWSPAPER.
USUALLY A FIRM NO WILL WORK. IF YOU USE YOUR HANDS, YOUR PB WILL BECOME
I use a wood pellet for litter. It is found at Menards and Fleet Farm.
It is called Wood Pellet fuel. It is what you use in wood burning
stoves. I start them in a “doggie” litter box found at Petsmart and
Petco. When they are bigger I use a low-profile under the bed storage
Rubbermaid container. The box needs to be shallow and long.
Your PB is litter trained. However, he/she will be upset by the move,
and being with strangers in a strange place. It is best to confine
him/her in a small area when you are not at home until he/she knows
where the potty box is. The first few weeks can be a struggle with
accidents. Some babies do not have any problems, some do.
They have been using a litter box from birth (sometimes a struggle for
the first few weeks, they get near it but not in it) I assure you they
are litter trained! To help your PB to not slip in his/her litter box;
get the little adhesive non-skid “thingys” that you put on the bottom of
your bath tub! Or you can use a rubber mat. Some Home stores sell
rubber mats off of a roll, just give them the length and they cut it for
Sometimes your PB will “over-shoot” their litter box. PLEASE do not
reprimand them for this. They tried! I used to use a rubber mat under my
boxes. I found it in the flooring section at Menards by the “stair
protector“ runners. It is on a roll and you can have them measure and
cut how much you need. It is nice and easy to clean and sanitize. I DO
NOT recommend putting plastic garbage bags or plastic sheeting under the
litter boxes. PB’s love to “kill” plastic bags.
I have since tiled my floors and no longer use any mats under my boxes.
However, when babies go to their new homes some are fussy and will not
use the box if they slip jumping in or out.
This may be the reason for “accidents”. Put a rubber mat under the box
so they have a “safe” spot to enter and exit their box. I do not
recommend putting a carpet remnant under the box; #1. It is unsanitary.
#2. It may let them think it is OK to go potty on any carpet or rug.
I DO NOT recommend “paper” training your piggy or any animal for that matter.
#1 They have fun shredding paper
#2 if there is paper on the floor they will soil it.
It is a great idea to praise and give treats the first week or so with
the potty box re-training. This will encourage them to go in the box.
They are used to “their” box at home, this is a new box and not in its
usual spot. Some struggle some do not. Praise and treats work wonders.
Once they are familiar with their new box and spot, back off the treats.
Or they will expect a treat EVERY time they use the box. (remember they
are incredibly intelligent)
PB’s do not take physical discipline well. Use a firm NO! or a squirt
bottle if you catch them having an accident. Pick them up and put them
in the box and then praise them for being in the box. Please wait a few
days before scolding them, you do not want to scare them away from the
Some babies will be angels and never have an accident or may only have an accident once. Some may struggle.
Babies go to the bathroom in the morning when they get up or just after
breakfast. They generally go to the bathroom right after they eat. If
they are struggling with the litter box training, confine them to a
smaller area with their box. Either feed them in that area or put them
in that area after they eat and make them stay there until they have
gone potty. Be sure to praise them and tell them they are a good piggy
for going potty. PB’s learn what words mean and the more you can
associate words with actions and positive reinforcement, the easier it
is for them to retain it.
LITTERBOX TROUBLE SHOOTING:
1. Is the litter box clean?
*Pigs are clean animals and do not like a dirty box
2. Is there enough litter in the box?
*make sure the litter is about an inch deep or better
3. Are you using the same litter?
*They are used to the wood pellet litter
4. Is the litter box too tall?
*It may be too tall for them to jump into confidently. (trust me, they will still jump up
The couch, but they will not jump in a box that is too tall)
5. Is the box big enough?
*If they are missing the box a lot they may have outgrown their litter box
6. Do they slip jumping in or out of the box?
*If they slip jumping into or out of the box, they will choose not to go in the box. Get a
Rubber mat to put under the box, with enough coverage around the box so they can
get a grip to jump in.
7. Are they slipping inside the box?
* If they lose their footing in the box, they will not go in it again. Females are more
particular about this as they squat when they go potty. Get the little “non-skid
thingy’s” and put them in the bottom of the box. Or put a rubber mat in the bottom of
8. If they are going potty somewhere else, wipe up the urine with a Kleenex and put the
Kleenex in the litter box.
Some babies may already be trained by me to go outside as well as the
use of the litter box. This will all depend on the time of year. If
there is cold weather I do not let the young ones go outside. In really
cold weather my adults will stick their nose out the piggy door and
squeal and run for the litter box themselves!
Do not let your baby outside without a harness until they get to know
you! It is not hard to train them to go outside as well as the back up
of the litter box. Take them out right after they eat, give them the
command “go potty” or whatever you want to use as a command. When they
go, give them a lot of praise and a treat. When they are able to go
outside on their own (in a fenced yard) be sure they go potty. Some will
fake it just to get a snack. Not kidding. (remember, smart creature).
They will usually pick the same area to go in. In the winter time, my
guys will often go on the front step and sidewalk. Some will run outside
and realize that it is too cold, run back inside and use the litter
Some piggies just prefer to go outside. Why? I am not sure. Maybe the
litter box was not kept clean enough in the beginning? Some of my adults
are just that way. They do not like to go in the box if someone just
went. Now when it is cold or rainy they may change their minds. Always
keep the litter box out just incase.
I do bleach my potty boxes at least once a week! (more when I have babies in the house)
PB’s urine as well as most other urines, contain high amounts of
ammonia. Bleach + Ammonia = Chlorine Gas. Be sure to have good
ventilation when using bleach products. Some Lysol products have made
small animals sick. I use bleach or ODOBAN. I get Odoban at Sam’s Club
in a gallon jug. Sometimes you can find the spray bottle at Walmart.
PB’s stool should be firm. If they have loose stool you need to ask
yourself did I feed them something new? Did they eat a lot of greasy
food? Did they get into something? When you have identified the problem
as being food related, you can safely give them Pepto-bismol, (if you
have farm supplies, Kaolin pectin) or Immodium. They will make a mess
and spit most of it out. It is best to dose them in the bathroom and
have some treats on hand. I like to squirt it in their mouth and give
them a treat right away as they are less likely to spit it out. (you may
want to have a camera or video camera, it is quite funny!) They tend to
like pepto better than Immodium. I have not had diarrhea in my PB’s
that often. Indie and oranges did not agree, and I gave a few French
fries to some piglets…. My best advice, NEVER feed a new food while
traveling. It will make a nasty mess in your vehicle………
If your PB has diarrhea, immediately replace their water with Gatorade
or Pedialyte.If they are not drinking on their own, you will need to
squirt it in the side of their mouth with an eye dropper or
syringe(without needle). Take great care in administering the fluids
slowly. You do not want the fluid to go into the lungs causing
aspiration which can lead to vomiting, pneumonia, drowning or death.
If it is not a food issue that has caused loose stool contact a Vet
immediately. Try to find the source, if it was poison, contact the
poison control center: “As the premier animal poison control center in
North America, the APCC is your best resource for any animal
poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think
that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, make
the call that can make all the difference: (888) 426-4435. A $60
consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.”
Constipation; piggies can get constipated from certain foods. Some
piggies digestive system is far more sensitive than others. Or it may be
that they "got into something". Constipation is painful for piggies
just as it is for you and I. You can give them products like
"metamucil". Pear juice and Prune juices will help to get things flowing
as well. You can also give them dehydrated prunes. You will need to
take away their grain mix until their constipation subsides. Give them a
lot of leafy greens and veggies as well as fruit. Sometimes, sticking
them in the bath tub will automatically cause them to poo, as well as
sticking a rectal thermometer in their heiney as well. You can also give
them a child suppository or if you are really brave an enema use a childs enema kit! If
symptoms persist for over 24 hours please contact a Veterinarian.
PB’s are very clean. If they happen to get into a sticky mess or had too
much fun in the dirt you can bathe them. Put a towel in the bottom of
the tub, fill enough water to come to their belly. PB’s get nervous in
the tub. They really do not like to slip! The towel will help with this.
A bath mat in the tub works better or those non-skid stickers for the
bath tub, otherwise a you have a nice soaked towel to deal with. Have a
cup to scoop poo (they often will go in the tub because they are
scared) It is best to have a cup/bucket to gently pour the water over
them. Take extra care as to not get water in their ears. This can cause
inner ear infections and vertigo. Use a mild shampoo like baby shampoo.
Make sure and lotion them up really well after. PB’s are prone to dry
*** Putting some cheerios or other floating treats will help a lot! It
will make bath time a little more fun for them and it will occupy their
mind while you are cleaning them!
PB’s are prone to dry skin and can sunburn! If they are exposed to sun
for any length of time, put sun block on their faces, head , back line
You will need to lotion your pig when they get dry skin. Use a mild
lotion like baby magic. If they get really dry skin, I like to use
Eucerin cream and I mix lanolin oil in it. You can also use baby oil or
Vaseline but it does make a mess. Olive oil and grape seed oil work
great too. I will also mix baby lotion with the baby oil so it is not
as greasy. They also make a creamy baby oil… I do not think it works as
well though. I like to completely oil them down with baby oil. It does
make a mess, so I advice keeping them confined until the oil soaks in,
otherwise you will have a mess on your furniture. I also like to use
Avon “Skin So Soft”, it also helps with bugs when they play outside.
Adding supplements to your piggies diet will help with the dry skin as
well. You should already be giving them a Flinstones vitamin daily. You
can give them a fish oil capsule (they will take it whole) daily and a
Vitamin E capsule. You can also add Flax seed and/or flax seed oil. You
may possibly need to adjust their amounts of food as the fish and flax
are added fats. They are the "good" Omega 3 fatty acids though. A Tablespoon of Ground Flax is a good amount. It is better to
get whole flax seed and grind it fresh and then keep it in the freezer.
Once it is ground it starts to loose potency and it also goes stale
faster, so keeping it in the freezer keeps it longer.
Piggies skin will get far worse in the cold winter months as the air is
much dryer. You can help them by adding humidifiers as well as apply
lotion to them more frequently and adding the vitamin supplements.
Adult PB’s do not get fleas. I have heard of a few cases where a baby has gotten fleas from a dog. Once they have their "tougher" skin fleas are unable to bite them. PB's can be afflicted by ticks. Be sure
to check your PB’s thoroughly for ticks. Check behind their ears and
under their arms. PB’s are sensitive to mosquito and fly bites.
PB’s can get “mange mites” properly named sarcoptic mange. This is prevented by Ivermectin. **see worming section.
PB’s can also pick up “chiggers” in the grass. Humans can get these too.
Not all areas have them and it tends to go in cycles. DON’T get worried
and freaked out! Most likely you will not have an issue, I just wanted
to put this in the manual as it has come up twice with piggies and with a
friend that was “dog sitting” (no piggies involved). We had them a few
years ago, I went to the Dr and he prescribed some stuff that didn’t
work… I talked to my Uncle in WI that is a Dr and he told me they were
like “chiggers“. They tend to be around in wetter areas. If you have
“hunting/water dogs” in the house, you will be more likely to get them. I
have had a few piggy parents across the midwest get them as well. You
will notice a spot the size of a pin head. It will start to itch like
crazy and then it will bleed. (just a drop). What you need to do is give
your piggy some ivermectin and your dogs as well. And you will need to
pick up some lice shampoo (Walmart has the “Equate“ brand which is a
fraction of the cost). Lather your piggy and yourself with the lice
shampoo and let it sit for 10 mins then wash it off. You can also just
put the shampoo on the areas and wash it off with a cloth as well. Be
sure to wash the piggies bedding as well as your own and you can also
use “lice bedding spray” to spray on things. Dogs are most likely the
culprits of bringing this in. They tend to run around more than a piggy.
Sometimes the wood litter/shavings can carry little mite bugs. I am not sure what they are but have had them here myself as well as other Piggie parents across the land. The best thing to do in winter months is to leave the bag outside where it can freeze for a few days. And to rid of these little things, you need to wash the piggie in lice shampoo.
PB’s have poor eyesight. This is normal. They make up for it with other
senses like hearing and smelling! PB’s do sometimes get “mattery” eyes.
This is normal. Just use a warm cloth and wipe their eyes. When PB’s are
allowed to play outside you will notice there will be more matter in
PB’s do get dirty ears. Do not put any liquids in their ears as this can
cause inner ear problems like infection and vertigo. Use slightly damp
cotton and wipe their ears out. I like to use baby wipes. They do make
dog ear wipes. I use baby wipes and then lightly wet cotton pads with
alcohol and wipe them down. be sure they do not have any scratches in
their ears, the alcohol will burn. NEVER use Q-tips in the inner ear.
They can jump at any time and you could slip with the Q-tip and cause
irreparable inner ear damage. You can also get a product at your
Veterinarian office to clean their ears as well. I am sure you can find
other products at pet supply houses however, I am more trusting of an
ear cleaning product that is recommended from my Veterinarian.
PB’s have hair not fur. They do not “shed” like a dog or cat does. You
may find a pig hair here or there but, nothing like other animals. They
will shed their coats and have bald patches. Some range from spring to
summer as to when they shed This is normal. However, if they have mites
they can have bald spots. If they have really dry skin they may rub the
hair right off in spots. Keep their skin hydrated!
When PB’s are excited, cold or happy their hair will stand up on end. This is normal.
Most PB’s enjoy being brushed. Use a soft bristled brush. I like to put
baby oil on the brush and then brush them. The brush helps push the baby
oil down to the skin.
Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as milk teeth, baby teeth, temporary
teeth and primary teeth, are the first set of teeth in the growth
development of humans and many other mammals. They develop during the
embryonic stage of development and erupt—that is, they become visible in
the mouth—during infancy. Piggies are born with 8 deciduous teeth. They
are usually lost and replaced by permanent teeth, but in the absence of
permanent replacements, they can remain functional for many years. Your
PB’s (8 eye teeth) have already been trimmed and should not grow back.
There will be little "stumps" of them left at the gum line. They will
fall out naturally on their own. I do not pull their deciduous teeth as
you may damage their jaw and you also have a higher chance of infection
from pulling their teeth.
All pigs grow tusks. This, of course, includes potbelly pigs. Female pot
bellied pigs grow small tusks that rarely get large enough to stick out
of their mouth. Neutered males will have tusks that grow as well. I
have found that the females and neutered males tusks do not grow very
long. I cannot see them unless I pull their lip up. They will start to
grow tusks by three years of age.
Tusks need not be trimmed unless they are causing a problem for the
piggy or you. I honestly do not trim any of my piggies tusks. They do
not bother me and they do not bother each other with them. For me it is
more of a risk to trim them than to just leave them be. Don’t worry, you
are not going to have a “Pumba” looking piggy running around.
You will read a million different opinions on the internet. I have
included two that I have found. One advocating and one mainly deterring
tusk trimming. I will leave the decision up to you and your Vet. I am
personally against it just as I am against “disbudding” horns off of
NEVER let anyone trim the tusks if the pig is awake and screaming. He
can accidentally inhale the tusk. Tusk trimming is best done by your vet
while using Isofluorine gas anesthesia. Make sure that at least 1/2
inch or more of tusk is left. Potbelly pigs have a tendency to become
infected if the tusk is trimmed to close to the gum line. Also, DO NOT
have anyone remove the tusks!! They are part of the jawbone and removal
will cause serious problems! If at all possible, avoid trimming your
Tusk trimming is a necessary part of pig ownership, because it helps to
prevent injuries to the owner and to the pig. All pigs grow tusks
regardless of sex or neutered status. Boars will need to have their
tusks trimmed in 6-18 month cycles. Barrows may need to have their tusks
trimmed annually, whereas a sow can probably go for several years
Care must be taken when trimming and rounding off tusks. A small saw
blade is used to cut the tusk at an angle perpendicular to its growth.
Cutting the tusk parallel to the gumline is incorrect. Improper cutting
and rounding can cause problems for your pig as the tusk begins to grow
back. Misaligned tusks can prevent a pig from closing its mouth and
cause significant problems eating. Failure to trim tusks regularly can
also result in tusks growing through the upper lip. (I think they are
referring to “Hogs” as I got this from a hog site)
Please consult a veterinarian in your area to determine how tusks should be cut and rounded properly.
Be careful as to not feed too much sugar. They can get cavities. Some
people brush their piggies teeth and some piggies will brush their own!
Most of my piggies hate mint so I use kids toothpaste.
I also give them tartar control and breath control dog treats and chews.
Some like greenies, some don’t, some like minty, some don’t. it will
all depend on how picky your piggy is. I have several different options
that I give them. They all like the “greenies biscuits” but not all of
them like that hard “plasticky toothbrush looking” thing.
TEETH GRINDING: is enough to drive even Mother Theresa nuts!
Babies will grind their teeth and/or drool/foam when their teeth are
coming in. Babies will generally start grinding their teeth at about 4
months of age as they are teething. They will also get more teeth in at
almost a year of age as well. They should have all of their adult teeth
in by the age of 2. Now this can vary some by their diet. So, several
times in their first 2 years of age they will be teething. It may last a
few days to a few weeks.
You can ease the babies teething by trying different doggie chew toys,
slice up apples and freeze them, give them popsicles, put some ice cubes
in their water. You can also give them some baby aspirin as well. 1
baby aspirin every 4-6 hours.
In general "teeth grinding" is associated with teething. However, they
grind their teeth to indicate pain/discomfort, if they are having some
dental issues, like a broken or abscessed tooth, or it could be
something stuck in their teeth or gums. If they have a really foul odor
coming from their mouth it would be a safe assumption that something is
awry. Be careful inspecting your piggies mouth! They have very strong
jaws! My Veterinarian stated about 500 psi. I researched some on the
internet and found variances from 200-560. Regardless, they are strong
none the less and some piggies will not be willing to let you look in
You can give them a peroxide wash in their mouth, I suggest doing this
outside or in a bathroom. It will not be a pretty sight. It is best to
put in the syringe and squirt inside the side of the mouth. You DO NOT
want them to swallow any peroxide. Then follow up with a Lysterine rinse
in the same way. Hopefully, if there was something stuck in their
teeth, this will have taken care of it. If this procedure does not help
after repeating a few times over a 24 hour period, it is best to take
your piggie in for a dental exam.
Sometimes PB’s Hooves will need to be trimmed. It all depends on how
much they naturally wear down. You can use a goat hoof trimmer or a dog
nail trimmer, dremmel or nail file. Trim off small amounts at a time.
You do not want to cut off too much and cut the tissue. Have styptic
swabs or powder on hand. Flour makes a good second choice for stopping
the quick from bleeding. NEVER force your pig. You will have to gently
coax them. I trim them when they are sleeping and rub their bellies to
keep them content. If you start playing with their feet right away this
will help. If you keep up a weekly or every two week routine up of
gently “shaping” their hooves up with an emery board, it will make life
easier. You wont likely have to trim their hooves. The more you work
with them and their feet the easier it will be on you both. Most Vets
will do hoof trims but it is needless cost and stress if you can keep up
with it on your own.
. There are
not any FDA approved PB pig vaccines. Some Veterinarians will use a
swine vaccine.. Your pig, your
choice. Discuss a plan with your Veterinarian.
I have done a lot of research with my Veterinarians as well as with
different drug companies. Some Vaccines like Pleura-shield have been known to kill PB's.
PB’s can get any swine disease/illness. They are less likely because
they are kept in small numbers and have never been exposed to swine.(I
am speaking about my PB’s, I can not speak for other breeders).
A lot of people over-vaccinate PB’s. There are some diseases that are
reproductive diseases. Parvo is a reproductive disease. It is NOT
necessary to vaccinate your pets for a breeding disease.
I vaccinate the babies for 2 different types of diseases.
One is Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. It is a cosmopolitan bacterium
capable of living for long periods in water, soil, pasture, decaying
organic matter, the slime on the bodies of fish, and in carcasses even
after smoking, pickling or salting! It is capable of invading the
tissues of animals, birds and man with production of some fairly
distinct and other less well-defined diseases.
What is leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It
is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans it causes a
wide range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms
at all. Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, severe headache,
chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice (yellow
skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or a rash. If the
disease is not treated, the patient could develop kidney damage,
meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal
cord), liver failure, and respiratory distress. In rare cases death
Many of these symptoms can be mistaken for other diseases. Leptospirosis
is confirmed by laboratory testing of a blood or urine sample.
How do people get leptospirosis?
Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to water
contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Many different kinds of
animals carry the bacterium; they may become sick but sometimes have no
symptoms. Leptospira organisms have been found in cattle, pigs, horses,
dogs, rodents, and wild animals. Humans become infected through contact
with water, food, or soil containing urine from these infected animals.
This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water or through
skin contact, especially with mucosal surfaces, such as the eyes or
nose, or with broken skin. The disease is not known to be spread from
person to person.
How long is it between the time of exposure and when people become sick?
The time between a person's exposure to a contaminated source and
becoming sick is 2 days to 4 weeks. Illness usually begins abruptly with
fever and other symptoms. Leptospirosis may occur in two phases; after
the first phase, with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting,
or diarrhea, the patient may recover for a time but become ill again. If
a second phase occurs, it is more severe; the person may have kidney or
liver failure or meningitis. This phase is also called Weil's disease.
The illness lasts from a few days to 3 weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several months.
Where is leptospirosis found?
Leptospirosis occurs worldwide but is most common in temperate or
tropical climates. It is an occupational hazard for many people who work
outdoors or with animals, for example, farmers, sewer workers,
veterinarians, fish workers, dairy farmers, or military personnel. It is
a recreational hazard for campers or those who participate in outdoor
sports in contaminated areas and has been associated with swimming,
wading, and whitewater rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers. The
incidence is also increasing among urban children.
Migratory birds can also spread the bacteria.
I will have wormed your PB before he/she comes to you. You can use any
wormer with the active ingredient pyrantel pamoate or fenbendazole. I
like to alternate wormers. Some worms and parasites can build up
resistance to wormers. I treat them twice a year with Ivomec. Their
first worming will be Ivomec. I worm March - Nov once a month. I give
Ivomec in December and June. The first year may be a bit off track. I
like to worm them at 8 weeks, 6 months and 1 year of age with Ivomec and
every 6 months following with Ivomec. My PB’s are born at different
times of year so some adjustments will need to be made to the time
schedule. If your PB NEVER goes outside to play, or is only outside for
a minimal time, you can worm with pyrantel/fenbendazole every other
** These are my practices and what works for myself and my healthy pigs.
Your Veterinarian may recommend a different worming schedule for your
PB’s can get mange mites (sarcoptic mange). They need to be treated with
Ivomec. The Treatment at 6 months of age and every 6 months following
is a preventative measure. I worm them with oral Ivomec (Ivermectin) at 8
weeks of age.
You can get the Ivomec at some feed stores or ask your vet to give you
enough for two doses. Tell your vet you want to give it by mouth instead
of in shots and he needs to give you a little more than the dose would
be. If you can not get it from your vet or find it at your local feed
store then you will need to shop on-line. You are looking for Ivomec for
swine the 1% solution. A bottle of Ivomec/Ivermectin is very expensive,
not to mention you will not use the entire bottle before it expires.
The most economical route is to get a tube of horse wormer.
HOW TO GIVE IVOMEC/WORMERS
Everyone has their own way of giving Ivomec/wormers. If you go to the
Vet he/she will want to give a shot. PB’s do not handle shots very well
so ask if it can be given orally. Some use 2/10th of a cc per 10 pounds
of body weight and 1/10th of a cc per 10 pounds if given by injection.
Others give 1cc per 50 pounds of body weight. Ivomec is safe and hard
to overdose so don't worry. BUT the true dosaging is 1 CC per 75lbs.
You can squirt the Ivomec into the side of its mouth (if using the
liquid type). Avoid shooting it directly into the mouth as you could
inadvertently get it into their lungs. They will spit most of it out. Be
sure to have a treat on hand!
Or you can dampen his food just a little and squirt the Ivomec on the
food and stir and they will usually eat it. If you have more then one
pig keep them separated so that you make sure each pig gets his full
Administering horse wormer paste (ivermectin); The percentage of
Ivomec/Ivermectin is higher. (1.75%). . The nice thing about Ivermectin is you really
need to give an amount in extreme excess for them to overdose. I like to
put the paste on a cheerio for the little babies, and for my older pigs
I make a PB & J sandwich and I break off a little piece and squirt
the wormer in the peanut butter. They NEVER know! Quick, easy, no mess
and no fuss!
**They will spit most of the liquid wormer out, try mixing the liquid wormers into applesauce.
******* Se De-worming section for dosaging*************
For a 'normal' case of mange mite you give two doses about 10-14 days apart and that is it.
You may have a problem with mites in their bedding also. Change all
bedding every time you use the Ivomec so they don't get re-infected. You
can also use lice Shampoo, let it sit on them for 10-20 minutes and
rinse. Cortisone cream helps relieve itching.
THE ONLY SAFE SEDATION FOR PB’S IS ISOFLOURANE GAS. DO NOT LET ANY VET
USE ANYTHING OTHER THAN ISO. If you do not have a choice, ketamine and a
valium mix can be used but it is not always 100% effective.
A Pot Belly pig can live up to 12 -18 years, estimates range up to more than 20 years if cared for properly.
Not all Veterinarians will treat PB’s. Some will claim that they are
“exotic” and some will claim they are farm animals. Farm Vets may not
treat them because they are exotic…. It can be a struggle to find a good
Vet. Do some checking and research. In case of emergencies you can
always resort to a University Vet hospital. PB’s are pretty healthy
creatures. It is best to always have a Vet on hand in case of an
Males will come neutered.
Consult your Veterinarian as to the proper age to spay your PB. There
are many different opinions on spaying. Most people say between 4-6
months of age. The older the female the harder it is to recover and the
more difficult the surgery becomes.
Evening primrose oil works great to tame hormones in males and females.
Give 1-2 capsules a day. (2 if they are really “manly” or cranky for the
girls). Only give EPO before and a week or 2 after a neuter for the
males and during “PMS” time for the girls (if any) I personally have
not had issues with my girls being cranky or bleeding (like dogs do). I
actually have not seen my girls bleed ever during estrus. It is not to
say that they cant or wont. It is not to say they cant or wont get
ADVANTAGES TO SPAY:
Spayed females have a lower chance of developing mammary tumors, and the
possibility of uterine infections also called Pyometria or ovarian
cancer as they age.
Females will no longer go into heat, eliminating the probability of
getting blood stains on the floor, bed, sofa, etc. when your female has
her heat cycle.
Un-spayed females can get “PMS”
Spayed females experience less of a need for territorial marking
behavior. They sometimes will urinate in front of their favorite
Now, there is a critical time for spaying… If they are too old or too
fat the procedure may be life-threatening. It is best to have them
spayed under 1 year of age. Please consult with your Veterinarian as
each Dr will differ on their practices.
The easiest way to get the harness on is after you have been rubbing
their bellies and they are totally relaxed. Slip the harness over their
legs and pull the other side up and snap it on top. (I hope this makes
sense). Tell them they are a good piggie and give them a treat. Let them
run around the house with it on for an hour or so. The next day repeat
above and attach the leash, let them walk around with the leash
dangling. Be sure to watch them so they do not get tangled. Then the
next day walk with them around the house.
Piggies learn quickly that they can lead you! They may throw a tantrum
because they do not want to go left and then you allow them to go right.
Remember they are not dumb! be equipped with a baggie of treats. At
first you may have to let them think they are in the lead... they do
catch on very fast. Remember you hae to be smarter and stronger
(emotionally) than your piggie!
You can leash train your PB’s. Get an “H” style harness. The brand I
like to use is “comfort Wrap”. UNTIL your PB gets to know you and your
yard, I DO NOT advise taking them outside without a harness and leash.
PB’s can scare and believe it or not run VERY fast. They do not tire
easy and the more you chase them the more they run.
PB’s love to play outside. It is not advised to just let them “roam” if
you do not have a fenced in yard. Be sure there are not any spots your
little PB can escape from.
Be sure they are not left without shade!!!!!!!!!
Pigs love to root. They will make a mess in the yard. Mine tend to root
more in the spring and in the fall. They love to go acorn hunting! DO
NOT put one of those “humane” nose rings in their nose. Humane my ham! I
will be more than happy to pierce any humans nose that does this to
their PB. Pigs root by nature. They will root up your lawn. If you do
not like that, you should not get a pig!
Now some piggies will not root at all, some a little and some a lot. It
just all depends on the piggy. Some of my piggies hate getting dirty and
I have a few that live in mud in the summer.
Be sure to not use any chemicals on your lawn! Some lawn services
advertise “pet-safe”, how can it be safe for anything if it kills bugs?
When I was younger, and in the city, we HAD to have the best lawn…. My
Dad used to wash the grass down with Simple Green and Basic H. (found at
Sam’s Club) Not sure what the combo was but, we had the nicest lawn!
PB’s like to root in the lawn and will eat grasses and weeds. Keep all
chemicals off your lawn and be conscious of your neighbors use of
chemicals as well. You do not want a sick piggy or risk shortening their
When I give my PB’s snacks like cereal or craisins, I like to throw it
on the floor. It makes them have to search around for it and gives them a
little exercise. With multiple piggies in the house it reminds me of
that game “Hungry, Hungry Hippos”!
I will also throw treats out in the yard. I tell them they are
“hunting”. I like to buy up bags of jelly beans on clearance and candy
corn in the fall. It is SO fun watching them “hunt” threw the leaves.