More and more people are into exotic animals now, and a teacup or miniature pig is an excellent alternative for your common house pet. Teacup pigs are very intelligent and social animals, and they are a bit akin to dogs, but until their pig brethren, they don’t get very big.
They are very popular pets nowadays, and stars like Miley Cyrus even have two as her house pets. Teacup pigs are also very cute, cuddly, and playful, and they will bring you a ton of antic and joy. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn more tips about owning a miniature pig.
1. Dietary tips for caring for a minipig
Treats are fine, especially as environmental enrichment or training, but it is very important to keep track of your diet. Your mini pig should eat species-specific foods. These animals are very greedy, as they always ask for more and tend to gain weight.
Did we mention before that they can reach 40 kilos? Well, with obesity, these animals can reach 80 kilograms of body mass, with all the health problems that imply. This should not be allowed under any circumstances.
2. Mental health
Of course, its psychological and emotional well-being was not going to be less. They are highly intelligent animals- more so than dogs even- and with a complex emotional life. They form strong bonds with their partners and need attention and affection.
In addition, like all intelligent animals, they show excess boredom through behavioral problems. It is very important to keep them busy with environmental enrichment to avoid this indoors and outdoors. This can be done with toys, puzzles, games, and much more.
3. Space requirements
Although they are called mini pigs, miniature pigs, dwarf pigs, or teacup pigs, these animals can weigh up to 40 kilos. It is therefore important to have enough space for them. In addition, some planning is needed for the future, as its life expectancy is about 15 years, so the space that is prepared must be sustainable.
On the other hand, miniature pigs- like other breeds of pigs- love to tan, so it would be ideal if they had a garden or outdoor space where they could tan and walk around. They are also spotless animals and love to bathe. If you provide them with a pool in the summer, you’ll enjoy some quality time with your piggy companion.
4. Veterinary care
Since they have not been man’s companions for too long, there is no legislation regarding their vaccinations and mandatory veterinary care. Anyway, since they are animals that go out and interact with other species, yes, it is necessary to keep a calendar with your vaccinations and deworming.
In fact, the vaccines that protect miniature pigs also indirectly prevent humans: several zoonotic diseases can be transmitted between the guardian and the pet, such as cholera, which can be controlled with these injections.
5. Body hygiene
As you read above, pigs are very clean animals- and they don’t sweat either, so their body odor is not strong- but they can’t groom themselves like other animals, so they bathe and wallow in the ground in the wild to get rid of parasites. This, in a house, is difficult.
For this reason, it is important to maintain your personal hygiene as best as possible. You can do this by washing the animal with wet towels or bathing it at most once a week. This will prevent skin problems that can result from poor hygiene, such as dermatitis or opportunistic infections.
6. Final thoughts
As you can see, a miniature pig has special needs, just like any other species. Their lifestyle, similar to that of dogs, makes many people fall into the mistake of treating them like a dog. Without going any further, the boredom mentioned above triggers destructive behaviors much worse than in dogs, and not even anxiety: their eagerness to explore will lead pigs to go through anything, to feel stimulated.
This is why it is very important to consider whether the guardian will be able to meet your needs before acquiring one, as the consequences can be disastrous for both the minipig and the human. If these tips for caring for a minipig have helped you, you’re probably well on your way to enjoying a few good years with your fellow miniature pig.
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