After a harsh winter, we are all looking forward to summer and warmer temperatures! There is no denying how exhausted we are of the freezing cold and added work needed to properly care for the animals in those treacherous conditions. Rest assured... Summer is right around the corner! With that in mind, let's get some recommendations out for summertime fun and safety with your pet pig.
*Avoid Sunburns. All color variations and pigments can suffer a sunburn but pink pigs are especially susceptible. Always make sure to apply a thin layer of sunscreen to your pig before long days in the sun. Make sure it is a sunscreen made for children or a spray already made for animals. I use Banana Boat Kids broad spectrum sumscreen lotion. Ones made for animals can easily be found at any major pet retailers like PetsMart or Petco. If your pet does get a minor burn, grab some spray or rub on Aloe Vera gel and apply topically.
*Avoid over heating. Make sure to always have an area in which your pet can retreat in to the shade if it becomes too warm. Never leave a pig in total direct sunlight without a way to escape the sun, even for an hour, as this can be deadly.
*Always have fresh cool drinking water on hand and easily accessible to your pet. Pet pigs will try everything they can to flip over or get in to a water dish. Make sure every hour that your pig has clean fresh water that has not been dumped or spilled.
*Outdoor pigs adjust with the changing seasons but pigs that are predominantly indoors their entire life can struggle with the sudden temperature change. Make sure to slowly increase your pigs outdoor exposure in gradual steps. Monitor them for any major attitude changes and signs that the heat may be too much for them. Always keep a watchful eye.
*Both indoor and outdoor pigs will always enjoy a nice wallow in the mud. This is a vey natural behavior for pigs. In the wild, pigs use wallowing to fulfill many important needs. Pigs have very few sweat glands and need to regulate their temperate, wallowing in mud can actually bring the pigs core temp down by 3.6 degrees. Having mud on the skin can also act as a natural sun blocker. Even more, it helps ward off insects. A mud bath can be messy but very rewarding for your pet pig!
*Plastic kiddie pools and even ones designed for pets at major pet stores, are wonderful summer time play places. If your pig struggles getting in to the pool, you can either cut a small door like hole in the side, don't make it so deep that it will no longer hold water though. Or you can dig a small hole and sink it in to the ground. Once a month, make sure to spray your kiddie pool with a bleach/water solution (10-20%) and scrub your pigs kiddie pool; make sure to rinse thoroughly. Dump the water and store your pool every evening or every day to promote a clean pool/environment . Please see our "Product page" for ideas on pet pig pools.
*Ingroud Pool safety. Many people have in ground pools and when summer time rolls around we live in them! Pet pigs do enjoy a good swim but never assume your pig can swim right from the start and just throw them in. Always start on a step or very shallow end. Make sure they never feel threatened or that they can't get out. try and gently guide them to the steps or ramp area. Always closely supervise a pet pig in a human pool, never leave them unattended! Think of and treat them as a small toddler around a pool.
*Enjoy enrichment exercises. Have a constantly hungry pig? Make them work for it! There are many toys on the market that make the pig roll around a toy or figure out how to get the unit to dispense food. This is wonderful exercise but also offers great stimulization! Even for outdoor pigs, you'd be surprised how much they love to work/play with a toy, for food. I like to wash out my milk cartons and then cut a small hole in the side a little higher than the food or treats. Tie a piece of twine to the milk carton handle and tie the other end lower on a fence. The pig will hit it and do anything necessary to get that food out. When the pig is done remove it and throw it away. I suggest always using a new milk carton every few days, this will ward off dirt and bacteria build up.
*The long summer evenings are a wonderful time to get your pig outside and let it graze on natural grass. If you live in a housing development or in the city, put that baby on a harness and take it to a nice area for an hour of hand grazing. If you live on a farm or have access to a fenced field or pasture, offer your pig a couple hours of outside grazing. This not only promotes healthy digestion but offers wonderful exercise for your pet. Have you ever seen a pig frolick? If you haven't, I promise you will if you let your piggy roam free in a pasture in the summer time!
Summer time can be a lot of fun with pets! What do you do with your piggies to ensure a delightful summer experience? Tell us about it!
The Hog Blog...
Jodi will be keeping up the blog but we are more interested in guest bloggers! Please contact us via email if you may be interested! Check back to see who our guest blogger is and what topic we will be exploring.