Keeping people safe while caring for pets during the COVID-19 outbreak
To all our valuable clients and their pets, we at the Veterinary Center will continue to stay open to care for ill pets during this difficult time, but to ensure the health and safety of you, your pets, and our staff, we are implementing some new protocols:
All payment for services will be due at the time of treatment, as usual, and will be processed over the phone. We are sorry if these new policies inconvenience our clients in any way, but in order to keep our staff healthy so that we may be there to treat your pets, we feel that these steps are necessary. We cannot compromise on these new policies and risk the health of our staff. Please be patient during these trying times so that we can all get through this safely and not compromise our health or the health of our beloved pets.Learn More
If outdoors, pigs can be housed in a large pen with insulated housing. If indoors, pigs can be kept in a pig-safe room when unsupervised. Pigs that have access to the outdoors will generally have fewer tendencies towards obesity, and have healthier coats/skin/hooves. It is important to monitor for temperature extremes, as pigs do not sweat. If the outside temperature is > 85 F, they need methods of cooling including fans, water, and mud wallows. They should always have access to shade, as they can sunburn as well. During the winter time, they need supplemental heaters or commercial heating blankets for pigs. Appropriate bedding can include old blankets or comforters, and deep piles of hay. The bedding should be cleaned on a daily basis.
These animals can make great pets, but only in the right environment, and prospective pet pig owners should do thorough research first. Pigs are very smart and inquisitive, and need to start training and socialization when young. Additionally as pigs would normally spend most of their day foraging and rooting around for food, appropriate outlets need to be provided to allow them access to these activities.
They can be taught to use foraging toys, such as food dispensing toys made for dogs, or manna balls. If not properly socialized, pigs can become aggressive towards people. They can also easily be prone to obesity due to improper diet and/or minimal opportunities for exercise.
Pet pigs can and should be taught to use a litter pan. The litter pan can be made from a small plastic swimming pool, or the base of a dog crate. It should have a hole in the side so it is easy for the pig to get in and out of.
Pigs should be fed pelleted diets made especially for miniature pigs, such as Mazuri Mini-Pig, Heartland, and Ross Mill Farm. There are often separate diets for young pigs, adult/mature pigs, and geriatric pigs. Frequent feedings in small amounts, offered in treat-dispensing toys like the Manna Ball or Buster Cube help to encourage activity and decrease obesity. Pigs can also be offered small amounts of vegetables as part of their regular diet. Fruits and grains (like cereals) should be limited to treats. Pigs can also be offered hay.
Pigs should have a regular supply of water, changed and cleaned daily.
Vaccinations are often recommended, including Erysipelas, tetanus toxoid and leptospirosis. Pigs should be checked or treated for scabies, a common mite that causes severe skin inflammation and itching. They should be de-wormed as babies, and should have regular stool samples checked as they can carry a roundworm, Ascaris, which can be spread to people. Their tusks (especially males) may need annual trimming, while hooves may need trimming a few times yearly. Females should be spayed at 3-6mo of age to prevent unpredictable and aggressive behavior. Males should be neutered for the same reason, and also to help control odor. It is important to know that neither spaying nor neutering will eliminate the typical pig odor. Pet pigs are also commonly prone to obesity and nutritional disorders, and should have a veterinary exam at least once per year.