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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.

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!

Pig Prowess

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:

Pigs have been known to save the lives of others, including their human friends. According to London's The Mirror, "a 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.



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!

Most important to Piggies! I send them with a few pounds of food when shipped. Local people are welcome to by a few bags of feed from me. $18.00 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!


Stairs: 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: 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.

Time outs;
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 go in.

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 more.

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 it. 

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 possibly destructive.
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 of them.

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.


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!




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 you.
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 box.
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.


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 
       the box.
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 box.

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 skin.
*** 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 and rump.
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 their eyes.

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 animals. 

Trimming Tusks
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 male's tusks.

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 between trimmings.
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 their mouth.
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 occurs.

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 month.
** These are my practices and what works for myself and my healthy pigs. Your Veterinarian may recommend a different worming schedule for your region.**   

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.
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 dose.
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 emergency.


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 cranky either. 

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 people/animals.

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 life!
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.


PB’s are very sensitive to extreme heat. If your PB is outside for the day be sure they have a WELL shaded area, water, sun screen and a Kiddie Pool. Pigs do not have sweat glands and are not able to cool themselves via sweating. Most PB’s love to lounge in a kiddie pool on hot days. You may need to put the non-skid bath stickers on the bottom. NEVER force your PB to go in the pool. The first time you introduce the pool to your piggy, make sure that the water is ambient temperature. You do not like it when someone dunks you in cold water! It is best to start out with just a little water, you can add more each day so they get more acclimated. Gently lift your PB into the pool telling them how good they are and giving them a snack. DO NOT throw them in, splash them etc… you will scare them and they may never go into the pool again. Once they know where the pool is they will go in when they want. Be sure it is the really small kiddie pool. You do not want it too tall or they can not easily get out. You do not want them to panic! You can also put some treats in the water to make it fun! Cheerios float for a while and apples will float for a long time!
On really hot days I like to give my guys Gatorade. I buy the big can of powdered Gatorade and mix them up some. They LOVE it. Remember they do “dribble” when they drink, red Gatorade stains nicely!
On really hot days I will leave the sprinkler on. Some piggies like it, some don’t.


Pigs are very susceptible to pneumonia. The biggest cause of pneumonia is weather, but it can also be brought on by stress. Pigs can "stress out" quite easily. Because of their small lung size, bronchitis or pneumonia can kill a pig quickly

Fortunately for some of my piggies they get to move somewhere warm! For our cold climate piggies; doggie sweaters work great. Be sure the sweater for a male does not cover up their “manhood”. Most piggies love having their sweaters on. Some hate it. The process to clothe a PB can be …well… a bear! You will want to pick up a few different sizes to be prepared! The BEST time to start clothing your PB is when they are babies and asleep. Gently slip it on them. If you make it traumatic for them, it will always be traumatic. And some piggies are just brats and will make it difficult every time. (have one)
 Do not yank their arms into the arm holes. Pretend you are clothing an infant. It is best to start when they are young. Just practice putting the clothes on and off. When we “go out” in the summer, I like to put T-shirts and tank tops on my guys. It helps keep the sun off of them. Be sure it is thin breathable material so they do not over-heat. I have yet to find a hat that will work, I have tried many. SO, if you ever find a hat that works please let me know so I can share it with other piggy parents.  Here is a quote from one of my piggy parents; “Yes, and we bought him a little sweater for when he is outside and he loves it we take it off when he comes in and he wants it back on! So cute he has the best personality! Thank you so much! “ ……


PB’s like a variety of different toys. Stuffed animals, 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. 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….
You can take a clean litter box and put a bunch of waffle balls in it. Put some treats in there and the piggies will search for them.
You can use dog/cat treat balls. Golf balls, baby rattles, tennis balls, bounce balls, stuffed animals, Put treats into a paper lunch sack and crumple it up and give it to them. Leave trails of craisins or cereal for them to hunt and find. In the fall time I will buy bags of the candy corn and candy pumpkins and throw them out amongst the leaves. The piggies have a blast “hunting” for candy corn!
They also like to play with the bark on firewood. It makes a mess but they have great fun! 
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!



Q? What do you feed your pigs to keep them so small?
A:  Food has NOTHING to do with genetics. They will be as tall as their genes see fit. Now as far as being heavy and fat, that is up to YOU! NEVER withhold feedings or food because you think your pig will stay small! That is cruel! You can not change genetics and if you stunt their growth from improper diet, well, I did a bad job of screening you as a piggy parent and I should be shot right along side you! If you stunt their growth, they will most likely have a lot of health issues in the future. 



I like to give them a “Flinstone” (or equivalent childrens) vitamin. 1 per day. You will find that your piggy may not like some of the flavors. ½ a vitamin from baby to 6 months of age. Some piggies will not eat flinstones and will only eat the gummy ones and vice versa.

Adding one or more of the following will help with dry skin issues. Give one capsule per day, of Fish oil and/or Vitamin E. Flax oil and/or Flax seed; dosage depends on the type and quality of the product that you are using. Flax products are best refrigerated. Some say that once the flax seed is ground and packaged that it "loses" some of its value. I buy whole flax seed and grind it in my coffee grinder and keep it in the freezer. You can feed whole flax seed, but just like with us humans it is harder to digest the hull of the flax seed. By breaking the hull, more of the nutrients are easily taken from the seed. If you are giving the flax seed oil, give 1-2 Tablespoons daily. Ground flax seed, about 1/4 cup. You will need to adjust their diet as you are adding additional fats. These however are the "good" fats, Omega 3's and Omega 6's.

Pot bellied pigs generally have voracious appetites and will eat nearly anything that you offer them. Unfortunately they are also very prone to obesity which can lead to foot and joint problems as well as other health problems.
You have to gauge their feedings pretty much on a weekly basis for a while. All piggies have different metabolisms just as us humans. You will also have to re-evaluate your piggies diet in the winter. Just like us, they put on “winter weight”.

There are PB pig food diets out there. I think they are bland and boring. I personally do not like the bagged PB feeds. A lot of it is by-product and you never know how fresh it is. Find a local feed mill that can mix feed for you. It is fresh, 100% real grain and less than half the price per bag than comercial PB/mini pig feeds.

It is your choice what to feed. I personally do not care for the commercial feeds. They are too high in fiber and they get bound up. Yes, fiber helps to make them more "full" but they are more constipated.

Nutrisource - Protein 16%, Fat 3%, Fiber 11%
Mazuri youth- Protein 20%, Fat 5%, Fiber 3%
Mazuri adult- Protein 12%, Fat 3%, Fiber 12%
My feed- Protein 15%, Fat 3%, Fiber 3%

 In the winter months I give the mixed grain and pellet. Along with their other diet.   It is similar to Sweet 16. Some calf feeds are similar as well. NEVER FEED ANY MEDIACATED FEED. NEVER FEED HOG FEED! That is meant to fatten pigs for eating.
Most of my PB parents feed a cup (less when they are piglets) of grain/pellet mix along with veggies, fruit and snacks.
Check with your local mill, pet store or Fleet Farm. If you do not see what you would like ask a manager to order it for you. Or you can check with Purina online to find a local retailer. It is around $20 a bag. If you choose to go with commercial feeds. If you cannot find a mix that you like.  It will last a long time, so I am told. I truly could not tell you how long a bags lasts. It has been many years since I have had just one piggy!
My breeders get mostly the grain diet and get snacks and veggies. My house pigs get a natural diet. I feed thawed frozen veggies, fresh veggies, cereal, fruit, protein (chicken, Peanut Butter (OMG! They love PB & J, be sure to cut into small pieces so they do not choke) tofu, beans) NEVER feed raw meat. PB’s can get e coli and salmonella. I personally will not feed them pork. Vegetarians here!. No bacon, ham, chops, roasts…. For either of us! It is your choice on that. I just think it is sick. (my opinion, not fact)

ALWAYS cut up food into small pieces for your baby. They can choke!

PB’s are ALWAYS hungry. It is best to feed smaller meals multiple times a day. Even a small piece of apple or a few cheerios will “satisfy” their starvation. It is very easy to over-feed your pig. They are small and have small stomachs. The more you over-feed, the more it stretches their stomach and the fatter they get. Same as humans
Some people say NEVER feed fried food, fattening food. My philosophy is everything in moderation. A few French fries here and there, pizza, chips, candy…. Etc.  A little bit as a treat every once in a while is what we practice. If I come home from going out and do not bring them a little white box, they are mad!

It is NOT true that pigs will eat everything
. . You will find that babies will spit the hulls of the oats out if there is some in your mix.
My piggies wont eat raw whole carrots but, they will eat them sliced, thawed frozen carrots and cooked carrots. “Ruckus” hates bananas but loves banana chips… “Emmet” hates tomatoes, Snork hates potatoes, loves PB but wont eat peanuts….. Charlotte will eat raw tomatoes but not cooked, wont eat tomato soup either. Emma hates broccoli and zucchini. Most of my piggies will not eat green beans, broccoli or cabbage. They WONT eat any kind of pepper, onion or mushroom UNLESS it is in spaghetti, chinese food or on pizza! Some of mine hated fish as babies and love it now… Your PB will have his/her own personality and palate. Just as humans. You can try the same foods when they are older and they may like them again.

Piggies have a SWEET TOOTH! Take care in what you feed. Too much sugar may make them hyper, over time fat and it is bad for their teeth    !

How much to feed? Some people say only 1 cup per day…. As an adult I think that it is not enough.

As babies, 1 cup of food spread throughout the day with a few snacks. I slowly increase the food so as adults they have 2-3 cups a day and snacks. You really just have to gauge it on your PB. If they are getting too fat, lessen the amount of food.  Neutered males tend to get fatter, faster. Some PB’s will be more prone to obesity, PB’s that do not exercise will gain weight faster, we are less active in the winter and gain weight, so will PB’s.

New foods can upset a babies stomach. When introducing a new food only give small amounts. For example: 1 French fry. 1 grape etc…

Many PB’s will chew gum. YES! I said chew gum. My guys will chew it and spit it out when the flavor is gone or a new piece of gum is offered. I write this because PB’s will RAID your purse, briefcase, jacket etc. and will do what ever they can to get in there. They know how to zip and unzip zippers!!  Some may pick up stray gum outside (yucko!) My guys don’t, but it is a possibility. One of My Vets recently told me that some dogs have gotten sick from gum containing Zorbital.

YES! PIGS CAN FLY!!! For those not flying your pigs, skip to next section!




When the babies have a long flight they may soil inside of their crates and you may unfortunately have a stinky little one. Hence the baby wipes and an old towel to set them on while you wipe them. Your little one is going to be scared and very thirsty. It is very important to give them water/Gatorade. They may make a mess because they are scared or just overly excited to drink. I do not give them food or water 2 hours prior to their flight because they can get upset stomachs. 

Try and get them to eat a little. Have them eat from your hand!!! This will build the trust faster with your baby!

It is best to travel with the baby in your arms on the way home. It may not be the most pleasant smell but it will help your baby bond to you! It is best NOT to pick your baby up with the kids. Sorry, but your baby is going to be overwhelmed and too much excitement will make them stress even more!

I like to be prepared- so bring the skittles and some Karo or honey. It wont hurt them to give a skittle or two even if they are not that stressed. I have not had any babies have any problems but I would rather you have the items on hand and not need them.

Piggies that fly tend to be attached to their crates because it reminds them of home. They may chose to hide in their crates. When you get home clean out the crate and take the door off.

**For those with allergies** You will want to have someone bathe your baby! Your baby has been in contact with dogs and cats and the dander can transfer. ***

Bathing…. It is going to stress your baby out. You will have to use your best judgment as to how stressed out they are. Sometimes you do not have a choice but to give a bath.

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 matt 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 skin.
*** 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!


Both boars (males) and sows (females) have two rows of nipples. The females use them to nurse their young, but the nipples on a boar are useless.
Adult male pigs are called boars. Adult female pigs are called sows. A female pig that has never farrowed (had babies) is called a gilt. A castrated boar is called a barrow.
Pigs, either domesticated or wild live on every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica.
A pig's squeal can make your ears throb because they can squeal louder than the sound of a supersonic Concorde – up to 115 decibels
Wild pigs will eat bulbs, roots, fungi, eggs, birds, rodents, fruit, snails, carrion and snakes.

Pigs are very clean animals. They go to the toilet in one particular area of their pen and never soil their living quarters.
A human seldom gets sick from being around pigs, but humans can give pigs such diseases as bordetella, influenza, ring worm and hoof and mouth disease. How? From the bacteria on their skin.

The gestation period of a pig is 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days, or 115 days in total.

A domesticated pig has approximately 15,000 taste buds, which is more than any other mammal, including humans.

Pigs do not sweat, as they have no sweat glands. Pigs would rather stay clean if given the opportunity. They frequently wallow in mud because they have not sweat glands, and the mud helps to keep them cool and to avoid insects.

Pigs were domesticated around 7,000 BC. They were the first animals to ever be used domestically.
Pigs weren’t native to North America, but were brought to the mainland of Florida in 1539.


We are interested in owning a pot-bellied pig as a pet. We have never owned a pig before. We currently have a small dog and a cat that are both indoor pets. We live in ********. Can pigs be kept indoors as pets?
Yes. I have them as inside pets and these piglets have been raised inside.

Do you know if the city allows people to have pigs as pets?
Each city varies. I used to live in Blaine and I had a wolf, skunks, pheasants, pig and a goat! You need to check with your City to be sure. Sometimes cities require a permit. If they say no, you can send letters and ask for an exception. “Therapy animals” are great exceptions………. J  Just be sure to visit a hospital or home at some point with your piggy! You will be amazed at the joy PB’s will bring to people and how much people want to know about them. A perfect chance to educate people as to how wonderful it is to share your life with a PB!

We were thinking of getting another dog but I know that pigs are just as smart (if not smarter) than dogs and generally clean.
Pigs are in the top 4 smartest creatures, humans being #1. Recent studies suggest that pigs are actually smarter than apes, however they do not have fingers to do sign language. Pigs learn faster than apes and dogs. Pigs are very clean. They barely shed. You may find a pig hair once in a while but nothing like a dog or a cat. Pigs do like to play in the dirt and rut around- this is when they will get dirty. If they get food on their face they will wipe it off (usually on the closest human! LOL)

We also feel bad for all the countless number of pigs that are killed for food. I am bringing up my son as a vegetarian and I thought this would be a good way to make sure he understands where we are coming from. It's difficult to keep him from eating meat when the world around him eats it all the time.
I have not eaten pork in years! I have many animals but I can not eat them. This will be a VERY good way for him to learn! I used to eat pork often until I got my PB's. Now the sight and thought of it turns my stomach!

Can they be crate trained like dogs?
I do not recommend a crate. The first week or so confine them to a small room with their litter box. I WOULD CONFINE THEM TO A ROOM NOT A CRATE! PB's are highly intelligent and can become withdrawn or destructive if kept in a crate
** Most of my babies that have traveled on a plane to their new homes tend to prefer to stay in the crate they traveled in. Some of my piggy parents offer a crate with the door removed for them to have a “nest” in. I just do not use them unless I have a baby traveling and I get them used to their crate before they travel.

How often do they need to go outside, what kind of cold and hot weather can they withstand, etc.
The do not fair well in extreme cold for long periods. Sweaters work great. They do not withstand extreme heat, they need shade, a kiddie pool and sunscreen.
They are litter trained, so you always have that as a back-up. I let them out 3-4 times a day if it is nice. If it is really cold they wont go out. In the summer they have free reign. I have a piggie door for them to use.

Looks like we are definitely not set up for a pig (yet). We have a lot of houseplants, a fairly active 3 year old, and a pug and a cat. Our dog is playful with other dogs but not sure how she would react to a pig. I know the cat won't like having another animal. After 5 years, she still does not get along with the dog.
Animals will sense when enough is enough and to back off. I wouldn't be too concerned about that unless she has claws!.

Our 3 year old does harass the dog at times but he's getting better.
It will be something your 3 yr old will have to learn. Not impossible. Children need to learn respect for animals at young ages. Eventually your PB will not care. It is just I do not have children so some children will scare him/her at first.

I guess the behavioral quirks are what's holding me back right now. For e.g, can you train pigs to not knock over house plants or do we need to get rid of them or put them up high in hanging baskets or something like that?
Pigs like to rut in dirt. It would be a hard task with many messes in the interim. Why torture your piggy having to learn that and why make yourself mad? Put the plants up.

On two days of the week we are both gone from about 8 to 5. So, on those days the pig will have to be alone with the other two pets most of the day until we get home. Our dog is used to it. Do pigs get used to it or will they start tearing up the carpet, etc?
They will get used to your routine. It may take them a little while to get used to it but then they will be just fine! Your PB will be happy to have your dog as a buddy to keep him/her company.

We also currently don't have a fenced yard. I think this is a good idea to get done before we decide to get a pig.
You can use a harness and a leash. I recommend it until your PB is used to you and your home. PB's are good about knowing where they live (after time) HOWEVER, they are curious and may wander. I have 80 acres so they are used to a big "yard". They will not go far nor want to stay out long in the winter time. You always have the litter box as a back-up. They are first trained to go in the potty box. Until you get a fence up do not leave them unattended in the outdoors.

Where are you located? Is it possible for us to come take a look at the pigs or for you to come by with them if you are going to be in the area?
I am in Dent, MN. Dent is in between Detroit Lakes and Wadena. People are welcome  to come and visit. I do request that you not visit any farms or zoo prior to your visit as well as wearing plastic booties and using hand sanitizer. I do not allow anyone on the farm until the babies are 7 weeks old. If the males are not healed from their netering surgery it may be after 7 weeks before I allow visitors. I am not sorry to offend anyone on this, it is for the safety of all of my animals.  At any given time there will be some kind of construction going on and mud. (unless it is winter). I also frequent the twin cities and a meeting can be arranged! I prefer that people meet a PB before jumping into it!.

Misti, Fiona is doing great. She has a home next to the puppy, he was a little too playful for her. They have a fence between them now and I put them together and supervise them. She had a wood tick and didn't like when I picked her up to take it off. Can pigs use frontline or something? She is eating well and is a champ at using her litter pan. She loves having her tummy scratched. She has a soft kennel in an indoor area and a small doggy bed in a covered out door area that she has access to. She loves to play with doggy toys. She is so cute and smart. She wags her tail whenever I say her name. I will be bringing her inside the house when she is comfortable with us. each of my girls spend time with her. The set up here is a heated barn (it used to be a boarding kennel for dogs and so there is a 4 by 4 indoor area which is nice because it is very cool during the day and it's a great escape from mosquitoes and flies. A plexiglass door is lifted open and she can walk out into a 4 by 12 foot run that is also covered but open to the outside. She can see the horses and other dogs from her out door run. Today I started constructing a larger pen that she can walk out into from her run...she'll have grass to lay and walk on and she can dig if she feels like it. The puppy's door will open into the same pen. I'll bring her inside now that I know she is so good using her litter box. I just wasn't sure. She is doing great. I love her. Question: the puppy loves to eat her poop! Do your dogs like piggie poop? strange. How much of the grain does she eat a day? Thanks for Fiona, Annie

I am glad she is getting along well. She will bond to you far quicker and have a better bond if you have her inside with you. She is used to playing outside during the day and coming in the house at night. The more time she spends in the house smelling "your smells", the quicker she will get used to you.
Puppy may be lacking something in his diet... generally dogs eat feces if they are lacking something. Growing puppies I would imagine expend more vitamins and minerals because they are growing. Maybe add a vitamin to his diet. My dogs do not eat poo but they will come and steal the pigs grain. You could simply try giving the puppy some grain as well and see if that stops the poo eating.
DO NOT use frontline on pigs or any product of that matter. There have not been enough studies done on it. I know some of these products kill small dogs. You can use Avon Skin So Soft on her. Wait until she is laying down and you are rubbing her belly and then pull the tick off.
I feed 3 times a day. Right now she should get a cup per day, including grain & veggies and fruits. And a few snacks. You have to gauge their feeding on their weight- to thin add more food, too fat, back off of the food

FUNNY PIGGIE STORIES!!! (always adding and welcome any stories, wish I would have written more down!)

From: Amanda and Tim (humans) Tewilliger and now Tellula

If they spend too much time on the computer, "Tewilliger" will sneak up behind them and push down the lever that adjusts the chair and they go flying to the floor in the chair. He laughs...piggie laugh. And runs out of the room.

If they do not go to bed on time (like on the weekend) Tewilliger will whine. He will get really loud with his whining, run upstairs and slam the bedroom door!

At bedtime, Tewilliger has his own toothbrush and gets to brush his teeth! He is the  FIRST one in bathroom at night. (must be why he gets so mad when it is past his bedtime!)

Now this goes into the category of what to train and not to train:
Amanda trained Tewilliger to go outside as well has his initial potty box training. She would ALWAYS give him a treat when he came in from going outside. He will often “fake” going potty outside to get a treat. Amanda was also worried about accidents in the middle of the night, So, they would bring him out in the middle of the night as a piglet and he would get his treat. Tewilliger much prefers to go potty outside and would rather wait than go into his box and he wakes them up in the middle of the night so he can go potty and get his treat!

This is from one of my Therapy Piggies Moms;

“I hope you had a Blessed Easter. I do have pictures of Tiny whenever I figure out how to get them to you---but wanted to let you know he is a love and spoiled rotten. Larry shooos him out of his office---so when Tiny goes in there he tiptoes and is very quiet thinking Larry won't notice him. He snuggles with the dogs, the other day my 2 cats, 2 dogs and Tiny were playing tag---it was this herd of animals running down the hallway---sliding into the wall and all turning around and running the other way---went on for 15 min. It was a hoot!. He has won the hearts of everyone at Ft. Meade. “

Linda …..
VA Black Hills Health Care System

My stories;

Miss Pixie Dust

Miss Pixie Dust demands her breakfast at 8:30 am. If I am not up she is in my face squealing. If that does not work, she is climbing on me and squealing in my face. If you chose to cover your face with a blanket, cover your ears. They seem to know that squealing in your ears is very loud! If my neck is exposed she will lick the back of my neck. There was one day when I was really ill and I was begging her just 5 more minutes. I must have said that a few too many times. HOW she figured this out is beyond me… She pushed over the floor lamp and it bonked me right in the head! Let me tell you I was up! It still baffles me as to how she figured that out and calculated the angle to bonk me right in the head! She taught me though! Oh how easily the humans are trained!

I can not take complete credit for this as Pixie learned on her own to close the front door. I just mistakenly started rewarding her for it. I have the main door and a glass/screen door where I put in a “piggy” door. I will open the main door and let everyone go out to go potty or to play outside. If it is cold, Pixie will shut the door. She is the door police! If she doesn’t want someone to go out…denied… she will close the door. She will also close the door on another piggy trying to go out. I swear she thinks it is funny. When it is time for everyone to come in; Pixie will close the door on piggies coming in! I now have to tie the door back if I want it to stay open.

When Miss Pixie had her first litter. She thought it would be great to lay on me and nurse her piggies on me sitting on the couch. At least I have gotten her to nurse them on the couch next to me. I guess she figures she should be in extreme comfort while nursing! God forbid Miss Princess should lay herself on the floor!

Pixie just had her 2nd litter. I was gone all night and came home to 11 precious babies that she gave birth to ON my couch!….. Uck….


Miss Sophia is spoiled wrotten and very jealous! If I am petting another pig she will nip my hand and bite the other offender! How dare I pet another piggy!
If she sees the cat laying on my lap she will jump on the couch and lay on top of the cat! Sophia is so jealous and loves all of my attention.

Many more stories to come……..


All species of pig are smarter than dogs, and capable of abstract representation. “They can hold an icon in their mind, and remember it at a later date,” says Professor Stanley Curtis of Penn State University, who discovered that pigs dominate at video games with joy sticks. Curtis goes on to say, “Pigs are able to focus with an intensity I have never seen in a chimp
Read more: http://mammals.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_intelligent_pig#ixzz0WZZpcSZ5

WHAT to do if your pet has eaten any toxic foods

"In yesterdays newsletter I covered some very common, yet virtually
UNKNOWN food toxins - such as Avocados, Chewing Gum, Grapes and
Macadamia Nuts".

Here's what to do if your pet ingests ANY of these:

TO YOUR VETERINARIAN. If your pet is showing signs of ingesting a
poison, it is important that your veterinarian examines her and
treated appropriately. Some toxins can progress and lead to severe
seizures. If you suspect antifreeze poisoning, it must be treated
within 4-6 hours, before irreversible kidney damage occurs.

PURGE THE POISON. In most cases of poisoning, getting your pet to
vomit is the most important thing that you can do. DO NOT INDUCE
VOMITING if something caustic has been consumed (such as drain
cleaner or bleach). To induce vomiting, give hydrogen peroxide
at 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight. If your pet doesn't
vomit in 10 minutes, repeat again. NEVER do more than 2 treatments
of peroxide. You can also try salt: dilute 1 teaspoon of salt in
a tablespoon of water per every 10lbs of body weight.

NEUTRALIZE THE TOXIN. If a caustic substance has been ingested,
DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING, rather give something to neutralize it.
An alkaline toxin such as drain cleaner is neutralized by something
acidic such as vinegar: give 1 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight. An
acidic toxin, such as battery acid, is best neutralized with
something alkaline such as Milk of Magnesia: give 1 tsp per 10lbs
of body weight.

DELAY ABSORPTION. Activated charcoal is readily available at most
pharmacies. It delays absorption of any toxin by binding to the
toxic compound in the stomach. The easiest way is to give the
capsule form. For those garbage-eating dogs (such as my own dog)
it is a good idea to have hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal
always on hand.

TOPICAL TOXINS. If your pet is having a reaction to something on
the skin, such as flea medications, or oil on the skin, then you
want to remove it as soon as possible. Dish soap works well - lather
it up, then rinse your pet thoroughly. Thick tarry substances that
you can't wash off can be first covered in flour, as the flour
absorbs some of the oil, then washed off with dish soap.

PREVENTION. Ensure medications are always out of mouth's reach.
Become familiar with toxic plants (visit http://www.aspca.org/toxicplants
for a complete list) and remove those from your house, if your pet
is a plant-eater.

Keep your compost covered.

Pigs are very close to humans from a biological standpoint with the same type of heart, kidneys, liver, lungs and even nerve tissue. Most of the nutrient requirements are the same and so are the metabolic pathways. What ever is poisonous to humans is also poisonous to pigs.
It should also be noted that some plants can be safe for piggies while fresh, but produce toxic compounds as they decompose. The opposite is also true, many toxins beak down quickly and some plants become safe after cutting and allowing to sit for a short time. Mushrooms are a good example, so fresh can be lethal but after aging become quite palatable and safe to eat.

What is safe for goat, sheep and cattle is not a good idea for pigs. These animals are ruminants and have a significantly different digestive system. They can tolerate and neutralize a lot of products that would prove deadly for Piggies.

Poisonous plants to piggies? They can easily number in the thousands and there is never any way of knowing all. To avoid them, rely on both traditional folklore and technical expertise.

In general Piggies KNOW what is poisonous to them. However, I know of a few Piggies that have eaten flower bulbs and a poinsettia plant. So always take care and keep poisonous plants, household products and medicines out of the reach of your Piggies.


Antibacterial medicines - carbadox, furazolidone, monensin, sulphadimidine.
Trace elements e.g. iron, copper, zinc, iodine, selenium, arsenic, mercury, lead, fluorine.
Coal tars.
Gases - ammonia, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide.
Insecticides - organophosphorus, carbamates, lindane, dieldrin.
Nutrients: essential minerals - copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, zinc.
Rat poison - warfarin
Salt - if water is limited
Toxic plants.
Large amounts of apple seeds, cherry pits, peach pits
Avocado skin and pits
Flea spray/tic spray. (Pigs actually do not harbor fleas)

You may see some repeats here, and this is not by any means a complete list. These are just common house plants, flowers and field plants that may be found.

sp.Aloe. Burn plant. Poisonous parts Latex (juices) Toxins Aloe-emodin
Ingestion of the latex can cause a cathartic (purging) reaction by irritating the large intestine. Aloe is a popular house plant due to its reputation as a healing plant for burns, cuts and other skin problems but contact dermatitis can occur in sensitive individuals. If you use Aloe, you should cut away the skin and inner layer of yellow juice leaving only the actual gel. The yellow juice, especially prominent in older plants, is the primary irritant in the cases of contact dermatitis. You should test a small area of skin, such as the inner forearm, for a reaction before more general use.
Amaryllis sp. Amaryllis Poisonous parts Bulb Toxins Lycorine  
Amaryllis is grown indoors for its showy winter/spring bloom. The principal irritant is present in small amounts so large quantities of the bulb must be eaten to cause symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting).
Anthurium andraeanum Flamingo lily, Little boy flower. Poisonous parts All parts Toxins Calcium oxalate 
Anthurium's have tiny flowers crowded in a spadix  that is subtended by a spathe (usually red, bract like leaf). Ingestion usually does not occur because chewing quickly causes painful irritation of the mouth and throat. General symptoms of poisoning are blistering, dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), hoarseness.
Asparagus sp. Asparagus fern Poisonous parts seeds Toxin unknown
May cause dermatitis as well as gastric symptoms. Some varieties also have sharp hooks on the fronds that can tear the skin.
Buxus sp, Boxwood Poisonous parts leaves and twigs.  Toxin  GI irritant
If ingested in quantity vomiting, stomach pain bloody stools, convulsions, death.
Cacti; Opuntia, Cereus, Aporocactus Lophophora,Euphorbia  etal, Bunny ears, and others Poisonous parts various Toxins various.
Besides the ever present thorns and glochids which can cause painful skin irritation some species will have various toxins. Keep all these plants out of reach of small children.
Caladium hortulanum Angels' wings Poisonous parts All parts Toxins Calcium oxalate
Ingestion can cause severe irritation to the mouth and throat and may also be an irritant to the G.I. tract.
Chrysanthemum indicum Chrysanthemums, Mums Poisonous parts Leaves, stalks Toxins Arteglasin A
Some people will develop contact dermatitis after extended exposure to garden chrysanthemums. This is an occupational hazard of florists, nursery workers, and gardeners.
Clivia miniata Kaffir Lily Poisonous parts Roots Toxins Lycorine
Large quantities must be ingested to cause symptoms of toxicity. General symptoms of poisoning are collapse, diarrhea, paralysis, salivation, vomiting.
Codiaeum variegatum Croton Poisonous parts Bark, roots, latex Toxins 5-deoxyingenol
Chewing the bark and roots is said to cause burning of the mouth. The latex has caused eczema in some gardeners.
Convallaria majalis Lily-of-the-valley Poisonous parts entire plant convallatoxin glycosidesloss of appetite, leading to heart failure
Cyclamen persicum Cyclamen Poisonous parts Bulb,  Rhizomes Toxins Cyclamin A
The tuberous rhizomes are bitter, so children or family pets are unlikely to be exposed to the toxins.
Cyperus Umbrella plant, sedge. Poisonous parts all parts Toxins unknown but used as an agent in herbal therapy. Thus it probably has some activity in the body.
Cypripedium species Orchid, Poisonous Part Bulbs  Toxins unknown
Handling the bulbs can cause contact Dermatitis
Narcissus sp. Daffodil Poisonous parts Bulbs Toxins unknown
 Gastric upset trembling convulsions, dermatitis in some people.
Datura sp. Angel's Trumpet aka Brugsmania Poisonous parts all parts Toxins Atropine, hyoscine, and hyoscyamine
Angel's trumpet contains the toxic alkaloids that have caused poisoning and death by Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium), also known as 'loco weed' because of it's effect on cattle. This plant is grown because of its spectacular  tubular flowers, and may also be known as 'thorn apple' because of its spiny fruit. General symptoms of poisoning are agitation, choreiform (spasmodic) movement, coma, drowsiness, hallucination, elevated temperature.
Dieffenbachia sp. Dumb cane Poisonous parts All parts Toxins Calcium oxalate
The distinctive leaf pattern of the very popular Dieffenbachia sp. is seen in many homes. Painful and immediate swelling of the mouth and throat occurs after chewing on dumbcane. Speech impediment can occur, sometimes lasting for several days.
Epipremnum syn.Scindapsus Devil's Ivy, Pothos aureus Poisonous parts All plant parts Toxins calcium oxalate.
Intense irritation of the mucous membranes produces swelling of the tongue, lips and palate
Euphorbia sp. Crown-of-thorns, Poinsettia et al Poisonous parts Sap Toxins 5-deoxyingenol.
 Contains caustic and irritant chemicals in the latex. Avoid contact to the skin and eyes. General symptoms of ingestion are: abdominal pains, blistering/irritation of the mouth/throat and vomiting.

Gloriosa sp. Gloriosa lily. Poisonous parts Entire plant especially tubers Toxins colchicines alkaloids,
Numbness of lips, tongue throat, difficult breathing, convulsions, death
Hedera helix English Ivy Poisonous parts Leaves Toxins didehydrofalcarinol, falcarinol, hederasaponins
Includes the variegated cultivars of English Ivy. Symptoms of ingestion are difficulty in breathing, convulsions, vomiting, paralysis and coma. Dermatitis is rare but can be severe with weeping blisters. The berries are bitter so it's unlikely children will consume them in large quantities.
Hemigraphis alternata 'Exotica' aka colorata Red Waffle plant Poisonous parts unknown Toxins unknown
Hyacinthus orientalis, Hyacinth Poisonous parts Bulbs Toxins alkaloids
Hydrangea sp. Hydrangea Poisonous parts Leaves and buds Toxins Hydragin
Poisoning from eating the flower buds has occurred. Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pains, diarrhea, labored breathing, lethargy and coma. Sensitive individuals may develop contact dermatitis from handling the plants.
Jatropha Coral plant, Poisonous parts entire plant Toxins toxalbumin
gastric upset, dermatitis, death
Jessamine, Jasmine, Poisonous parts entire plant, Toxins unknown
 causes sweating, weakness, convulsions, respiratory failure, death
Kalanchoe sp. Devil's Backbone et al Poisonous parts Leaves, stems Toxins Daigremontianin
The young plantlets which grow along the leaf edges are easily dislodged to become new plants and can be found in profusion around the base of the adult plant. Children and family pets have easy access to these plantlets. Devil's-backbone contains a cardiac glycoside that has caused experimental toxicity and death in chicks and mice. Several other species of Kalanchoe may be found growing as houseplants. Tests have shown that some of them may also contain toxic compounds and so caution should be exercised with all Kalanchoe species.
Lantana sp, Lantana Poisonous parts all parts, especially berries, Toxins alkaloid lantanin or lantadene A,
 gastric upset, jaundice, circulatory collapse
Monstera Swiss-cheese plant Poisonous parts All parts except fruit. Toxins Calcium oxalate
The leaves can cause problems if chewed by humans or family pets. Experimentally, rats and mice died after they were fed plant extracts. General symptoms of poisoning are immediate and painful with aphonia (loss of voice), blistering, hoarseness, irritation of the mouth and urticaria (an allergic disorder characterized by raised edematous (watery swelling) patches of skin) accompanied by intense itching.  
Nerium Oleander Poisonous parts All plant parts Toxins  glycosides.
One leaf can be fatal and will disrupt heart function, trigger circulatory failure and lead to death.
Ornithogalum aka. Squill  pregnant onion, False sea onion.  Poisonous parts All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested and can also cause contact dermatitis.  Toxins cardiotoxic cardenolides.
 The bulbs should not be confused with those of wild onions. *
Oxalis Oxalis Poisonous parts All plant parts Toxins oxalic acid. Ingestion causes nausea and vomiting and kidney inflammation.
Polyscias Aralia Poisonous parts All plant parts Toxins saponins. Ingestion causes gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Schefflera syn. Brassaia Australian Umbrella Tree Poisonous parts All plant parts Toxins oxalic acid and saponins. Ingestion causes vomiting, loss of coordination, and other symptoms
Spathiphyllum Peace Lily Poisonous parts All plant parts Toxins calcium oxalate. Intense irritation of the mucous membranes produces swelling of the tongue, lips and palate
Syngonium Arrowhead Vine Poisonous parts All plant parts Toxins calcium oxalate Intense irritation of the mucous membranes produces swelling of the tongue, lips and palate.
Philodendron sp. Philodendron, Philodendron Poisonous parts Leaves, juices Toxins Calcium oxalate  Philodendrons are an indoor ornamental that can cause poisoning in humans and pets because of the oxalates they contain. General symptoms of poisoning are: erythema (reddening and inflammation of the skin), itchiness.
Rhododendron sp. Azalea Poisonous parts All parts Toxins Andromedotoxins (grayanotoxins)
Azalea, a bonsai favorite, is the common name for the dwarf type Rhododendrons. Although a low toxicity plant it is best to keep children and pets away. Treat all Rhododendrons as poisonous.
Solanum sp. Jerusalem Cherry et al Poisonous parts Immature and mature fruit, leaves Toxins Solanocapsine. Jerusalem-cherry is an indoor ornamental grown for its colorful berries. Children or family pets that ingest moderate amounts of leaf or berry material may experience abdominal pains, gastroenteritis and vomiting. Other members of this family may also be toxic to some people even though they include the extremely popular tomato, potato, tobacco and eggplant.
Strelitzia Reginae Bird of Paradise Poisonous parts seeds and pods Toxins causes severe stomach and intestinal distress.
Zantedeschia aethiopica Calla lily, Poisonous Parts Leaves  Toxin Calcium oxalate. When ingested, causes intense burning of the lips and mouth. Also direct irritant dermatitis.

Aloe barbadensis Aloe Vera, Burn plant
Amaryllis sp. Amaryllis
Anthurium andraeanum Flamingo lily
Caladium hortulanum Angels' wings
Chrysanthemum indicum Chrysanthemums, Mums
Clivia miniata Kaffir Lily
Codiaeum variegatum Croton
Cyclamen persicum Cyclamen
Datura innoxia Angel's Trumpet
Dieffenbachia sp. Dumb cane
Euphorbia milii Crown-of-thorns
Euphorbia pulcherrima Poinsettia (yes, it belongs here)
Hedera helix English Ivy
Hydrangea macrophylla Hydrangea
Kalanchoe daigremontiana Devil's Backbone
Monstera deliciosa Ceriman, Swiss-cheese plant
Philodendron sp. Heart leaf philodendron, Philodendron
Rhododendron sp. Azalea
Solanum pseudocapsicum Jerusalem Cherry

Black cherry (Prunus serotina)
Black locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia)
Black nightshade (Solanum americanum)
Bouncingbet, also known as soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)

Buttercups (Ranunculus spp.)
Common cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium)
Field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium)
Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense)
Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.)
Mustards (Brassica spp., Thlaspi spp. and Lepidium spp.)
Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra)
Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum)
Common pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)
Snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata)
Water hemlock (Cicuta maculata)
White snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum)
Wild indigo (Baptisia spp.)
Woolly croton (Croton capitatus)

Scientific Name    Common Name(s)    Species Most
Often Affected    Parts Poisonous    Primary Poison(s)
Amaranthus spp.    Pigweed    cattle, swine    leaves    nitrate
Amsinckia intermedia    Fiddleneck    horses, swine, cattle    seeds    intermedine, lycopsamine
Brassica spp,    Rape, Cabbage, Turnips, Broccoli, Mustard    cattle, humans, swine, sheep, goats, poultry    roots, seeds    glucosinolates, brassica, anemia factor
Chenopodium album    Lambs Quarters    cattle, horses, humans, sheep, swine    all    nitrates
Iris spp.    Irises    cattle, humans, swine    rhizomes and rootstocks    irisin, iridin, or irisine
Laburnum anagyroides    Golden Chain or Laburnum    cattle, dogs, horses, humans, swine    pods, seeds, all    cytisine
Nicotiana spp.    Tobacco and Tree Tobacco    humans, swine    leaves    nicotine,pyridine
Phytolacca americana    Pokeweed    cattle, sheep, humans, turkeys, swine, horses    all    phytolaccatoxin, phytolaccigenin
Podophyllum peltatum    Mayapple and Mandrake    cattle, humans, swine    all    alpha- and beta- peltatin, podophylloresin
Prunus spp.    Wild Cherries, Black Cherry, Bitter Cherry, Choke Cherry, Pin Cherry    horses, cattle, moose, sheep, swine, goats    seeds, leaves    amygdalin, prunasin
Pteridium aquilinium    Bracken Fern    horse, cattle, sheep, humans, swine    all    prunasin, ptaquiloside, thiaminase
Rheum rhaponticum    Rhubarb    goats, humans, swine, horses    leaves    anthraquinones, oxalate
Xanthium strumarium    Cocklebur    cattle, humans, rodents, swine    seedlings, seeds    carboxyatractyloside

Angel's Trumpet
Asclepias (Milkweed)
Scotch Broom
Blue Cohosh
Calla Lily
Crown Vetch
Duranta erecta Leaves, fruit and bark are poisonous.
Alternative Name(s): Geisha Girl, Sheena's Gold.
Family: Verbenaceae.
Form: Shrub
False Indigo
Foxglove (Grecian, Purple, Yellow)
Horse Nettle
Laceflower[disambiguation needed]
Lily of the Valley
Poison Hemlock
Yellow Jessamine
Century Plant
yellow bell
morning glory
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