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Environmental enrichment for your pet pig

Environmental Enrichment for your Pet Pig
Photo taken by Christine

Pigs are extremely intelligent animals, and are considered to be at least as smart as dogs. This means they need an environment that challenges them and gives them something to do with their mind. Otherwise they are likely to make their own fun, and you may not appreciate what they get up to. Bored pigs also can develop potentially harmful behaviors such as chewing their pen fencing.

Housing

With pigs being easy to toilet train, consider letting your porky companion come inside your house. He’ll appreciate the company and he’s really no dirtier than a dog. He’s less likely to shed drifts of hair too.

If you prefer your cloven hooved friend to live outdoors, then provide him with plenty of straw. This not only keeps him warm, but it’s something for him to dig and root in. You can hide vegetables in the straw and he’ll enjoy finding and eating them.

Other toys such as balls, cardboard boxes or pipe hanging from chain can be put in his enclosure. He’ll also appreciate a scratching post to rub against. You’ll soon find out what he likes best.

If you have the space, think about getting a second pig. These sociable animals enjoy company and having a fellow pig as a playmate, they are happier.

Feeding

For us, there’s more to eating than just getting the right nutrients to keep us healthy. It’s the same for pigs. If you can make meal times last longer and find a way to make them work for their food, they’ll be less likely to chew on things you don’t want them to eat.

You can mix their food with their straw so they have to forage for it or conceal it in sturdy dog toys. Scatter their rations on a clean floor or hang it from a trough suspended from the roof.

Training

Believe it or not, pigs are trainable. They can be taught tricks just as you would a dog. Some pigs have even been taught to run an agility course and go over small hurdles and through tunnels!

Clicker training or other positive methods of training are best suited to these clever creatures.

It’s essential to look after your pig’s physical health with shelter, good food and clean water. However, don’t overlook the importance of taking care of his mental well-being. By doing so, your pet pig will be healthy in both body and mind.