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Winter Care Tips

The cold weather of winter is fast approaching
(or already here for some of us) and it's time to make sure you have
everything you need in order to keep your pet pig healthy and happy.

Just like their caregivers, pet pigs seem more susceptible to sickness during
the winter months. There are some things you can do to reduce this risk and
they are very simple to get accomplished. If your pet pig spends most of
his time outdoors it is very important to provide him with adequate shelter.
This includes a sturdy structure of some sort that will retain the pig's body
heat as well as protect him from cold drafts. It is important to provide
bedding suitable for your pet pig. Blankets work very well in this regard.
When it comes to bedding it is imperative that it stays dry and clean. It's easy
to get lulled into thinking that the bedding must be dry because the pig hasn't
been out in wet conditions. This isn't always the case as condensation and
your pig's body heat can dampen his bedding in a hurry. Wet bedding will
make your pig more prone to sickness, which is something we all want to

Keep in mind that your pig still needs exercise during the winter. It's
perfectly OK to go on walks and let him run around during cold weather
as long as the conditions are not extreme. Use your best judgment. One
thing you do have to pay attention to is the surface your pig walks on during
his exercise. Pigs can easily slip and hurt themselves on wet or icy pavement.

In addition to the need for shelter and exercise, you may notice that your
pig has a larger than normal appetite during the coldest months of the year.
This is usually do to the increased need for energy. In essence, the pigs need
more food to stay warm. This also makes it easier to determine if your pet pig
is becoming ill as most pigs will show a reduced appetite or stop eating
altogether if they fall ill. If your pig shows signs of a reduced appetite, please
consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

In summary, pet pigs can withstand cold temperatures in moderation but
there are a few things you can do to keep him healthy and happy during the
cold winter months:

  • Provide adequate shelter from the elements and do everything you
    can to reduce cold drafts within his shelter.
  • Check often to make sure his bedding is dry and clean
  • Provide adequate exercise for your pet pig on non-slick surfaces
  • Watch his appetite

The staff of Heartland Animal Health, Inc.

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