Bathing the Pet Pig
by Kathleen Myers
Pigs are naturally very clean animals, with a tendency to dry skin. Due to the nature of their dry skin, with less body oils than other pets like cats and dogs, they normally do not have a body odor, even when wet. Smelling an odor from your neutered pet pig can usually be attributed to something in their environment.
Pigs have a natural love of water, but piglets show some concern when the water is running from the kitchen or bathroom tap. Begin familiarizing your piglet with bath time as soon it feels secure in your home. The best method is to place a rubber mat in the bottom of the tub or sink if you pig is still very little. Run a couple of inches of warm water in the tub. Float a few of your piglet’s favorite treats like cheerios or lettuce on the water, and put your piglet into the tub. Allow your piglet time to become acquainted with its new surroundings and at the same time play or nibble on its floating treats. Then with a small brush or a round ball type plastic pot scrubber, begin to rub your piglet as it plays in the water. After the pig begins to enjoy the experience, it is time to apply the water and shampoo. Do not use baby shampoo or dog or cat shampoo. These types of shampoos can cause your pig’s skin to become too dry. Heartland’s Ultra Shampoo has excellent cleansing properties, softens the skin and reduces or eliminates dandruff-like scaly dermatitis. Should your pig’s white hair begin to look dingy, Heartland’s Whiter ‘N White will lighten and brighten the white hair as it removes stains and discolorations. Heartland’s Micro-Mist is a revitalizing humectant mist designed to deliver long lasting moisture factors to the hair shafts and skin of you pig and can be applied between shampoos.
Be sure to remove the treats prior to applying the shampoo. After a good shampoo lathering and a thorough scrubbing to remove dead skin from your piglet, use a plastic cup to rinse the shampoo from your pet. Should the water become very dirty, let the dirty water out and slowly refill the tub with clean water. Remember, in most cases, the sound of running water is frightening your piglet. As the piglet ages and gains more experience with bath time, it is possible to use a spray device attached to faucet of your tub to rinse your pig.
Bath time for the older, larger and more experienced pig is done in a very similar fashion. Use a rubber mat in the tub so the pig will not slip, apply shampoo, vigorously rub to get the all the dead skin off, rinse by means of an attached sprayer and apply Heartland’s Micro Conditioner, a moisture intensified crème rinse, formulated for normal, dry or sensitive skin. This product leaves your pig’s hair coat silky and lustrous. Your concern for the older pig is exactly how the pig gets in and out of the bathtub. If your pig is too large to be picked up, help your pig in by placing its front legs on the tub’s edge and then lift your pig’s back legs up and over. You can use the same procedure when helping your pet out. An excellent alternative to the bathtub for the larger, mature potbellied pig is a walk-in shower or an outdoor sun heated child’s wading pool. There is another alternative to the wet shampoo, Heartland’s Dry Shampoo and Deodorizer. This is product provides you an all season method for making your pig fresh and clean without a perfume smell.
Remember, wash your pig with soap based on the condition of its skin. Over bathing with soap can contribute to your pig’s naturally dry skin. Heartland’s Shine ‘N Show shines, brightens, highlights and repels dust, while bringing out the natural luster and highlights of your pig’s coat. Do not apply external oils to your pig. Oils will contribute to your pig’s skin retaining unwanted dirt and will promote the growth of more bacteria, which can cause your pig to smell and to have the need for more frequent bathing and more dry skin problems. For a pig with extremely dry, scaly skin we suggest using Heartland’s Derma Klenz, a coal tar medicated shampoo.
Kathleen has written an excellent book that we recommend to all pet pig owners.
Click here to learn more about her newest revision.