I can hardly believe it, but Oscar is 20 months old! Honestly, the past five months since his last weigh in have flown by. I feel like we are in a good, stable place with Oscar these days. That doesn’t mean we don’t still have our challenges or that every day is easy, but I feel like I’m slowly figuring this pig parenting thing out.
We are finally past the days of worrying about potty training or getting Oscar’s harness on which were some of our challenges in the past, and these days we worry more about keeping him stimulated with enough rooting time, finding his lost teeth in the house, and attempting to pick him up. Oscar is finally big enough that I simply cannot lift him. In retrospect, I think I was in denial that there would be a day when I couldn’t lift him. Although we’ve had to make some logistical adjustments with a ramp (post coming soon!) and figuring out how to get him from point A to point B when he is being stubborn, I don’t mind him being bigger. Sure, it’s more inconvenient at times, but there’s also more of him to cuddle!
Our biggest challenge at the moment is that Oscar still head whips and sometimes attempts to bite when we touch his right side by his face. It’s something that he has done for a long time, and we have tried everything but haven’t figured out how to stop that behavior. He has also started charging at guests in just the past few months and I worry about that issue escalating with time, so we are working on that as well.
I really am enjoying this time with Oscar now that he’s a little older. We seem to have figured each other out more, and we’ve settled into a better routine. I’m still surprised by how much more challenging the journey with Oscar has been than I originally expected, but I’m happy to be where we are with him.
Our little Oscar is still growing!At 20 months old, Oscar is 59 pounds, 17″ tall, and 33″ long.
Mini pig Oscar has started losing his teeth! He started by losing his back teeth, but just yesterday he lost his two front teeth.
Pigs typically lose their “baby” teeth around 12-15 months old, so after Oscar turned a year old, we started watching for signs of him losing a tooth, like increased teething. When Oscar was really young, he liked to grind his teeth when he was feeling content, but he nearly stopped grinding his teeth as he approached one year old. When he started grinding his teeth again, that was our sign that he was teething. Some parents also notice grumpy behavior in their teething pigs but, to be honest, Oscar is pretty naturally grumpy, so we haven’t noticed enough of a difference for that to be a useful symptom. (Sorry, Oscar!)
Although I felt awful knowing that Oscar was dealing with teething pain, I was also a mixture of excited and weirded out by the idea of him losing teeth. On one hand, it’s a sign that our little guy is growing up and gets us closer to being through his teething phase. On the other hand, I’m not used to finding teeth around the house. I also had a bunch of unknowns, like how would he lose his teeth and what would they look like.
I soon got my answer about how Oscar would lose his teeth. For the first tooth, I was walking through the house and just noticed it on the floor next to his food bowl. I was a little sad that I missed him losing his first tooth, but I was excited to have found it. My best guess is that he lost it while eating his dinner since it was so close to his bowl. For his second tooth, he was also eating dinner, but this time he finished his meal, looked up at me, and then just spit out his tooth. After the first two, we’ve had a mix of him spitting teeth out, swallowing them, and us finding them randomly around the house.
Since I’m used to seeing Oscar’s skinny front teeth, I was surprised by how big his back teeth were. It makes sense to me now that I realize his back teeth are larger, but it caught me a bit by surprise at first.
It was only appropriate to celebrate Oscar losing his teeth, so the tooth fairy stopped by for a visit. We got Oscar his very own tooth fairy helper, read him The Night Before the Tooth Fairy, and then he went to sleep, eagerly anticipating what the Tooth Fairy would bring him the next morning.
When he woke up, he was so excited because the Tooth Fairy brought him the book he’s been wanting – Prissy & Pop: Big Day Out! The book was everything he expected, and he loved seeing the adorable pictures of Prissy and Pop and hearing about their adventure.
He looks pretty silly without his two front teeth but also ridiculously adorable. I’ll be excited once we’re past the teething phase because I hate knowing he’s uncomfortable while he’s growing in new teeth. But, for now, he’s happy with his new book and is hoping the tooth fairy comes back with more surprises as he loses more teeth.
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We recently had the opportunity to be interviewed for an article in Rodale’s Organic Life titled 8 Things You Need to Know Before You Adopt a Mini Pig. The interview gave us an opportunity to talk about life with Oscar, both the positives and the challenges. I’ve discussed on the blog how important it is to research before bringing home a mini pig, and the article written by Marygrace Taylor does a great job of highlighting eight important things to know about mini pigs and is an awesome place to start your research.
One thing I love about the article is that it also discusses mini pig ownership from a pig rescue’s perspective. Richard Hoyle from The Pig Preserve was also interviewed, and I think it’s important for pig lovers to know what’s happening in rescues. The more I become involved in the pig community, the harder it is to ignore the real issues our community is facing. Mini pigs are wonderful but challenging pets, and there are more and more ending up in shelters due to owners who either didn’t do their research, had life circumstances change, or who just could no longer care for their mini pig. Unfortunately, this is putting a huge burden on sanctuaries and rescue groups that are already over capacity and trying to keep up with the resources necessary to care for these pigs.
There will of course be times when situations outside of a person’s control require rehoming a pig, and rescues and sanctuaries are great for helping in those times. But, with mini pigs as pets becoming more popular, I think the real problem is lack of research before pig ownership. Fortunately, there is a lot of information online about both the pros and cons of living with a mini pig, and articles like the one in Rodale’s Organic Life make it easier for people to access and share this information. Oscar certainly doesn’t represent every mini pig because they all have different personalities and preferences, but the article provides a general idea of what to expect when bringing a mini pig home. An extra bonus is that there are several adorable pictures of Oscar in the article!
For prospective pig parents wanting to know more about life with a mini pig, below is a list of some of our blog posts that will help as you continue your research. These posts touch on the lesser-known aspects of mini pigs as pets and will help you get a better idea of what to expect when you bring your new mini pig home.
When we moved to the country last year, we were excited to plant our first garden. In the past, we planted a few things here or there but didn’t really have the space we needed. So, over the summer, we finally planted our first real garden.
Next was the fun part; we needed to pick what we wanted to grow! We went back and forth on some options, but we made our final decision based on which foods Oscar could enjoy with us. We avoided any foods that might be harmful for him and chose ones we thought he would love. After a lot of deliberation, we finally picked kale, arugula, and kaleidoscope carrots.
My husband built the garden, we planted the seeds, and then I impatiently waited for everything to grow. As it turns out, I love the idea of gardening but not actual gardening, so thank goodness for my husband who kept up with watering, weeding, and harvesting the garden!
We used the kale in salads for Oscar, which he enjoyed as expected. He wasn’t as excited about the arugula, but what we were most excited for him to try were the kaleidoscope carrots. We regularly give Oscar baby carrots from the store as treats, but he had never tried any from the garden, particularly not a white or purple carrot.
We washed one of the white carrots, cut a few little slices for him, and eagerly watched as he tried it. Here is the video of Oscar trying his first white carrot from the garden.
He didn’t like the white carrot at all! Oscar is one of those pigs who loves just about every food. In fact, in almost a year and half, we haven’t found a food that Oscar refuses to eat…until the white carrot. After trying it myself though, I can’t really blame him. It was extremely bitter, without even a hint of sweetness. He normally loves carrots, but he and I both stuck with the orange carrots after trying the white one.
In retrospect, Oscar didn’t seem as excited about any of the garden foods as we thought he would be. My best guess is that everything was a tad bitter compared to what he’s used to from the store. While the garden foods were super fresh, he didn’t seem to care for the extra bitterness.
I was a little bummed Oscar didn’t love the garden food, but we’ll just try again next year and see if we can find some that he likes more. Choosing foods that Oscar could eat made the entire garden experience more fun; it was exciting knowing he could be part of the experience and try the harvest with us. Maybe we’ll have more luck next year!
One of the challenges we have as mini pig owners is finding toys, treats, and clothing made for pigs. As mini pigs as pets become more popular, that is starting to change. But, for now, we are mostly stuck buying dog toys and dog clothing and hoping those work for our pigs.
Although I’ve found some toys on the market that work for Oscar, clothing has been a bigger challenge.I started out trying to put dog clothes on Oscar, but his short little legs slipped out of some and others he couldn’t even walk in. Next, I tried infant clothes, but most of those have sleeves of some sort that didn’t fit Oscar. Also, let’s be honest, Oscar is a few pellets beyond fitting into infant clothes these days. For a long time, I gave up on finding mini pig clothes and instead just sewed a few shirts and a coat for Oscar. Those worked well enough, but I don’t particularly enjoy sewing, nor am I skilled or creative enough to make Oscar really fun items comparable to the things I can buy for our dog.
Fortunately, I found a much better answer for mini pig clothing…Snort Life! I mentioned Snort Life in a previous post as an option to consider for mini pig clothing, but this was Oscar’s first real experience with Snort Life and it has been great, from the quality, to the customer service, and even down to the details, including the packaging.
After all of my adventures searching for clothes for Oscar, I am incredibly excited to show off his new outfit! Oscar got his first outfit from Snort Life, and it’s perfect. It’s a stylish gray vest with a purple paisley bow tie and pocket square, and the details on it are amazing. There are two different kinds of buttons, stripes on the “shirt” portion of the vest, and even a stitched button hole for decoration. Everything on the vest is high quality, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with it.
Snort Life is a company created by a wonderful woman named Doreen that offers mini pig clothing and accessories. Doreen’s items are handmade, created from quality fabrics and materials, and are made to last. Since I’ve dabbled in sewing, I feel like I can tell when something is constructed well or when it is just barely stitched together, and I am thrilled with Snort Life’s quality. Probably my favorite thing about Snort Life is that Doreen is incredibly creative, and she focuses on mini pig clothes that are stylish. Since there are so many places where I feel like I have to compromise on things for Oscar, I’m thrilled that Doreen has provided a perfect option where mini pig parents not only have clothing options for their pigs, but they have tons of options that are also stylish, well made, and super creative.
One of the concerns I had with buying clothing for Oscar is that he would outgrow things quickly since pigs grow so fast, especially when they are young. However, a major perk of buying from Snort Life is that Doreen is also a pig owner (here is her adorable pig, Rosie) and understands this challenge. Doreen makes her mini pig clothing with growth in mind, so her items provide additional built-in webbing so that your pig can fit in the clothing longer. If you’re nervous about measuring your pig or getting the measurements right, there are easy-to-use guides on the Snort Life website and Doreen is always happy to help. I love that Doreen understands all of the things we owners worry about and struggle with in finding fun, stylish, and comfortable clothing for our mini pigs, and that takes a lot of the stress out of it. If you’re interested but worried that your pig might not fit in mini pig clothes, Doreen can help with that. She offers many different sizes, including custom sizing, and has experience with fitting both mini and not-so-mini pigs.
Not only do I love Oscar’s new vest, he seems to love it too! He didn’t make a fuss when I put it on him, and he seems perfectly comfortable in it. In fact, he almost seems pleased with himself, like he knows how handsome he looks. Now that Oscar is a little older, he has been noticing all of the pigs on Instagram with significant others, so he decided after putting on his vest that it was the perfect outfit to wear into town to see if he could find a piggy date. He had his mom give him a bath and put his vest on, and he was all cleaned up and ready to go. He went outside for his picture before heading out.
On his way out, he noticed some grass and decided it was a good idea to get a little snack before going into town on his adventure.
His quick snack turned into a meal, and before he knew it he was all dirty again and worried that he wouldn’t be able to get a date now.
He thought about going in to clean up again but decided instead that he preferred eating grass to looking for a date. He finished up his rooting and went back inside to just hang out with his mom for the night.
Maybe he can wear his new vest to town another night!
Whether you are looking for a sophisticated vest for piggy date night, a swimsuit, coat, shirt, or even mini pig accessories, I highly recommend checking out Snort Life!
Note: All of the opinions here are 100% my own, and I was not asked to review Snort Life. I just think Snort Life is a great option for mini pig parents to find clothing and accessories for their pigs. Snort Life’s reviews on their Etsy store echo many of my thoughts as well.