Mini Pig Oscar’s Stair and Car Ramp

When Oscar was little, I picked him up all the time. I carried him around the house, lifted him up onto the sofa, and carried him up and over our stairs to take him outside several times a day. If I needed to put him in the car to take him somewhere, it was quick and easy. I just picked him up and put him in his bucket seat.

When Oscar hit about 30 pounds, I started having trouble lifting him. By that point he had figured out how to jump up on the sofa and didn’t really want to be carried around the house anyway, so those things weren’t an issue. However, getting him outside to potty turned into a chore. We have stairs at each door going outside, so there is no avoiding steps when we take him out. Although pigs can walk down stairs, I try not to let Oscar go up or down stairs when possible since I worry about him hurting one of his little legs. So, this meant lifting him over the stairs each time he went out and, even with just a few stairs, it was becoming a challenge.

I decided it was time to try to find a ramp for Oscar to go down. I was skeptical that I would find one to fit securely over the stairs going into our garage and leading up to our porch, but I was also pretty desperate. I looked at reviews and did some measuring, and I finally decided to try one. I picked the Solvit UltraLite Bi-fold Pet Ramp, and I love it. It is a perfect fit for our stairs, folds up easily, doesn’t slide around, is lightweight for a ramp, and Oscar learned to use it in under ten minutes.

The only problem I had with the ramp at first is that the texture of the area where Oscar walks up and down is really rough. The very first time Oscar walked down the ramp, I could tell it was hurting his hooves. I grabbed an old yoga mat, cut it to fit inside the ramp, and it works perfectly now. If you are looking for a ramp and decide this one is a good fit for your stairs, make sure to grab an inexpensive, slightly grippy yoga mat (or use an old one) or even using a strip of extra carpet might work. You’ll need it for this ramp to work for pig hooves, but it took me only a few minutes to cut the yoga mat to fit and I’m super happy with the result.

Oscar ready to go down his ramp.

I was nervous at first about trying to get Oscar to use the ramp. When I first set up the ramp, he didn’t want to go down it. I grabbed a handful of Cheerios and spaced them out down the ramp, and he went right down. I did the same thing for him going back up, and he was trotting up and down the ramp after a few times of doing that. We’ve been using the ramp for almost seven months now, and he and I both love it.

Placing some treats down the ramp is really helpful for training your pig to use it. We used Cheerios, and Oscar learned to use the ramp in about 10 minutes.

The other great use for this ramp is for getting Oscar into the car. Last time I took Oscar to the vet, I put his bucket seat in the car and figured I would just lift him up into it. It had been a while since I had picked him up, but surely I could lift him once in and out of the car. I picked him up and only got him up to the floor board before I had to put him down. So, rushing around trying to figure out what to do, I realized the ramp could reach the cargo area of my vehicle. I put Oscar’s crate in the back area of my car, put the ramp up, and he walked right up the ramp and got into his crate. Since the ramp folds up, I threw it and the yoga mat in the back of my car and then just put the ramp down for him to climb out once we got to the vet’s office. It was quick, easy, and safe for Oscar getting in and out of the car. Phew!

If you’re thinking about getting a ramp for your pig, the best thing to do is to measure the area where the ramp will go to make sure it’s a good fit. This ramp fits perfectly over our garage and porch stairs and into the back of my vehicle, but I don’t think it would be a good ramp for a bed or something that high up in the air. For something that high, this ramp would likely be too steep and probably wouldn’t be your best bet. But, I absolutely love this ramp, and it makes taking Oscar in and out of the house so much more pleasant. If you have a growing pig and are looking for a ramp, definitely check out the Solvit UltraLite Bi-fold Pet Ramp because it has worked really well for us.

Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links. LifeWithaMiniPig.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Mini Pig Oscar’s New Winter Coat from Snort Life

It’s officially winter, and most mini pigs hate cold weather. If allowed, Oscar would spend the entire winter season in front of our heat vent and avoid outside completely. However, Oscar isn’t litter box trained, so he has to go outside several times a day to potty, even if it’s freezing out. In order to make these trips more pleasant for him, I decided that Oscar needs a winter coat.

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Mini Pig Oscar in his new winter coat from Snort Life

Last year I decided to use my limited sewing skills to make Oscar a coat. We used that one and a dog coat that we bought Oscar for his first winter, and they worked okay. Eventually, the snaps broke off of the one I sewed Oscar, and the dog coat was sturdy but wasn’t a perfect fit. As with most dog coats, the underneath of this coat went too far down Oscar’s belly, so the back belt had to be removed so that Oscar could potty.

Oscar has grown a lot, and he needed a new coat for this winter. Since we didn’t have a perfect coat for him last year, I decided to buy Oscar an actual mini pig coat this time. We loved Oscar’s last outfit from Snort Life, so I decided to order his coat from there. I quickly took his measurements, picked my fabric, and placed my order, excited for Oscar’s first actual mini pig coat for this winter.

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When Oscar’s coat arrived, I was thrilled. I knew his coat would be adorable, but it’s also super practical. First, he has no problem going to the bathroom in his coat, which is important and makes it better than nearly all dog coats we’ve tried. Second, the material is soft and thick to keep him warm, but it’s not overly heavy so Oscar can wander the yard and move around in it easily. He doesn’t mind his coat being on at all and will wear it for as long as I let him stay outside. Third, it has a slit in the top so that we can hook a leash to his harness, which is helpful so he can wear his coat and be securely leashed at the same time. Lastly, his coat has a hood to help keep his ears warm and make him look ridiculously adorable at the same time.

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The only challenge we’ve had is that, as I mentioned in my last post, Oscar doesn’t like to be touched on his right side near his face. This has made it tough to get the coat on him at times, so we started using treats when we put his coat on, and it’s less of an issue. In general, the coat is quick and easy to put on mini pigs, so this is an issue specific to Oscar and isn’t reflective of the coat. Fortunately, treats help make the process faster and more pleasant for Oscar and for us.

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If you’re looking for a winter coat or any outfit for your mini pig, I definitely recommend checking out Snort Life. We have been super happy with the quality and fit on everything we’ve received from Doreen. Oscar’s coat is the His & Hers Hooded Fleece Jacket, but there’s also a collared version without the hood and a new His & Hers Hooded Puffy Jacket that is super cute.

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Note: I purchased Oscar’s coat from Snort Life on my own and was not asked to do a review. All opinions are my own. 

Mini Pig Oscar’s 20 Month Weigh In

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.

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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 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!

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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.

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Here are some comparison shots with Oscar’s dog sister, Rylee. She is 17 pounds.

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Our little Oscar is still growing! At 20 months old, Oscar is 59 pounds, 17″ tall, and 33″ long. 

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Posing for pictures is exhausting!

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Mini Pig Oscar is Losing His Teeth

Mini pig Oscar has started losing his teeth! He started by losing his back teeth, but just yesterday he lost his two front teeth.

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Oscar lost his two front teeth yesterday!

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!)

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Right after losing his two front teeth

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.

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On the left is one of Oscar’s back teeth. The right is one of his longer bottom front teeth.

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.

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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.

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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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Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links. LifeWithaMiniPig.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.




Mini Pig Oscar Featured in Rodale’s Organic Life

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.

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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!

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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.

Bonding With Your Mini Pig
Mini Pig Pros: The Best Parts of Owning a Mini Pig
Mini Pig Cons: The Tough Parts of Owning a Mini Pig
Mini Pig Oscar’s Spoiled Pig Syndrome
Move the Pig for Mini Pig Aggression
Times When I Wish I Didn’t Own a Mini Pig
The Darker Side of Owning a Mini Pig
A Day in the Life of Mini Pig Oscar

A huge thank you to Marygrace Taylor and Rodale’s Organic Life for giving us the opportunity to talk about life with Oscar!

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Come meet Oscar and watch as we adjust to life with a pet mini pig.