Before we got Oscar, I wanted to know what daily life was like with a mini pig. Through my research, I knew how to take care of a mini pig, what their potential behavior problems were, and a little about their personalities, but nothing told me what to expect from a mini pig in the course of a normal day.
Oscar recently turned 9 months old, and we finally have a routine down. Although mini pigs love routine, it has taken this long for us to really get to know Oscar and to feel like we know what to expect from him on a daily basis. Up until now, our days had some structure, but we hadn’t really settled into a pattern. Now, we know Oscar well enough that I can tell you almost by the hour where he’ll be in the house, what he’ll want, and what he’ll be doing.
This is a snapshot of a typical day for 9 month old Oscar. This assumes that it’s a sunny day because, on a cloudy day, all bets are off. Also, Oscar isn’t a very playful mini pig, so he is content most days napping and relaxing. A day for a more playful mini pig might look very different.
Here is a day in the life of mini pig Oscar.
8 am – Oscar wakes up. Oscar normally wakes up around the same time every day, although there are some random days when he’ll get up earlier or later. Even though I am up before Oscar, he sleeps in. As long as I’m not too loud, I can get chores done around the house before he wakes up, leaving me with more time to spend with him once he’s up. Oscar sleeps in his crate still, so I let him out of the crate as soon as he’s awake, put his harness on, and we immediately go outside for a potty break.
8:15 am – Oscar gets groomed and waits impatiently for breakfast. Once we’re back inside, I usually brush Oscar and quickly wipe him down. Sometimes I put lotion, sunscreen, or coconut oil on his skin if he needs it that day. Aside from brushing, he hates being groomed and is pretty grumpy until breakfast. After his grooming, he waits by his food bin until someone feeds him.
9 am – Oscar eats breakfast. I vary the times when I feed Oscar so that he doesn’t expect his meals at a specific time. So, in reality, he sometimes eats at 8 am and other times at 10 am, but it’s usually somewhere in the middle.
9:30 am – Oscar’s first training session. Since mini pigs are so smart, I do a few quick training sessions with Oscar each day to keep him stimulated. These are usually no longer than 2-3 minutes each.
9:45 am – After breakfast and training, Oscar goes outside for a potty break. This can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the weather. If it’s cold or rainy, he’ll go and then run back inside. If it’s warm and sunny, we’ll often stay out longer so that he can root around and eat grass.
10 am – Oscar begins his perimeter check of the house. Oscar walks around the house checking for any food (or could-be-food) scraps anyone left around the night before. This is pretty entertaining and keeps him busy for a while, so it’s one of my favorite things that he does.
10:30 am – During the late mornings, he either naps or just relaxes in the sun spot. He will sometimes share his bed with his dog sister, Rylee. Unless he hears the fridge open or thinks he’s going to get a treat, he stays in the sun spot.
12 pm – Oscar goes outside for a potty break.
12:30 pm – Oscar “helps” me make my lunch. Oscar can’t resist the sound of the fridge or freezer opening, so he hangs out with me in the kitchen while I make lunch. He is calm and just quietly stands near my feet while I prep the food. His quiet patience frequently results in him being rewarded with some carrots or salad.
1 pm – Oscar is back to napping or relaxing in the sun spot.
2 pm – Oscar goes outside for a potty break. We usually stay outside for longer in the afternoons so that Oscar can get some exercise and play a little. Although he’s not super playful, he likes to root around and explore outside.
3 pm – Oscar gets hangry. Mid to late afternoon is when Oscar gets pretty unsettled. Some days he will nap until dinner, but other days he gets hangry and squeals around the house until he’s fed. I’ve learned to get through this time by either giving him more outside time to root around or cuddle time with me if I’m doing something where I can sit with him. However, there are days when this time is just unpleasant because all he wants is his dinner.
4:30 pm – Oscar gets to eat dinner. Just like his breakfast time, I vary the times when Oscar eats dinner. What this looks like in reality is that I wait as long as I can without giving into his sad, hungry looks and loud hangry noises.
4:45 pm – Oscar’s second training session. Just like the morning training session, this is usually just 2-3 minutes long.
5 pm – Oscar goes outside for a potty break.
5:15 pm – Oscar “helps” me make dinner. Although late afternoon is usually my most frustrating time of day with Oscar because he obsessively wants his dinner, he more than makes up for that when he “helps” me make dinner. After Oscar has finished his dinner, he turns into the sweetest little mini pig. I don’t love to cook, but Oscar makes cooking more fun for me. He quietly stands in the kitchen and just hangs out while I make dinner. He’ll take some veggie or fruit scraps if I give him some, but he’s never pushy or noisy about it. Hanging out with me in the kitchen is a new thing for Oscar, and it’s one of my favorite times with him.
6:30 pm – Oscar sits on his dad’s lap while we eat dinner. After I’m finished cooking dinner, Oscar turns into a cuddle monster. All he wants to do in the evenings is cuddle with someone. His dad is nice enough to oblige and balance eating dinner with having a (quickly growing!) mini pig on his lap.
7 pm – Oscar cuddles. Oscar insists on cuddling every night. He doesn’t care where or with whom really, but he’s happiest when someone cuddles with him in the evenings. If no one will cuddle with him (which very rarely happens because he’s hard to resist), he will curl up into the bean bag chair and sleep, hoping for someone to come and cuddle next to him.
8 pm – Oscar goes outside for his last potty break and then goes to bed. At this point, Oscar is sleepy and gets grumpy if he isn’t cuddling. When he comes back in from being outside, he usually begins his sleepy screaming. If someone wants to cuddle again, he calms down immediately. Otherwise, he wanders around screaming until we put him to bed. Most nights he gets warm blankets in his crate, and he goes right to sleep. Some nights he snores which is adorable, but he always sleeps peacefully through the night until it’s time to get up the next morning.
As Oscar gets older, I’m sure his preferences and the structure of his day will change. I’m excited to see how his days change as he grows up!