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.
It’s Rylee’s 11th birthday! We started off Rylee’s birthday with a long walk, followed by a nap, and then we kicked off her real celebration. I wanted something special to celebrate Rylee today, so she got to eat some frozen yogurt and a birthday cookie. I stumbled upon some frozen yogurt made for dogs that both Rylee and Oscar could eat, and I was really excited to let them try it. It’s The Bear & The Rat’s Banana Peanut Barker frozen yogurt, and both Rylee and Oscar loved it!
Overall, the celebration was a success! Here is a video and some pictures below to recap Rylee’s big day. Oscar was super sneaky and managed to steal Rylee’s birthday cookie at one point in the video but, don’t worry, I saved an extra for her to make up for it.
Happy 11th Birthday to my very first dog. You have been with me through so many changes, and I am forever grateful for your constant, trusting love. Happy Birthday, Rylee!
Last summer, my Facebook and Instagram feeds were full of pigs cooling off in small plastic pools. Their pig parents put a little water in a kiddie pool, and the pig climbed in and happily sat or splashed around, cooling off from the summer sun. I was so excited to let Oscar play in his own little pool! I waited until he was about 5 months old and then found him a pool to fill up for his first pool party. It was going to be his first time in water, and he was going to love it! I put him in the pool, but then he jumped right out. I put him back in; he jumped out again. He finally jumped out the last time and ran off. He hated water.
I gave up on the pool, but then I started wondering how in the world we were going to bathe him if he hated water. Since Oscar had several skin issues when he was younger, including mange and a skin infection, we intentionally held off on bathing him for a long time. We didn’t want to stress him out or dry his skin out more than necessary, so we just wiped him down every few days with a damp towel instead. However, even that was a challenge because he didn’t like even the small amount of water on the towel touching him.
Wiping Oscar down kept him pretty clean until we were ready to try giving him a bath. Oscar was about 10 months old before we finally tried because we knew it would be a struggle. We also waited until the weather warmed up a bit because we didn’t want to risk getting water in Oscar’s ears and increase his chances of pneumonia during the cold winter.
My husband and I teamed up for Oscar’s first bath. I got the shampoo and towel ready and added a small amount of warm water to the bath tub. My husband grabbed the peanut butter, a spoon, and Oscar. Our plan was to put Oscar in the warm water and then I was going to wash him quickly while my husband fed him peanut butter from a spoon. A lot of people prefer to put peanut butter on the side of the tub, but we just used a spoon since there were two of us and we wanted to avoid any chemicals that might be on the side of the tub.
We put Oscar down in the tub, and he freaked out! He panicked and kept trying to jump out of the tub, which meant his poor little hooves didn’t have any traction and kept slipping. On top of it, he was squealing and splashing water all over us. We didn’t want him to slip and fall, so we picked him up, put him in the towel, and dried him off. We needed to rethink our strategy.
Our biggest mistake for Oscar’s first bath was not having a bath mat since he didn’t have a way for his hooves to grip in the tub. It probably would have been fine if he stood still, but his panicking and wiggling made him slip, which made him panic even more. We decided to get a bath mat and then try again but without water. We wanted to just get him used to being in the tub and make it a happy place by using peanut butter before we even added water. I bought Oscar’s bath mat from Target so this isn’t the exact one I use, but it’s really similar.
I bought a bath mat, put it in the tub, and we tried again. We set Oscar down on the bath mat and immediately started giving him peanut butter from the spoon. So far, so good! I let Oscar get used to the tub and enjoy the peanut butter for a few minutes and then I started slowly running warm water in the tub. I figured he would panic as soon as the water touched his hooves, but he didn’t. He was so focused on the peanut butter that he didn’t even notice. I ran just a small amount of water, enough to clean off his hooves and splash some on his belly, since I didn’t want to scare him. I quickly bathed him and rinsed him off, and he didn’t mind at all as long as the peanut butter kept flowing. As soon as the peanut butter stopped though, he remembered he was in water and all bets were off. We finished up, dried him off thoroughly, and considered it a success!
Oscar has had two other baths so far, both of which were successful. Each time I run just a little more water and bathe a little more of him, being careful not to get water in his ears, and he handles it fine as long as he has constant peanut butter. He eats more peanut butter during his baths than I would normally give him in a day, but we only bathe him when it’s absolutely necessary, so I don’t worry about it.
My husband has helped me bathe Oscar each time, which has made the process easier.However, I have received some really helpful tips over the past few months to make bathing a mini pig easier, particularly with just one person. A really popular one is to smear peanut butter on the side of the bath tub to keep your pig busy during her bath. I avoid that one if possible just because I’m worried about Oscar licking up chemicals from the side of the bathtub, but I am open to trying it someday when I need to bathe Oscar by myself. Another great idea someone shared with me is to cut up apples or use some other small treat like blueberries or Cheerios and put them in the bathtub. Many pigs will keep themselves busy searching or bobbing for the treats and won’t mind the bath as much. We started with peanut butter since it’s a really high-value treat for Oscar, but hopefully we can switch to something smaller and healthier once he’s more used to the process.
Once Oscar’s bath is finished, I towel dry him as much as possible. He doesn’t like the towel much, so then I dry him off the rest of the way with a hair dryer. I keep the heat low and usually put his harness on before blow drying him so that I have a handle in case he tries to run off. He doesn’t care for the hair dryer, but I like to make sure he’s dry to reduce his risk of pneumonia.
Don’t worry – Rylee was next but she got Cheerios too.
There are so many pigs who love water and don’t mind baths. However, if you’re like us and have a pig who hates water, hopefully our experience will help as you try to bathe your mini pig!
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Oscar is 15 months old, so it’s time for his weigh in! After Oscar’s first birthday, I decided to stop posting his weight every month and just update once every three months. Although mini pigs can grow for up to three to five years, I figured his growth would slow enough after his first birthday that the posts wouldn’t be interesting. I sure was wrong!
Right after Oscar’s one year weigh in, he had a big growth spurt. In fact, he grew so quickly that he started looking a little thin, so we increased his pellet amounts to make sure he was getting enough. After a while, his growing seemed to slow and his weight caught up, and now he’s back to his happy, healthy self.
We’ve had some of our biggest behavior challenges with Oscar in the past three months. Oscar’s snipping and head whipping really increased after he turned one. He was attempting to bite us and the dog on a daily basis for a while, and I eventually hit one of my highest points of frustration with him. We weren’t sure if he was in pain and lashing out from teething or if he was just being mean, but we were really frustrated and left wondering where we went wrong with him.
After a ton of frustration and research, we decided that Oscar has Spoiled Pig Syndrome and tried to address his behaviors accordingly. I put Oscar in mini pig behavior bootcamp by restarting Move the Pig, making him work for his meals, not allowing him to nip at toes, and by being more firm with him overall. Due to those changes, we have seen a huge improvement in his behavior. He’s not perfect and still has an attitude and nips at times, but everyone in the house, including Oscar, is much happier.
Our big lesson throughout the past three months is that we will always have to stay on top of Oscar’s behavior. The hardest part is keeping up on Oscar’s structure and discipline, particularly Move the Pig, when he’s sweet and loving. But, when I forget, Oscar takes advantage of those moments and starts challenging for hierarchy again. This is a pattern I expect we will deal with forever with Oscar, and it’s been a hard lesson to learn. In order for him to be the best pig he can be, I need to embrace and live in his world of hierarchy with him. When I am acting as his leader, the house is much more peaceful and happy.
The upside to Oscar’s recent behavior issues is that I feel more bonded than ever with him. The bond helps balance out the behavior problems and gives us sweet, happy moments with him that we love. Oscar still loves cuddling, and he approaches us and wants to be around us more than ever. He used to be more independent, but he follows me around the house much more now and even greets people at the door sometimes. We are firmly in a routine with Oscar these days, so day-to-day tasks are easier and we can spend more time enjoying him.
After a year with Oscar, owning a mini pig is much more challenging than I ever imagined, but it’s also much more rewarding. I never expected the highs and lows that have come with owning a pig, but he has made me cry and laugh more than any pet I’ve owned. Someone mentioned in a comment on here that pig parenting is not for the faint of heart, and I agree 100% with that statement. In a year, Oscar has made me yell, cry, question my sanity, leave the house just to get some space, cry some more, smile, experience joy and, most of all, laugh. These mini pigs are a ton of work, but they are also amazing little (and not-so-little) creatures.
At 15 months old, Oscar is 37 pounds, 16″ tall, and 29″ long.