Toys for Mini Pigs

An issue I ran into soon after we brought Oscar home was keeping him entertained. He had plenty of energy but didn’t seem to know what to do with it. This led to him finding things to keep him busy, such as rooting around on any shoe he could find, bugging the dogs who didn’t feel like playing, and biting toes and then running off quickly. These things were cute at first, but I quickly realized we were going to encourage behavior issues if we didn’t find better options for him.

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What do you want me to do with these?

I have plenty of dog toys in the house from raising puppies, but I had no idea what types of toys mini pigs liked. I did some research and found that they like some dog toys and also infant toys, but I was warned that many pigs just don’t like toys. Oscar seemed playful enough, so I was determined to find some toys he liked.

I bought him a mix of dog and infant toys: puppy chews, stuffed toys, rope toys (since he seemed to love my shoelaces), and even infant teething rings. With each toy, he would play for a few minutes and then forget about it entirely. Even when we tried to play with him using the toy, we could get him to engage for a minute but then he switched back to rooting on our shoes.

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For Oscar, only food-oriented toys worked long term. I wanted to get him toys that didn’t involve food to avoid the risk of overfeeding him, but nothing else worked. So, to hopefully save you some money from buying toys that your mini pig ignores, here are the ones that little Oscar loves.

1) IQ Treat Ball

It took a few minutes for Oscar to figure out what to do with the IQ Treat Ball, but he caught on quickly and loves it now. The size of the treat hole is adjustable, and the ball comes apart easily for washing after each use. We can put different size treats in it, but we frequently just feed him meals with the ball and let him roll the ball around with his nose until he has all of the pellets out.

2) StarMark Bob-A-Lot

Oscar got a Bob-A-Lot as a gift for his first birthday, and he loves it! The Bob-A-Lot is a heavier toy than the IQ Treat Ball, so I waited until Oscar was a little bigger before getting him one. I can fit his entire pellet meals in the Bob-A-Lot, which helps keep him busy and stimulated for up to an hour. I like to put Oscar in a carpeted room to minimize the noise from the Bob-A-Lot, and that works really well. Oscar loves the Bob-A-Lot, and I love that it keeps him busy and entertained. If you want to read more  about our experience with the Bob-A-Lot, including its pros, cons, comparison with the IQ Treat Ball, and a video of Oscar using his Bob-A-Lot for the first time, check out our full post on it.

3) Puppy Kong

The puppy Kong is a good mini pig toy option if you put some food in it. I put a little bit of peanut butter inside the Kong and freeze it for a few hours or overnight before giving it to Oscar.  When I’m feeling really ambitious, I’ll cover the holes with peanut butter and put Oscar’s regular food pellets inside before freezing (the peanut butter on each end keeps the food from falling out) and use that for his meal time. It keeps him busy for a while and is a good toy option, but the downside is that I don’t always remember to prepare and freeze it in advance.

4) Ball Pit

I initially resisted making a ball pit for Oscar. I wasn’t sure what type of balls or container to use, and I thought it would be an eyesore in our house. I gave it a try because I was desperate to find something he would play with and I wanted to make sure he had a productive place to root.

I bought him a little plastic pool from Petsmart and some ball pit balls from a major toy store which worked out well. When we put him in the ball pit for the first time, he panicked and hated it. We figured out that the slick plastic on the bottom of the pool was scary for him and that we shouldn’t have started out with all 100 balls; it was too overwhelming for him. We took the balls out, placed a blanket on top of the plastic pool and added in just a few balls and some treats. That worked much better, and he has grown to love his ball pit so much that we feed him entire meals in it most days. If you’re hesitant about the ball pit, give it a try. It costs a little more than a toy, but I wish I would have just started with the ball pit rather than buying a bunch of other toys that he didn’t like.

Plastic Pool for Ball Pit: Petsmart Summer Escapes Poly Pool Pet Bath

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Oscar happily rooting around in his ball pit.

Note: Although I personally recommend the items discussed in this post, some of the links 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.

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108 thoughts on “Toys for Mini Pigs”

  1. I’m having trouble with my mini pig wanting to chew on everything! We have hardwood floor and he tries to tear it apart…he tries to chew the doors…I don’t know what else to do! He has plenty of toys, shoes, treats. Any advice? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lindsey! That’s a tough one. We’ve been lucky with Oscar not chewing on anything yet, but I know it’s a problem for many pig parents. Since I don’t have direct experience with it, I don’t have a great answer for you. My first recommendation would have been things to entertain him like toys, but it sounds like he has plenty. Does he like his toys? I’ve bought Oscar tons, but he only likes his rooting and treat-type toys and ignores the others. You have probably already done this, but make sure he likes his toys and is getting enough stimulation from them. My next thought is maybe he’s acting out to get attention. Pigs love attention (as I’m sure you know…haha), and they are smart enough to get creative in order to get attention. Unfortunately, getting in trouble or yelled at can even mean attention for them, so some learn that if they chew something, they get attention (even when we’re just mad and yelling). Does he need more attention, or is he getting attention from the wrong behaviors? Lastly, and this is tough with cold weather, time to root might help him get some energy out. Oscar’s behavior is tons better when he can get outside and root around, even for a short period of time. I don’t recommend putting him outside when it’s cold which makes this one challenging, but does he have a rooting box or ball pit where he can root around? Some of this might improve when Spring comes around and he can get outside and root and burn some energy that way.

      It’s possible you’ve tried all of those things, but I wanted to throw out some ideas in case there’s something you can try to see if it helps. My questions above certainly aren’t meant to be accusatory but just things to consider if you haven’t already. Chewing is tough and would be frustrating to deal with, so I hope the situation improves!

      1. Thank you so much! Being on a limited budget, buying for Daisy Mae is a challenge! At Walmart I found a toy similar to a Kong toy. It is fairly small, and will wobble around, and has the holes…small at top and larger at bottom….for either small treats, mini pig food, or a bit of peanut butter. She loves it….until the food runs out…btw she is eight weeks, so we only put three or four Cheeri-O’s . We don’t leave all toys out at once. We are in a travel trailer! A plastic storage box with a lid (for storage) is great for a few handfulls of Timothy hay, or sometimes clean dirt (I buy this at Lowes…garden dirt, not with anything added)…so that she can root around. I do not keep the hay for more than a few days in the container. Or the dirt, as she might use it to urinate in. She is completely potty trained to clean pine shavings. Hope this helps …and I love sharing!

        1. Hi Susan! Thanks for sharing that! I know we mini pig owners are always looking for ways to keep our pigs entertained and stimulated, so I appreciate you sharing what works for Daisy Mae! There really are good ways to keep them entertained on a budget, but it sure takes some creativity. Thanks for sharing these ideas! 🙂

          1. Hi I just wanted to say me and my boyfriend just got piglet spots a few weeks ago she pees in her litter box and poops outside only ….We entertain her by letting her go outside and run and rut in the grass they say its OK for them to eat abit of grass …I hope this helps some of you.

      2. So my pig sits
        And she is obsessed with food
        She wants nothing to do with her toys
        I even got her the ball put with the balls and she hardly ever goes in there unless there’s her treat ball in it
        She also does not listen to no or come unless I have a treat
        Any advice?

      3. My friend has a rug she bought from $5 below don’t know if you have that store bit the rug looks like a lot of knots and she adds unsalted sun flower seeds he roots around to get them.

      4. Hi, I have a potbelly pig. He’s now about 2 1/2 years old. He was the sweetest pig for the longest time and now he’s beginning to act viciously toward me and others who enter the house. I want to keep him because I love him but I’m afraid. Any suggestions about why he’s doing this and what I can do to remedy the situation? I don’t want to be afraid of him, but that’s exactly what’s happening.

        1. Hi I have a 11 month old mini pig and he responded that way at first but once I spent more time with him and paid more attention to him and showed him that I am the alpha male he is now calm and lovable and I also used hand signals to let him know that what he was doing was inappropriate

          1. I work during the day but spend a lot of time with him in the evening. How did you show him you’re the alpha male? I have no clue how to do that.

          1. Winston was fixed before we got him. So I don’t think that’s it. But thank you so much for responding.

    2. We quickly discovered that our pigs was not a pet at all but instead was a two year old child. They have to stay busy and they want your attention. When we could not actively watch him, we would put him in his pen. We did find that the treat balls kept him busy for awhile but when he wants our attention, he knocks over the garbage can and looks at us. If he can get positive attention, they will get negative attention. They are two year olds.

      1. Hi Steve! Mini pigs can definitely act like two year olds, and we’re seeing that more and more now that Oscar has entered his toddler phase. In my experience, the best way to keep Oscar busy is with rooting. Since it’s natural for him, he roots all on his own when given the opportunity outside and can keep himself busy for quite a while. The treat ball and other toys work great as a supplement when he can’t get outside and root to entertain himself, but I haven’t found anything that does as good of a job as outside rooting. The issue of them wanting attention is really interesting to me because I’ve had to learn and be careful about when I give Oscar attention. For example, when Oscar wants my attention and can’t get it in a positive way, he will test me by doing something negative that he knows will get attention. I realized this with potty accidents and had to adjust my approach. When he couldn’t get attention, he would go in the house because he knew that would cause me to yell and go over to him and give him the attention that he wanted. Now, if he has an accident, I handle it quietly (even though I’m fuming inside…haha) and put him in his “time out crate” so that he doesn’t get the attention he wanted by doing that behavior. They’re so smart and sometimes that’s good and other times very challenging. I’m sure we’ll see more of that (like the trash can issue you mentioned) as he gets older. 🙂

        1. Lol. Its funny you mention not giving into his bad behaviour. I know when I do, its him training me but its so darn cute, it hard not to go over and scratch his belly. Sometimes he just wants to place chase or pillow fight.

          1. Oh yes, I’m a very well trained pig parent too…haha. I don’t give into his bad behavior when it’s about potty issues, but I have my moments. I’ve read that it’s not good to let them play with your feet or nip at toes because it can be a dominance move, but Oscar loves to unvelcro a particular pair of sandals when I’m wearing them. It’s so cute when he comes up and unvelcroes them that I just can’t make him stop. They’re way too adorable sometimes. 🙂

        2. Hi. I just wanted to share with you something I read on another pig site regarding rooting. What they did was built a rooting box out of sanded plywood. 2feet by 2feet and about 4 inches deep. They put river rocks in it. The rocks need to be large enough they don’t inhale or swallow. I would think at least the size of a golf ball. They also put cheerios in it for a treat. I haven’t tried this yet, however, I work at Home Depot and tomorrow am going to pick up a concrete mixing pan, and river rocks and see if this works. Since the pan is slick I’m not sure how well this will work but my Daisy likes to pull her blanket in her litter box and sleep there. I figure maybe she will like this better, and have fun rooting.

          1. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve seen people use river rocks, but I’ve always been worried about Oscar trying to eat them. I think if they were big enough, like you mentioned, it wouldn’t be an issue. I really like this idea though, and Oscar does show interest in rocks when he finds them outside. If the pan is too slick, I wonder if one of those grippy mats like for underneath a rug or to put in a bathtub would work. We’re entering Oscar’s bored winter season, so maybe we’ll give the river rocks a try this year. Hope Daisy is enjoying her rooting box! 🙂

          2. We bought river rocks from Home Depot for our pig. The rocks are much too large for him to eat, like the size of a tennis ball or soft ball. We put them in a cheap kiddie pool from WalMart that has a rough, patterned bottom, so it’s not slippery. He LOVES this toy. The whole thing was less than $20, and he uses it every day.

    3. Hi Lindsey, I´m from Brazil, here in my city we do not have even special food or vet for Bacon (my minipig)
      I made some similar to the ball pit, but instead of balls I put that white stones that use in a garden inside, so I throw some pop corn seeds so he kepp busy for a loooong time. It works also because he tries to bite

        1. Just a suggestion if anyone is interested, we have used bactine as well, the numbing feeling is definitely a deterrent to chewing.

    4. How much are you feeding him/her? And what kind of food ? Sometimes it can be an indication that they are still hungry . It can also be them saying they’re board and need more interaction.

    5. I Know this was posted like a year ago….
      check out mini pigs association they have a whole book on training and toys and ways to entertain your pig. great website!!

  2. Holy wow! love you posts!
    I did a no no, and against every amount of reason got a potbelly piglet from a roadside farm… yikes! He is now 8 weeks. We have named him Clark Supper Pig Pig- most times we call him pig pig…
    So far he has been amazing! Litter box trained- the noises… we were very concerned that he needed human contact and now he makes those squealing noises when he wants to be loved on… nips at toes and runs… he has found one stuffed animal unicorn of my daughters that he loves to play with! The Hangry- oh the Hangry and keeping him occupied is spot on. You have confirmed I’m somewhat understanding him correctly. While go to the vet, I’m worried about his skin. I noticed in some of your pictures Oscar has some orange- ish spots on ears. What do you use to help with rubbing the paint and varnish off of everything ‘butt level’?

    1. Hi Aubrey! Thanks for the compliment on the posts! I appreciate it. It sounds like he is doing well and has a happy home! I love that he likes to play with your daughter’s stuffed animal unicorn. Oscar definitely gets some orange-ish spots on his ears. I typically do a quick wipe-down on Oscar with a warm, lightly damp wash cloth on his snout, ears, and body once a day. I sometimes forget, but I aim for every day and also get the area under his eyes that can look orange as well. I’m also careful not to get water in his ears because that can cause inner ear problems for pigs and, from what I understand, can also make them more susceptible to pneumonia. I have a little rubber cat brush that I also use on Oscar when I remember and that helps to keep his skin looking nice. We are just finally getting to where Oscar will tolerate baths, and bathing him with some baby shampoo helps take some of the coloration off of his skin. I’m not a huge fan of baths in winter though due to increasing his pneumonia risk and am still careful not to get water in his ears.

      All that being said, some of the coloration is normal “pig rust” but it can also be a symptom of mange or a skin infection. If he’s super itchy and/or has any scabbing on his skin, you definitely want to have him checked for sarcoptic mange using a skin scrape at your vet’s office to see if they can find any mites. Oscar also had a skin infection once that was causing his skin to be more orange than normal, so that’s another issue you’ll want to rule out. Don’t want to scare you as he might be completely fine, but those are just some things to rule out if you haven’t already.

      Hope that answers your question, but let me know if it doesn’t. 🙂

      1. I don’t have a tub at the moment so I give Pua a shower. I’m concerned about water in her ears now that I read this. She’s a little over 7 months old and just over 30 pounds. She likes the shower and i use baby shampoo on a washcloth and then put hair oil on her after i dry her to make her skin soft. I had a potbellied pig before who loved to roll in the water in a kids pool. She stayed outside all year with our dogs and was very healthy. We bring Pua in for the night. She also chewed the dry wall when we kept her in the bathroom. I got her 1 week before Christmas and it was too cold outside so kept her inside. She likes to play with dirty socks! It’s hilarious! She shakes it like a dog and spins and falls on her side and jumps up and does it again. They are definitely 2 year olds!

  3. My girl friend just bought a mini pig and is now telling me she dont think its acting right she says its basically throwing fits if you have any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated

    1. Hi Chris. It’s common for mini pigs, especially young piglets, to squeal a lot at first. Pigs are not at all like dogs when they first go home; it takes them a while to bond with their humans and they will squeal, especially when held. There is a lot of good information on the Internet about what to expect from a new mini pig, and I recommend doing some research and checking to see if that’s what your girlfriend is experiencing. If it is, she can also find a lot of helpful articles for helping her new mini pig adjust at home.

      1. Wrapping them in their blanket when you hold them helps. Their fear is falling. Sit on the couch with them.

  4. Hi, so my pig is a couple weeks old, he pretty much sleeps all day or he’ll stay up playing with my dog but every night he just wakes up and constantly nudges us and squeals. He’ll do this for a while then finally will settle down and go back to sleep or won’t stop. I’ve had him for about 4 days now. Should I stop letting him sleep in the bed and just keep him in his “room”? Or what should I do? I don’t know why he does this.

    1. Hi Alexis! Oscar has always slept in his crate, and we’ve had good luck with him sleeping through the night. We’ve let him sleep in our bed a few times, but he likes to sleep on his side with his feet stretched out and then kick me with them throughout the night. I end up not sleeping well with him in the bed, so he still sleeps on his bed in his crate and only comes up in our bed sometimes on the weekend mornings when we sleep in. I recommend having yours sleep in a crate or some people have had better luck putting their pig in a gated small room, like a bathroom, during the night. It’s not uncommon for them to have trouble sleeping or squeal through the night when they first come home, so I think he’ll grow out of it fairly quickly. As frustrating as it can be, try your best to just ignore him when he tries to get your attention since he’ll keep nudging you and squealing if that works for him to get your attention. Once he’s adjusted to sleeping through the night on his own, you can probably let him back into your bed and have more luck with him staying quiet through the night. Hope that helps!

    2. The women we got our pig from strongly suggested not letting him sleep with us, said they can get very territorial over the bed and once you start it’s really hard to stop for that same reason, we have only had ours for a few nights, he was ok with being nestled in his blankets and then last night he had to be crated because he was trying to lift his cage and being too loud and we didn’t want to give into his bad behaviour- good luck with your piggy

      1. Thanks for adding that, Jen! I didn’t know that about them possibly getting territorial over the bed, but that’s helpful to know. We’ve been happy with our decision to start Oscar out sleeping in his crate. He sleeps well through the night, and we have the option of putting him in the human bed some nights, but he doesn’t throw a fit if we put him in his crate since he’s used to sleeping in there.

        1. My husband and I are in our late sixties, and retired to our travel trailer. Little Daisy Mae sleeps in my sherpa lap robe under the ‘booth’ table, and loves it there. She has some extra smaller blankets, and has dragged in a little bear, a wash cloth and a few scraps of fleece I cut for her, as well as one of my ‘favorite’ t-shirts. She loves her little home! Her potty box is adjacent to the front door and I clean it daily…I use pine shavings only. She surely brightens our lives! I take her to our vet….Deland Animal Hospital, Deland, Florida for her ‘surgery’ in early January. They are VERY reasonable, if anyone lives in my area.

          1. It sounds like Daisy Mae has made herself quite a nice bed! I love that she dragged in a little bear to add to her little home. Thanks also for sharing your vet info as it might help someone looking for a place to go in that area. Good luck with her surgery! I know that time can be a little scary for pig parents, so hopefully everything goes smoothly!

        2. I rescued a 8 months Old mini pig 2 months ago. She was small and thin. We recently had unusual cold weather in florida so I brought her inside and that’s where she stayed. I have never had a pig before and honestly never desired one. I never knew anything about them but now I can’t learn enough. She, Missy aka Ms. Piggy is amazing. She is smart, really smart. She’s adjusting well and becoming apart of our family. She follows me everywhere and seems to know what I’m saying to her. So far I haven’t had any problems with her at all. ANY tips on making her a happy pig would be appreciated. Thx.

    3. Mine still sleeps with me and she is almost 4. Lol and she won’t sleep any other way. Also I don’t know why breeders take them away from their parents at such a young age. They should be with them for at least 6-12 weeks. I got my Daisy Mae at 4 weeks. That’s just too young for these piglets.

      1. Just wanted to say I completely agree about breeders taking them away at too young of an age. When we got Oscar, I didn’t know any better. If I was doing it all over again, I would ask more questions about what age the piglet was being taken away from their parents and really push to make sure it was long enough. It makes me so sad thinking about piglets being taken away so young!

  5. hi i have a 6 month old pig her name is miss piggy she was raised outside on a far i had her for two days now how do i get her trust me an not be so scaredof me she is a outside pig

    1. Pigs are prey animals. Trust has to be earned. Dont try to rush it. Be patient. Use treats to get her to come to you. Start by giving her a scratch on her head then work your way to her side. If she pulls away, let her. It may take a couple weeks but its sooo worth the wait. Google search for “teaching your pig to sit”. She will learn fast. Good luck

    2. Hi Jessica! I completely agree with what Steve said (thanks, Steve!). Getting Miss Piggy to trust you could be a slow process, but I agree that it’s worth it. Go slow with her, and some days you may only get as far as being able to sit on the floor in the same room as her. If she’ll take treats from your hand, that’s awesome. If she’s not ready for that, that’s okay too and just let her go at her own pace. Always let her come to you while she’s adjusting. I think people sometimes rush the bond with pigs, and it can scare them and actually slow down the process. So, just sit near her and occasionally try to give her treats. If you need to just place treats on the floor and let her take them, that’s okay too. With Oscar, bonding was a slow process and a frustrating one at times. I knew it would take a while but wasn’t prepared for the months it actually took. On the bright side, you’ll see little changes along the way as she adjusts to you and those will be happy moments that make the long process rewarding along the way. 🙂 Here’s a post that I think you might find helpful. http://lifewithaminipig.com/bonding-with-your-mini-pig/

  6. Hi there. We have just brought home our mini pig 3 days ago. He is still extremely skidish around our family. He is in our laundry room and we spend as much time down there sitting with him as we can. He comes out of his kennel when we go down and especially takes Intrest in us if we have food but he is very very skidish. We have not tried to pick him up yet because he will squeal,.. Should we be attempting that more? We are getting nervous we made a mistake with buying a pig… Please tell me it will get easier and the bonding will happen ?
    Thank you! Love your page

    1. Hi Derya! What you’re experiencing with your new mini pig is completely normal. Mini pigs take a long time to trust and bond with people, so they are often skittish for quite a while when first coming home. Honestly, mini pigs can take months to trust and bond with their new families. Of course, he won’t always be as skittish as he is now, but what you will likely see is him slowly start to get to know you and bond with you. You’ll have small victories throughout the first few weeks and months and will definitely see improvements as you continue to spend time with him, so it certainly gets easier as he adjusts. The bonding with pigs can be a slow process but is incredibly rewarding once you get there. Keep doing what you’re doing with spending time with him. Sit on the floor in the laundry room with him (I usually recommend having one or maybe two people go in at a time so that he’s not overwhelmed) and just offer him treats. If he’ll come to you to take the treat, that’s awesome. If not, don’t rush it and just let him go at his own pace. As for picking him up, the squealing is also completely normal at this point. If you want, you can let him get more adjusted before you start picking him up. But, at some point, you’ll want to teach him not to squeal while being held, and it’s a whole training process of picking him up and just holding him through the squealing. Below are some posts that I think you’ll find helpful (and reassuring for what you’re experiencing). Keep at what you’re doing though, and the bonding will come with time. 🙂

      http://lifewithaminipig.com/bonding-with-your-mini-pig/
      http://lifewithaminipig.com/how-to-hold-a-mini-pig/

    2. It takes time but so rewarding. I think its so rewarding because you have to work at it unlike other pets that jump in your lap at every chance. We rescued a pig (Stella) from a family that only gave her 3 days and then gave up. I let her stay in your crate when she wanted to and didnt rush her. Then one day, I was sitting in the floor working on a project and started to sing a little song. I know it sounds silly but singing is what got her to come out. Im not a good singer but she liked the tone. Give it a shot. Something smooth and soft. You may be surprised. Needless to say, after your new piggy get used to you, they will follow you everywhere and want you near all the time. I conscider them more of a two year old child than a pet. Hang in there. It will be so so rewarding.

      1. Completely agree with all of this. I love the idea of singing to them! Oscar loves music, but I have never thought about singing to help new-to-home mini pigs adjust. Thanks for this idea! 🙂

        1. Thank you everyone for their help! We are feeling super discouraged right now. Between the constant cleaning of litter boxes and the lack of interaction with him ….. I’m hoping we can bond sooner than later. Can anyone suggest a litter box that is much bigger than the ferret litter box suggested. He is getting too big for it already and just roots around in it and scatters it everywhere. Also, we would like to train him to go outside strictly once he bonds to us and we can move him upstairs, will that be an issue now that he is trained to a litter box?? Thank you, all your words are extremely helpful right now 🙁

          1. Since I don’t have direct experience with litter training, I can’t give you solid, tested answers to your questions but can tell you what I’ve heard. For the litter box, I’ve heard of people using sweater boxes or those plastic storage bins that are shallow and cutting an opening into it (maybe with a hand saw or something like that? I’m really out of my league when it comes to effective tools for that sort of thing…). The plastic base would be slick so I’m not completely sure it works, but it’s something to consider. For larger pigs, I’ve even heard of people converting little plastic kiddie pools by adding an opening, but that might be quite a bit bigger than you want or need. As for training him to go outside, my understanding is that it’s very possible to transition them to outside after they’ve been litter box trained. Here is an article that I really like on litter box training; I think you’ll find some of the info helpful. http://www.pigs4ever.com/pot_belly_pig_information/litter_box_and_potty_training.php

            Hang in there! The beginning is tough because everything is new, your piglet is still scared, and you don’t have a routine to fall back on yet. In the beginning with Oscar, I really felt like I was just going through the motions. Once we got our routine down and he started adjusting to home, it was much easier and I started to enjoy him much more. 🙂

          2. Hi again,

            Thank you once again for all your helpful tips ! I did try to sing to Romeo last night and he covered him self under his blankets, not sure if he was hiding from me or if I put him to sleep LOL.
            I have just returned from a trip to Walmart and picked up a few things that will hopefully help with keeping his litter in his new litter box. He let me into his kennel last night to pet him and even flopped onto his side twice, I thought he was letting me pet his belly but he jumped up as soon as I attempted.
            So far right now he isn’t into playing with any of the toys in his area right now. Any suggestions to keep a piglet occupied? Something to keep his rooting to a specific area? Ive heard boxes but if you guys have any suggestions I would MUCH appreciate 🙂 Thanks everyone for your help our family really looks forward to reading your responses!
            Derya-

          3. Its sounds as if you are making some progress. Thats great. As far as toys, we used treat balls. Ill post the specific ones when we get back to the house and I can look for them
            When you get a chance, google “pig forking”. You”ll have fun with that one.
            We did make a root box. He played in that for a few months. Ill post some links later.

          4. Haha…it sounds like your singing was so nice that he went right to sleep. 🙂 I am a big fan of treat balls as well. Oscar never tires of them, and he’s been playing with the IQ treat ball since he was a baby. I’ve tried tons of different toys, and he never plays with anything that doesn’t dispense food. Some people have luck getting their pigs to play with dog and infant toys, but Oscar must not be as playful as them because he never takes any interest. Oscar also has a rooting box made of a plastic kiddie pool and some plastic ball pit balls, and he enjoys that too.

          5. My son bought a large rubbermade/plastic type container about 5-6 inch high sides with lid. Just doesn’t use the lid. Almost like the type you can slide under a bed for storage. It works great and is large enough for him to totally fit in.

          6. Pua didn’t like the litter box, too slippery and she tried to eat the litter which isn’t good. I used puppy training pads. She slipped on them a little bit but she used them just fine. She did start to tear them up so now she goes outside.

        1. Haha…that’s awesome! Oscar likes to wag his tail around (I call it tail dancing) when I sing something upbeat. They sure do seem to like music and singing!

    3. I got my piglet October 21st and within a couple of days she knew her name as Mishka instead of what the breeder was calling her ( Peggy Sue). I have been spending time with her everyday and been trying to find what toys she likes and so far it’s the kong dog toy, little squeaky ball, plush dragon and little baby blankets she can pick up and toss. Hold your baby as much as possible and when they squeal just cuddle him like a baby and say shhh shhh it’s ok in a calm and quiet manner. I found that works with my girl. I hope this help you too.

  7. We used a large rabbit pan (30×36) but we started with a smaller one and then upgraded. We put a dog pad in the pan and it made clean up very easy. There may still be accidents but its not very often as long as their pan is clean. They dont like to stand in their own waste.

  8. Hi, I’m looking in to buying a mini pig and I don’t really know what to buy and where to buy it from as I live in the uk. Please could you give me some advice?

    1. This may or may not help but…
      1. Do you know how long they live?
      2. Do you have space for them?
      3. Do you have enough time for them?

      These are things that I should have done more research on before we got our piggies. They are not a pet, they are a two year old child that requires constant attention. Almost everything that applies to a two year old human applies to a pig. If they dont get positive attention, they get negative attention. They cry, pout, laugh, get angry, testy and need lots of love and patience. Just like a child, when you get those first kisses, it melts your heart.
      Research research research.

    2. I 100% agree with Steve on researching first, and his questions are good ones. We pig owners tend to preach about researching, but it comes from experience and knowing how challenging mini pigs as pets can be. They are amazing animals and can be wonderful pets, but they are surprisingly challenging and time consuming. I would just add to Steve’s comment by recommending really thinking through the day to day of having a mini pig to make sure that’s what you want with your time and, similar to Steve’s comment, making sure you have the time and energy for a mini pig. They need quite a bit of stimulation and can become destructive if they don’t have an outlet for their intelligence. If you do have the desire, time, and energy for a mini pig, you’ll likely be a happy mini pig owner.

      All of that said, if your research is done and you know you want a mini pig, it’s time to find one. You can do this by finding a rescue pig or a breeder. Either way, ask tons of questions and don’t be afraid to ask anything you want to know. A good breeder, in particular, should be more than happy to answer any questions you have and will take time to make sure you know what you’re getting from them. On the rescue side, there are a lot of pigs being rehomed these days because people have decided they don’t have time for them, don’t like having a mini pig, etc. A lot of times people think that getting a rescue means just getting problems, but I’ve recently noticed a ton of young piglets needing new homes because the owner simply didn’t know what they were getting into and can’t keep the pig. So, even if you’re looking for a piglet, you might have good luck going that route and getting one who is still young but also slightly more socialized and potty trained. If you haven’t already, check out our Mini Pig FAQs where I talk some about looking for a breeder and what questions to ask. http://lifewithaminipig.com/mini-pig-frequently-asked-questions-faqs/

      Unfortunately, I don’t know of any breeders in the UK since I’m in the US, and I can’t even think of any owners or breeders on my Instagram or Facebook accounts who are in the UK that I could refer you to. However, there is a group page on Facebook called “Pre Loved Pigs” where people can post pigs they want to rehome or simply post that they are looking for a pig. I don’t that I’ve seen any on there from the UK, but it might not hurt to ask.

      Hope that helps! 🙂

  9. HELP!!!! We just started leaving my baby girl loose in the house through the night and all of a sudden now she just paces the house screaming all night long keeping everyone up!!! She has a bed in my room as well as in my daughters room!!!! Should I go back to keeping her in 2 rooms like we did when we first got her????

    1. Hi Chrissy! If it were me, I would confine her more at night. Even now that Oscar is 15 months old, he still sleeps in his crate. He has a soft bed and blankets in there, and he seems to enjoy being in his safe little space. If he needed access to a litter box at night, I would likely put him in a small room of his own for sleeping still. Of course, do what works best for your little one and your family, but we haven’t yet been brave enough to let Oscar roam freely at night. Each mini pig parent is different in how they handle sleeping arrangements, and some pigs sleep in the human bed, some sleep in small gated rooms, and others sleep in crates, depending on what they prefer and what works best. Since she is screaming all night and keeping everyone up, you might try keeping her in the two rooms like in the beginning. As she gets older, you can always try again at different points to see how she handles being loose in the house and go with that if it works well later. Hope that helps and you can get more sleep! 🙂

  10. We have had our mini pig hazel for just under a week…she is only interested in looking for food around the place….I was wondering though..she has stitches from searching that need to be removed but will not let us hold her or attempt to look at them..any tips?

    1. Hi Penny! I can completely relate with them only being interested in looking for food. Unfortunately, I’m not sure they ever really grow out of that…haha. Oscar is a tiny bit less food crazy now that he knows his meal times, but it’s still a bit of a battle.

      Getting them to hold still when they’re so young and wiggly is really tough. When I need Oscar to hold still, my go-to is a belly rub. I know this will be tough with her desexing stitches, but maybe try rubbing or scratching in a safe place to see if that works. If you can get Hazel still long enough to scratch around her back leg or just inside of it, she might plop over and stay still just long enough for you to check her stitches. If you’re not able to scratch anywhere on her belly and avoid the stitches, you might try under her chin and see if that works. Another thought is, if she cuddles at all, you might be able to get her on your lap when she’s sleepy and move her just enough to check her stitches. Hopefully you have some luck getting her still for a second! They’re SO wiggly when they’re young. 🙂

  11. Hi, my significant other and I have been thinking about getting a potbelly pig. We know that there’s no such thing as a teacup/micro piggie and realize that piggies can get quite large. I once owned a Mastiff/Rottweiler mix and he was 200 pounds! We’ve located a vet that treats exotic animals but we’ve yet to contact the vet about seeing piggies. Our county zoning says we can have a piggie as long as our neighbors don’t complain and we have a large yard, 4 bedroom, 2 story home and 2 medium sized docile (fat) spayed dogs. I work construction 8 to 12 hours a day (laid off during winter). My partner is a police officer who has been injured on the job so he stays at home until he has surgery. Our concern is time and how much time do piggies really require? 2 year olds go to daycare when their parents work. We won’t have that option though. Also, we live in Northwest Ohio and it gets cold. We want an inside piggie. Any reputable breeders near us? We hear that we can get a piggie for less than $300. I am leery of that but I also don’t want to pay $1,000 either. What is the average price for a healthy piggie, please? Thank you for your time and help.

    1. Hi Jeannene! It sounds like you’re really doing your research before deciding to get a pig, and that’s awesome. It sounds like you’re aware and being realistic on potential size, zoning, and the vet. I would definitely call your vet first just to make sure. We ended up needing a vet within the first week of bringing Oscar home, so I was glad I had already called and confirmed a vet nearby to make sure. It saved a potentially huge headache right after getting him home. My biggest concern with your situation is the same as yours, and it’s time. To be completely honest, Oscar takes up a lot of my time. I consider him a high effort required/high reward pet. My dog just kind of does her thing and I don’t have to worry about her much, but Oscar requires my attention quite a bit throughout the day. I know that many people who work outside the home have mini pigs and seem to manage, but I’m honestly not sure how they do it. One of the biggest challenges with mini pigs is that they are smart and so need a lot of stimulation to stay content. If they don’t have stimulation provided, they will find their own and that usually results in being destructive (and their snouts are surprisingly strong…). I would definitely say that Oscar is somewhere between a dog and a toddler in terms of my time and energy, and probably closer to a toddler. Not to say that you shouldn’t get a pig because I hate to discourage anyone who really wants a pig and can make it work, but I do think it’s important to really think about your schedule and the day-to-day to make sure it’s the best decision for you and the right time. It’s good to think about where you’ll put the pig when you’re away, how you’ll make sure the pig gets enough stimulation and attention, and how you’ll potty train, etc. Here is a post I wrote a while ago on my daily structure with Oscar that you might find helpful. I’m home with Oscar and he’s only outside trained (no litter box) so it would look different from your structure, but it might be helpful to read anyway. http://lifewithaminipig.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-mini-pig-oscar/

      On price, it’s tough to answer that because prices differ so much. I would also be a bit leery of a piggie for less than $300, but it certainly doesn’t mean the pig isn’t healthy or a mini pig. What I would recommend is to really look into any breeders you are considering. See if they offer farm visits, can you meet the parents, are they open and honest about the size and age of the parents, etc. The age of the parents is important because pigs grow until they are 3-5 years old but can be bred earlier than that. So, a pig might be breeding but still have not reached his/her final size. This can be misleading because some breeders will advertise a 1.5 year old pig as full grown but the pig still has growing to do and isn’t yet full size, so more reputable breeders are good about making that clear to potential owners. So, the $300 doesn’t mean it’s a bad situation, but whether the pig is $300 or $1000, I would spend a lot of time talking with the breeder and asking questions. Do not be afraid at all to ask any question you have to a breeder, and hopefully you can get a feel that way if the breeder is someone you feel comfortable working with. My favorite place to recommend people look for a breeder is the AMPA (American Mini Pig Association) registered breeder list. They are working hard to come up with a list of breeders who are open and honest about their piglets and who are super helpful to potential owners. It’s a good place to start your search at least. You might also check out the Pre Loved Pigs group on Facebook. It’s full of pig owners needing to rehome their pigs due to moving, family situations, etc. You might be able to find a pig near you needing a home that has already been trained, so it’s worth checking out at least.

      Hope that helps! It’s a big decision, but I think you’re looking at everything the right way and taking all of the important factors into consideration. 🙂

      1. Hello from Ohio. Thanks for your reply. We’re going to wait until one or both of us retire (or win the lottery)….. which ever occurs first…. before we get a piggie. There’s no way we could do it any other way; especially after reading Oscar’s schedule. He is so darn cute!!!!!His facial expression is priceless. I hope to be as great of a piggie parent as you are one day. Blessings to both.

        1. You’re so nice! Thanks for the update on your decision! We waited for several years before we got a mini pig, and I know the waiting can be hard. For what it’s worth, I’m glad now that we waited so that I had more time to enjoy and train Oscar when he was little. It doesn’t make the waiting easier, but hopefully you’ll have more time with your little one and can enjoy him or her more when the time is right. 🙂

  12. Hey just wanted to thank you for this site/blog! The books have not been that great, clearly I wasn’t reading the right ones but also its not like dogs where there’s a ton in every town and the advice is everywhere! So THANK YOU!!! Oscars ball pit reaction the first time was exactly like makos and we felt awful so we did what you suggested and poor he’s been playing like a maniac!!

    1. You’re so welcome! Thanks for letting me know the blog has been helpful. I agree about books though. I looked when we first got Oscar, and there weren’t a lot of options. I think that’s changing, so hopefully there will be more come out that are helpful for new piggy owners. I definitely remember Oscar’s first ball pit reaction because I felt awful too, but fortunately they recover quickly! 🙂

  13. Ive had my mini pig for about 4 weeks now and i am completely in love! Thank you so much for your blog! Its helped me out so much!

  14. I SUPER heart all your info and have a few question’s of my own 🙂
    We own a full sized potbelly pig, who’s lived in our front yard for about 5 years now and is as sweet as can be. Last weekend we purchased a mini potbelly, whom we were told was litter trained, and is definitely not. How do we go about litter training him without ruining the bond we’ve so quickly formed with him? He was really skiddish the first 2 days we had him and would hardly let us come near him, but then quickly warmed up the more we constantly tried to pet and love on him. Now he’s not afraid of us at all, but he’s not using his litter box at all either! :/ He has a specific place, in my kitchen, that he likes to use the restroom in. Do you have any tips as to how I can get him more interested in his litter box again….without ruining the bond we’ve established?
    Also, what brand harness do you use as we’d love to train him to walk on a leash. Thanks so much!♡

    1. What we did with our two was to pick up thier poop and put it in their litter pan and show them. Also, if the pee, we would wipe some up with a paper towel and place it in their litter pan. Using puppy pads for the litter pan worked out really good for us. The only accidents they would have is if the pad was dirty and they didnt want to step on a wet pad.

    2. Hi Jamie! I agree with what Steve said about the litter box training. We didn’t end up litter box training Oscar so I’m not super helpful in that area, but there’s an article online that I love for litter box training, and I’ll link to that below. As for the harness, we’ve tried quite a few different kinds. For starting out, I recommend the over-the-head dog harnesses. Of course, there are some pig harnesses you can order online that are probably better in general, but if you need one you can grab quickly from the store and start using, those are my favorite. We use the step-in ones more now with Oscar, but he slips out of them constantly and was too wiggly when he was a baby for us to get him in them. If I’m taking Oscar anywhere away from home or near any roads, I never use the step-in dog harnesses because he slips out too easily, and in those situations I much prefer the safety of the over-the-head ones. We recently got Oscar a Pigglz Basix harness and are testing that out on him and I’m happy with it so far, so you might look into those as well. I’ll also link to our harness video so you can see more specifically what kind we preferred when Oscar was little. Hope that helps!

      Litter Box and Potty Training: http://www.pigs4ever.com/pot_belly_pig_information/litter_box_and_potty_training.php
      Oscar’s Harness Video: http://lifewithaminipig.com/how-to-put-a-harness-on-a-mini-pig/
      Pigglz Harnesses: http://www.pigglz.com/harnesses

      1. There are various collars and harnesses out there. I think the most import thing is to realize that they do not like to be pulled. We found it easier to stand behind them and nudge them along.

  15. I’ll be bringing my pot belly pig home this Friday. I’ve been doing a lot of research and the breeder I’m getting her from is amazing. I’ve seen both parents on site. And she interacts w the pigs everyday. She will be 6 weeks when I bring her home. She’s eating solid foods now and all and the woman has actually recorded a vet for me so I have all the info I need for a vet. Ik what kind of feed and everything else to get her. I’m a stay at home mom w three children. Two of which are in school durning the day and my youngest who stays at home w me everyday is 21 months old. Did you have any children at home when you got your pig? If so, how did you make it work? I have a big yard, should I litter train or just have her go outside? I’m gonna purchase a crate for her to sleep in a have lots of warm blankets in it and get her some toys and stuffed toys. Just any advice you can give me would be great. Thank you! I want this to workout and ik I’ll need to have patience. Say a piggy prayer for me as I go into this new journey. Lol.

    1. Hi! Sorry for taking so long to respond. I hope things are going well so far with your new piggy! Not sure how you decided to potty train, but you have more options since you’re home during the day. I’m also home with Oscar, so we just trained him to potty outside. Well, we gave him the litter box and he slept in it, so we just skipped to outside training. I’ve been happy with that decision overall. However, there were times when I needed to be away from home for more than a few hours when Oscar was young and still potty training, and that was a struggle with him not having a litter box. I tend to prefer outside and am glad we did that, but at times I wish we had an alternative for Oscar when we needed to be away from home for longer periods of time. Just something to consider based on your schedule. If it were me, I would lean toward outside only unless you need to leave her for longer periods and then a litter box is a good option.

      Hope things are going well so far! The beginning can be tough, so hopefully she’s getting more and more used to and comfortable at home. Depending on how socialized she is, the bonding is hard at first and can be really discouraging. So, if you’re having any trouble, just keep at it and try not to rush the bond if she’s slow to trust. She will get there with time as she gets to know you and her new family. I’m going to link to a post below that might be helpful in case you’re having any trouble with the early bonding period. Hopefully you’re not, but it’s there just in case!

      Sounds like you were all ready for her when she got home, so I hope she’s doing well and that you’re enjoying her! 🙂

      http://lifewithaminipig.com/bonding-with-your-mini-pig/

  16. Hi I just got my lil Kevin Bacon 3 days ago and started with him in a crate today I made a bigger area but attached it to the crate so he knows that’s his place to be the next thing i see him finally coming out and exploring so I decided to get in there and sit cuz I haven’t even been able to touch him he freaks out all of the sudden he starts rooting on me stepping on my lap kinda scared me for a minute but he was wagging his tail the whole time So does that mean he’s happy I still can’t pet him is that normal Please help Thanks so much !!

    1. Give him a few more days to get acclimated. They are not like a dog. Their trust has to be earned. It takes time but so worth the wait. Rooting is normal. He is just young. When you try to approach him next, bring treats and move slow. Fast movements scare them. Try singing a song to him. It actually works.

      1. Hi Donna! I agree with Steve here. It sounds like you’re making progress with your Kevin Bacon, which is exciting! Steve is right that rooting is natural and it’s also typically a good sign. From what I understand, piglets root on their moms to get milk, so it’s generally thought of as positive when your piglet roots on you. If it starts to hurt, you can grab a blanket or something similar to put between you and Kevin Bacon so that he can still root but it’s not painful for you. Also, in my experience, tail wagging is a good thing. Oscar likes to wag his tail to music or will wag it when I’m just talking to him, so I think that’s a step forward. Singing a song, like Steve mentioned, might also calm Kevin and make him wag his tail. Sounds like things are improving!

  17. We ar expecting our pig in 4 weeks after over a year of being on a waiting list. I have learned so much from your blog and the comments sections! I just wanted to say THANK YOU!

    1. That’s so nice of you! Thanks for your nice comment! The countdown is on for you, and it’s such an exciting time. 🙂

  18. My pig has no energy what can I do to help her I love her and I don’t think she trust me as much as she should what should I do

    1. This could be alot of things from diet, environment, disease, stress, etc…
      How old?
      What type of food?
      When you say “no energy” what does that mean?
      Can you pick her/him up without him screaming?

  19. Have two microminis. Got them in march. Have made them a rooting box full of river rocks that we feed them in. Have used a shag carpet also but they pee on that making it high mainetenance. Have had some luck amusing them with veggies tied up inside a pillowcase. Not inside–they chew thru. Just put them in the middle then tie two corners together. Also liking the newspaper pellet litter a lot more than the wood pellets. They don’t track all over the house. They have been more challenging than I expected. They aren’t people pleasers like dogs. But if u put the time into training and amusing them you get paid back. Eventually. It gets better every month

    1. Keeping them entertained can be a challenge. We tried the shag carpet thing but we got the same result you are getting. They love to tear things up so we sometimes wrap a few food pellets up in a pieces of news paper. We make about 8 of these thi gs and let them go at it.
      The most recent toy we got was the Kong Wobbler at PerSmart. They love it. We put a handful of cheerios in the Kong and they will push this thing around forever. The hole in the Kong is rather large so I taped it up a little from the inside so the cheerios dont fall out so easy.
      As far as a litter box, we use a rabbit litter box and buy the overnight bed pads from Dollar General. They are easy to clean up.

  20. I am getting a mini pig in October but I would like to know if I can get him/her chew toys and if so what do you recommend

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