Winter and the Bored Mini Pig

When the weather is sunny and warm, keeping Oscar entertained is easy. He loves being outside when it’s nice, and he can root around and eat grass for hours. By the end of the day, he’s tired and content, ready for a good night’s sleep.

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Oscar rooting around outside in the warm weather.

However, winter is quickly approaching, and it’s starting to get cold outside. Most days it’s cold enough that Oscar doesn’t even want to go outside to potty let alone stay out long enough to play. In addition to the cold, we have had several cloudy days lately, so Oscar doesn’t have his usual sun spot to nap in. Unfortunately, the cold and cloudy weather leaves us with a discontent, mischievous mini pig.

Mini pigs are smart which is one of their best qualities, but it also means they need lots of stimulation to keep from getting bored. If not provided with enough stimulation, pigs will find their own. Oscar is no different, and lately he just seems bored. To keep Oscar from finding his own destructive entertainment, I’ve been trying without much success to find fun ways to keep him busy.

Oscar is not a particularly playful mini pig. I don’t mind this since he loves to cuddle instead, but it is a challenge when he can’t get outside to burn energy but also won’t play with toys. With my dog, I can just throw a ball and she’ll chase it until I stop playing. With Oscar, I’ve tried so many dog and infant toys to entertain him, but he just isn’t interested. He only plays with toys that involve food, which only works for a little while each day since I don’t want to overfeed him.

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What do you want me to do with these toys?

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For now, we take advantage of any nice weather days and get outside when we can. Even a little bit of rooting and wandering around outside seems to improve his mood and behavior. We’ve also been spending more time on training, since that challenges and stimulates him with minimal treats. He usually spends part of his days in front of the heat vent or napping in the sun on sunny days, and he is content during those times. However, I’m realizing that I’ll need to get creative this winter to keep him entertained, exercised, and happy.

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Where did my green grass go?
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Shirts and sweaters help keep Oscar comfortable outside in cooler temperatures.

Finding ways to keep Oscar entertained and stimulated is one of the challenges of having a smart pet, but it’s also really rewarding when we find things he enjoys. Although it might be difficult entertaining Oscar throughout the winter, it’s a challenge that will allow me to learn more about him and what makes him a happy mini pig. As I search for ways to keep Oscar content this winter, I’ll update with any that work (or don’t).


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2 thoughts on “Winter and the Bored Mini Pig”

  1. Hello! I love getting your posts in my email!!! Have you considered making space for a rooting box? And maybe a lamp that puts out “natural” light? Can’t wait to see what you come up with!!!

    1. Hi! I’m so glad you love getting Oscar’s posts! It’s really encouraging to hear that! Oscar had a ball pit when he was younger, and I took it away from him when he had mange because we needed to sanitize everything. I’ve actually been working this week on getting a ball pit put back together for him since he loves rooting around in that. I’ve also seen ideas for rooting boxes made out of large rocks, so I might make one of those for him. You’re right though, I think making him a space to root around indoors would help a ton. I love the idea of a lamp that puts out “natural” light! He loves the heat vent, but it’s only on part of the day and is also in a room where we don’t hang out often, so he’s off on his own which I don’t like. A lamp is a great idea, and I’ll definitely look into it! Thank you!

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