Oscar has struggled with several skin issues since we first brought him home. Oscar not only had mange, but he’s also had two staph infections on his skin. Although his major skin issues have been treated and have healed, we still try to take care of his skin on a daily basis to prevent future problems.
Even if a mini pig doesn’t have mange or any skin infections, dry skin is a concern for most pigs. We try to keep Oscar’s skin from getting too dry in a few different ways. We try not to bathe Oscar unless it’s absolutely necessary since bathing can dry out a mini pig’s skin. This is easy since he hates water anyway! Instead, we just wipe him down with a damp towel every few days to keep him clean. We also brush him gently but regularly, which helps exfoliate his skin and control skin flakes.
Another way we try to keep Oscar’s skin healthy is by using lotion and sunscreen. We have tried lotion, baby oil, and coconut oil on his skin, and all seem to work well depending on your preference. The trouble with external lotion and oils is that I had trouble getting them underneath his hair and onto his skin. Also, Oscar likes to cuddle, so sometimes I would oil him up and then he would settle in to cuddle, getting the oil all over me. It also makes him slick depending on how much and what type of lotion or oil is used, so I have a hard time catching him when I need to!
I still use lotion and sunscreen when necessary, but I came across a much easier internal solution that I use on a daily basis now to keep Oscar’s skin healthy: coconut oil treats. I got this idea from the awesome Peony the Pig and her mom, Lauren, and it’s quick, easy, and Oscar loves it. The basic idea is that you heat coconut oil, put it in a silicone ice cube tray, put the tray in the freezer until frozen, pop out the frozen coconut oil treats, and give one to your mini pig daily or every other day as a treat. The oil helps keep your pig’s skin healthy from the inside out, and it’s easier and faster than external lotions and oils. I make Oscar’s treats out of Spectrum Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil since that’s my preference, but it’s definitely not necessary to use that specific kind. Peony’s mom made a quick and helpful video on how she makes coconut oil treats, and she also listed detailed instructions in text next to the video, so definitely check it out if you’re interested in making coconut oil treats for your mini pig.
Watch Oscar eat his coconut oil treat. He loves them!
I put Oscar’s frozen coconut treats in a ziploc bag and then smash them into smaller pieces to add to his salad or his meals each day. He gets super excited about them, and his skin looks great these days. The coconut oil treats, combined with his brushing and occasional lotioning and sunscreen, seem to help keep his skin healthy and less dry.
If you haven’t checked out Peony the Pig, I highly recommend it. Not only is she an adorable, happy pig, but she and her mom have an awesome website, PeonythePig.com, where they feature outstanding pigs with interesting stories. It’s a great place to learn about other pigs and their families in an interview-style format. Peony and her mom ask questions that other mini pig parents will find very useful in learning about how other pigs and their parents live day to day. Definitely check it out!
25 thoughts on “Coconut Oil Treats for Mini Pig Dry Skin”
Aaaaawe!!! Thanks for the shout out! We love you guys!!!
I have a 4week old micro pot belly pig how do you teach her not to bite
Aaaawe! Thanks for the shout out!!! Peony loves her treats and I’m so glad Oscar does too. XoXo
No problem! Thanks for sharing the coconut oil treats instructions. The treats have really helped his skin, and it’s so much easier than external oil every day. Even better that he loves them! 🙂
I just need to teach her not to bite I just need so help
Love it! Great tip!!
Thanks! We love them. So much easier to throw these treats together and keep them in the freezer than to put lotion or oil on pigs all the time. 🙂
Look at Oscar eyeing that treat…haha. This is a good idea. I’ll have to try this. Elmer has dry skin too. I’ve never bathed him because he hates water and he doesn’t smell, so, I don’t feel the need to. I heard flaxseed oil is good, too.
We don’t bathe Oscar much either for the exact same reasons. We’ve had enough skin problems, so we keep the washing to a minimum. I really do think these treats have helped his skin. He doesn’t seem to flake nearly as much, and I keep up with the treats much better than I did putting oil on him. We still use oil on his skin but only when it’s super dry. I’ve heard the same about flaxseed oil, but we never have any around like we do coconut oil so I haven’t tried it yet. I think Elmer will love the coconut oil treats! Although we cook with the refined coconut oil, I buy the unrefined oil for Oscar since he likes the extra smell and flavor. If you try them with Elmer, let me know what he thinks of them. 🙂
Can I put people lotion on a pig?
Hi Donna! I don’t know what’s technically correct to put on them, but I believe you can. I tend to stick to oils for Oscar, and I’ve used mainly baby oil and coconut oil. He’s a little greasy for a while (which is why I tend to prefer the coconut oil treats), so I go pretty light when I apply the oils to his skin. Also, he’s really hard to catch if he gets loose in the yard after I’ve just put oil or lotion on him…haha!
I use baby lotion and home made lotions on my guy. He does mind it at first but then he settles in and lets me rub it all in good. I also do the frozen coconut treats. Although mine are not so fancy. I just scoop up an amount and put it on wax paper then into the freezer and when frozen into a baggy for easy access.
Aloe is supposed to be a good lotion or coccobutter lotion. We also feed and rub ours down with coconut oil unrefiened.
I use Aveeno baby lotion on my piggy, Ellie Mae. It’s not greasy and helps with flaking skin. I’m definitely going to try the coconut oil treats.
Thanks for sharing what you use, Jodi! Hope Ellie Mae likes her coconut oil treats!
Please be careful…my 4 year old pot-belly was pretty dry, and a so-called expert told me that coconut oil was the answer. After two weeks his skin became infected, he lost all of the hair on his back, and he was so miserable that it was a family ordeal.
It took MONTHS to get his skin healthy again…and again his boy is a strong, healthy pig who has few issues…but Coconut Oil almost killed him.
Did they say it was the coconut oil and why
What type of brush do you use on Oscar?
Hi Cyndi! I don’t have a great brush for Oscar. I have a few I use that work okay, but I don’t have one that I’m particularly excited about. I have one of those rubbery Kong Zoom Groom brushes and a cat brush I got from the store that has a rubbery, nubby side and the little metal-looking spikes on the other side (not sure how to describe it obviously…haha). I like the cat brush the best because the rubbery side feels nice to Oscar and gets some of his loose hairs out, and the other side helps scuff off some of his dry skin (although I have to use this side gently on him or he doesn’t like it). I’m guessing there are probably better alternatives out there, but that’s what we use at this point. Hope that helps!
Love this blog!!!
I make the treats, but add alittle dab of peanut butter in the tray of coconut oil, then freeze & my piggies love them.
thankfull for the internet easy access for information at your finger tips i just wish i had all this knowledge 25 years ago when i had a chinese sharpie dog that had painful skin problems and never was recommended coconut oil from his vet to help now i know all the befits i not feed to my dogs i use it on myself as lotion and now researching care for my new babbies pot belly pigs and glad to read they will need coconut oil also thank you
What is the best lotion for my pig? Im assuming something for a infant.Like aveeno baby lotion does that work? Thank you…
Do you give him and entire heart of coconut oil or do you give him a piece of one everyday?
Loved the comments and all the new info on caring for Miss Wiggy. Rescued her last year at the age of 8. Love her dearly, not sure she feels the same way. We are working on it though!