Coconut Oil Treats for Mini Pig Dry Skin

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.

Oscar excited about his coconut oil treat.

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!

Frozen coconut oil in the silicone mold.
Frozen coconut oil in the silicone mold.

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 treatsI 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! 

Finished coconut oil treats. I crush them into smaller pieces and give him the equivalent of 1/2 to 1 treat each day to help with his dry skin.

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,, 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!


Oscar’s Mini Pig Mohawk

One of our favorite things about Oscar lately is his Mohawk. Mini pigs have a strip of hair on top of their back called their Mohawk, and they raise and lower their Mohawks throughout the day for a few different reasons. The first reason Oscar raises his Mohawk is due to contentment. When Oscar gets a back scratch or a belly rub, the hairs of his Mohawk stand up. If I walk up to Oscar and start scratching him, I can actually watch his Mohawk slowly rise. I love it because it lets me know that Oscar is really enjoying his back scratch or belly rub, and I love knowing he’s happy.


The other reason a mini pig’s Mohawk stands up is due to aggression or fear. Pigs are prey animals, so their Mohawks give them protection by allowing them to appear larger to other animals when they are approached or challenged. It’s a really interesting form of protection, and knowing about this has helped me better understand Oscar’s state of mind. As I discussed in a previous post, Oscar and our dog, Rylee, occasionally challenge and snip at each other. Most of the time, it’s a quick snip and then they both move on. Every once in a while though, Oscar tries to instigate a more serious challenge. I’ve learned that I can usually tell by his Mohawk how aggressive he’s feeling toward Rylee, and that lets me know I need to stop what I’m doing and really pay attention to their interaction. I try to let Oscar and Rylee work things out between themselves because intervening seems to make things worse in the long run. Now though, I check to see if Oscar’s Mohawk is standing straight up when he engages Rylee in a challenge. If it is, I know to be prepared to step in since things could escalate more quickly.

Here is a video of Oscar’s Mohawk rising during a back scratch. 

We are really enjoying Oscar’s Mohawk lately. It’s fun to watch his Mohawk hairs rise when he’s getting a back scratch or belly rub, and it’s also a great communication tool for when he’s feeling aggressive or fearful. Since mini pig raise their Mohawks for both contentment and aggression, it can be confusing at first to understand what your pig is communicating. However, once you get to know your pig, it becomes very easy to figure out what your pig is communicating through his Mohawk, making it a great tool for better understanding your pig and his state of mind.


Traveling in a Car with a Mini Pig

While we haven’t yet traveled with Oscar by airplane, he has traveled with us in the car many times. Oscar likes to visit his grandma who lives about three hours away, so that’s our most common trip. However, we also let him ride along with us if we are running quick errands where we don’t need to get out of the car. We enjoy having him with us,  so we always look for opportunities when Oscar can ride in the car.


Even if you don’t plan on traveling with your mini pig for fun, training her to be comfortable in the car is important for getting your pig to the veterinarian. Of course it’s useful for normal vet checkups, but it’s especially important for emergency situations. If you ever need to get your pig to the vet quickly, you don’t want to add stress by putting him in a new situation. Also, it takes time to figure out how to get your pig into the car, where to have him sit, and how to secure him. It’s definitely a process, and it’s incredibly useful to have everything planned out before you actually have to travel with a mini pig.

The first few times we put Oscar in the car for a trip to grandma’s house, it took a long time. Where will we put him? Should he sit on the seat or in a lap? Wait, he’ll probably want a blanket…let’s grab one for him. Will he need water along the way? Is he comfortable enough? An hour or so later, we were ready to get on the road. These days, we have it all down. I can grab everything I need for Oscar’s trip in the car, get it set up, and have him buckled in and ready to go in just a few minutes. Since he’s used to the routine, he cooperates and sits calmly in his seat once he’s in the car. It makes trips with him so much easier, and we’re more inclined to take him places with us because we have a system that’s quick.


Before discussing how we travel in the car with Oscar, it’s necessary to point out that not all mini pigs travel well. Oscar is calm and happy in the car, but not all pigs enjoy traveling. There’s no polite way to put this, but some pigs are nervous poopers in cars. I know of many pigs who love riding in cars and also many who are nervous poopers, so be prepared for either if you plan on traveling with a mini pig. The first time you travel with your pig, take precautions until you know how your pig handles being in the car. Oscar’s very first car ride was on the way home from the breeder, and we put a crate in the car and lined it with puppy pads. We ended up not needing it, but we were prepared in case the ride home didn’t go well.

We have two different scenarios for Oscar’s car rides depending on if I’m driving by myself or if my husband is also in the car. When my husband and I are both in the car, Oscar simply rides in the passenger’s lap. Oscar basically considers this cuddle time, and he settles in just like he would on the sofa in the evening. Once he’s in the car, he’s cuddled up and asleep within a few minutes. He wakes up and grunts every once in a while, but otherwise he sleeps for the entire car ride. We bring a blanket along so that he we can cover him up and keep him warm in the car, and he’s a happy little traveler.


Traveling with Oscar by myself is a little more challenging but still pretty simple. When he was a baby and his crate was small enough that I could carry him around in it, I put his crate in the passenger seat and Oscar rode in there. A blanket in his crate helped keep him from sliding around while the car was moving. Now that Oscar’s crate is bigger and doesn’t fit in the seat as well, he sits in his pet booster seat.

We originally bought our pet booster seat for Rylee a few years ago when we moved and had a long car ride with her; she likes to jump around in the car and we wanted her hooked in one spot but still able to see out the window. It worked well for Rylee, but I wasn’t sure if Oscar would like it. I put the booster seat in the car one day with a warm blanket on top and sat Oscar in it, and he sat still the entire car ride. He was still close to me in the passenger seat, so I could pet him without him trying to get in my lap. I don’t let Oscar ride in my lap while I’m driving for safety reasons, so the booster seat is a perfect compromise. He’s out of my lap, but still close enough I can pet him and see him as we ride along.

The Solvit Tagalong On-Seat Pet Booster, Deluxe, Jumbo
is the one we use for Oscar, and we love it. Oscar is 28 pounds in these pictures, and he still fits comfortably and can turn around and nap in his jumbo booster seat.


Although some pigs don’t travel as easily as Oscar, I still recommend getting a system down for traveling with your mini pig. If you have an emergency and need to move quickly, it’s extremely helpful to know exactly what you need and what setup works for you and your pig when traveling. If you can, I recommend trying a few car rides when your pig is young to help her adjust to being in a car as this can get more difficult when your pig is bigger. If your pig is comfortable traveling, car rides can be a fun experience for both you and your pig.


If you are planning on crossing state lines with your mini pig, there are USDA guidelines you need to follow since miniature pigs are classified as swine. We haven’t crossed state lines with Oscar, so I’m not experienced in this area yet. However, here are some links to other websites with helpful information on what you need to travel across state lines with your mini pig.

USDA Regulations for Traveling with “Livestock” and Traveling with your Pig FAQ (Mini Pig Info)

Traveling with Your Mini Pig (American Mini Pig Association)


Update: After writing this post, we took Oscar on his first out-of-state trip, and he got car sick for the first time. You can read about his car sickness in this post

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Mini Pig Oscar’s First Birthday Party!

Oscar is one year old today!


We had so much fun celebrating Oscar’s first birthday! He got to open his gifts, a Bob-A-Lot food and treat dispensing toy, which he’s super excited to try and Meghan Trainor’s new single, No, since he loves tail dancing to her music. More importantly, he got his very own little birthday cake! I found a mini pig “ice cream” birthday cake recipe on the American Mini Pig Association website and decided to give it a try. It’s a frozen cake made of bananas, peanut butter, coconut oil, and oats, and I decorated the cake with Cheerios since Oscar loves them. I divided the recipe and used a jumbo muffin baking pan to make three smaller cakes instead of one large cake, and we put the extra two in the freezer for Oscar to share with Rylee another day. Since Oscar loves peanut butter and bananas, I suspected the cake would be a huge hit. He loved it! He made a huge mess, but he had a ton of fun!

Here is the video of Oscar eating his mini pig “ice cream” birthday cake. He liked it so much that he even cleaned his bib after finishing the cake.

Oscar even had a tail dance party to the new song he got for his birthday, Meghan Trainor’s “No.”



Oscar checking out his birthday present.


Time to open his present!


Yay! It’s a Bob-a-Lot!
Cake time now!
Mini pig “ice cream” birthday cake topped with Cheerios.
Cleaning the rest of the cake off his bib.
Happy birthday, Oscar!

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Mini Pig Training: How to Train a Mini Pig to Wave

Oscar learned how to wave! Wave is one of my favorite mini pig tricks so far because there are few things cuter than a waving mini pig. This was a fun trick to teach Oscar because it’s a really easy, comfortable motion for him. Other tricks, like sit and jump, are less natural and are harder for him to perform, but Oscar seems to really enjoy waving for treats.


The mini pig training for wave builds on shake. If your mini pig hasn’t learned to shake, I highly recommend starting there and then working up to wave. Once your mini pig knows how to shake, learning how to wave is pretty easy since the motions for shake and wave are almost exactly the same for the pig.

Here is the training video with instructions on how to teach your mini pig to wave.

Once your pig knows how to shake, you need to make two changes to train your pig to wave. First, when your pig raises her hoof in the air, you no longer tap her hoof as you did when training shake. You want your pig to raise her hoof on her own and just swipe it in the air instead of meeting your hand on the way down to shake. Second, you need to switch the command word since we still want the pig to know how to shake. So, start by saying “shake” but, when your pig has her hoof in the air to shake, say “wave” to switch the command. Eventually, you can take the word “shake” out completely and just say “wave” to instruct your pig to raise her hoof. This can sound a little confusing in text, but it’s really pretty simple and is more thoroughly explained in the training video above.

How to train your mini pig to wave (building upon shake):

1. Ask your pig to shake. Say “shake” to get your pig to raise his hoof in the air. Go ahead and raise your hand like you are going to shake, but don’t touch your hand to your pig’s hoof like you would with shake.

2. When your pig’s hoof is raised in the air to shake, say “wave” and then click and give your pig a treat.

3. Ask your pig to shake again. You can again raise your hand as if you’re going to shake but don’t touch your pig’s hoof. As you continue the training, you should be able to start taking your hand out of the trick completely. So, go ahead and raise your hand if it helps your pig start the shake/wave motion, but you want to start decreasing your hand motion each time.

4. Again, when your pig’s hoof is raised in the air to shake, say “wave” and then click and give your pig a treat.

5. Once your pig has that down, you should be able to take out the “shake” command and your hand motions completely. Say “wave” and then click and give a treat when your pig raises his hoof up to wave.

Once your pig has both shake and wave training down, mix both tricks in with others like circle and kneel to make sure she’s really listening to each command. Oscar often performs his most recent trick repeatedly to get treats, so I like to mix all of his tricks up to make sure he’s really paying attention to the commands.

If this is your first time training your mini pig, I recommend starting with circle in order to get the mini pig training basics down and then build up to more challenging tricks. If you want to know more about clicker training and why I use the clicker, check out our mini pig training basics video.

Come meet Oscar and watch as we adjust to life with a pet mini pig.