So how long can you leave a mini pig alone? To answer plainly, all pigs are created differently, but a general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t leave your mini pig alone for more than 4 hours long. Make sure to have a cordoned-off area or a separate living space for them to stay in while you are away. But remember not to leave them alone very often as there can be several undesirable consequences.
Mini pigs are very emotional creatures and need a lot of attention. People who opt for a mini pig should stay at home most of the time. Leaving your mini pig alone for an extended period can lead to some serious problems.
But again this varies with each pig like some pigs cannot be left alone for more than an hour before they start destroying things, while others can be unaccompanied for over 12 hours. It depends on each pig’s personality.
What to do before you leave your mini pig home alone?
Now coming to the question at hand, what to do before you leave your mini pig alone at home? It’s important to implement these steps below because they will help prevent your little pig from destroying your house.
1. Cordon off an area for your pig to stay while he is alone
A common mistake that some pig owners make is letting their mini pig roam freely all over the house. While this may sound like the kindest thing to do, but your pig might destroy the inside of your home when they are left alone.
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Instead of letting your pig roam freely around your house when they are left alone, get a pigpen, or only let them stay in a dedicated room. You can find great pens on Amazon for a surprisingly cheap price.
Having a dedicated area is great, especially when your pig starts to get lonely. In that case, he will be busy in his special place and won’t destroy all your valuables.
But remember to not lock your mini pig in a room or a pen for too long. This can promote several unhealthy habits due to separation anxiety.
2. Make sure to give your pig stuff that will keep them entertained for a while
Another important thing to consider when you leave your mini pig alone is to provide them with stuff that will keep them entertained. You can put your pig’s favorite toys and other accessories in there and also place many blankets for them to sleep on.
A very useful piece of material that has helped my mini pig entertained is a snuffle mat. These will help get rid of your pig’s rooting habits by hiding treats inside the mat. You can find a large variety of rooting mats on Amazon or eBay.
3. Think about getting another mini pig
Mini pigs are naturally very social animals. So when they are left alone for extended periods, they get very sad and depressed. A useful technique that will not only save up some of your time and give happiness to your little buddy is by getting another pig.
Having another pig will significantly increase their joy especially when you are gone. Many breeders and organizations recommend that new pig owners should get two pigs for this exact reason.
However, this is not a mandatory requirement. Having only one pig is still completely possible and you can even leave them alone as per your needs. But if you are the kind of person that has to be away from your pig quite often, I highly recommend you get multiple pigs.
4. Construct a pigpen or barn for your pig to stay in while you are away
Not everyone has the resources or the luxury to construct a pigpen or a barn on their property. But if you can, it would make your mini pig keeping experience a lot easier. This is much more farmer’s approach towards pig keeping but you can implement the same to mini pigs as well.
When your mini pig begins to feel lonely when you are away, and they are inside a pig pen or a barn, there is nothing for them to destroy. Giving them fodder to eat and sleep on will help keep them amused while you are gone.
5. Hire a “pig sitter” if you have to be away for too long
This is fairly self-explanatory, but there are plenty of people who are more than willing to take care of your pig while you are gone, but of course for a small amount of money.
6. Get a CCTV camera to observe your pig
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Most people won’t be needing this, but if you are a little paranoid or just nervous about leaving your pig alone, then just get a CCTV camera to observe his habits. Most of these cameras allow you to connect to it from your smartphone and watch your pig from anywhere.
7. Give your Mini Pig a Personality Test before you leave them alone
This is particularly important if your pig is extremely attached to you and you know that they will not do well if left alone.
To start put your pig inside a separate cage or room for an hour or two. During this period go away for a little bit and come back to see if they were ok with you leaving.
If you are nervous about this test, just don’t go very far. Maybe just over to the next room.
8. How to feed your pig while they are home alone?
Mini pigs tend to get getting very destructive and anxious when you are away. Another thing you need to worry about is feeding them. Fortunately courtesy of some latest technology, there’s a thing known as an automatic pet feeder. Incorporating one of these you can automatically feed your pig their pellets while you are gone.
9. How will your pig go to the bathroom when you are away?
You should make it a habit to take get your pig to go potty just before you are about to leave. You shouldn’t make them hold it in for more than 4 hours. If you are planning on being away for a period longer than that, consider getting a litter box.
This is also much easier if you have a pigpen or barn because you can make an area for them to go potty outside.
10. Does leaving your pig alone hurt them in any way?
Your mini pig should be fine if you t leave them alone for a little while. But if they are attached to you, don’t be surprised if they look mad to see you. Also, do not leave them alone very often because your pig will start to get sad and overweight. Exercise is very essential for mini pigs because of how quickly they can gain weight.
11. Can you have a full-time job and still have a mini pig?
If you have a full-time job and you have to be away for several hours a day. Then consider hiring someone to take care of your pig. Your pig will become overweight and miserable if you leave them alone for that long and that often. So consider these things before getting a mini pig.
Now let us look at certain basic things you need before you bring a mini pig home.
What Items Are Needed before Bringing a Mini Pig Home
Before you bring your mini pig home, you should make sure that you have the following items to make your pig-keeping experience more pleasurable.
1. Sleeping Bed
Some pigs do OK with dog beds, while others root on them so much so that they tear them apart. This particular sound of tearing makes them want to rip everything in sight. I recommend an egg crate bed.
Some of the other types of beds have lots of smaller fragments inside. And pigs, who like to hear the sound of things being torn apart, will also likely try and eat these contents. So the smaller amount of pieces inside, the better off you are until you know how your pig will do with beds.
2. Water Bowls & Dishes
Water bowls and food dishes are a must for your mini pig. Invest in spill-proof bowls and are ideal for pigs because they tip everything over. If you are feeding inside the home, make sure it’s in a space that is easy to clean.
3. Litter Boxes & Puppy Pads
Potty training is crucial, whether you are planning to use a litter box or puppy pads. Go for reusable type because pigs simply tear up and try to eat the disposable kind.
4. Harnesses or leashes
You should try to harness or leash train your mini pig. A dog harness doesn’t work on a pig. Pigs have a unique body shape and a dog harness might fit. But because of the pig’s neck size and belly size, when he tries to back up when you’re urging him to move forward, he can very easily slip out of the dog’s intended harnesses.
5. Pig Feed
You should buy the pig feed before bringing your mini pig home. Pigs are hungry almost all the time and in some cases, it seems like they haven’t eaten in 2 days. Follow the guidelines for feeding that are mentioned on the bag of feed.
Pigs love pumpkin and can 100% pure pumpkin will be something that your home is never short of. Canned pumpkin has a lot of benefits like it can be used to entice your pig to eat, maintain good bowels movement, and act as a binder if your pig has diarrhea or more of a stimulating agent to help the body eliminate waste more efficiently.
6. Digital Thermometer
You will want to invest in a digital thermometer that will be used rectally. So remember to place it separately from your family’s thermometer. Label it so it doesn’t accidentally get used by one of the family members. Check the baseline temperature so you know what a normal temperature for your pig is.
7. Select a Good Vet
You will also want to make sure you have a vet that is willing to see your mini pig. Put him on speed dial in case of emergencies. It is important to make an appointment for soon after your mini pig arrives, to ensure health and vaccinations. Check to see the local rules and regulations of keeping a pig as some cities and county ordinances mandate vaccinations, so make sure to check first.
8. Health Certificates
If you are planning to take your pig over state lines, you must request the breeder or rescue, to help you in obtaining a health certificate.
This certificate will be licensed by a veterinarian. This is mandatory to legally cross state lines. This is to certify that the pig is healthy and disease-free. Different states have different testing and certification requirements so make sure to identify the states you are entering and their respective protocols.
There are a few states that mandate microchips or ear tag identification for pigs/swine. Be very aware of which states these may be as the law is continuously changing.
9. Pig Crates
A crate is very crucial as it not only protect your home but also protects your mini pig from household items he shouldn’t put in his mouths.
Pigs will eat almost anything, some items are highly toxic whereas others can pass through the GI system causing a blockage or creating other emergent situations such as obstructing the airway or choking.
10. Prepare a Containment Area
Prepare a fenced-in area or an outside containment area of some kind for your mini pig. Also, make a rooting box so your pig can be a pig and dig and play.