Can My Pig Get Sunburned?

In a word: yes.

Just like humans, pigs can get sunburned. Unlike cats, dogs, and other pets, pigs—especially potbellies—do not have a dense fur to protect the skin from the sun. Moreover, these burns can be very bad if the skin is not properly protected.

Sun exposure is a major cause for a pig’s habit of covering himself in mud. This layer of dirt helps protect the skin from direct exposure while also protecting them from bugs. However, if you acquire your potbelly young, you may choose to house him indoors. If this is the case, be sure to provide a mud hole (or some type of equivalent) for him to wallow in—it is important for the pet to build this habit for when he may eventually have to move outside.

Moreover, special pig sunscreens are available. If your pig is going to be out in the sun for a considerable amount of time, consider purchasing one of these sunscreens. Our personal favorite is the Pet Pig Sunscreen by Pigs4Ever. When used before sun contact, the sunscreen will protect your potbelly’s hair and skin from the sun’s burning, bleaching rays. Also, this particular brand is Citronella scented, which makes it an excellent choice for protecting your potbelly from bugs.

If your potbelly is sunburned, don’t panic—their pale skin may make the burn seem harsher than it is. You can tell a burn is present when it is warm and tender to the touch, appearing swollen. It will eventually peel, as with a human sunburn, but it is important to keep the area moisturized while the skin peels. An Aloe Vera gel is your best option. Make sure your pig gets plenty of water, shade, and moisturizer while recovering, and take additional preventative measures in the future.