It’s Coat Blowing Season! Here’s What You Need to Know

Everybody loves summer. The weather, the sunlight, the appearance of freedom from responsibility–summer is every child’s favorite season for a reason. However, for pet owners worldwide, the months leading up to summer can be hectic and stressful. No, I’m not talking about getting that coveted “beach body.” I’m talking about shedding. Coat blowing, to be specific.

As with dogs and cats, potbelly pigs have a major shedding period in the spring and fall. Spring is often the most intense, so anticipate cleaning up a lot of hair. Pigs blow their winter coats in May and June to prepare for the summer heat, but those who live indoors tend to undergo smaller and more frequent shed cycles.

Regardless of your pig’s shedding cycle, you can help expedite the process–all while fitting in some quality scratches and getting ahead on hair cleanup. There are several pig-specific brushes designed to work with your potbelly’s tough-but-delicate skin. Pig owners can easily get ahead of the blow-out by spending a few minutes each day running a brush through the animal’s fur. From there, dump the fur straight into the trash–clean-up is a breeze when you think ahead!

It is essential to remember that no two pigs are the same. Though one of your pigs may have already blown his coat, the other may take another month or two. If you are concerned about your animals’ shedding schedules, you have no reason to stress out. Several factors, including biological variation, can lead to differences in animals: indoor vs outdoor living, geographical temperatures, location, diet, stress levels, and the presence of family or herd members. Even an extremely healthy pig can be difficult to predict.

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.

 

Holiday and Party Safety Tips for Pet Pigs

No matter the season, it’s important to practice safe pet maintenance when it comes to large gatherings year-round. Hosting events can be stressful enough, but the added anxiety of wondering, “Hey, did you see the pig eat those flowers?” is the icing on a severely concerning cake. Between food, lights, plant, presents, and people, extra precautions must be taken to ensure your pet piggy’s health and wellbeing. Below, we have listed a few essential tips for keeping your beloved potbelly safe.

 

  • Separate them from the party. You might be tempted to show off your adorable pet, but the noise and excitement can upset a pig. Even pigs who aren’t normally shy may exhibit shy or violent behavior when overwhelmed. Section off a bedroom for your pig to enjoy all by himself.

 

  • Say no to confetti. Strings and strips of thrown confetti may become lodged in your pig’s intestine. If ingested, he might need surgery. It’s better to err on the side of caution.

 

  • Say no to fireworks. If you live in a city or highly residential area, this is likely a no-brainer. Regardless, if there are fireworks occurring outside, they may upset your pig. Secure them in a safe, escape-proof room—especially on the 4th of July or New Year’s Eve.

 

  • Unplug decorations. This is especially important for strands of Christmas tree lights. If your pet doesn’t recognize an electrical cord (i.e. if something new and seasonal shows up), he might bite down on it.

 

  • Ensure your party guests understand your pig’s diet. Though considered to be the vacuum cleaner of pets, pigs should not eat scraps provided by people. Moreover, if you want to gift your pig a holiday treat, make or buy something pig-friendly.

 

  • Know what is or isn’t poisonous. This is important for normal pig maintenance, but it is especially important around major events. Chocolate, alcohol, balsam, mistletoe, pine, and cedar are all highly toxic.

 

Welcome!

Hello, and welcome to my blog, Potbelly Pig of My Heart! My name is Sarah, and I am a potbelly pig fanatic! I’ve grown up with these adorable, unique animals my entire life, and this website is meant to be a place for potbelly enthusiasts to meet, share their stories, and utilize my advice and resources.

 

Potbellied pigs have become popular pets in the past several years. In fact, at the 2010 Golden Globes Awards, vouchers for Royal Dandie Miniature pet pigs (pigs that stay under 40lbs) were given away to guests. These incredibly social and intelligent creatures were popularized by American celebrities in the early 2000s, and their stardom has only grown from there. They’re cute, they’re well-behaved, and—if you’ve had an experience similar to mine—some of the best pets you can keep.

 

However, getting a potbelly is a pretty big investment. Their lives can span between 12 and 18 years, but they have been known to live well into their 20s. Additionally, their more popular name—pygmy, teacup, or the more colloquial miniature pig—is a slight misnomer. Though they start out small, they can grow to be pretty big animals, reaching full maturation after three or four years. Most experts say that your potbelly, regardless of build, should be at least 50lbs. However, it is more common to have a pig that sits right between the 75lbs and 100lbs mark.

 

To this end, most potbelly pig parents don’t quite know what they’re in for when they adopt that cute, 15lb baby. That’s where I would like to help. A seasoned potbelly pig breeder and parent, I know how to care for these tender, smart, and—quite frankly—big animals. However, I know that I am not alone in my expertise and experience. This site will host a variety of forums on all things potbelly pig-related, as well as a blog with some of my how-to tips and guides. If you are seeking advice regarding potbelly care, this is the place to be.

 

Here’s a video of potbelly pigs so you can see these amazing creatures. Enjoy.