Thursday, January 30, 2014

More On Potty Training....

Since help with potty training is one of the most requested e-mails I get here I'm going to share what I have done and do here with my house pig(s). 

Get your pig on a schedule! A routine makes all the difference in the world. When Oshay was little he didn't have much of a routine he was just put outside to run the yard and go potty. He had no idea that there is a difference between play time and potty time and sometimes there were accidents. Once this was pointed out to me I made sure he was on a schedule and watched his routine. I noticed that he would pee pretty much right away after being put outside and with watching him I realized that he would pee again in another 20-30 minutes. Get to know your pigs routine so that there aren't accidents.

He was normally taken out every 2-4 hours with the last potty time being around 10-11 at night. It was when he was a little over a year old that he let me know that he no longer needed to go out that late in the evening...7-8p.m. was fine.
Even now at 7 there are days that I have to make sure that my little guy goes potty when put out for potty time. He is fed in the morning then taken outside to potty while I feed the other pigs. Now depending on the weather he might graze a little, go potty and graze more as he will be out for several hours.

It took more than once for me to figure out that when the weather is bad I need to close the screen door to the patio or he will turn around and go back in while I am feeding the other pigs. This forces him to stay out and gives me time to get the others fed. I then have to lead him back into the yard where we now walk around a bit until he goes potty...the whole time I am telling him go potty. Once he has pooped and peed he is free to wander the yard or come back inside.

Because he has to go down a ramp to get outside I do take him out morning and afternoon/evening. I DO NOT assume that he will do this on his own even now. So please do not assume that just because you put your pig outside to potty that he knows that is what he is supposed to do. Walk him/her around until they go potty.

Now to anyone that is new to having a pet pig. Yes they can be litter box trained, but I can't stress enough to forget the litter box and take your baby outside. We have found over the years that even pigs that were litter box trained grow out of using the litter and want to go outside.

As a rule our pigs do not like rain, snow or cold weather...the same as most of us. This means that on those days we need to put on our rain or winter coat and go out with them. They will be fine in the wet & cold as they are only outside long enough to go potty. Though you may have to be creative getting them out the door.

I can't stress enough that litter boxes don't work in the long run and training never ends...meaning you need to stay on top of them and make sure that they are going potty when put outside. I am also a firm believer that ALL of our pet pigs should be going outside to potty.

Good luck!!