Can Mini Pigs Be House Trained?
Known for their cheerful personalities and high intelligence, it is no secret that mini pigs make incredible companions. With a little patience, consistent training and perseverance, you can train a mini pig to use a litter box or go to the bathroom outside, just like a cat or dog.
Before bringing home a new mini pig, it’s important to have a plan for house training. You don’t want to be stuck cleaning up accidents and replacing carpets and furniture. Mini pig enthusiast Sarah Nickle provides her first-hand mini pig training tips used with her lovable mini pig Oliver. Sarah explains what to expect and how to prepare for house training a mini pig.
How do I start house training?
“Mini pigs can absolutely be housetrained, but it might require a bit more patience than a cat or dog,” says Sarah. However, this is not due to a lack of intelligence. It’s more about a mini pig’s muscle development.
“It takes pigs a longer time to develop the muscles that help them hold their urine. So, when they are little, and they need to go, they really need to go!”
“It can take a few months to house train a mini pig, and if you are not consistent, it can take longer,” Sarah advises.
What supplies do I need for house training?
House training a mini pig requires a litter box, litter and treats for encouragement.
“At first, I would recommend training with a litter box enclosed in a small space,” says Sarah. “The smaller space allows for the piglet to get to the litter box quickly when they need to.”
She also encourages pig parents to have treats handy to reward mini pigs that make it to the box in time. Mini pigs will begin to associate the treat with doing the right behavior.
Maintaining healthy body weight is important for your mini pig’s overall health, so keep nutritious treats on hand like Mazuri® Mini Pig Treats. The small, heart-shaped treats are perfect for training and make it convenient to reward your mini pig with a healthy, nutritious and tasty source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
How do I show my mini pig where to do his or her business?
“If your mini pig has free range of the home, they will wander everywhere and not make it back to the litter box in time,” Sarah says. So, every few hours, put your mini pig in their litter box with a command. For example, say, “go potty.” Then reward them with a treat and praise.
“Once you get the hang of their schedule, place your mini pig in their litter box after each meal and nap. You’ll start to know when they like to go!” she advises.
Just like any pet, though, your mini pig might have an accident while you are house training. In this instance, Sarah recommends quickly placing them in the litter box or taking them outside to remind them where they are supposed to do their business.
Can I train my mini pig to go to the bathroom outdoors?
When Sarah house trained Oliver, she started him with the litter box and slowly transitioned to outdoor training.
“The most important thing is to be consistent no matter what method you decide,” she explained. “Routine and consistency are so important for mini pig success.”
You can start training your mini pig to go outside by hanging a bell on your door, which is what your mini pig will learn to ring when they need to go outside.
Start by setting the alarm to go off every 30 minutes. Each time the alarm goes off, ring the bell for your pig and take them outside. This will condition your pig to know that it is time to go outside when the bell rings.
When you do take them outside, make sure they are in the same place every time. This is where you can use your verbal command, “go potty.” It is important to stay and watch to make sure they have gone. When they do, reward them with a treat and a lot of praise before taking them back inside.
If your pig has an accident during the next 30 minutes, they either did not go, or 30 minutes is too long between bathroom breaks. In this case, set your alarm for 15 minutes, and continue to repeat these steps until your pig gets the idea.
What else can I train a mini pig to do?
Once your mini pig is fully house trained, they can easily be taught other fun tricks.
“I have taught Oliver how to sit, spin and shake using the same treat method. He also comes to me when I call him,” says Sarah. “Rewarding with treats is so important! But always feed them a balanced diet and don’t spoil them too much.”
If you’re house training your mini pig, we’d love to hear about your success and see photos of your mini pig on the Mazuri Facebook page!