Is Your Mini Pig’s Weight out of Whack? 3 Tips to Keep It in Check
A proactive approach to managing weight can keep your mini pig happy and healthy.
It’s said that good things come in small packages. Perhaps that’s why mini pigs are making a comeback as one of today’s hottest pets.
Questions to ask before owning a mini pig
Before owning a mini pig, the questions you should ask yourself are similar to any other household pet. Do you know how long the pig will live? Do you know what environment it needs? As it gets older, can it go up your flights of stairs?
What kind of food do you feed it?
The most common question Mazuri® experts hear from mini pig owners is how to prevent their mini pig from becoming overweight. Fortunately, this is an easily preventable condition through proper nutrition and exercise.
Mini pig weight management
To keep your mini pig from tipping the scales, follow these three recommendations:
1. Focus on complete feed
Food can be the ultimate bonding dynamic between people and their pets. People want to provide pets with variety and enrich their lives. Just as people do with their own diets, it’s important to keep healthy foods at the forefront and consume treats in moderation.
You want to make sure your mini pig’s diet is one you can trust and is created in such a fashion that you can depend on it long-term. Mazuri’s mini pig diets are complete, meaning you don't have to offer any additional food items.
Years of research have gone into finding the right balance of nutrients for your mini pig with complete diets. It’s all in the bag, with specific feeding recommendations available based on body weight. Just as overfeeding is a concern, underfeeding your mini pig can be just as detrimental to their health and well-being.
If you choose to provide your pig with treats, be conscious of what nutrients they contain. Most often, excess carbohydrates, fat and protein are the culprits that cause obesity.
When providing your mini pig with complete feed, offer a portion of their daily total feed at designated meal times during the day. Being mindful of exactly how much food they are consuming daily, rather than allowing them to eat free-choice, is an easy way to prevent unintentional over-feeding.
2. Feed based on life-stage
After you take into account what your goals are, feed your pet a diet that is appropriate for its age and activity. A pet mini pig should be fed for longevity.
While a mini pig is young, protein and energy are two important requirements they need to ensure proper development.
Amino acids and healthy fats provide the building blocks necessary for proper mini pig growth. For mini pigs up to 4 months of age, look for a diet with 20% protein that also includes high quality milk proteins to help transition through the weaning process.
As a mini pigs age, protein and energy from carbohydrates should decrease as fiber increases. Since the pig is no longer growing, nutritional requirements change to match their life stage.
For adult and elder mini pigs, choose a diet that is high in fiber, and lower in protein and energy to maintain proper weight. Lowest protein diets can be fed to pigs 18 months and older, or in combination with active adult diets as needed for weight control in younger animals.
3. Make changes in moderation
Perhaps you already own a mini pig and realize he or she is carrying a few more pounds than they should. Now what?
To tip the scale back into your mini pig’s healthy range, the mantra should be “everything in moderation.’ It’s important to avoid big changes all at once.
If you drastically decrease the amount of food that it eats, that also decreases the amount of all necessary nutrients your mini pig will be receiving. The consequences can then present themselves as other health issues. For example, a decrease in healthy fatty acids may mean their skin suffers, because the proper fats that would have been used to keep up skin condition are now missing.
If the culprit of your mini pigs’ obesity turns out to be an excess of treats, consider turning some of their daily allotted complete feed into a fun, rewarding treat by using it as enrichment.
Pigs love to use their noses and forage for treats. Sprinkle some of their complete feed pellets around the yard on a nice day while exercising them outside. You might also try puzzle toys, where the pellets become the reward for playing.
It's not just about diet. Various environmental components need to be considered when adjusting a mini pig’s weight. Increasing activity, water intake and socialization all make a positive impact in combination with the proper complete diet.
The social dynamic of eating is an issue that people with multiple mini pigs or pets may encounter. An easy solution to bring balance to each mini pig’s diet is to feed them separately at meal times.
To help diffuse eating habit differences between your pets, have set meal times where they are separated. Have a feeding plan developed ahead of time to ensure that your animals are still getting the right amount of nutrition.
Feed based on the animal you have with life stage in mind. Having the consistency that Mazuri® mini pig diets can provide is the peace of mind that you can offer for not only yourself as a mini pig owner, but for your animal, too.