Pot Bellied Pigs/potty training issues
I got a mini male pot bellied pug from a girl who couldn't care for him. He is now one year old and had started peeing and pooping everywhere except his pads. He's also being fresh and breaking down gates to get to the cat food when no one is home. I'm thinking of creating him and was wondering if you had any ideas on this and what I should do to stop the bathroom problem. Thank you
Is piggy neutered? Intact male pigs can be frustrating house pets because their behavior is completely driven by hormones. Neutering has a tremendous impact on behavior.
Pigs do love cat food, but, it just isn't good for him. Pigs need a diet of pig pelletes, fresh fruit and veggies, and a little grazing time outside. The rule of thumb is about 1/2c of pellets per 15 lb of pig.
If the only problem is piggy getting at the cat food, moving the cat food up to a higher spot, like a table or counter, should work. But, it sounds like there are other behavior problems.
It's important to confine piggy to a small area while potty training. But, pigs are very intelligent, and go a little crazy when they are confined with nothing to do for hours on end. If piggy must be left home alone for more than a few minutes, I prefer to put piggies in a secure, outdoor pen if weather permits. Otherwise, a small laundry room or bathroom is better than a crate.
Tackle the potty training problem by starting at the beginning. Pigs learn quickly and unlearn very slowly. Piggy will have to do both at once, and it will take a long while to unlearn the bad habits. Pigs that spend most of the day outside tend to potty train themselves, it is a natural instinct. But a one year old pig is still pretty young and will need a litter box to prevent nighttime accidents. By the time piggy is about age 2, he should not need to potty during the night.
Clean all the accident spots with any quality cleaner designed to remove pet urine odors. But, even after the smell fades piggy will still be able to smell it, and he will remember pottying there long after that. So, it is important to keep up the practice potty routine for a very long time.
A good litter box is big enough for piggy to turn around in, has one low side so piggy can easily step in without stepping up, and has a non-slip bottom so piggy feels safe.
Set piggy up in a small room with a bed and litter box. In the morning, make piggy potty in the box (or take piggy directly outside) before letting him out of the room (or make sure he potties outside before letting him back in). Then, take piggy to the box or outside again right after breakfast. Take piggy to potty every couple of hours, before and after meals, and as soon as piggy wakes up from naps. The idea is to keep piggy so empty piggy does not have an urge to potty in the wrong spot.
It helps to keep piggy on a harness and lead when piggy is not in his room. The lead keeps you aware of him and you can notice easily if he starts to look like he has to pee.