Pot Bellied Pigs/Vietnamese Pot-bellied Pig - Hooves
I have a couple of questions regarding my pigs hooves. My pig is primarily indoors and she will be 2 year old in May. I have never clipped her hooves. How do you know if she needs it done and how or who would do this?
Also, are there boots or something I can put on her hooves so she doesn't slide on the hardwood portion of our floors? It doesn't seem to bother her but I would hate to be on ice skates all day if I were her! Thank you
You are right to worry about the sliding. At 2 years, piggy is still young and healthy. When she get older and heavier it will be harder for her than it is now.
I know of people who've made a bootie to cover a bandage or cast for an injured pig. They fasten the bootie to the cast or bandage to protect it. From time to time, when pigs need to go from a warm house to bitter outdoor cold or icky mud, people have tried to use booties It's hard to design a bootie that goes on easily, and stays in place and on the foot. Booties tend to rotate and slip off as piggy walks.
One long term solution is carpet runners or bath mats. They are not expensive and protect the floor from dirt and wear. Some are washable, and they can be quickly picked up and put away when needed.
Ideally, piggy should be taught to let you mess with her hooves. But, lots of pigs don't like people messing with their feet, so it's often easier said than done.
Start when piggy is relaxed and maybe getting a belly rub. Tell piggy that your going to "fix the feet" or something, then mess with her hooves a bit. Hold them snug. Rub them for just a moment. Stop before piggy gets too upset, and reward piggy for a Good hoof trim. Keep doing this every evening. Each night, mess with the hooves longer and hold them tighter. Always quit before piggy starts struggling (or wait for her to stop), then reward her. Finally, start actually filing her hooves with an emery board or wood file. Just one swipe the first time. Two the second, etc.
Her hooves are not going to grow too long over night, so there's no need to shorten them overnight, either. You can take just a tiny bit off each time. This kind of steady wearing down is actually better for them than a sudden trim.