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Pot Bellied Pigs/Keystone(potbelly pig)


I have a potbelly pig and was wondering how do you trim his nails?Im new at this first potbelly pig ever had and don't really know to much about them!! I would greatly appreciate it if you could help me!!! Thank you

The ideal way is to teach piggy to let you file hooves with a nail or wood file. Start by teaching piggy to let you play with hooves and feet every night. Just mess with them at first, then use a human nail file or emery board. Take just a swipe or two the first time, then file more and more. Work on each hoof a little at a time.

If you start when piggy is very young, and do this three or four times a week, piggy may never need any more trimming. If piggys hooves have gotten long and piggy will let you file a bit several times a week, or maybe even every night, keep at it and eventually the hooves will be trimmed. Remember they don't grow long overnight, so it's Ok to take time getting them back to shape

Some pigs need a little more distraction and reward. This requires two people, one to distract and reward the pig, the other person trims. The first person starts by giving piggy a belly rub or forking (gently poking and scratching piggy with an ordinary fork). When piggy is completely relaxed, the second person starts messing with the hooves and feet while the first person continues distracting piggy. When the second person starts filing or snipping hooves, the first person give piggy a treat, while still belly rubbing or forking. The first person continues giving treats as long as the second person is actively trimming. When the second person stops, the treats stop.

If you need to actually trim the hooves instead of just filing, hoof nippers for goats or sheep work well. The pony sizes are a little bit big for most pigs. You can get hoof nippers from Jeffers ( or Valley Vet Supply (, and maybe Amazon.

If this technique won't work, the remaining two options are harder on everyone. Many vets will trim hooves but most insist on putting the pig under because pigs scream when restrained. While most pigs recover easily, pigs can die from the drugs. It's especially dangerous for old, sick and obese pigs. And, it is often expensive to have a vet trim this way. But, it is a quick way to get longer hooves under control.

The final method is to hold the pig down and trim. It takes at least two people, and piggy will scream. You tube has some hoof trimming videos showing one person hugging the pig in a sitting position. If someone is strong enough to do that, great! My method restrains the pig with body weight. First, get the pig lying down on one side, with forking or belly rubs. Then, with all your weight on your elbows and knees, position your body over the pig like a blanket. Do NOT squish the pig! Simply let your weight keep piggy down. Meanwhile, the second person trims the hooves. Ideally, a third person will immobilize the pigs leg while the second person trims. Remember the pig will scream very, very loud. Some pigs will get strangely quite after a minute or two. Others will grumble loudly the whole time. The instant piggy is allowed up, piggy will be perfectly Ok!! So, while this technique is loud and scary and requires three brave people (and maybe earplugs) it's much safer than knocking piggy out with drugs.

Some people give their piggys a beer before hoof trimming. If you & your pig are ok with that, it's fine.

Walking on gravel or rough concrete daily helps keep piggy hooves trim. Pigs with naturally straight legs tend to have naturally trimmer hooves. Overweight and underweight pigs often have hoof problems due to weight.  

Pot Bellied Pigs

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Helen Morrison


Pot-bellied or other miniature pet pig care, including diet, housing, training, health care. Can provide information about zoning, adoption, supplies, and organizations. Questions about any kind of pet swine are welcome!


Owning, raising, and caring for small pet swine, including "Vietnamese" pot-bellied pigs since 1992.

Pigs of Great Fortune; FAREC; PigCollaborative

BBA from KSU

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