Mini Pig Weight Loss
Mini Pig weight loss is a touchy subject for many of us trimming services as well as pig owners. The last thing someone wants to hear is their animal is overweight or morbidly obese. Unfortunately, there is a lot misinformation and learned beliefs that pigs are supposed to be fat. Round most definitely is a shape, however, it’s not a shape ideal for pigs’ joint health, breathing, and hooves.
Obese Mini Pig Risks
Obese mini pigs are often sore, grumpy, and “lazy”. Far too often, obesity is related to multiple factors including one or more of the following:
- Long hooves
- Improperly trimmed hooves
- Cracked hooves
- Laminitis (an extremely painful and chronic hoof condition that flares caused from excess starches in the diet)
- Previous injury
- Junk food intake
- Corn intake
- Sweet feed intake
- Excessive pelleted feed intake
- Dog food intake (dog food is not acceptable pig feed under any circumstance)
- Lack of area to exercise and forage
Excessive fat around the face further hinders pigs’ already-poor eyesight and sinus cavities. Additionally, fat carried near the trachea and lungs further complicates overall respiration and can also cause difficulty eating. Excessive weight puts excess stress on the spine, hips, and shoulders of the pig. Down at the very bottom of all this is the hooves carrying this weight. Excessive stress on the hooves compromises hoof integrity. A weak hoof caused from obesity is more susceptible to pressure cracks, infection, and broken bones.
Overweight and obese mini pigs are at risk of complications in veterinary medicine. As we all know, sedation is risky in mini pigs–including healthy mini pigs. Pigs in need of surgery with excessive fat can have complications during sedation/anesthesia. This includes an increased risk of airway and respiratory complications during- and post- procedure.
By taking the proactive measures in keeping your mini pig at a healthy body condition, or beginning a new intake pig on a healthier lifestyle, you’re increasing their quality of life on multiple levels.
Mini Pig Body Condition
First step, check out our blog on mini pig body condition to score your mini pig. This will give you a general idea of whether your pig is in need of losing weight.
Mini Pig Weight Loss Diet
- Decrease all sugars in the form of fruit, sweet feed, and junk food.
- Remove all starches in the form of corn, potatoes, and junk food.
- Decrease pelleted feed to maximum 1-1.5 cups daily. Use a measuring cup–not a coffee cup or otherwise “guesstimate” cup. This can be split into two feedings. Soak pellets in water to prevent choking. Water in pellets also helps increase hydration and satiety.
- Increase all shades of GREEN vegetables as source of fresh produce. Examples include: Celery, zucchini, cucumber, brussels sprouts, lettuce, kale, spinach (in moderation), asparagus, broccoli, green beans.
- Vegetables in other colors can be fed sparingly as treats each week during weight loss period.
Mini Pig Weight Loss Fitness
Just as we need to exercise, so does your mini pig. Mini pig weight loss happens in the kitchen, but purposeful movement is also important. In morbidly obese pigs, just getting a pig to stand up can be enough a few times a day. Pig with a few extra pounds who are mobile can be taken on short brisk walks. The ultimate goal is to move away from a sedentary environment. Pigs active throughout the day will boost their metabolism, thus increasing fat loss.
- Increase standing from laying position
- Short walks around the house/pen/property 1-2 times per day
- Use enrichment toys to increase time on foot
Easy low calorie + enrichment activity: plain air popped popcorn spread in yard to forage. Diced cucumbers or zucchini are another option. Plain rolled oats are great too for additional fiber and vitamins/minerals. Gerber baby puff grains are also another tasty option in moderation.
Mini Pig Parent Coaching Opportunities
If you’re interested in additional help, Katelyn with The Mini Pig Farrier offers 1:1 video chat and written consults related to nutrition, body condition, and weight loss for mini pig parents in need of accountability and guidance. Please Email for pricing and availability.
Body Condition Scoring: https://theminipigfarrier.com/mini-pig-body-condition-scoring/
Mini Nutrition: https://theminipigfarrier.com/mini-pig-nutrition/
Treats infographic: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/734860864195677835/