Do older pigs need exercise? After you read this you'll know.
A pig is a very active creature by nature. A pig may usually be
in the pursuit of food but you can't discount all the activity it
takes to forage for that food. You can provide everything your
pig may need to survive but it will still need space to forage in
order to get the exercise that is essential for the health of a
pig's immune and digestive systems.
Of course, in captivity you are responsible with providing your
pig will all essentials that it needs to survive: food, lodging,
plenty of fresh water and a space for foraging, as well as
environmental enrichment. Sometimes as a pig gets older it may
not want to forage as much because foraging takes so much effort,
so you must help your pet pig to maintain a healthy exercise
regimen in order for it to stay healthy. If your pig is
arthritic, proper exercise is low impact with frequent rests,
especially if you don't have the pig on any kind of pain
An older pig, especially if it is a single pig with no playmates,
lacks stimulation and competition, so it is not as inspired to
exercise. You can help it by providing some play time with you
and toys and treats. Taking it for walks provides some
stimulation and change so that it has a reason to want to stay
active. Make it work for its treats so that it can feel like it
is accomplishing something and it will be getting beneficial
exercise as well as environmental stimulation.
You can also help your pet pig by providing softer bedding so
that it doesn't wake up so achy and stiff.
The closer your pig lives to its natural habitat the better for
it. Keeping a pig indoor exclusively is bad for it and leads to
all kinds of health and behavioral problems. You can help with
the proper function of its digestive system by providing more
leafy greens in its diet, but exercise is still essential for
intestines to work properly. So get your pig to work out or it
probably won't have a very long life as a senior pig.
Pigs that is kept outside in a farm environment and allowed to
forage in different areas of the farm are almost always healthier
and happier. They know where to get those special blackberry
treats right off the vine. They associate with other pigs and
socialize. They go to favorite basking spots and lie in the sun,
then come back for a nap and do it all over again. A pig that is
allowed to be a pig is usually active and happy.
House pigs don't live as long and are often grumpy and not very
happy. Their lives are cut short and they have frequent health
problems. You can do what you can for them and try to keep them
active and engaged but it isn't easy and takes far more time than
most people have to give between a job and their own lives.
If you find yourself with an elderly pig that is just giving up
and you don't have the time or gumption to bring it back, then
you should look into a pig sanctuary or another pig place for it
to live out its last days. You can still visit it and it will be
in a healthier environment until the end of its days.
Stuffed Plush Pigs & Animals