Providing your elderly pig with some healthy lifestyle changes
can be just the thing to help your pet live a little longer and
happier. Here are some tips to helping your senior pig get the
most out of the last part of its life.
1. Get regular dental exams for your pig.
Infections or overgrown tusks can cause serious pain. And as pigs
get older they may not get as much roughage or be able to forage
as much. This can lead to tooth decay and possibly a painful
tooth infection that can not only cause your pig a lot of pain
but can also depress the immune system and lead to illness that
your pig can especially not afford in its old age.
2. Change the hog feed to a higher protein feed.
Some elderly pigs just don't eat as much and may become too thin
in their old age. Pigs are healthier when pleasantly plump and
you can't force feed them, so feeding a better quality feed that
is more palatable to them is best so that they eat as much as
they should. Piggies are not meant to be skinny and when they get
that way they often either are or will become sick.
3. Feed your pig several helpings of fresh vegetables and leafy
greens throughout the day.
Spinach, carrots, Romaine lettuce, green or red leaf lettuce,
kale and other vegetables with plenty of fiber are wonderful for
your elderly pig. This diet keeps their digestive system regular
too. Be sure to balance the vegetables with your hog feed so that
they have healthy bowel movements. Pigs in their old age often
get constipated, which is painful, so providing more greens helps
keep them regular. If you can't get fresh vegetables then
providing vegetable that have been frozen will work, or offer a
whole food supplement on the days you don't have either frozen or
4. Never give your pig supplements unless your veterinarian has
approved of the supplement and the dosage amounts.
You can have your veterinarian do a blood test on your pig to see
if it is deficient in a vitamin or mineral and then start
supplementing its diet with that vitamin or mineral. Hog feed is
specifically formulated with the vitamins and minerals that a pig
needs unless some health issue is causing a deficiency. Add fresh
vegetables as much as you can and it will usually provide a good
diet for your senior pig.
5. Encourage exercise and outdoor activity as much as you can.
This also helps with proper digestion and keeping the pig active
and healthy. Take your piggy for a walk. Play with your piggy.
Your pig should have several hours of exercise a day, so do
everything you can to keep it active.
6. Provide treats that are healthy, like fresh fruit, and make
your piggy work for them.
Fibrous fruit helps to provide fiber and it is sweet, which will
make your pig think he is getting something special. Hide fruit
around your yard and play hide and go seek with the fruit as a
treat. Hide your fruit in hard to get to places that the pig has
to work to get the food, like under a small log. If he finds it
he will have move the log around to get to it, and so getting
recreation, exercise and snack at once.
7. Provide a companion like a cat or a younger pig.
This will provoke a lot of active interest in both pigs or the
cat and pig and give your pig a playmate for when you are not
around. This keeps your pig engaged, happy and active. Depression
is often a problem in captive pigs, due mainly to boredom and
loneliness, and having constant interaction with a companion is
one of the best preventions.
8. When your pigs get older they get achy, so providing them with
softer surfaces to walk on and a softer nest to lie in will be
good for them.
Be sure to keep them warm and dry. Pigs are a lot like older
humans in that they need soft surfaces, warmth and or cool and
soft surfaces to walk on. The impact to the joints at an older
age is often painful and sometimes injurious. Drugs will not help
your pig if he has to walk across concrete, tile or hardwood all
the time. If it hurts to walk he won't do it anymore and may just
stay in bed. So do what you can to make them as comfortable as
Pigs are great companions and will live long if you care for
them. Providing them extra care in their old age is essential for
your pigs to live their lives to the fullest. Spend some extra
time with your pigs when they get older and you can have many
happy memories when they do finally go over the rainbow bridge.
Stuffed Pigs Unsurpassed in their Ability to Cheer you Up