The North American Potbellied Pig Association
SUMMER SAFETY TIPS FOR
GENERAL SUMMER SAFETY
As the days grow longer and the sun gets hotter, we all begin to feel the discomfort from the summer heat. This is especially true for our pigs. Here are some safety concerns for responsible potbellied pig owners:
- a pig who is outside has no way to dissipate the extra heat from her body except by submersing herself in water. Therefore, all pigs who are kept outside for an extended period of time should be provided a wading pool of clean water. It is recommended that the water in this pool be changed frequently.
- a pig kept in the house should have their bed placed well away from drafts caused by air conditioning. Also, pigs who live under air conditioning will need a blanket or sheet to snuggle up with.
- to never leave a pig in your vehicle. Heatstroke can occur in a very few minutes. Heatstroke can lead to brain damage or death. Signs of heatstroke are rapid excessive breathing with mouth open, rapid pulse, and fever. To cool your pig immediately stand her in cool water. Only cool from the feet up. Do not pour water over your pig’s head or body. This may cause your pig to go into shock. Seek immediate emergency veterinary assistance.
- to always make sure your pig has access to fresh water.
- to avoid exercise with your pig on extremely hot days and completely refrain from physical activity when the sun’s heat is most intense.
SUMMER HEALTH TIPS
We all think we know our pigs better than anyone else, but it is important to remember most of us are not medical professionals. If you are uncertain how to treat your pig’s medical needs or if you have any questions, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Listed below is some important information to keep in mind with the arrival of summer:
- your pig may be bitten by insects. If your pig is bitten or stung, remove the stinger and watch the site for an allergic reaction. If allergic rations occurs or if there have been multiple wasp, bee or mosquito bites, take your pig to the vet.
- to check your pig daily for fleas and ticks.
- most lawn and garden products may be hazardous. Make sure that plants and fertilizers within your pig’s reach are not toxic. This includes the products you use on your lawn.
- to have your pig’s vaccinations updated, if necessary. Even pet pigs are susceptible to swine diseases.
- no matter how careful and responsible you may be, accidents can happen. Make sure Animal Poison Control and your vet’s phone numbers are close at band and available to all family members. And, don’t forget Poison Control – 1-900-680-0000 @ $2.95/min.
SUMMER VACATION AND OUTING TIPS
Taking your pig on outings or vacations with you can be a rewarding way to spend time with your pet. However, as a responsible pig owner there are certain precautions you should take.
- to provide plenty of fresh water and shade for your pig. Also, you may wish to carry a water mister along to cool you pig down on hot summer days.
- to make sure your pig knows how to get out of a swimming pool. She may choose to jump in to cool off, should she get to hot.
- potbellied pigs can sunburn easily. If your pig is not acclimated to the sun, you should apply a sunblock to protect her from sunburn. This applies to both black and white pigs. Also, your pig should be provided a shady area on sunny days. Should your pig experience sunburn, you can treat her with a topical soothing agent, just as you would for yourself.
- cool ocean water is tempting to your pig. Do not allow her to drink too much sea water. Salt in the water will make her sick.
- not all beaches, parks and hotels permit pets. Make sure you are informed before you begin your outing or vacation.
- if you are unable to take your pig along on your outing or vacation, the best care you can provide for your pig, whether in your home or at a boarding facility, is by someone who is properly trained and is knowledgeable about potbellied pigs.
PIG AND POOLS
The majority of pigs can swim and love it, but the first time should be tested. Here are some important tips for teaching your pig how to swim:
- never throw your pig into the water.
- start in the shallow water and call your pig’s name. You can try to coax her in with a treat. Be sure to be close at hand.
- swimming is a great form of exercise, but don’t let your pig overdo it. She will be using new muscles and may tire quickly.
- be careful of strong tides that are hazardous for even the best swimmers.
- never leave your pig unattended. Make sure she knows the way out of the water and can climb the pool steps without problem. You should always be in a position to help your pig get out of the water.
This article is being used with the permission of NAPPA and is copyright protected.