Pig Proofing Your House
Like having any new pet, your teacup pig is going to need time to get acclimated to your home. Until then, there are certain precautions you need to take, both to protect your pig from its surroundings, and your house from your pig.
Unlike cat or dog proofing your house, having a teacup piggy in your home is a lot like having a two-year-old child. The preventative measures are similar. You just have to remember that pigs are stronger and more determined than your average toddler, and are essentially walking vacuum cleaners.
Because of their natural curiosity, pigs can get into all kinds of trouble in the home. You'll need to watch out for hazards like choking, falling, burns, and poisoning. With a little bit of preparation, you won't have to worry about your piggy getting into trouble... well, no more than usual.
Pigs Eat Everything
As a basic rule, don't leave anything on the ground that you don't want to end up in your pig's stomach. Pigs are driven by their stomachs, so anything that looks even the least enticing will get eaten. This includes small toys, rubber bands and balloons, stationary, jewelry, string, and nearly anything else you can think of. These can all act as choking hazards. Even if these aren't just laying around, young pigs have a habit of getting into the trash. It's a good idea to have a trash can with a lid that shuts firmly.
Generally, if it's not food and it fits through a paper towel roll, it shouldn't be within piggy's reach. It's especially important not to leave anything small and sharp around, as they can cause serious damage to your pet's mouth and stomach. Pigs are also nefarious for getting into places that they don't belong, so if you keep anything toxic on or in low shelves or cabinets, lock them up or move them. Poison pellets, antifreeze, and other household items can mean serious trouble for your pet.
A pig's stomach isn't the only thing you need to worry about. Those little legs and hooves can get them into trouble too. Pigs can climb, jump, and otherwise clamber their way just about anywhere if they're determined enough. Gates, fences, and other partitions are quickly going to be your best friend when you're training your piglet where they can and can't go. Because of their demure size, even a short fall can seriously injure your piggy. This includes stairs, tables and even beds. They may be able to find their way up, but it's harder for them to get down.
Aside from falling, your pig's inquisitive nature can get him into other kinds of trouble. Never leave a hot stove range or any kind of iron unattended. Also be wary of standing water. Pigs aren't renowned for their swimming skills, and it doesn't take much before your little pig is in trouble.
It may start to sound like a broken record, but young piggys need almost constant supervision. An important part of training your pig is making sure they know the boundaries of where they should and shouldn't be. This invaluable step of their training will give you peace of mind, and keep your pet safe. Teacup pigs don't respond well to negative reinforcement, so if your pet does get someplace where they shouldn't be, never yell at them to scold them. Instead, if the piggy starts trying to go where it shouldn't lure them back with a treat, and praise them for staying where they belong.
Visit squidoo.com for more advice on raising your pot belly pig!