Litter Box and Potty Training
One of the jobs in raising pigs, particularly indoor pigs, is to teach it where to go potty. Pigs tend to potty in a particular spot. Outdoor pigs are easy. Your pet pig will usually find a spot, and that is where they will go! If you choose to have, or need to have, a litter box indoors, pick one big enough for your pet pig to turn around in.
Obviously they do not make litter boxes for pigs so you need to improvise. A plastic sweater box, or cement mixing box work very well for smaller pigs. For that larger pig a kiddy pool works great (one of those inexpensive plastic ones). Just cut an opening in one side to give them easy access.
The best thing to use in your litter box is pine shavings, NEVER cedar shavings or kitty litter. We don't use cedar shavings because of the oils in it and we don't use kitty litter because it is meant to clump. If your pig eats any of the kitty litter it will clump inside him and cause a blockage. I do admit that the pine shavings can make a mess so you might want to use newspaper. I know most of us have plenty of them around.
Remember, pigs tend to potty in one spot so pick the location(s) of the litter box(s) carefully as the pig may not want to change potty spots later on. Behind a piece of furniture, out of view, is common. Or, if your pig has his own room, put the litter in the opposite side of the room from their bed. Wherever you put the potty, do not put it next to where they sleep. Pigs are quite clean and will not do their business where they sleep.
Potty Training the Indoor Pig
While training the indoor pig to use the litter box, keep him/her confined to a small area of your home. Do not give the pig free run of the house while training. They should be placed in a semi private area that is not too far away from the pigs main digs, but not too close, either. During training, do not over clean the litter box. Leave at least one "pigberry" in the box. The scent of it stimulates him to go, and tells him that this is the proper place.
No food rewards for correct potty behavior. Doing this tends to take the pigs focus off "what comes natural". Pigs are naturally clean animals that like to go outside, or in the same place every day. Potty training deteriorates when the pig anticipates food, and it changes his natural instincts. Pigs do not need to be rewarded for this. Pigs are creatures of habit.
Do not give your pig free run of the house until he/she is at least six months old. Young pigs are prone to accidents. Keep that in mind and don't get mad or hit your pig because they had an accident! It is up to you to teach your pig where to go. Remember, they are very intelligent. Most learn to use a litter box in 1 - 5 days.
NOTE: Very young pigs aged 6 months or less, have not yet developed complete control over the muscles that control their bodily functions. So, if your pig has an accident at this young age, do not blame him to much. As long as he makes the effort to get to the potty.
Pigs potty at night because they have too much room to roam in. Pigs may need to be semi confined for the night time for a while. Never give a new pig full run of the house till ALL housebreaking is over. Confining them to a crate or small area is the best route to go in the beginning. If piggy was house broken and having accidents again, go back to the beginning and confine them to a small area.
Walk him/her over to the box every 2 hours. Take them outside at the same time every day, or when training to use a litter box, take them over to the box every 2 hours to "remind" them. Put your pig on a schedule; potty first thing in the morning, after breakfast, (every couple of hours through out the day if you are lucky enough to be home), when you get home, after dinner and again before bed time.
If you let your pig go outside, no food rewards for coming in. The pig will forget to go, or possibly fake it. Yes, they are intelligent enough to figure out how to 'fake you out'! Leave him out at least 10 minutes.
NEVER punish a pig for not going in the proper place (even yelling). Such behavior confuses the pig, and takes the focus away from what the pig will do NATURALLY, if we don't try to "train" them. If he makes a mistake, lead him to the PROPER place every 2 hours, whether he has to go, or not.
I recommend that all pigs (that means house pigs) go outside to potty. The only time they need to be using the litter box is when they are first brought home as piglets and those that are brought into the family during the winter months. Otherwise they should be going outside to potty!
Ways to Teach Your Pig to Go Potty Outside
Lori used a sweater box with papers in it for her pig Pork Chop. She did this untill it started getting warm outside. When they were outside she was always outside playing with them and he started going potty outside on his own and now that's all he goes. She still puts his litter box in the kitchen when she is going to be gone all day but he seems to just like going outside.
That is how he got to going outside, by just being out there a lot and he is an inside pig full time except when we are outside.
We started Winnie in a litter box that grew over the months. When the Spring weather came we moved it right by the door. (We'd been moving it slowly for a couple of weeks. They cannot handle the change too quickly.) After she was going to the door to go, then we moved it outside just beside the bottom of the stairs. She would go to the door.
The first few times we carried her out because there was still a bit of frost in the mornings and also a couple of light snows. When she got comfortable going at the bottom of the stairs, we gradually moved the box farther away. In the warm weather she chose three or four places. Usually under a bush with her head turned in for privacy and her butt turned out for all the world to see!!! So much for privacy.
Now she goes out whenever she asks. She can hold her potty at night for incredibly long periods of time and then when she goes it is amazing. I don't know how they hold all that piddle-I'm just glad they do until they get out!!!!
Well, when I was training Mollie (I never tried the litter box thing) I put newspaper on the floor. I later used those what I call floor diapers. They are plastic on the bottom with that diaper filler and cover. Anyway, I put the paper down and she used that until she was old enough to understand to go out.
She had picked a spot (she was confined to the kitchen for 4 months) and that's where I put the paper. She started going on it, and when she got a little older (she was also wild when we got her at 9 weeks) and used to us, I would walk her outside and tell her she was a good piggy when she pottied.
She started to get the idea really quick, and started using the paper less and less until one day she just stopped. She preferred to go out because she lived in the kitchen and I guess she didn't want to stink it up.
All "mistakes" must be de-scented with enzyme product, such as ODORMUTE. If the "mistake" is not de-scented, the pig will smell it and go there again. ODORMUTE is the best product we have found for taking care of this problem.
By following these simple guidelines you will be a true pet lover and good pet pig parent.
More tips on our Blog.
The information presented within our information and resources section has been collected from what we consider experts and various reputable persons including vets, sanctuary owners, and private pig owners among othsrs. Information shown is the latest available. Although we have had pet pigs for 20 years and consider ourselves quite knowledgeable, we are by no means veterinarians. Any health related information presented below should be checked out with your personal veterinarian.