Potbellied Pig Skin and Hair Care
Pigs have naturally dry skin. It is not necessary to give your pig a bath. In fact it should not be done as it will take the natural oils off their skin. In the twenty plus years we've had house pigs they have only had a handful of baths. They do get hosed down or brushed off when they get muddy. If you choose to put a lotion or oil on your pig please do so sparingly as they can clog pores and make the skin greasy or worse. Try treating from the inside out.
Pot belly pigs do not get fleas (with one exception), but can get ticks. The exception is baby pigs. Baby pigs can have fleas real bad (thank goodness only when they are babies as when they get older the fleas can't bite through that tough hide).
If your piglet has fleas there are a couple of choices. Any flea powder for kittens and puppies will help. Always be careful not to get it in their eyes or mouth. Make sure it is for puppies and kittens, NOT big dogs or cats. Another product that you can use is Diatomacious Earth DE Food Grade that can be found at supply & garden stores also works well...just remember to get the food grade. Remember to wash all bedding. It's a temporary thing as after a while the fleas can't bite them, therefore fleas only like baby pigs.
Ticks do seem to have a hard time with a pigs tough skin, but can find their way to the soft areas like behind and in their ears, under their legs and on their bellies. Pigs can get lyme disease if you are in an area that is a high risk area for it.
"What we do is every night when B&P come in we make them lay down for bellyrubs (and THAT's real hard!) and take tweezers and pull the ticks off their bellies. They sometimes get them inside their ears too, so gotta look in their with a flashlight. A royal pain in the butt, but we get lots of them off." (Sandy of CT).
Potbelly pigs are mostly bothered by horseflies and mosquitoes. There are several good products on the market to keep flies and mosquitoes away. Just be careful not to get any in your pigs eyes when applying.
If your pot belly pigs dry skin has a somewhat red/orange tint to it and he is itching to the point where he is bleeding then you may have Mange from Mites.
Regular brushing helps, but pigs don't have oil glands like other animals for their coats. You can add oils to their diet, like olive oil or by a Hair and Skin Conditioner made just for them. We alternate between both here.
Yes, pigs have hair and not fur. It is very tough and hard, but it is hair.
Your pot bellied pig will most likely shed or "blow its coat" at least once a year. Some will do this twice a year. They may loose their hair all at once or in stages. Once this shedding starts you can easily pull the hair out by the handfuls to help your pig along. This usually happens sometime in the Spring when the weather starts turning warm.
When your pig is loosing it's hair it will itch terribly. You may notice him running around trying to itch on trees, walls, furniture, your leg, other pets, whatever is around!! Just help your pig along by pulling any loose hair. It will come out very easily. Also, a good scratching and/or brushing a few times a day will be appreciated. I would do this outside if I were you, unless you have your vacuum cleaner handy.
You will notice that your pig pet has a bit more hair down the middle of his/her back. This is called a Mohawk. Your pigs Mohawk will usually raise when the pig is content (ready for a belly rub). An upright Mohawk can also indicate being scared.
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.