Traveling with Your Pet Pig
If you have to travel with your pig for fun, moving or just going to the vets, here are a few tips to help make the experience a pleasant one.
First, crate train or kennel train your pig. The best thing you can do for you pet pig and yourself is get him or her crate or kennel trained. This is the only safe way to travel with your pig and may come in handy for other situations that may arise. You don't want your pig to be afraid of the crate. You want your pig to know that the crate is a place that he will feel and be safe.
This the safest way for them to travel and some vets will not see an animal unless it is in a crate or kennel.
If you are going to be traveling out of state you will need to check with the USDA within your state and the states you are going into or through. Each state has different requirements for entering and leaving with swine (and the USDA still designates all potbellies as swine). Potbelly pigs fall under the same restrictions as other pigs. This is because of the diseases they supposedly can carry.
While some states may only require a recent Health Certificate, others will require blood testing. These are generally good for 30 days from the issue date.
I recommend taking your pig for short drives. Just to run to the store or even up the street. This helps get them used to the car. I know some people find it cute to let their pig ride in the front seat next to them and I'm sure it is. BUT, it is not safe at all, for you or your pig. Please have your pig in a crate or kennel in the back seat or back of your vehicle. The crate should be big enough for the pig to stand up in and turn around in.
Another thing: Please do not transport your pig in the back of a pick-up UNLESS you have trained him by taking him on numerous short trips. An untrained pig does not know what is going on, and the noise could cause your pig serious problems or stroke. Remember, the wind, other vehicles, tires hitting the ground, all make noise they do not know!
Make sure that your pig will have plenty of cool air on a hot day. If your not sure it will be cool enough in the back of your vehicle on a hot summer day then turn the AC on and go sit back there yourself. If you are uncomfortable your pig will be too. Try making the trip at night then and/or make sure that your pig has plenty of water especially on hot days. You can also wet down a towel for your pigs tummy. This will help keep them cool and cover the windows where direct sun might come in.
When we used to take our pigs on long trips with us we could go for about 4 hours before taking a nice long break. We would give the pigs a snack (usually a salad), something cool, a potty break and a drink.
Some pigs will get car sick and this isn't pleasant on a long trip. I speak from personal experience on this one. After a few times we figured out that Flower needed to be fed long before she got in the car. Sometimes we would barely get out of town, 30 minutes on the road, and she would start getting sick and stand the whole way. This in an 8 hour drive I am talking about. We no longer put her through this and she stays at home now.
It helps when they can look out the window and see what is happening. Of course I am sure that all the "S" curves up here in the mountains doesn't help. Others cover the crates with a sheet so they can snooze undisturbed. A tip for keeping motion sickness under control is ginger root. Peppermint is also good. This is supposed to help pigs and humans alike with an upset stomach. Just give them a little to chew on.
It used to be tough finding accommodations for piggies, but the good news is that it is not impossible and easier to do these days. Often, we'd check in, then drive around back, and take the pig inside. We have been all over the states and had no problem. We usually stuck to budget motels (Days Inn, Quality Inn, etc.) and got ground floor rooms away from the front office. When we wanted higher end, we'd use the hotel guides for pet friendly motels/hotels and have pretty good success. Sometimes we simply did not say what kind of pet we have. Don't ask, don't tell!
A suggestion for loading and unloading piggy from your vehicle. To get the crate with pig loaded into the back of a Blazer put an aluminum ladder as a ramp. The base is wedged against the garage wall or something sturdy to stabilize. To strengthen at the mid-point use a padded boot stool about 24 inches tall. Then push the loaded crate with pig into the back of the vehicle.
Also, you can use a specially built Ramp.
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.