Outdoor Time & Enrichment
Mini pigs do best with daily time spent outdoors. Outdoor excursions allow them to be a pig! Spending time outdoors will benefit the pig’s health and behavior. Healthy pigs will need about 15 minutes of sunlight daily for proper Vitamin D3 absorbency. Mini pigs also root in the dirt to acquire essential minerals such as iron and selenium. This outdoor time gives the pigs an outlet for their natural behaviors such as rooting, grazing, and foraging. Restricting mini pigs to indoors only often causes several behavioral, aggressive, and destructive problems due to boredom. Many pet pigs enjoy the life of luxury living and sleeping inside, but still need daily outdoor time to thrive.
Animal enrichment is the process of providing a stimulating environment for your pet. Enrichment is described as improving or enhancing the environment to provide an outlet for natural behaviors and needs through physical and mental challenges. These types of enrichment are used by zoos, sanctuaries, and pet owners worldwide. Enrichment is essential to a healthy and happy pet. You are likely already providing enrichment every day to your pig without realizing it. By understanding pig’s natural behaviors you can create activities for him to enrich his life and meet his needs. Pigs are incredibly sensitive and intelligent animals. This high level of intelligence can be challenging in a home environment. Pigs require physical and mental stimulation to meet their needs. A busy pig is a happy pig! Keeping a pig contained to a crate or alone in a room all day with no companionship or stimulation is sure to create a bored, agitated, destructive, and possibly aggressive pig. By using activities to enrich their lives (with or without you) you can avoid many unhealthy behaviors while building a better bond with your pig. Enrichment helps to provide the life your pig deserves.
Enrichment activities offer an outlet for natural behaviors. Daily routines are the perfect opportunity for enrichment. Instead of feeding in a bowl, pig feed can be sprinkled throughout the yard for foraging. Instead of giving vitamins/supplements, the pig can do a few tricks and then rewarded with the vitamins. Enrichment is open ended fun. Get creative, get interactive, have fun!
Enrichment activities should be interesting, challenging, and novel. Enrichment should be used every day with your pig, although the complexity will vary. This is one area routine is not preferred. Switch it up, keep it interesting, and always challenging.
Types of enrichment may include physical exercise, mental exercise, training or interactions with the human family, olfactory using scents, auditory using sounds, food related, novel objects, exploring new environments or manipulating the home environment.
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