Pigs grind their teeth for a variety of reasons. To determine why your pig is grinding you’ll want to pay attention to their overall behavior, body language, the length and timing of the teeth grinding.
- Stress or Agitation
- Contentment (Piggy Purrs)
Teething is obviously uncomfortable. Pigs get 3 sets of teeth in their lives. Piglets will start getting some grind-worthy teeth in near 4 months old. Around a year old some of these teeth will loosen and fall out. The loose-toothed grind is particularly challenging to our ears. It can sound like they are chewing rocks! Once the loose teeth fall out, they may grind again as the new teeth erupt. Grinding puts pressure on the gums which provides counter pressure and relief for the pain of the emerging teeth. You’ll notice when they grind for emerging teeth it will make a squeaky noise as the gums (instead of teeth) are rubbing together. If your pig’s teeth grinding is persistent for two weeks without any other signs of distress, it’s probably caused by teething. This type of teeth grinding should subside by 2 years old. You can give a mild pain reliever for short term relief, but it really just needs to run its course. Some pig parents will give their pigs Whimzees, which are similar to Greenies dog chews but are said to have safer ingredients. You can also make frozen treats for your piggy with yogurt, pumpkin, peanut butter, fruit juice, or other healthy foods. Freeze in ice cube trays or silicone molds. Frozen apple slices or frozen veggies.
Shop the AMPA Store to order the Mini Pig Recipe Book full of great frozen treat ideas for your mini pig. www.AmericanMiniPigStore.com
A pig in physical pain may grind in the way we would clench our jaws or hands. If the teeth grinding is accompanied by other pain signals then you may want to visit the vet to ensure everything is ok with your porcine pal. Your pig could have an abscess or something stuck in the teeth. If the grinding persists, try to check their teeth for any abnormalities or schedule a visit with the veterinarian. If your pig goes off his feed, there is a problem your vet will need to assess.
Mini pigs will grind their teeth from stress or agitation. If you made your piggy mad they will tell you! This is a firm and deliberate grind. This will be louder than other grinds and sound more forceful. Instead of rubbing it will sound like clashing. Pigs will do this if they are annoyed, stressed, or agitated. Pig introductions can certainly trigger some angry teeth grinds or even chomps! Moving furniture or changing routine can trigger stress in your pig. If your pig’s teeth grinding is accompanied by other piggy-tantrum behaviors, you can assume it’s agitation causing the grinding. Special treats or quiet one on one time may help your pig feel a bit more comforted.
Contentment is the best form of teeth grinding, affectionately referred to as Piggy Purrs. You will know they are purring because their body will be completely relaxed, not a care in the world. This grinding is very rhythmic and soothing. The piglet may be getting a belly rub or a good scratch while laying on their favorite human. No cure for this happy grinding, just enjoy it.
It’s been said pigs will grind their teeth out of boredom, similar to a person fidgeting with their fingers. If you suspect your pig is grinding from boredom, offer some stimulating activities. Instead of feeding out of a bowl, feed from a treat ball or sprinkle food around the room or the yard, or in a rooting box, or in a pile of clothes.
Pain Relief for Teething
- Ice cubes ·
- Frozen treats from AMPA Mini Pig Recipe Book
- Whimzees (dog chew, similar to Greenies)