Summer Safety Tips :
As the days grow longer and the sun gets hotter, we all be"gin to feel the discomfort from the summer heat. This is especially true for our pigs. Here are some safety concerns for responsible potbellied pig owners:
GENERAL SUMMER SAFETY
- A pig who is outside has no way to dissipate
the extra heat from her body except by
submersing herself in water. Therefore, all
pigs who are kept outside for an extended
period of time should be provided a wading
pool of clean water. It is recommended that
the water in this pool be changed frequently.
- A pig kept in the house should have their bed
placed well away from drafts caused by air
conditioning. Also, pigs who live under air
conditioning will need a blanket or sheet to
snuggle up with. Your pig's outdoor area
should have shade and shelter to provide her
a place to rest comfortably.
- Never leave a pig in your vehicle. Heatstroke
can occur in minutes. Heatstroke can lead to
brain damage or death. Signs of heatstroke
are rapid excessive breathing with mouth
open, rapid pulse, and fever. To cool your pig
immediately stand her in cool water. Only
cool from the feet up. Do not pour water over
your pig's head or body. This may cause your pig to go into shock. Seek immediate emergency veterinary assistance.
- Always make sure your pig has access to fresh water. Remember to avoid exercise with your pig on extremely hot days and
completely refrain from physical activity when the sun's heat is most intense.
SUMMER HEALTH TIPS
We all think we know our pigs better than
anyone else, but it is important to remember
most of us are not medical professionals. If you
ar€ uncertain of how to treat your pig's medical
needs or if you have any questions, you should
contact your veterinarian immediately. Listed
below is some important information to keep in
mind with the arrival of summer:
- Your pig may be bitten by insects. If your pig
is bitten or stung, remove the stinger and
watch the site for an allergic reaction. If
allergic reactions occur or if there have been multiple wasp, bee or mosquito bites, take your pig to the vet.
- Check your pig daily for fleas and ticks.
- Most lawn and garden products may be
hazardous. Make sure that plants and
fertilizers within your pig's reach are not toxic. This includes the products you use on your lawn.
- Have your pig's vaccinations updated, if necessary. Even pet pigs are susceptible to swine diseases.
- No matter how careful and responsible you
may be, accidents can happen. Make sure
Animal Poison Control and your vet's phone
numbers are close at hand and available to
all family members. And, don't forget the
ASPCA National Animal Poison Control
Center at (888) 426-4435 (a $50 fee may be charged to a credit card depending on the poisoning).
SUMMER VACATION AND
Taking your pig on outings or vacations with
you can be a rewarding way to spend time with
your pet. However, as a responsible pig owner
there are certain precautions you should take.
- Provide plenty of fresh water and shade for
your pig. Also, you may wish to carry a water mister along to cool you pig down on hot summer days.
- If you have a pool to enjoy the summer with,
make sure your pig knows how to get out of it. Should she get too hot, she may choose to jump into your pool to cool off.
- Potbellied pigs can sunburn easily. If your pig is not acclimated to the sun, you should app!y a sun block to protect her from
sunbqrn. This applies to both black and white pigs. Also, your pig should be provided
a shady area on sunny days. Should your pig
experience sunburn, you can treat her with a topical soothing agent, just as you would for yourself.
- Cool ocean water is tempting to your pig. Do not allow her to drink too much sea water. Salt in the water will make her sick.
- Not all beaches, parks and hotels permit pets. Make sure you are informed before you begin your outing or vacation
- If you are unable to take your pig along on your outing or vacation, the best care you can provide for your pig, whether in your
home or at a boarding facility, is by someone who is properly trained and is knowledgeable about potbellied pigs.
PIGS AND POOLS
The majority of pigs can swim and love it. Here
are some important tips for teaching your pig
how to swim:
- Never throw your pig into the water.
- Start in the shallow water and call your pig's name. You can try to coax her in with a treat. Be ~sureto be close at hand.
- Swimming is a great form of exercise, but don't let your pig overdo it. She will be using new muscles and may tire quickly.
- Be careful of strong tides that are hazardous for even the best swimmers.
- Never leave your pig unattended. Make sure
she knows the way out of the water and can
climb the pool steps without problem. You should always be in a position to help your pig get out of the water.