Dealing With Unwanted Behavior In Skinny Pigs!

Dealing With Unwanted Behavior In Skinny Pigs!

Dealing With Unwanted Behavior In Skinny Pigs!

Skinny pigs, like any pet, can sometimes exhibit behaviors that leave their owners puzzled or frustrated. Whether it’s biting, excessive noise, or other less-than-ideal actions, understanding and addressing these behaviors is key to a harmonious relationship with your skinny pig. Let’s look at some common unwanted behaviors, explore why they happen, and discover effective ways to address them.

Nibbling and Biting

One of the most concerning behaviors for skinny pig owners is biting. While their nibbles are often harmless, a more aggressive bite can be alarming. Here’s what might be causing this behavior:

Fear or Anxiety

Why it Happens: Skinny pigs are naturally cautious creatures. New environments, loud noises, or sudden movements can startle them, leading to defensive biting. 

Solution: Create a calm and predictable environment. Approach your skinny pig slowly and gently, speaking in soft tones to reassure them. Providing a cozy hideaway where they can retreat to independently can also help them feel secure.


Why it Happens: Like many animals, skinny pigs use their mouths to explore their surroundings. Biting can simply be their way of investigating.

Solution: Offer a variety of chew toys and safe items for them to explore. Redirect their attention from fingers to toys when they start nibbling.

Discomfort or Pain

Why it Happens: If a normally docile skinny pig starts biting, it could be a sign of discomfort or illness.

Solution: Check for any signs of injury, swelling, or illness. If you’re unsure, a visit to the vet is always a good idea to rule out medical issues.

Excessive Noise

Skinny pigs are known for their vocalizations, but excessive noise can be a sign of underlying issues.


Hunger or Thirst

Why it Happens: Skinny pigs often squeak or whistle when they’re hungry or thirsty.

Solution: Ensure they have constant access to fresh water and a balanced diet. Feeding them at regular intervals can help reduce “begging” behaviors.

Loneliness or Boredom

Why it Happens: These social animals thrive on interaction. Excessive noise can be a call for attention or a sign of boredom.

Solution: Spend quality time with your skinny pig daily. Providing toys, tunnels, and even a companion piggy can keep them entertained and content.

Litter Training Challenges

While skinny pigs aren’t typically litter trained like cats, they can learn to use a specific area for their business, making clean ups less of a chore. However, to get this right you need to be consistent in your efforts.


Inconsistent Training

Why it Happens: Without consistent guidance, your skinny pig may relieve themself wherever they please.

Solution: Designate a specific spot in their habitat as the bathroom area. Place some of their droppings in this spot to encourage use. Praise them when they use the correct area.

Stress or Discomfort

Why it Happens: Changes in environment or routine can cause stress, leading to accidents.

Solution: Maintain a consistent routine and introduce any changes gradually to minimize stress.

Handling and Socialization

Proper handling and socialization are crucial for a well-behaved skinny pig.

Rough Handling

Why it Happens: Rough or sudden handling can frighten skinny pigs, leading to defensive behaviors. 

Solution: Always handle your skinny pig gently. Support their body properly and avoid quick movements. It is extremely important to teach children the correct way to handle and interact with their skinny pig to avoid any behavioral issues that stem from fear and anxiety.


Lack of Socialization

Why it Happens: Skinny pigs that aren’t regularly interacted with may become skittish or aggressive.

Solution: Spend time each day interacting with your skinny pig. Gradually increase handling time as they become more comfortable. Building trust takes time so be patient.

Dealing with unwanted behaviors in skinny pigs requires patience and understanding. By identifying the root causes of pesky behaviors and implementing gentle, consistent strategies, you can help your skinny pig become a well-behaved and happy companion. 

Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!


April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H


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