Friday, July 5, 2013

House Cleaning, Pig-Pen Style.

Today is Friday, July 5th, 2013.

Yesterday, the Fourth of July the clinic was closed so we all got a day off and a reason to hit the pool parties, fireworks, and barbecues. I took full advantage of all!

Today, is the second day of my long weekend and the first official day of the long To-Do list.

At the top was pig house cleaning.

Now I realize most people don't have a pet pig, but, most of us have pets, and all of those pets need a scheduled cleaning and exam.

For the dog people out there I recommend the following schedule:

  • Puppy. Visit the vet within 3 days of adopting your new pup. See puppy primer.
  • Puppy. Visits for vaccines based on the puppy visit schedule your vet prescribes.
  • Puppy. Set up a schedule for nail trimming, grooming, tooth brushing on a calender. You may also need anal sac visits, ear cleaning, skin fold maintenance and behavior classes. Schedule as needed for as long as is needed.
  • Adulthood. Yearly veterinary visits, which may include; fecal examinations, dental cleanings, heartworm, and tick borne disease tests, urinalysis, blood screenings, set up monthly heartworm and flea and tick prevention schedule. Discuss any items to be addressed before the next yearly examination. (This may include re-checks, bi-annual exams, maintenance of persistent or chronic problems, like allergies, arthritis, heart or other disease monitoring, etc.).
  • Senior. Bi-annual examinations to better monitor onset or progression of disease or change in health or ability.
My point is to remind all of us that a coordinated and agreed upon schedule is the best way to avoid time sneaking up on us and problems slipping through the cracks of our ever busy lives. 

Every aspect of our pets care benefits from a thorough understanding of what is needed when and how to do it efficiently.

A few very good examples will follow in the next few blogs.

It is always my hope that I can educate my clients to understand, identify and address their pets needs before they get out of hand and need my intervention.

For my house my pet pig, Strawberry, this is; spring hoof trimming (ugh, the drama of that. pig hoof trimming, .), summer housecleaning, and fall is winter prepping. I also check on her daily when I feed her. Everyday is a quick visual exam and careful monitoring for her overall health and mentation.

I watch her walk to her food bowl.

  • Is she walking comfortably and in a direct path? Is she using all feet equally and fluidly? Are her hooves too long? 
  • Are there any wounds, scratches, or evidence of bruising, hair loss, or drainage from eyes, ears, mouth, etc.
  • Does she seem bright, alert, responsive, AND happy? This is an assessment of mental health and mental well-being.
  • Does she dive into her food..let me tell you, for a pig, or my beagle this is the one sure sign that they are feeling good. 

I check her house to make sure it is safe, sound, clean, and comfy.

Strawberry's house is emptied from all of the hay that insulates her house during the winter.

For your pet remember to clean bedding, toys, clothes, bowls, and their coat, nails, teeth, anal sacs, ears, etc. on a routine set schedule.

For dogs I recommend;

  • Daily. Monitor for mentation, eating, ambulating, hearing, seeing, attitude, sleep behavior, teeth, urination and defecation, etc. Clean food and water bowls.
  • Weekly. Monitor, ears, nails, coat. Brush and comb out the coat. Clean bedding. Check all toys, wash or dispose of if damaged.
  • Monthly. Provide monthly flea & tick and heartworm prevention. Check grooming schedule. Check yearly, or bi-annual schedule for veterinary needs. Check all pets identification collar, tags, leashes. Replace any that need to be.
  • Yearly. Check microchip and confirm information with microchip provider. Plan for the next month and year. Discuss your pets care with your veterinarian at your visit. 
For cats the same schedule applies except I would add; 
  • Weekly. Change and clean litter boxes. Add fresh catnip to scratching mats. Clean out the water fountains. 
  • Monthly. New scratching mats. Fresh grass to grow in the cats flower pots.

Food is the best way to get pig out of her house so it can be overhauled.

Watermelon is the best summer snack for pigs.
Lots of water and fun to eat!

A clean house, new hay, and fly tapes.

 For those of you that have a pig, or an outside pet. It is imperative to have a shady spot, a safe protected house, unlimited always available fresh water, and a place to hide, or retreat to, if needed.

Strawberry may not be the most popular pet in America, but she shares basic needs that all of our pets do. Like all of my pets, I am responsible for her health and well-being, and I love her for the independent self-reliant little bundle of obstinacy that she is.

The best care that you can give your pets is to be attentive to them. Whether you are two or four legged, toed or hooved, we all need food, housing, attention, medical and emotional care.

This is an interactive blog! Please comment any items that you check with your pet. And please share your thoughts, experiences, and pet stories with me. I can be reached anytime @pawbly, or here, at

Have a wonderful summer everyone! 


  1. Hi Love the pig house wondering what you used for the flooring? thanx

    1. Hello,
      We reinforced the floor, insulated it, added another layer of plywood, and then lined it with heavy duty horse mats. It is durable , washable, soft on the hooves, and safe to sleep on.

      Thanks for asking.

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  3. WOW, love the set up you have for your beautiful piggy!! The house is just adorable!!!

  4. WOW, love the set up you have for your beautiful piggy. The house is just ADORABLE!!!! LOVE IT

  5. So many questions! What grass/greenery do you have growing on the ground inside the penned area for your pig? How cold does it get where you live in the winter? (area of US?) We live near the southern CT shoreline. Working on a better outside plan for our Hershey pig. Loved seeing yours! We have similar fencing - just need a more permanent "house" for our pig. Any more detailed info about the house would be great!

    1. Hello!,
      We have her house on a foundation in the yard. No fancy grass, just the regular lawn. But, we never use chemicals and we keep the lawn mowed to reduce the tick burden.
      The inside of the house is insulated all the way around, except for two vents in the top peaks near the roof. We also bolted down heavy rubber matting used for horse stalls. It provides cushion, is soft on her feet, and is easy to muck out if needed. The walls are lined with straw bails which acts as an additional insulator and provides bedding as the Winter transitions into Spring. There is a doggie door flap at the front of the house to allow access outside and provide some weather proofing. She essentially beds down in a big pile of straw for the winter. We place a thick insulating board ontop of the hay to close off the drafts in the roof section. In the Summer her house is in the shade under a tree. I have found she has a harder problem staying cool in Summer vs warm in winter. They are very heat intolerant.
      Hope this helps. If you have any pet questions please find me at Its free to use.