Activities for Pet Pig Enrichment

Activities for Pet Pig Enrichment

It’s the middle of winter and my pig is bored, what can I do to keep him entertained or what kind of toys do they like? Here are a few suggestions from the very simple to the more elaborate.

In my experience it doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money to give your pig a few hours of entertainment a day. With our first pigs, Ziggy & Flower we would give them newspaper & magazines to shred…brown packing paper works just as well too. This was a favorite of Ziggy’s and he would wear himself out within about 30 minutes…shaking and shredding the paper and jumping around. Other days we would roll grapes across the room for them to go after. I know not real exciting, but it got them up and moving about. We eventually made them a rooting box which we filled with fist sized river rocks and would then put either their pellets or popcorn in it for them. 

Flower in her rooting box.

Rooting Box: This is a great indoor activity. Appropriate items for a rooting box are anything safe and big enough to not swallow or too sharp. We used fist sized river rocks with ours, but many now use play pit balls, large stones, stuffed animals, an assortment of toys, blankets, anything your pig can search through will work fine. We made our rooting box out of wood while most folks use a kiddie pool. I have even seen where someone took an end table and turned it upside down to make their rooting box.

Using a pool as a rooting box.


What kind of toys do our pet pigs like?
In my experience most pigs don’t care for toys like a dog would, but here are a few toys and ideas for keeping piggy entertained that you can try.

Put some peanut butter into the center of a bobble toy and then let your pig roll it around as it licks peanut butter out of it.

Any rope toys designed for dogs are also good for a pig. A milk jug or liter bottle with a few holes and pig pellets added. Your pig will push this all over the house until each little pellet has fallen out and eaten.

Another use of the 2 liter pop bottle is to remove the cap, make holes a little bigger than pig pellets. Vary the holes from about 2 inches from the bottom to about 4 inches from the bottom so he doesn’t get frustrated. Take some twine and tie around top to an anchored ceiling hook. Make sure it hangs at snout level so he doesn’t have to look up constantly.

Balls seem to make a lot of pigs happy as well. Big balls like bowling balls, sports balls, such as basketballs or soccer balls are all good choices. Just make sure you put anything breakable put away.

A wiffle ball or something similar filled with goodies. This makes for some good exercise. 

Exercise ball with goodies

Some like musical toys made for young children. Horns they can grab with their mouths or piano keys they can play with their noses provide challenging activities for our pets.

Remember that what one pig finds entertaining another might find just so-so. Have fun finding what your pig’s favorite is.

Make sure that those outside pigs are getting exercise too during these winter months. If you have snow on the ground I suggest shoveling a path(s) so they can get out of their enclosure to go for a walk when weather permits, not just potty. We would sprinkle popcorn or pellets for them to search for.

Bonnie and Clyde searching for some goodies that I threw them to help keep them active.

One last thing for the outside pig is this feed dispenser that I came across. Make sure that the holes are big enough for the pellets to come out of, but don’t drill too many of them as you want them to “work” for them. Make sure it is at snout level so your pig doesn’t have to look up to get the treats out. 

Outside feed dispenser for pigs.

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