Just like farm pigs, your pet mini pig will want to stick their snout in the dirt. This is known as rooting. Pigs naturally will do this because that is how they find nutrients in the soil. Even if you feed your mini pig the proper amount of nutrients, it won’t stop them from fulfilling their instinctual need to root. Some other reasons pigs may root is because they are uncomfortable, angry, lonely, Hungary, or they want attention.
So how can you control this? Rooting cannot be stopped, but letting them go outside and root for around 2 hours a day will mostly fulfill their need to root. Getting a snuffle mat or making a rooting box inside will also help. Snuffle mats and rooting boxes are great for keeping your pig from rooting stuff inside the house.
Make an outside area for your mini pig to root
I would recommend fencing in an area that is at least 15 by 15 feet big and putting in rocks, sticks, weeds, and dirt for your pig. Not only will your pig relieve their need to root, but they will also spend lots of time entertaining themselves.
If you live in an apartment or don’t have this big of a yard, take them on frequent walks, and find places where they can root for a little while. This could be in the woods, at a park, or wherever you can find.
Make a rooting box inside
Especially when you don’t have an area outside for your pig, making a rooting box is almost essential. To do this, fill an area that is at least 3 by 3 feet big with many smooth rocks, such as how Morgan Reed has done for her pig in the video below.
One great thing to do is hide treats in the rocks and make your mini pig root to get the treats.
You can do this with snuffle mats as well. If you don’t have a snuffle mat for your mini pig, check out this one.
Praise your pig when they root in the correct spots
When your pig roots where you want them to, give them treats and lots of belly rubs. You need to show that this is correct behavior at that given spot. But when they do it were there not supposed to, point to that spot and scold them saying “no” repeatedly.
Give your mini pig chew toys
Pigs love chew toys, especially hard rubber ones. Many times these chew toys will help relieve their rooting needs. One chew toy that I recommend getting is the Chew King Premium Treat Dog Toy. You can put treats inside of it, which makes your pig have to root them out.
Don’t let your pig feel lonely
Pigs are very social creators and need relationships with others to strive. I would recommend either getting 2 pigs or having another pet to keep your pig entertained. Especially if you have a job and can’t be with your pig all day, they’ll need someone to be with. If you have a dog, make sure to always be watching though, I have seen many stories of pigs who have been injured or even killed by dogs. Read this article to learn more about having a mini pig and dog together.
When they do start to feel lonely, they tend to root anything they see. This could be your floor, couch, pillows, and pretty much everything you have in your home. My friend on Instagram @sirkevanhamletbakonthefirst experienced this first hand when she left her pig alone for the first time. Her pig pretty much destroyed her whole couch as you can see below.
Don’t use snout rings
Snout rings are used to stop pigs from rooting by making it very uncomfortable for them. Yes, this will stop them from rooting, but it will make them an unhappy pig. Your pig will nudge you, charge you, and do pretty much whatever it can do get it off. In my opinion, it’s cruel, and it’s not worth it.
What to do if your pig won’t stop rooting inside
Sometimes even when you think you have done everything right, your pig will still root your stuff inside. The main thing you need to do is establish that you are the boss. Tell your mini pig no and scold them when they root inside. I have written another article titled How to Stop Your Pet Pig From Chewing On Everything (link is to the article) that teaches you everything you need to know about stopping rooting inside.