Pot belly pig is found in Southeast Asia and has a dark color with little hair on the body. It has a small snout and a small erect ear. Due to lack of hair, they are very sensitive to the sun and can be seen wallowing in mud all day. A subtype, Vietnamese pot belly pig, is considered a very ideal pet due to its lack of shedding and fleas resistance.
Like any other hooved animal, pot belly pigs need proper hoof treatment for a balanced gait and smooth walk. Starting at an early age is in the best interest of your pot belly pigs. Desensitize your pig by touching its hooves, filing its nails or removing the hoof’s upper surface with cuticle cutters, and ultimately trimming the edges with a hand-held or electric hoof trimmer.
Hoof trimming is important for;
- Maintaining the hoof length and shape (pot belly pigs have a wider hoof compared to feral hog pigs)
- Maintain the balance of the hoof (flat-bottom hoof),
- Removal of excess keratin buildup on the underside or top of the hoof,
- Removing heel callus buildup in between hooves,
- Declaw trimming (provides extra support and stability).
Most pigs require extensive care with hoof trimming at early ages because they grow really fast. It is generally recommended to trim their hoofs after every 90 days till they’re one year old. After that, you can maintain a streak of trimming twice a year. This is going to be quite a hassle.
Hoof trimming frequency also depends on the environment they’re placed in. If your pot belly pig moves and walks in a natural setting with rugged terrains, its hooves will experience wear and tear; thus, they get trimmed naturally. In contrast, pot belly pigs need extensive hoof care when housed indoors with tile floors as they don’t experience friction or wear. Hence, it is recommended to put concrete pavers in front doors to reduce the trimming frequency.
A few tools can help you trim and balance your piglet’s hoof properly at home. These include;
- ARS 140DXR Smooth Blade Trimmer
- Zenport Q140DX Multipurpose Q Series Hoof Trimmers
- Burgon and Ball Neogen IEAL Eze-Trim
4- Hoof Boss Electric Hoof Trimmers
ARS 140DXR Smooth Blade Trimmer
ARS 140DXR are the best trimmers I’ve owned for years for trimming hoofs of our pigs. These red-handled trimmers qualify as excellent trimmers for shaping and balancing your pig hoofs. Since they’re spring-loaded, they don’t spread much and work best with all hooved animals like pot belly pigs, mini pigs, goats, and sheep. This feature makes them helpful when you need to hold your cranky/jumpy mini pig with one hand while trimming.
It has 2-inches long high carbon steel blades, making them super-sharp and durable; it helps keep their edge. The chrome coating prevents them from oxidation and rusting throughout their life. The multi-purpose trimmers are sturdy enough to be used for trimming branches of plants in the garden. However, this makes the steel blade dull.
If you’re using them solely for your pot belly pigs, you don’t need to worry about sharpening your trimmer for at least three years. I’d highly recommend spring-loaded shears as it works well even with left-handed people as they can comfortably hold and use them. Since they don’t come with a strap, the 6.4 oz ARS trimmer might be tricky to use with an impulsive or jumpy piglet. They might cost you a hefty sum of your money, $34 (Amazon price), but are totally worth it.
Zenport Q140DX Multipurpose Q Series Hoof Trimmers
Another best hoof trimmer to help you with the hoof trimming of your pot belly pigs! Zenport hoof trimmers consist of chromium-coated, Marquench hardened smooth steel blades with a rounded tip to ensure structure and cutting durability. While the hard chrome coating provides rust resistance, the round edges ensure manure cleaning from hooves and prevent injury to the user or animal.
It is easy to clean and sharpen over and over again. Its non-slip soft PVC grip and solid steel core fit perfectly in hands and can withstand the toughest of the trimming. Though 7 inches in length, the trimmer weighs merely 5 oz, making it easy to hold and operate for multiple purposes. This robust trimmer comes in white ivory or bright orange-coloured grip handles and costs only $23 (Amazon price). These can also be used for other hooved animals like mini pig, goats, sheep, and even pruning bushes or branches in your garden.
Burgon and Ball Neogen IEAL Eze-Trim
You’re looking for hoof trimmers that fit your budget, you’ll definitely love these pair of shears. Burgon and Ball trimmers come with 7.5 inches, high-carbon steel blades that are heat-treated to impart its hardness and durability. It can be sharpened easily and give a best hold on edges. One thing that interests you is that its blades come with a lock that keeps the blades closed when not in operation!
Unlike ARS trimmers, they come with a wrist strap which makes them easy to use. The spring is also adjustable, which means you adjust the tensile strength of the spring. The ergonomic rubber-coated handle allows firm grip even with sweaty palms. The only drawbacks with these trimmers are their hefty weight, i.e., 6.4 oz for 11 inches length, and non-stick or Teflon-coating that goes off with re-sharpening.
On the whole, I’d still recommend premium quality, long-lasting ARS trimmers. However, Burgon and Ball trimmers are second runner-up on the list for their additional wrist strap and blade lock features. Like other trimmers, these, too, can be used for pot belly pigs, mini pigs, and other animals.
Hoof Boss Electric Hoof Trimmers
This electric hoof trimmer from HoofBoss is an all-in-one hoof trimming set for trimming, shaping, and balancing the hooves of your pot belly pigs efficiently. The set comprises a 110V Hoof Boss electric trimmer, 8-foot power cord, one 8 Tooth Cdisc, 2 abrasive discs, safety glasses, and instructional resources, all packed in a canvas tool bag. This set would help you cut through the toughest of the hooves quickly and conveniently. The package contains a variety of sanders that help with the smoothing and finishing of hooves after grinding.
Everyone loves this regular maintenance electric trimmer, for it is safe to use with minimal practice and time-efficient. It also saves time spent struggling with single-handed tools. Though heavy on pocket (cost up to $300), these trimmers provide a pain-free, flawless finish on all kind of hooved animals, be it pigs, goat or sheep. Another con of the tool is the disturbing noise produced when operating that might scare your mini pig or pot belly pig.