California Potbellied Pig Association, Inc
Traveling with Your Pig
Traveling with Your Pig
by Chris Christensen
Traveling with your pig and or transporting your pig can be quite different experiences depending on the pig you are transporting or traveling with. In the following article one of our long time members describes traveling with Vincent. Vincent was a long time experienced traveler and loved to go. If your pig is like that, vet trips and long distance treks are merely a matter of you adapting to your pigs needs and doing a little planning.
Some of the information about lodging might be applicable in some situations...but in this last year alone we have received four or five requests for information on traveling with larger potbellied pigs from coast to coast (usually "job change" permanent moves). My best advice in these cases is to get an air conditioned SUV or van, two good drivers and drive. If the pig can fit comfortably in as large a crate as possible, place it in the crate with lots of hay (blankets will get damp and need changing), or line the vehicle with construction plastic and lots of hay. Hay bales can even be used to create a small corral to limit movement.
Using four hour driving shifts, you can cross the country in three days (I've done it in two). Stops to eat or rest have to be done with consideration to your pig locked in the car. Food to go is about the only choice on hot or sunny days. You will also probably want to clean out soiled hay during the trip, and feed the pig with lots of water (flavored if necessary).
One of our potbellied pig contacts recently had to move from California to North Carolina. They found an organization out of Texas. This organization will apparently handle it all from building crates to determining the safest type of transport. As you might imagine, this is not inexpensive, but it does hopefully provide "peace of mind" and take care of a very difficult problem. It's called:
1121 E. 7th St., Austin, TX 78702
877-PET-MOVE ext 113
Direct 512.362.6113, Fax 512.362.6101
Traveling with Vincent
by Anne Farrow
Assume you are driving...since no matter what you've heard, pigs do not fly! We traveled with Vincent his whole llife...he visited all the western states, plus a couple of trips to Kansas. Vincent lived almost 20 years--we figure he went to Colorado 23 times from California. No problems. We did make sure he was up-to-date on medical stuff, but there are no pet pig inspection stations....your pet is not "livestock"! We bought a ramp for him to get in the Explorer, but not till he was 13! He loved to go in the car--and jumped onto the back seat until then. I was just concerned that he was going to tell me (like in the middle of Nevada) that in fact pigs don't jump...so he got the back of the Explorer & the duffel bags rode on the seat with the dog.
The main thing about travel with a pig is to allow time for your rest stops....not because of the pig, but because of all the questions people ask! (When he was a baby, I remember a stop in the Sierra where a Dad told the Mom of a couple of kids to make sure the kids washed their hands after petting the pig. I said "I'd prefer that they wash their hands BEFORE they pet the pig!" Really....)
Motels? Not a problem. All Motel 6 locations are pet friendly, as are La Quinta locations. I always asked for a "non-smoking, queen, downstairs, pet room" when getting a reservation. They're trying to remember what the first 3 things are...and assume the "pet" is a dog, but if asked I always said "a poodle and a pot bellied pig" and never was turned away (though a bed and breakfast in Montana did ask me to call back the next day & then said "fine"). Why downstairs? Way easier to get the stuff in....bed, box of dishes, food, etc....and Vincent was not fond of elevators or open stairs.
"The paradise of my fancy is one where pigs have wings."
G. K. Chesterton