Pig Nutrition-how and what should I be feeding my pig?

Written by: Bria Osborne, OVC 2026

Edited by: Dr. Paisley Canning

Giving your pigs proper nutrition is essential for proper pig care and management.

What should I be feeding my pig? 

Just like humans and other animals, pigs require a certain amount of minerals and vitamins in their diet. To get the proper number of vitamins and minerals, a balanced and complete diet is necessary. Providing your pig with a small amount of commercial pig pellets will provide your pig with all of the vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy.  

Pigs can have fruits and veggies as a part of their diet on top of their regular pig pellets. Feeding fruits and veggies alone will not allow for the proper levels of vitamins and minerals for your pig.  

Fruits and Veggies can:

  • Be used as an occasional treat  
  • Be a part of a balanced meal (in addition to pellets)  
  • Be used as enrichment  
  • *Increase water intake* (e.g watermelon)

*In addition to pellets, fruits, and veggies, water intake is very important to pig health.

How should I feed/ integrate fruits and veggies into my pigs routine? 

  • Can feed at the same time as their regular pellet meal  
  • If you need to move your pig throughout the day (e.g. into a barn at night) you can use their daily vegetables to entice your pig  
  • Can feed as a snack in between meals  
  • Can be used as rewards  

When feeding pigs fruits and vegetables it is important to NEVER give pigs: 

  • Garbage  
  • Waste products  
  • Spoiled food  
  • Anything that has come into contact with meat products  

What fruits and veggies can I feed my pig?

While it may be easy to feed your pig any snack you have on hand, it is important to keep in mind that for pigs, all fruits and vegetables are not created equally. When feeding your pig, you want to have a low calcium to phosphorus ratio. This is because pet pigs can develop urinary stones that potentially can cause fatal blockages due to high number of calcium-phosphate crystals. For this reason, it is important to avoid dark leafy greens like spinach and kale. Below is a list of fruits and veggies that are approved by Dr. Canning to keep your pig healthy and happy.   

Dr. Canning approved veggies

  • Celery  
  • Lettuce (figure 1)
  • Tomatoes  (figure 1)
  • Zucchini  (figure 1)
  • Peppers  
  • Alfalfa sprouts  
  • Radicchio  
  • Eggplant  (figure 1)
  • Cauliflower  
  • Cabbage  
  • Beans (green and yellow) 

Figure 1: A pet pig with access to lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, apples, and zucchini.

Dr. Canning approved fruits

*Fruits are very high in sugar so they should be limited*

  • Pumpkin  (figure 2)
  • Watermelon (without rind)  
  • Strawberries  
  • Cantaloupe (without rind) 
  • Squash  
  • Peaches  
  • Plums  
  • Apricots 
  • Cranberries  
  • Raspberry 
  • Apples (figure1)
  • Blueberries  
  • Pears 

Photo credit: American mini pig association

Figure 2: A pet pig enjoying some pumpkin  

It is important that while all these fruits and veggies listed above are safe for your pig, you should be feeding a variety of fruits and veggies (I.e. not all tomatoes, not all peaches, etc.).  

Upper Thames mobile vet offers nutritional expertise for your pet pigs. If you have any questions regarding what you should be feeding your pig or would like a full nutrition consult, please feel free to contact Dr. Canning. You can contact the clinic at [email protected], or on facebook.com/upperthamesvs. 

Last updated on August 8th, 2023.