Pedicures keep pet pigs in tip-top condition

Henry

A French barmaid’s career took a whole new turn after she qualified herself as a pedicurist for pet pigs.

Carole Germain has never been so busy. She zips around France with her suitcase and pet pig, Couscous, to look after the tusks and hooves of the country’s most pampered pigs.

“It’s crazy. I thought I was the only person who had a pig taking over the couch. But there are thousands,” says this 46-year-old woman who also runs a bar and tobacco shop in the west of France.

Couscous makes the scales groan at 60 kg and sleep in bed.

“Actually, I sleep in his bed and if I roll around too much, he snores and even pinches me,” she jokes.

Germain, who also has two dogs, adopted her pig in 2020 and watched as it claimed more and more space in the small apartment above her bar. Before long, his tusks and hooves had to be trimmed – and that’s how she came up with the idea for a pig pedicure.

“After a while it grows so much that the poor pig almost becomes disabled.

“Not too long ago, I clipped a tusk that had grown three centimeters into the animal’s cheek.”

Not for the faint of heart

Germain, who claims to be France’s very first pig chiropodist, underwent training in the Netherlands and then began practicing her new profession part-time.

According to her, there has never been such a great need for services like these; at one stage she treated 43 pigs on a visit to the south of France. And now she’s selling her bar to work full-time as a pig pedicurist.

But it is by no means a career for cowards.

Germain once had to put Scooby, a heavy black pig of 80 kg on his back in the Brest neighborhood, to get his beauty treatment done. The operation required fine footwork and it was a struggle to convince Scooby.

However, after the treatment, with hooves and tusks neatly groomed, the pig was in a bad mood.

“He’s ready for the beach now,” mocks Germain as Scooby trots around in the walk with a new hop.

“It’s been a while since I’ve seen him run like that,” says Scooby’s owner, Yann L’Heveder, an air traffic control operator who gave the pig as a present to his daughter on her tenth birthday.

“It’s probably like when we have a pebble in our shoe.”