Potbellied pigs are intelligent, clean, and affectionate animals. Because of their delightful, quirky personalities, potbellied pigs make great pets. If you're willing to commit to the time and effort it takes, you can bring a potbellied pig into your home as your new pet.
EditFinding a Potbellied Pig
- Check if your city allows potbellied pigs as pets before you get one. Every city has different zoning codes, and some don’t allow farm animals to be kept as pets. Before you adopt a potbellied pig, you’ll want to make sure it’s legal in your area.
- Visit your city government's website to find out the laws regarding potbellied pigs in your area.
- Adopt a potbellied pig from a reputable breeder or rescue. Adopting through a reputable breeder or rescue is the best way to ensure you get a potbellied pig that’s healthy and socialized. You can find a breeder or rescue by searching online for one in your area.
- You can also find reputable potbellied pig breeders by visiting http://americanminipigassociation.com/.
- Read online reviews of breeders and rescues before you adopt through them to see if they’re reputable.
- Inspect a breeder's or rescue's facility before you adopt from them. Touring the facility of a breeder or rescue is a good way to determine whether or not they're reputable. If the pigs appear to be living in a crowded, chaotic space, it could be a sign that the breeder isn't responsible.
- You should also pay attention to how clean the facility is. A reputable breeder or rescue will have a clean facility that is neat and organized. If it's dirty and disorganized, it could mean that the pigs there aren't being raised in a safe, healthy environment.
- Ask to see a piglet's parents before you adopt it. A piglet's parents can reveal a lot about the piglet you're considering adopting, like how big it will grow up to be and what its temperament will be like.
- A reputable breeder should have no problem with showing you a piglet's parents.
- If you're adopting from a rescue, you may not be able to meet a piglet's parents. However, the rescue should still have plenty of information to give you about where their piglets came from.
- Avoid adopting a potbellied pig that’s younger than 6 weeks old. Piglets that are taken away from their mothers before 6 weeks of age can develop behavioral and health problems down the road. You'll want to make sure the pig you're adopting is at least 6 weeks old.
- If a breeder or rescue is adopting out piglets that are younger than 6 weeks old, it's a sign that they’re not a reputable or responsible organization.
EditPig-Proofing Your Home
- Move dangerous household products somewhere your pig can’t reach them. Cleaning products, medicines, cosmetics, toiletries, and other common household products aren’t safe for potbellied pigs. Since pigs are naturally curious animals, you’ll want to keep these items up high so your pig doesn’t get into them.
- Avoid leaving dangerous household products on low surfaces, like coffee tables, nightstands, and the floor.
- Potbellied pigs can grow to be tall, so make sure you're putting dangerous household products up high enough so your pig can't reach them.
- Find new spots for any household plants that are on low surfaces. There are a variety of household plants that are toxic to potbellied pigs. Even if your plants aren’t toxic, you’ll still want to move them so your pig doesn’t chew on them or knock them over.
- Keep your plants on high surfaces, like countertops, your dining room table, or high up on a bookshelf.
- Secure low, food-filled cabinets with childproof locks. Potbellied pigs are intelligent animals, and they can be sneaky when it comes to getting food. To prevent your pig from getting into your cabinets and eating your food when you’re not around, keep them shut using childproof locks.
- Depending on how determined your pig is to find food, you may need to attach a childproof lock to your refrigerator as well.
- Since potbellied pigs can grow to be tall, you'll want to secure any cabinets that are below that height.
- Prepare a comfortable indoor spot for your potbellied pig to sleep. If you don’t want your new potbellied pig to sleep in bed with you, you’ll need to make it a bed of its own. You can use a dog bed or soft pillows and blankets to make your pig’s sleeping area with. Just make sure your pig will be comfortable.
- You can also set up your pig’s bed in a large dog crate. Make sure the crate is big enough for your pig to stand up and move around in.
- Set up an outdoor shelter for your pig if it will be outside a lot. Potbellied pigs love to run around outside, but they’ll need somewhere to rest and get some shade. If you’re going to be keeping your pig outside for long periods of time, set up a dog house or other shaded shelter for your pig to hang out in when it’s tired.
- Fill the shelter with blankets or straw so your pig is comfortable.
- Make sure the shelter will protect your pig from wind and rain.
EditFeeding Your Pig
- Feed your pig a balanced, pellet-based diet. It’s important that your potbellied pig gets all the nutrients it needs so it grows to be strong and healthy. Use pellets that are specifically made for potbellied pigs to ensure your pig is getting everything it needs.
- The breeder or rescue you adopted your pig from should give you dietary recommendations.
- You can also talk to your vet about what the best diet for your potbellied pig is.
- Feed your pig of food per day if it’s under 3 months old. When your pig is still a young piglet, you’ll want to give it about of pellet food each day. You may need to adjust how much food you’re giving your pig if you notice it’s too skinny or too heavy.
- Give your pig of food per day if it’s older than 3 months. Once your pig is 3 months old, you can start feeding it larger portions of pellet food. Gradually increase the amount of food you’re giving your pig from to so it has time to adjust.
- Split up your pig’s daily serving of food so you’re feeding it once in the morning and once in the evening.
- Supplement your pig’s diet with vegetables. While pellets designed specifically for potbellied pigs should make up the bulk of your pig's diet, you can also give your pig a salad-size portion of vegetables every day. Some good vegetables you can give to your pig are:
- Leafy greens
- Avoid feeding your pig processed or high-sugar foods. Potbellied pigs don’t do well when their diet is filled with lots of sodium and sugar. Stick with pellets and vegetables when feeding your pig so its diet is balanced and healthy.
- It’s OK to occasionally give your pig fruit, but keep it to a minimum since fruit tends to be high in sugar.
- Give your pig less food if it starts to gain a lot of weight. Obesity is a major health concern for potbellied pigs. Obesity can lead to other health issues, like respiratory problems and arthritis. If you notice your pig gaining a lot of weight, adjust its diet as needed.
- The average healthy weight for potbellied pigs is . However, some potbellied pigs can weigh up to and not be considered obese, depending on their size.
- If you think your pig might be obese but you’re not sure, take it to the vet for an expert opinion. Your vet will also be able to give you specific dietary recommendations to help your pig lose weight.
EditCaring for Your Pig
- Give your pig a bath whenever it’s dirty. Contrary to popular belief, potbellied pigs are naturally clean animals, and it’s not necessary to bathe them regularly. However, if your pig gets dirty playing outside, you can rinse it off inside a large shower or in a swimming pool outside.
- Avoid bathing your pig more than necessary. Excessive bathing can dry out your pig’s skin and cause irritation.
- Take your pig to the vet to have its hooves trimmed twice a year. Potbellied pigs’ hooves grow quickly, and they need to be routinely trimmed so they don’t get too long. Your vet will be able to trim your pig’s hooves so they’re a healthy, comfortable length.
- Let your pig go outside every day. Potbellied pigs can live indoors, but they need daily outdoor exercise. Pigs like to sunbathe, run around, and root outside, so it’s important that you give your pig time do this every day.
- If you have a fenced in yard, let your pig go outside for a couple of hours every day. Make sure the fence is secure so your pig isn’t able to escape.
- If you don’t have a yard, take your pig for long walks using a leash and harness.
- Give your pig plenty of attention every day. Potbellied pigs are intelligent animals that get bored and frustrated easily. To prevent this, make sure you’re spending time with your pig every day. If your pig seems irritated or depressed, it could be a sign that it’s not getting enough attention.
- Make it a point to give your pig a nice, long belly rub every day.
- Spend time each day training your pig and rewarding it with treats.
- Take your pig for walks or sit in your yard with it when it’s playing outside.
- Take your potbellied pig to the vet as soon as possible after you adopt it to get it vaccinated.
- Always monitor your pig when it’s around dogs. Dogs can be aggressive toward pigs.
EditSources and Citations
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