Pot Bellied Pigs as Pets

Mark Gordon BrownStarred Page By Mark Gordon Brown, 30th Oct 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/knaujxwr/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Other

Pigs are very smart, on par with dogs. If you know that you could not handle owning a dog because of time requirements, then a pot bellied pig is probably not the right pet for you. Learn more about selecting and care for a pet Pot Bellied Pig.

General Information

Pot Bellied Pigs are correctly referred to as Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pigs and can live about 12- 15 years. On average they get about 18-22 inches tall, and weigh just over 100 pounds.

Before getting a Pot Bellied Pig check to make sure you are allowed to have them in your area according to zoning and by-laws. Even if you are allowed them you should have a fenced yard, or area to keep them, and proper shelter (a dog house with straw).

Selection and Purchase of a Pot Bellied Pig

People are best to buy directly their pot bellied pig from a breeder or adopt from an animal shelter. When you buy from the breeder you should be able to see one, or both, parents. This will give you a good idea on the size your piglet will get. If the breeder says things like ā€œfeeding less will keep it smallā€ do not support them, this is a form of cruelty and will more likely result in a dead pig rather than a small one.

Do not buy a ā€œteacupā€ Pot Bellied Pig; these are pigs who have been stunted through poor genetics, or poor nutrition, they have much shorter lifespans and numerous health concerns. They often have pains as their outsides stop growing long before their insides do. Do not fall for the cuteness and do not reward unscrupulous breeding.

Your piglet should be no younger than seven weeks old. This allows for critical socialization while with its mom. Make sure it is healthy and active. As when paying for any pet, be sure to get a written health guarantee.

Male pigs, boars, do not make good pets unless they are neutered, which should be done before they are 3 months old. Female pigs, gilts, are usually alright but may exhibit problem behavior when in season, so for this reason females should be spayed.

Housing for Pet Pot Bellied Pigs

Pot Bellied Pigs can be house pets or outdoor animals, or a combination of both. If you are going to keep your pig outdoors only you should spend a lot of time with it or provide it with a friend. A pig who is not kept mentally satisfied will become bored and destructive, much the way a dog would.

If you are keeping your piggy outside it must have at least 40 square feet of space per pig, or ideally more. A small shelter (such as a dog house) to protect them from the wind, sun, and rain is important. They are not very tolerant of cold weather so cannot live outdoors in colder climates without a heat source in their shelter, this can even be a light bulb. Sheep fencing works well for Pot Bellied Pigs.

If you want to keep your pig indoors you need to start slowly, just like you would with a puppy. Confine it to a smaller space in the house, offer it a litter box or make sure you take it outside frequently. Close all doors leading to stairs. Remember a pig has hooves, and will find walking on a slippery floor to be difficult. You can help buy getting a cheap rug or putting down some towels.

Keep electric cords and pretty much everything else out of the way and off the floor. A curious pig will play with what ever it finds. Dog toys for medium and large dogs work well at pot bellied pig toys.

Photo By Eirik Newth (This little pig went down to the river...) , via Wikimedia Commons

Feeding and Care

Livestock feed stores sometimes carry prepared food for pet pigs. If not you should pick up a feed for regular sized pigs and supplement with treats. Pigs are omnivores, if your pig is outdoors it will try to eat grasshoppers and bugs that come into its enclosure, so do not use any pesticide sprays around your home and garden. Your pig will love most fruits and vegetables and while most vegetables are alright, try to keep fruits to simply being an occasional treat. They can have brown, or multi-grain, bread. Pigs should not have chocolate or Tomatoes.

Pigs will drink water out of a non-spill bowl or large bucket. There water should be kept fresh and prevented from freezing.

Pot Bellied Pigs can be trained like a dog to walk on a leash and harness. The best training method is to start off in a small space and bribe the pig to walk forward with bread. Make sure he or she knows it is on a leash and is going where you want it to go, not where it wants to go.

You can buy soft brushes to use on them, remembering their skin is sensitive. The bushing will be something they can enjoy and will help keep them clean. In the summer you need to realize your pig may roll in the mud/dirt to relieve or protect itself from bugs and the heat of the sun.

Check with a veterinarian to see what kind of vaccinations are required in your area.


Other Information on Pet Pot Bellied Pigs

Pot Bellied Pigs will have difficulty using stairs, if your house requires the pig to go up stairs to enter, you should provide a ramp and get him or her accustomed to using that.
Remember these guys are extremely intelligent, if you allow your pet pig to become bored it will be destructive. Provide exercise and mental stimulation in the form of toys, you can even provide a childs sand box and hide toys in the sand.

Pigs do not respond to punishment for discipline. However if you raise your voice they will understand your displeasure.

Keep an eye on your pets hooves, if they get long they will need to be trimmed.

Remember that the cute Vietnamese Pot Bellied Piglet can live about 12- 15 years and will get about 18-22 inches tall, and weigh just over 100 pounds. If this is not the type of pet you want, do not get a Pot Bellied Piglet!

photo By Alvesgaspar (own photo) , via Wikimedia Commons

Links

Pigs Can Fly!

Owning Pet Llamas - Authors Experience

Exotic Pets Skunks

Owning a Pet Wallaby

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Has been republished to Full of Knowledge

Tags

Care, Exotic, Miniature, Pet, Pets, Piggies, Piggy, Pigs, Pot Bellied, Pot Belly, Teacup, Unusual

Meet the author

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
Raised in Michigan, I have a son who recently joined the Military. I am living in Canada with my wife where we have a hobby farm.

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
31st Oct 2010 (#)

They're cute, Mark, but I don't think that I could ever come to think of any pig as a pet. Raised too many of them for commercial purposes (Food) when I was living down on the farm.

Great article!

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author avatar James R. Coffey
31st Oct 2010 (#)

This animals were a big craze here in Florida in the 80s, much like Dalmatians were after the 101 Dalmatians film in the 90s. In both cases, after people discovered what a truly serious responsibility either actually are, you never see either around today.

Nice article.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
31st Oct 2010 (#)

I do not own one myself, we often see them for sale at auction, and they are a bit of a craze.
The main thing is for people to be aware they are NOT just a cute piglet - they are a long committment, and grow big.

Plus people need to be aware that TEACUP means problems!

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author avatar chrysolite
1st Nov 2010 (#)

Hi, Mark! I do so agree with your article. We don't have the potbelly pigs, but the German "mini-pigs" for over 10 years now. They grow to about 50 to 60 kg and what you describe as "teacup" ones, they are sold in Germany too, but due to inbreeding they are not very healthy and have other problems. Thanks for pointing it out. Also, the commitment for almost 20 years for a pet pig is a long time and may I point out that the number of euthanized pets go into the millions EACH MONTH!

My "problem" at the moment is a couple of mini-pigs which I want to be "tame". Walk around with them on a leash like with a dog. But those little squeakies don't let me put on a harness! They let me touch and scratch belly and all, but no way will we have this harness on! I was told that if there are 2, then you won't get them tame. Is that true? Thanks for helping!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
1st Nov 2010 (#)

I have not heard about this problem. I know that it helps to get bottle fed pigs, ones that have been held lots as piglets,
I dont know anyone personally with 2 however so cannot say for sure about that.

Most folks near me (on an acreage) get them as back yard pets for hobby farms - and don't walk them at all.

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author avatar chrysolite
2nd Nov 2010 (#)

Ok, thanks, will look further on this. There must be a way to get two tame at the same time! Well, they are actually getting better each day! Today I was allowed to play "lifting up" - higher and higher - with them. They didn't mind! Maybe they have days when you can "play" with them and days when they don't want to know. Funny things they are! I love them!

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author avatar LOVERME
31st Oct 2010 (#)

wow 11000 points
and so many followers
how many points does one need
to become a moderator thanks gr8 writing urs
i delve in poetry only
hence so slow

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author avatar Denise O
4th Nov 2010 (#)

Mark, I have always thought, hmmm...just maybe.
You have convinced me that no, I should not have one.
Great info...for and against adding one to your family.
Well done article my friend.
Thumbs up!
Before folks do not, weigh all the options and surprise
their family with this present on Christmas.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Denise O
4th Nov 2010 (#)

Mark, I have always thought, hmmm...just maybe.
You have convinced me that no, I should not have one.
Great info...for and against adding one to your family.
Well done article my friend.
Thumbs up!
Before folks do not, weigh all the options and surprise
their family with this present on Christmas.
Thank you for sharing.:)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Pinkchic18
5th Nov 2010 (#)

Oh my. Not exactly the furry pet that I envision warming my lap on a cold day by the fireplace but I suppose to some it's just as good! lol as always, great article Mark.

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author avatar Charlene Nuble
15th Nov 2010 (#)

LOL! If ever I will have a pet pig, I prefer to have it outdoors rather than indoors.

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author avatar christopheranton
20th Nov 2010 (#)

Useful article. I dont think, however, that my landlord
would be very
impressed if I had a pig
as a pet. He is awkward enough about me having a cat.

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author avatar Ruthann
12th Dec 2010 (#)

I have a potbelly pig. her name is lilly and she is like another child to me...much the way most people feel about their dogs. personally, i will never own a dog after having a pig. we got her at 4 days...yes days...old. she was potty trained in two days. she is very smart..listens better than my kids...lol. pigs are hypoallergenic since they have skin and hair..not fur...similiar to ours. they have absoluetly no smell! one of the perks since i hate the way dogs smell..so gross!!! she is very lovey and protective of me and my husband and two kids. we love her so much and couldnt imagine life without her. she is an outdoor pet now...was indoors until she was about 8 months or so, but i would recommend that anyone seriously considering a pet to get a potbelly! if i could figure out how to post a pic i would. i would like to say that the pics of the two adult pigs you have posted are grossly overweight. you cant even see their eyes! its really horrible, and that is NOT how adult pigs are supposed to look. Thanks for the info and happy holidays!

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author avatar chrysolite
12th Dec 2010 (#)

Hi, Ruthann! Thank you very much for this comment! I also have two mini-pigs and I agree with you totally! They are such lovely animals and far more intelligent than dogs! But then, we have 4 dogs, too! The problem with overfeeding small pigs is wide spread. The commercial food available for pigs has too much protein in it for mini-pigs or potbelly pigs. But then again, pigs like greens, grass, fruit, veggies and grains, too! If one feeds them natural food, they won't get so terribly fat! Have a great day!

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author avatar chrysolite
15th Dec 2010 (#)

Just thought to let you know, I've made a 40 sec video of my little mini-pigs and uploaded it to YouTube. My first video! More will follow from my farm! :) Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjgdxoq_5q0

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
15th Dec 2010 (#)

thanks for sharing! I have dial up so those take a while to load for me, but I will check it later.

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author avatar chrysolite
16th Dec 2010 (#)

Thanks Mark, for the comment, my friend has dial-up as well and got the video downloaded quickly, it's only 40 seconds long! :)

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
17th Dec 2010 (#)

Just watched it. They sure are enjoying their food!
Real animals are so much better than farmville.

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author avatar chrysolite
17th Dec 2010 (#)

Yes, Mark, real animals are so much better, but so much more responsibility than Farmville! ;) And these two little critters are eating all day long! I've never seen anything like it! And it's true also that pigs are more intelligent than dogs! Thanks for your comment, have a great day!

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author avatar krrymarie
13th Jan 2011 (#)

Pigs are easier to train than a dog too as I watch a prograame about it! they are also cleaner than a dog.
I want a pig but don't think my other half would be best pleased if he came home to a pig walking about lol!
It was bad enough when i brought my hamster which he didn't know about. He likes surprises and should be used to them by now hehe!!

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author avatar Retired
17th Jan 2011 (#)

I love these animals. In fact, there is a place in Maui Hawaii called Dan's Green House that sells these little guys. Actor Clint Eastwood actually bought one from this place. Thanks for the post.

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author avatar Slacs
22nd Dec 2012 (#)

Lol. My pig gets 8 pounds of fruit, DAILY.
It goes, 8 pounds of fruit, or two pounds of veggies, or two cups of grains, because each type of food has a certain amount of fuel burning time, fruit being the fastest. I can also mix it together, for example, 4 pounds of fruit, 1 pound of veggies.
Once I stopped her on "pig food" I noticed that gunk that accumulates on her back and eyes have been reduced. She doesn't allow me to wash her, so I don't really know if it's stopped the gunk production all together. It's been shaping her into a fine looking pig. I'm also curious to know why chocolate and tomatoes are supposed to be unfeedable?
I'd rather have the information myself and then make the decision on whether I should feed or not. I mean, clearly you are wrong or thinking of a different situation about the little bit of fruit daily, if anything negative were to happen it would have happened by now.

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