Most of us would never consider having pigs or piglets as pets, but pot-bellied pigs make for an exception. Also known as miniature pot-bellied pigs, they originated in Vietnam and some parts of China, and were first raised as pets in sometime in 1985 - 1986.
These pigs come in shades of black and white, and have a lifespan of around 18 years. They have a large snout and strong hooves. A full-grown pot-bellied pig weighs around 70 - 150 lbs. If these pigs are so popular as pets today, it is largely because of the fact that they require very little attention. Their ability to learn quickly makes them smart pets.
How do Pot-bellied Pigs Fare as Pets?
Like cats or dogs, even these have individual personalities, and thus, bonding with them should be initiated slowly and steadily. Also, these pigs are known to be intelligent as well as territorial, so keep this in mind when you start training them.
Males get quite aggressive as they mature and females get territorial during pregnancy. Once they are trained, they know how to behave and are also good at following commands. Bonding sessions should be limited as over pampering can make them demanding and unruly.
You can either adopt them from shelters, or buy them online or from licensed breeder. Make sure you get one from a responsible breeder to avoid any kind of problem that you might face later. Be sure of the breed as many breeders try to sell pot-bellied piglets that are genetically inferior. Try to get as much information from the breeder as you can before deciding to get them home.
These pigs will need some space of their own, so make sure you arrange for it somewhere inside your house. You can also put some used blankets or pillows on their bedding to make it a little cozy for them.
Make sure you clean the bedding thoroughly, at least once in a week, to maintain hygiene and cleanliness. You can place a bowl of water next to the bedding, and also a litter box, if need be.
It is best that you start training them early on, as it is easier to train a piglet than to train a full-grown pig. Apart from usual housetraining, you will also need to leash train them; this will enable you to take them out of the house occasionally, without having to worry about any untoward incident.
They should be taught to earn their treats and food. These pigs can be trained to do various interesting things as they are highly intelligent. More importantly, it will also provide them some physical activity. You will have to be strict with them at times, or else they will get unruly and aggressive.
Pot-bellied pigs have a huge appetite and will never reject any food. In fact, you are more likely to find them begging for food at times. Their diet should be high in fiber and as low as possible in calories and fat, as they are vulnerable to obesity.
Apart from commercially available formulated food, you can also feed them fresh vegetables and fruits. They should be fed only twice a day, as overfeeding can cause them to become obese.
If you adopt a pot-bellied pig, make sure you take good care of it and consult a vet in case of any health problems. Shower it with love and it will turn out to be a wonderful, loving pet.