How To Care For Your Pot Belly Pig
Pot Belly Pigs Make Wonderful Pets
A pot belly pig can make a wonderful pet. They are intelligent, sociable, bond well with the family and are easy to train. The defining characteristics of the pot belly pig are a swayed back, short legs, ears that stand erect and a straight tail. Of course the most noticeable feature of the pot belly pig, and the reason for the name, is the pronounced pot belly. Not all pot bellied pigs are small or miniature. Some can reach 200 pounds upon maturity.
A Star is Born
Bonding with your Pot Belly Pig
Pot belly pigs can be very friendly and will bond with their owners, but they need to be socialized. Upon bringing home a baby pot belly pig, you may find him shy. If the pig hasn't been handled a lot by the breeder, the baby pig will most likely not want to be held or cuddled, which on looking at that adorable face, is the first thing you want to do. With patience and a lot of handling, your pig will grow to love you and will seek your affections. Although that cute baby pig may soon outgrow your lap.
Since the way to your pot belly pig's heart is through his stomach, training is best accomplished by giving treats as a reward for his good behavior. Just be sure to use nutritious snacks such as small pieces of fruit, since obesity is an inherent health risk for pigs. You can gain your new baby pig's trust by hand feeding him his meals. Let each family member be involved so the pig can bond with everyone. Be sure to give your pig well balanced meals, supplemented by healthy snacks during training sessions.
Training your Pot Belly Pig
Your pot belly pig can be house trained using the same techniques you would use to train a puppy. Take the pig outside every couple of hours, after meals and when he wakes up. Come up with a key phrase, such as 'let's go out', and use it every time you take the pig outside to do his business. Using a lot of positive praise will reinforce his good behavior.
Though your pot belly pig prefers to relieve himself outside, he can be box trained. A pig will require a larger litter box than your cat would. A commercial sized cement mixing tub works well. The box should be lined with newspapers and wood chips. Pigs don't like to relieve themselves near their food, so keep the box well away from the eating area.
Housing your Pot Belly Pig
Even if you pig is an indoor pig, he still needs to get outside to root and get exercise. Make sure you take your housebound pig outside at least once a day.
If you pot belly pig is an outside pig, make sure you monitor his exposure to the elements. Pigs do not do well in extreme ranges of temperature. Provide a large sized dog house for sleeping. Line the bottom of the dog house with several blankets, for your pig's comfort. When the temperature rises, get a plastic swimming pool for your pig to cool off in and make sure they have a lot of shade to rest in.
Although rooting is a favorite pastime of all pigs, it is a behavior related to eating. A well fed pig will root less. You can get a separated kiddie pool filled with dirt for your pig to root in.
Feeding your Pot Belly Pig
Your pot belly pig will eat most anything you give him. But to insure proper weight gain and a healthy pet, you should feed your pig a commercially prepare pig food. This can be supplemented with fruits and vegetables. By following the manufactures instructions you can properly feed you pet pig and give him a long and healthy life. With the popularity of pot bellied pigs as pets, commercial feed has become easier to find. Check at local pet stores, feed stores or with your veterinarian. Food for you pot belly pig can also be found on line.
- Feeding Pot Bellied Pigs
Information on the proper diet for pet pot bellied pigs
- Health Care Articles and Information on Potbellied Pigs
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