How to Properly Raise a Pot Belly Pig

February 21, 2011

Although it may be trendy to own a pot belly pig, raising one can be quite the challenge. Unlike typical household pets, pot belly pigs can have a long life span. Therefore, you must be willing to make a long term commitment to ensure your pig is raised well.

If you choose to own a pot belly pig….

  • Check your local laws and ordinances to make sure your new pet is welcome in the area.
  • Buy pig feed containing 12-14 percent of protein, and give it to your pig twice a day.
  • Create a separate area for your pot belly pig, away from all other animals. Allow your pot belly pig to roam around in a safe, enclosed area.
  • Remember a pot bellied pig is like having a three year old – all the time!

6 Tips for Training Your Pot Belly Pig

February 14, 2011

Training a pot belly pig is simple. Contrary to popular belief, these animals are extremely intelligent and have a strong will to learn. Because pot belly pigs are drawn to food, they will do whatever it takes to fill their bellies. By having patience and developing a strong bond with the animal, your pig can be trained in no time at all.

Here are 6 tips to follow when training your pot belly pig.

  1. Gain your pig’s trust. You can’t expect your pet to learn anything from you if he cannot confide in you. Allow the pig to adjust to you and your surroundings before you start any lessons.
  2. Determine the objective of  your lessons. Figure out what tricks or commands you want your pig to learn. Pigs can learn many tricks, from shaking hands to sitting. You can also tame your pig or teach him to use the bathroom upon your command.
  3. Choose the right time to train. Pigs pick up information best when they are alert and interested in what you have to say. Don’t force lessons on your pig, because their stubborn nature will cause them to resist your commands.
  4. Use commands. Pigs have the capacity to pick up on hundreds of words. When training, use one or two-word commands so your pig can make a distinction between them.
  5. Use treats to reward your pig. Give your pot belly pig a treat every time he successfully obeys your command. After the initial reward, only treat your pig after he has obeyed several commands. The objective is to get your pig to obey you without being rewarded with a treat.
  6. Limit the size of your treats. Use small, healthy treats like grapes and Cheerios to reward your pot belly pig for being obedient.

Throughout the training process, remember to keep lessons short (about 3 to 5 minutes), so you will keep your pot belly pig engaged and avoid any frustrations that may develop along the way.

7 Steps to Follow for Grooming Potbellied Pigs

February 11, 2011

Although potbellied pigs don’t have as much fur as cats and dogs, grooming is still necessary to keep the pigs feeling and looking their best. It is essential to maintain the condition of a potbellied pig’s skin, tusks, hooves, eyes and ears, ensuring that all parts remain healthy.

Follow these simple steps to properly groom your potbellied pig.

  1. Because potbellied pigs have naturally clean skin, they only need an occasional bath. To get rid of excess dirt, rinse your pig off with a garden hose.
  2. Adjust the temperature of the bathwater when bathing your pig, making sure it’s not too hot or cold.
  3. Take your pigs to a wading pool or large showering area for bathing. Scrub your pig with a grooming brush, applying a small amount of mild shampoo mixed with water.
  4. Use a damp cloth to eliminate crud in and around your potbellied pig’s eyes and eyelashes. Be sure to do this on a regular basis.
  5. When removing ear wax, use a damp cloth or Q-tips. Use extreme caution when cleaning out your pig’s ears.
  6. Pay attention to your pig’s tusks (if applicable) and monitor the growth. Your veterinarian should trim the tusks every few years.
  7. Keep your pig’s hooves groomed by trimming or filing with a large emery board or hoof trimmers. If you don’t feel comfortable trimming the hooves on your own, your vet can do also do this for you.

By following these grooming techniques, your potbellied pig will stay happy and healthy for years to come.