Archive for April, 2010

Thinking About a Pot Belly Pig? Consider Adopting!

April 30, 2010

Adopt a cute potbelly piglet from a shelter instead of buying from a breeder or pet store.

So you are thinking about letting a pot belly pig join your family, but you aren’t sure whether to buy or adopt. Pot Belly Pigs TLC asks you to please adopt, and here’s why!

Sadly there are many pot belly pigs that are abandoned and since there aren’t laws the protect pot bellies like there are for dogs and cats, abuse is very common. There are hundreds of pot bellies that are displaced and now live in shelters where they don’t get as much attention as they need to be happy.
Many dedicated pot belly pig organizations do not sell pot belly pigs and do not support breeders or pet stores who do because they are often irresponsible of who they sell to. Many pet stores will sell to anyone as long as they are over 18 years of age. Sadly, many people do not do their research before buying a pot belly pig and soon realize they are a lot more work than they thought, or their area laws prohibit pot bellies. This results in many pigs being “dumped” on the streets and becoming part of the already-large unwanted pig population.

Many people do not want to rescue any animals from a shelter because they think they will be adopting someone else’s “problem” pet. Although pot belly pigs are highly intelligent, and being abandoned or abused is much harder for them to get over, it doesn’t mean they will be a horrible pet. No sanctuary or rescue center will adopt out a pig that does have a problem. Most pot belly pigs that come from a shelter, with the right TLC, are wonderful pets to responsible owners. If you are considering buying a pig because you want a piglet, remember there are many pot bellies of all ages available for adoption at shelters. It is possible to adopt a piglet, because many times rescue centers get pregnant sows and later need homes for the piglets, you just need to keep checking back or ask at multiple shelters. It takes effort, but it’s the right thing to do.

If you are considering adopting a pot belly, please make sure to do your homework first. Research all about pot belly pigs by going to different sites, reading our blog and contacting other pot belly owners to hear about their experience. Pot belly pigs are amazingly wonderful pets but like we’ve said before, they are a large responsibility.

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Potbelly Pig History: How Did Potbelly Pigs Get To America?

April 22, 2010

Although potbelly pigs have been domesticated for hundreds of years, it’s nice to know a bit about where your lovable pet has come from. You research about your ancestors, right? So why not know about the ancestors of your best potbellied friend?

We all know that potbelly pigs are a direct descendant of the old world wild pig family, which includes the wild boar. But how did they get to America? The potbelly pigs in the U.S. today are generally associated with Vietnam. There they were a “local type” of pig to Vietnam and many people think that the pigs we see in America today are probably a cross-breed of four local types of Vietnamese pigs. Our potbellies share many characteristics with the Vietnamese pigs, such as pointed ears, sway back, straight tail, pot belly, size and nice disposition.

Potbellies came to America from Canada in the mid-1980s by Keith Connell, a zoo director. These pot belly pigs were bigger than the ones we have today and were all black and wrinkled around the head and face. They were intended as breeding stock to supply the zoological gardens. In 1989, shortly after Connell’s import of the pot belly pigs, another line of pot belly pigs arrived in Texas. They were brought by a man name Leavitt from Europe and mostly all white in color. Many pot bellies in the U.S. can be traced back to the Connell and Lea lines.

After that, the popularity of pot belly pigs as pets grew because of their smaller size (when compared to a farmyard pig), their intelligence and their companionship. They are easily trained and are by nature, very clean animals to have around. Still today, many people find them better pets than dogs because they are more intelligent and extremely loyal. However, they are harder to care for than dogs and unfortunately today there are many people who neglect and abandon these wonderful animals. Learning more about our pet’s history can make us appreciate them for the amazing creatures they are.

Potty Training Your Pot Belly Pig

April 16, 2010

While your pot belly pig is a piglet, you must have a litter box for them to use inside. Make sure the little box is shallow, if it’s over 3 inches tall, your pot belly might have a hard time getting in and out. Don’t use a litter box designed for cats, they are often too small or high for your pot bellied pal. Some pot belly owners have used utility trays, baby pools and other plastic boxes that can be cut and customized to fit your pot belly’s needs.

Newspaper is great to use for litter medium. It’s a great way to recycle those daily newspapers, it’s cheap and effective. Kitty litter is not to be used for pigs.
Many pot belly pigs tend to urinate while they are drinking water. One pot belly owner suggested this tip for making sure they do their business in the litter box. She said to place the pot belly’s water in a place over the litter box so your pig will have to step in the litter box to drink. That way if she decides to drink and tinkle at the same time, there’s no mess to clean up for you.
To help your pig go number two in the little box. Place some feces in the litter box so your pig will get the idea that it’s supposed to go in there. Pigs are extremely smart and they will catch on to potty training quickly if you present the idea correctly.

Indoor and outdoor potty training early is a great idea. You want your pig to eventually be able to do her business outside all the time and get rid of the litter box. Designate a spot in the yard where you want your pig to use the bathroom. One pig owner gave this tip if your yard is not fenced in. Make an outdoor potty ring with a piece of hardware cloth that is about 2.5 feet high and 15 feet in length. Make a circle with the wire mesh and use twist ties to connect the ends. This defined area is great for potty training young piggies. Make sure to stay with your pot belly pig outside while she does her business while you are still training. That way, you can praise her after she successfully used the bathroom outside and you can make sure she doesn’t find a way out of the potty ring or yard and get hurt.

For more information on pot belly pig potty training see a previous blog by us about making your pot belly a proper toilet area.