Archive for August, 2010

How to Make Your Home Safe for Pot Belly Pigs

August 27, 2010

Make sure your home is safe for your new pot belly pig. Photo courtesy of Promised Land Zoo.

If you’re planning on bringing home a new pot belly pig, you have to keep in mind that they are just like having a 3-4 year old child in the house. As a result, you need to pig-proof your home so it is safe for your pot belly pig to stay in. Pot belly pigs are very curious and pig-proofing your home will make sure your new pet stays safe and comfortable in its new environment.

If your house floors aren’t carpeted, make a path of throw rugs from room to room so your pig can get around. Smaller pigs have a hard time getting around on slick floors, so the throw rug path may just be temporary until your pot belly pig grows up. These throw rugs also function as a path to where your pot belly pig is allowed to go. Pot belly pigs are very curious and if you don’t want to encourage them to go to certain parts of the home, don’t put throw rugs down leading to that area.

Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinets that contain dangerous, potentially poisonous substances closed and locked securely, just like you would with a child.

Use a wide, unbreakable bowl for the pot belly pig’s food. Pigs like to push things around with their noses, so using a glass bowl could result in broken dishes. An aluminum pan is a good choice for pig food because it’s wide enough that your pig can eat easily, its durable and makes for a pretty painless clean up.

You may have heard that young pot belly pigs need something warm to cuddle with. This information is true, however do not use an electric heating pad. The pig could chew the cord and be seriously injured. Instead use a special heat mat that are made for dogs or cats. Or you could tie 2 pounds of dry beans in a pillow case and tie the top in a knot. This can then be warmed in the microwave and hold heat for about 2 hours.

Keep all electric cords out of the pigs reach in the beginning but work to teach them that electric cords are not to be touched. Since pigs are so smart, this is not a difficult task.

Pig-proofing your home will make your job as the pig’s caretaker much easier and make sure your pet stays safe and lives a long, healthy life.

The Many Different Types of Pot Belly Pigs

August 20, 2010

Pot belly pigs are very different from farm pigs. Firstly, they differ greatly in size. A pot belly pig generally weighs between 50-150 pounds whereas a farm pig can exceed 1,000 pounds when fully grown. Farm pigs have an appetite to match their size, which can make it very difficult to keep one as a pet. The pot belly pig, however makes a great family-friendly pet because it is social by nature and also highly intelligent. There a many different types of pot belly, or miniature pigs that can be kept as pets. Here are the types and descriptions of each.

Vietnamese Pot Belly Pigs – This is the most popular breed of pot belly pig in households today. The average height of a Vietnamese pot belly pig is about 14 inches and their average weight ranges between 50-150 pounds. They make great family pets, are very smart and are gentle and loyal by nature.

African Pygmy or Guinea Hog – These miniature pigs generally weigh between 20-40 pounds and reach an average height of 14-22 inches. They’re highly intelligent, active and alert. They’re characterized by their straight backs and they’re very friendly and bond quickly with people.

Juliani Pigs – These are also called the painted miniature pig. They’e usually only about 10-16 inches tall and weigh only about 15-50 pounds. They’re gentle like the Vietnamese pot belly pig and make great family pets.

Ossabaw Island Pig – These pigs are about 14-20 inches tall and weigh between 25-90 pounds. They have a great temperament, are highly intelligent and bond well with people. They can live up to 25 years so are a huge commitment but make loving companions.

Yucatan Pig – These pigs are also called the Mexican hairless pig. Some Yucatan pigs are small, weighing between 50-100 pounds while other larger Yucatans can be up to 200 pounds. They grow to be between 16-24 inches in height.

As always, before adopting a pot belly pig, remember to do your research. Owning a pot belly pig is a huge responsibility but is also very rewarding. Research the different breeds of miniature pigs before choosing one that’s right for your family. Also always adopt. There are many abandoned pot belly pigs out there that need a good home, so call around to local animal shelters or search online for a pot belly pig rescue center in your area.

How to Recognize Your Potbelly Pig’s Emotions

August 17, 2010
Pigs are very intelligent animals and it’s very easy to tell how they are feeling. Their feelings are much more recognizable than a lot of other household pets. It’s great because I don’t ever have to guess what our potbelly pigs want or how they are feeling. If Leann is grouchy, she will make a loud “grrring” noise and if she’s excited, she will make “oofing” sounds when Leann gets excited for her food.

When Leann is happy, she smiles and wants to be cuddly. I love it when our potbelly pigs want cuddles. Leann and Daisy love their tummies and backs scratched with a back scratcher. They also love to sleep next to us on the floor or even in our bed. The other day my dad cuddled with Daisy on the floor and scratched her tummy with a back scratcher. Daisy laid down on her side for about twenty minutes. Potbelly pigs are very needy animals, however. If Daisy or Leann don’t get their cuddles for the day, then they are grouchy. Usually they will ignore us, get into trouble, or be annoyingly loud if we don’t give them cuddles.