Pot Belly Pigs For Sale
So you are looking for a good pet and have heard that a pot bellied pig makes a good one. Most people, however, do not fully understand what is entailed in keeping an exotic animal as a pet. Things such as, appropriate climate, food and water regiments, housing, veterinary care, trouble the animal may cause, training methods for the animal and other various specifics.
Before this you should ask yourself whether or not you, and your family or partner, if you have either, think that a pot bellied pig is the right choice for you. More specifically, do you have the time and dedication to devote to the care and maintenance of a pet, or do you have a fast paced lifestyle that leaves little room for pets or anything else. It is something of importance to consider before actually purchasing a pot bellied pig, since those with very quickly paced lifestyles will often find themselves mired in a bog of overwhelming responsibility and irritation.
Pros of Owning a Pot Bellied Pig
These creatures are very smart animals, in addition, they are easily trained, often as easily as a dog. They can be trained to wear and walk on a leash, become house trained, sometime they can even be trained to do tricks. Pigs are generally quite playful and enjoy human companionship and can develop deep bonds with their respective caretakers. They also are a fairly long lived animal with the average life span of a pot bellied pig being about 12 to 15 years.
Cons of Owning a Pig
Pot Bellied Pigs are easily bored and without a fairly regular, or sometimes constant, depending on the pig you have chosen or are considering, source of stimulation may become hostile or destructive. As stated before, pot bellied pigs are very intelligent, this is a con as well as pro when combined with their near insatiable appetite. The reason for this is that they are smart enough to know where you keep your food and will do anything they can to get to it. This can include opening food cabinet doors with their snouts, rooting through the trash or garbage, or even going after children that might have food which they will not share. This leads in to another con, they can become both aggressive and territorial, seeking dominance from other animals, namely other pigs. Rooting can become another common problem; pigs use their snouts to dig around on the ground to explore but in a home the results of this exploration can be disastrous. A pig owner should be ready to clean up many messes and replace torn carpeting, ripped up garbage bags, overturned furniture and so on.
How to train a pig
Pot Bellied Pigs respond very, very well to positive reinforcement, such as giving food for proper behavior as well as petting and praise. But be advised that they respond very badly to physical reinforcement, slapping, smacking or any other form of physical reprisal for bad behavior. First the pig needs to understand that you are dominant, but not a danger. If you do not establish your dominance then the animal is very unlikely to listen to you and may behave towards you with aggression (called dominance aggression which occurs in other household animals like dogs rather frequently). You can establish your dominance by consistent rule setting; when one of these rules is broke a stern, "No," or withholding of food should be an appropriate disciplinary measure, if done regularly and early on.
Feeding and Exercise
Pigs have big appetites just like humans and are not picky when it comes to meal time. And just the same as us they can easily develop weight issues that can lead to health problems later in the pig's life. The best way to avoid these problems is by keeping your pig healthy. This can be accomplished through regular exercise, a feeding routine, limited treats and a healthy but satisfying diet. The best kind of diet is one which contains a good deal of fiber and is very low in calories. There are many types of feed, some that are made specially for your pot bellied pig and some that are just general pig feed. It would be ideal to use the higher end types of feed that are expressly designed for consumption by pot bellied pigs. Some well known and respected pig food companies include, Mazuri and Ross Mill Farms.
Pot Belly Vet Care
An appropriate veterinarian for your pot bellied pig should be chosen well in advance of any medical mishaps. Indeed, it is always wise to contact a veterinarian not long after you have acquired your chosen pig. However, you should not take your pig to the nearest veterinary clinic as soon as you get your pig because it will not be adequately trained and may become hostile or frightened. The pig should be trained to be carried in one's arms, leash trained and able to sit quietly in a carrier or cage for ease of car transport. The last thing you should do before taking your pig to a inspection is to regularly touch and rub the pig in all the areas that a vet might to check for health problems like physical abnormalities.