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The Potbellied Pig as a family pet.

The dwarf swine was officially developed in the 1960’s.  In 1985 Keith Connell was the person who originally imported potbellied pigs to Canada.  It was in 1986 that the potbellied pigs become very popular.  If the pigs’ weight is watched they can weigh as little as 100 to 200 pounds.  If their weight gets out of control your pig can tip the scales around 300 pounds.  Pigs can be easily housebroken and this was one of the reasons they became so popular as well as the fact they are smart.  Some ranking systems place them fourth on the list, behind humans, apes and dolphins. The potbellied pig can openly express their fondness for certain humans.

The potbellied pigs care is more similar to canine care than livestock care.  They should spend at least part of their day outside. It has been reported that serious aggression problems have been observed in pigs that are full-time indoor pets. This is due to their territorial and herd instincts.

Potbellied pig’s indoor accommodations range from a separate room with bedding, litter box and toys to large animal crates in a room.  Some owners pet proof their homes with non-skid mats and runners, to ramps that allow the adult pigs to avoid climbing stairs. The litter box needs to be big enough for the pig to turn around in and sides low enough to get easily in and out of.  Pigs love toys.  They play with a variety of balls; fetch toys or any toy with food.  Some people harness up their potbellied pig and take them for a walk.

Most pigs are fed twice a day.  Their diet consists of commercial, pelleted feed made especially for potbellied pigs, supplemented with fruits and vegetables.   Some owners even give their pigs a children’s chewable multi-vitamin daily.  They also like plain air-popped popcorn, and carrot slices.

In nature pigs are prey, not predators.  Even though pigs weigh 100 to 200 pounds they can still fall prey from predators, especially dogs. They must have a safe and secure place to stay during the time they spend outdoors.  In the summer they need plenty of fresh water, shade and sunscreen. They also need clean water to splash around in due to the fact they do not sweat.  Many owners provide a child’s plastic wading pool.  Even a spray mist from the hose in the summer works too.  Even though the pigs are given plenty of toys to play with, they even need the time outdoors to do “pig behavior” such as grazing, rooting and rolling on the ground.

You can find a more complete source of information on potbellied pigs on the following website: https://www.petpigs.com

Let me know how much you enjoyed this article.  I would welcome comments on how your care for your potbellied pig.  I also welcome photos of your family potbellied pig to showcase on my website.

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