So you want a potbellied pig for a pet? You’re kidding me, right? Why on earth would anyone want a pig for a pet? Well……let’s look into this matter a little further and find out. First of all, pigs are really intelligent. No, I’m not kidding! They are among the most intelligent animals on planet earth. You might argue that your dog is the smartest little critter because he can take commands like rolling over or shaking hands, but guess what? A pig is smarter than a dog. They only fall behind dolphins, elephants, and chimps in intelligence. In the 1990s, pigs were taught very quickly to move the cursors on computers and could distinquish between scribbles that they were seeing for the first time.
Also, pigs are very social animals. They love to play with one another, and like dogs, they will engage in play fighting. They will work together and show empathy and compassion for each other, and seem to learn from each other. Research has shown that they are good at mazes and can find hidden objects.
Believe it or not, pigs are actually considered clean animals. The only reason they roll in the mud is because they don’t have sweat glands, and they do this simply to cool off. Also, rooting is an innate part of a potbellied pig’s behavior and can help the animal cool down. Unlike some animals, they do keep their bathroom and their sleeping areas separate.
However, as a result of being so intelligent, pigs are curious and easily bored. Therefore, they must have activities to keep them entertained. If given the proper care, training, and an environment with boundaries, they can be charming pets. By nature, pigs are always hungry. It would be wise to consult a veterinarian to determine how much and exactly what to feed your pet.
A potbellied pig’s weight ranges from 90-150 lbs., and its height varies from 16 to 30 inches tall. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ pig. According to Susan Armstrong-Madgison, owner and president of Pig Placement Network and Rushland, Pennsylvania’s Ross Mill Farm, pigs are ‘genetically diverse.’ Dr. Daniel Gray, of the Gentle Vet Animal Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin, states, “like cats and dogs, a potbellied pig’s physical characteristics change with, ‘creative breeding’ that is constantly occurring.”
Nevertheless, owning a potbellied pig is not for everyone. Some people mistakenly think it’s like owning a dog because a pig can be easily trained to the leash. If you want a quiet pet, then a pig is definitely not a good choice because pigs are noisy. Also, pigs are headstrong and stubborn. Owning a potbellied pig as a pet requires “patience, care and understanding.” So, it might behoove you to research the subject thoroughly before purchasing a potbellied pig just to make sure a pig is a perfect fit for your family.