When maintained on a proper diet (grain-based without meat by-products), the pig has no body odor and the pig's waste is odorless. It is commonly said that parenting a pet pig is like parenting an inquisitive two-year old - one that will remain so for ten to fifteen years. Pigs are also inquisitive and need toys, games, and training to keep them stimulated. The pig parent must “childproof” their house, installing childproof drawer locks on lower drawers, making sure that doors are closed and that food and harmful things are kept out of reach. For example, a pig parent recently forgot to make sure the garage door was fully closed and discovered that her pig was missing. She found the pig, and what was left of her five pound bag of potatoes in the garage.
The issue of food:
Pigs will eat just about anything. That's where the expression, “eats like a pig,” comes from! Unlike cats, who generally will stop eating when they are full,
A pig will eat itself sick. It will also, if given the opportunity, eat things that are harmful to the pig, even fatal. The proper pig parent will feed their pig a potbellied pig food, or, if not available, a hog, rabbit, horse, or other grain-based feed with no more that 14% protein. Generally, piglets under 3 months old should get ½ to 1 cup of feed a day, and older pigs 1 ½ to 2 cups a day. This amount should be divided into a morning and evening feeding. Unless the pig spends the day grazing in the yard, the diet should be supplemented with fruit and leafy vegetables. (Avoid peas, potatoes, corn, and other starchy vegetables that are fattening. Also limit fruit because of the natural sugar content.) Iceberg lettuce is good, as it has almost no calories and provides bulk. Frozen grapes and cucumber slices also make good treats for tricks well done or lessons well learned. Other good treats are air popped popcorn (plain, no butter), carrot slices, and individual pieces of dry cereal like Cheerios and Chex. The easiest way to be sure that the pig is not overfed is to measure out the treats for the day. To supplement all of this, the pig parent should also daily feed the pig a children's complete vitamin tablet (any brand is fine).
Pigs can be potty trained:
The potty box should have low sides as pigs do not like to step over things to use the potty, and should be large enough so the pig can turn around. Beware of slippery bottoms- use a non-slip rubber mat under the litter if needed. The round “dishes” used for draining water heaters make ideal and inexpensive potty boxes. Do not use clay-based kitty litter, as the pig could inhale it or eat it, both causing life-threatening medical problems. An inexpensive and absorbent material is pine shavings. Cedar is not recommended.
Be sure that you have located a veterinarian in advance of obtaining a pet pig as many vets do not see nor treat them. Having a good knowledgeable vet is vital for the pigs welfare. In conclusion, again let it be stated, a person considering a pig as a pet can be assured of a loving and intelligent pet for many years, if they are willing to learn about their pet and make a long-term commitment to pig parenthood. Noah's Ark Potbellied Pig Rescue and Sanctuary is available to help in educating the potential parent, and anyone interested in learning about the pig as a pet.
Noah's Ark Potbellied Pig Rescue and Sanctuary. is a non-profit educational organization that provides information and literature on the potbellied pig as a companion pet to those willing to learn about their pet and make a long-term commitment to pig parenthood.
Noah's Ark Potbellied Pig Rescue and Sanctuary is not involved in breeding nor do we encourage prospective pig owners to seek breeders to obtain their pets. We do encourage those who would like to parent pigs to seek out a pig shelter or humane society and adopt a pig needing a home. We have, on occasion, put people desiring to adopt a pig in touch with shelters or families wishing to place their pigs. We also make information available to communities that are considering zoning changes to help them make informed decisions based on facts about potbellied pigs rather than undocumented opinions and urban legends. Pig Parenting Is Not For Cowards Noah's Ark Potbellied Pig Rescue and Sanctuary. http://www.noahsarkpbprescue.org/