What You Should Know Before Getting a Pot Bellied Pig – Tips from Lucy’s Pet Care

Are you looking for a pet that’s different from most?  One that is super-cute and smart?  Is “Charlotte’s Web” your favorite book?  Well, perhaps a pot bellied pig might be your perfect pet!  Here are a few things to consider, before making the choice to add Wilbur to your family.

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ZONING/PERMITS/REGISTRATION:

You’ll want to check your city/county ordinances to make sure owning a pot bellied pig is allowed.  You certainly don’t want to add a new member to your family, only to be told it’s illegal and you’ll have to rehome your new hooved baby.

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YARD SPACE:

Pigs love soil!  Soil and grass have important nutrients that are beneficial to pigs.  And, it’s a good thing for you to encourage their rooting instinct.  So, be sure you don’t mind having holes in your yard.

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GENERAL

Pigs do shed their bristles.

They do have some odor.

They do establish pecking orders (which will include their human family, if the only pig in the home).

They live for food and it’s good to give them personal space while they’re eating.

They are extremely intelligent and require mental and emotional stimulation.  Much like with dogs, they enjoy puzzles (ones that involve food are the best!).  If you don’t keep them occupied, they can get in to mischief.  They are also leash-trainable and LOVE going for walks!  All of the sights and smells are very enjoyable for pigs.

They don’t like to be hugged or cuddled.  But, they do enjoy good snout-to-nose affection!

They are very sensitive to the sun.

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BEDDING

Timothy hay is a great choice as it’s comfortable for them to burrow into, plus, they can eat it!  Straw should be avoided as it can break down and cause eye irritation and infections.  And, alfalfa hay should be avoided as it can cause crystal formation in your male pig’s urine, if ingested.

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FOOD

Fresh or (low sodium) frozen vegetables, fresh lettuce, pig pellets and timothy hay are great options.  Fruits should be limited, because of the high sugar content.  Let them graze in your yard, as the grasses provide probiotics and the wandering is additional exercise for your pig.  Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water.  Male pigs, especially, are prone to crystals in their urine, so you’ll want to closely monitor their drinking habits.  You can encourage more drinking by adding a small amount of fruit juice to their water (if you notice very dark colored urine or diminished urination).

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