Did you know that pigs are the fourth most intelligent animal on the planet? They are fourth on the list after humans, primates, dolphins and whales. Most of us can’t keep a whale or a dolphin as a pet (for obvious reasons) so if intelligence rates high on your choice of pet, you really should consider pot-bellied pigs.
Pigs are very affectionate, social and intelligent beings and contrary to popular belief aren’t smelly by nature, it’s only the way they are kept that has given them this reputation. Pigs are generally clean and make good pets for people who are prone to allergies as they are furless.
Before getting a pig you need to consider if you can provide it with a healthy environment. Needless to say they’re not a good choice if you live in an apartment. If you don’t have the time to spend with your pig, it may develop destructive behavior if bored – pigs love rooting and digging! It’s essential to provide it with time, attention and mental stimulation.
Being highly intelligent, pigs can be trained to do tricks just like dogs. They can even be house trained in the same way as a dog. You just need a little patience and time and before you know it your pig will know not to make a mess indoors. They respond to praise and kindness so always praise your pig profusely if it has done well.
Pigs can be very stubborn and headstrong sometimes and if they aren’t socialized properly they can become territorial and aggressive. While it is rare, they can bite and so aren’t ideal pets for small children.
If you live in a hot area, you must provide your pig with a means of cooling off. Pigs perspire like humans and don’t do well in excessive heat. A kiddy pool in the backyard will provide your pig with the chance to cool off when it’s hot. If it’s cold on the other hand, you have to provide warmth for your pig, the ideal temperature for pigs is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Commercially prepared pot-bellied pig food is available but because pigs love variety you should supplement your pig’s diet with fruits and vegetables and make sure fresh water is always available.
Because pigs can live up to 15 years you have to be absolutely sure you can make such a long-term commitment before buying one. Pigs are not low maintenance pets and you should do proper research before even considering getting one.