BRINGING HOME YOUR
NEW PET POT BELLY PIG
Your new pet will have the mentality of a 1 or 2 year old child when it is full-grown. It will be like having a toddler in your home for a period of up to 30 years. They can learn to do just about anything a dog can do but they learn it much quicker because everything you teach them is done with food motivation (treats).
If your pet will be indoors for any amount of time you will need to "Child Proof " your lower kitchen cabinets for food and poisons. Your new pet actually has a functioning brain that can process thought and think.
They are extremely smart and as such can figure things out on the level of what a child could such as how to open cupboards that may have what they perceive as food. Over and over we tell people to put child locks on their lower kitchen cabinets and over and over again we get calls from owners when their pets are about 3, 4, or 5 months old. They tell us that they never believed it but their pets not only learned to get into their kitchen cupboards but also were smart enough to realize they would be in trouble. To avoid the trouble they waited until no one was around and then opened the cupboard, ate the food, put the empty box back in the cupboard and then closed the cupboard door.
Their smartness never stops to amaze even those of us that have been around them for a long time. Never underestimate your pet's ability and especially when it has anything to do with food
It is true that some Pot Belly Pigs do like television and do get favorite television shows. Some may have little temper tantrums or decide to get mad and ignore you if you shut off their favorite show. In homes that have music more than television your pet may have some music it likes better than others. It is not uncommon for some pig owners to turn their television or radio on for their pet when they plan to be gone all day.
If you don't want your Pot Belly Pig to sleep in your bed for the rest of its life you need to start it out with sleeping in its own bed. Pot Belly Pigs learn quickly where their beds are and do not like to change. They take napes throughout the day and they sleep all night They love blankets and they love to drag them around or cover themselves up in them to keep warn. Many people who are starting out with a baby Pot Belly Pig obtain a used children's playpen to keep their pet in when they are not home until the pet has learned the house rules.
We have probably all heard the horror stories of some individuals who brought home a Pot Belly Pig and it tore their house apart. Bringing home a Pot Belly Pig, especially one that is not a very young baby, means taking the same precautions you would if you were brining home an adult dog. You certainly would not let an
adult dog that had never been in yow home before run around your house while you left for work. Chances are that if you did so you would come home to a torn up house. Pot Belly Pigs, or any pet for that matter, are no exception. Do not leave your pet alone in your home until you are sure it understands and respects the house rules and is house broken.
Baby Pot Belly Pigs normally will go through an initial period of learning not to scream when picked up. This is common and ends quickly when they learn that you control the treats. Although many Pot Belly Pigs learn to deal with being picked up, and some actually enjoy it, there is always some that just never are happy being picked up. They will still come to you and lay on you but there are some Pot Belly Pigs that will just really not like the idea of being held. This is one of the reasons it is important to leash train your pet, so that it can easily be taken with you when you want it to. Baby Pot Belly Pigs who are young may also go through a period of about 2 weeks when they will shake off and on. If this happens make sure first that your pet is warm and not shaking because it is cold. If it is not cold chances are that it is going through an initial adjustment period which normally lasts under 2 weeks. We don't know why this happens but people always tell us how amazed they were that just around 2 weeks into having their pet the periodic shaking stopped. This is not to be confused with your pet shaking in excess, which could suggest a medical problem.
We always suggest that the first 2 weeks you bring your new pet home you go ahead and over indulge it in treats (raisins, grapes, Cheerios, etc.) in order to bond more easily. Your pet will quickly learn to come to you to receive the treats and learn to roll over to have its tummy scratched. After you have bonded with your pet you can then cut back on the treats. We want to emphasize that when we say treats we do not mean a handful of treats at a time. We mean using something like 1 Cheerio or 1 raisin at a time. Your pet should be willing to take this from your hand gently without biting. Should you feel that your pet is grabby or appear to try to nip to get the treat we suggest you take your finger and tap it on the top of the nose and say "no", wait a few seconds, then say "start again, be gentle". If they follow the direction they will then receive the treat. People are always amazed at how quickly their pet Pot Belly learns what words and phrases mean.
If you have room in your back yard, it is nice to provide your pet with a wading pool to lay in when it is hot outside. This also serves as a simple way to ensure you pet does not run out of water. Pot Belly Pigs just love to tip over their water dishes hoping to find food. Since Pot Belly Pigs do not sweat they have no way to cool off if they are not provided continuous water to drink. A Pot Belly Pig can easily get over heated and die if it does not have water. If you do not have room for a kiddy pool we suggest you either secure their water dish or use something like a ceramic one that is heavy enough that your pet can not knock it over.
Since Pot Belly Pigs do not sweat they do not have an odor. Unlike a dog that begins to smell like a dog within days of having a bath, your pet pig will not smell bad unless it has gotten into something.
Since Pot Belly Pigs do not have fur (they have hair) people are not allergic to them or their saliva. For people who could never before have a pet due to allergies, the Pot Belly Pig may be the solution.
Pot Belly Pigs are not a pet for everyone. If you do not want to deal with toddler behavior and are not home much they would NOT make a good pet for you. Unlike a cat or dog that can be left alone for a day or so if provided sufficient food and water, a pig can not be left alone. Since Pot Belly Pigs have no mechanism to tell them they are full, they could easily eat themselves to death. They must have someone to give them food and water every morning and evening. That means if you take a trip without your pet you will either need to have someone come in to care for your pet or board it. A Pot Belly Pig is a commitment. Since, they become very bonded to their owners they do not do well if they must be placed elsewhere (some may become so upset they can have heart attacks or strokes). Taking one as a pet is with the understanding that they will be with you hopefully for life.
They can sleep indoors, outdoors, or both. Ideally they will have an area outside to play in. If they are kept outside you will need to provide them with housing (a doghouse is great) and blankets. Pot Belly Pigs like to be warm and they generate a great deal of heat. Pot Belly Pig owners are always joking that if they lost all the heat in their home and it was freezing cold they could survive by cuddling up to their Pot Belly Pig. If you have a pool it is important to teach your pet how to paddle to the steps so that in the event it falls in it will know where to go. Depending on the size of your pet will depend if they can get out of the pool from the steps themselves or if they have to wait on the steps until you come home. Pot Belly Pigs can dog paddle in water for a short time and thus if you teach them where the stairs are they should be able to make it to the stairs in the event they fall in. We have always recommended this to people and so far we have not heard of any incidents where the pig did not swim to the steps if it fell in. But remember, if you do not teach it where the steps are it has no chance of finding them in a panic.
Pot Belly Pigs normally will get along with other animals. They usually are not the aggressor and to the contrary are usually the ones to run the other direction. The question is, are the other animals willing to get along with the Pot Belly Pig. If your dog does not like other animal's chances are good it will not like a Pot Belly Pig. A dog can do extreme damage to a Pot Belly Pig and easily kill it by biting it. Never leave your pet alone with other animals that you are not sure of the compatibility of.