Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Pet Talk

July 25, 2013

Bringing home 'Babe': What you should know before getting a pet pig

When most people think of their ideal pet, a certain breed of dog or cat instantly comes to mind. However, for those who love more exotic pets and are willing to put in a little more time and effort, a pot-bellied pig can be an ideal choice.

Pot-bellied pigs, including mini and micro pigs, can make good indoor and outdoor pets," said Philippa Sprake, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM). "Pigs are social animals and each has their own personality.

While pigs are unbelievably intelligent (and adorable), there are a few things pet-owners should know before bringing little Wilbur home to stay.

The first thing future owners should do is check with their local homeowners’ association as well as their home’s zoning regulations to ensure that pigs can be kept on the property. Pigs can be extremely noisy, especially when adapting to a new environment, and the last thing any new pet owner wants is an angry neighbor or landlord trying to have the pet removed.

"When it comes to deciding on a piglet, it is very important to choose one that is at least 8 weeks old, weaned, and comes from a reputable breeder to ensure that it is healthy," said Sprake. "Also, even though they are called miniature, micro pigs can still grow to around 40 pounds and full size or traditional pot belly pigs can reach 100 pounds or more, so it is important to see the parents of the pig you are planning on taking home to evaluate your piglet’s potential adult size."

Pigs can be trained very similarly to dogs using positive reinforcement techniques such as clicker training. They are also highly food-motivated, so it is important to make sure that their treats are low in calories, such as fresh fruits or vegetables, in order to prevent obesity.

Text Only
Pet Talk
BBQ My Way
AP Video
Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Top 5@5: Signs You Love Your Pooch More Than Your Spouse Raw Video of Whale Surfacing near Boats Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' World's Tallest Horse and Donkey Visit Fair Raw: Lost Baby Seal in Swedish City's Harbor Police escort loose deer through Marietta Square Fallen tree enables chimp escape at KC Zoo Dog Reunited with Family After 17 Months Calif. Bill Would End SeaWorld Killer Whale Shows Super Cute Dogs Get Married Adorable Hedgehog is Latest Twitter Superstar Adorable Koala Selfies are the Cutest Things You'll See Today Raw: Twin Polar Bear Cubs Named in Germany Paralyzed Indiana Dog Gets Wheelchair Great Cats Show Off Their Hunting Skills At Myrtle Beach Wildlife Preserve Raw: Belgium Zoo Debuts New Pandas Myanmar Monkey Species on Brink of Extinction Milwaukee Brewers' Adopted Mascot Is Big Hit Two-Legged Boxer Pup Takes First Trip to the Beach