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Caring for a Potbellied Pig

Potbellied pigs are becoming quite popular pets, and with good reason: they’re lovable, friendly, and super cute. They’re also very smart, and can learn to obey simple commands. Here, a Farmers Branch, TX vet discusses caring for potbellied pigs.

Research

Do plenty of research before adopting a pig. Although pigs are adorable, they can be feisty, and they do need a lot of attention. Unfortunately, many pet pigs end up being rehomed for this reason. Another thing to keep in mind is your pet’s expected adult size and life expectancy.

Housing

Your pet will need a spot to call his own. A small tent or sleeping box will work. You can also set up a pigpen outdoors. We also recommend setting aside a small part of your yard for your pig to root and play in.

Diet

We recommend getting a non-medicated food that is specifically formulated for potbellied pigs. Your pet can also have some veggies, and some bran or alfalfa hay for fiber. Obesity is very common in these guys, so stick to recommended serving sizes. Choose bowls that are fairly shallow. Avoid anything breakable, such as ceramic. Keep in mind that pigs are, by nature, very enthusiastic eaters. Your pet may figure out how to open the fridge or get into the trash!

Veterinary Care

In addition to regular exams, your little buddy will need several vaccinations. Parasite control and dental care are also important. You’ll also need to get your pig’s feet trimmed regularly. Follow your vet’s recommendations.

Litterbox

Potbellied pigs can be taught to use litterboxes indoors. Get a very shallow pan, as cat litterboxes are too high. You may want to try putting your pet’s water bowl in the litterbox: pigs sometimes urinate as they drink. Newspapers are good litter, as they are both cheap and absorbent. You can use wood chips, as long as you don’t use pine or cedar. Pigs can also learn to use a specific outdoor area as their potty.

Safety

Pigs don’t really get much traction on slippery surfaces, so you may want to put some blankets or throw rugs down on the floor. You’ll also need to do some pigproofing. Follow the same guidelines as you would for a toddler.

Do you have questions about caring for a potbellied pig? We can help! Call us, your local Farmers Branch, TX vet clinic, today!

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