Exotic Pet Veterinarians For Your Pot-Bellied Pigs Pot-Bellied pigs are intelligent, affectionate, curious, playful, clean, and easy to train. For many owners, pigs offer a non-allergenic alternative to furred or feathered companions. However, a potbellied pig can make demanding pets, and many owners become overwhelmed by their specific needs. Raising a Pot-Bellied The Pot-Bellied pig lives an average of 12 to 18 years, ranging up to 20 years or more. Although they are referred to as “miniature,” these pets usually weigh 125 pounds or more when fully grown. The reference to “miniature” is in comparison to other types of pigs, those kept for food production. Basic pig care requires regular veterinary visits, annual vaccinations, good quality pig food, and hoof and tusk trims. Of course, all pet pigs need to be spayed or neutered to enhance their bonding relationship with the owner and for everyone’s safety. Intact pigs can become surly and aggressive. Spaying and neutering your pet pig also helps to prevent reproductive cancers and health issues later on in life. Pigs are social animals, needing lots of attention and interaction. The owner must spend time in social activity, grooming, and play for the Pot-Bellied to feel happy and content. Their intelligence makes them curious, playful, and sensitive but they can also be head-strong. Without appropriate stimulation, Pot-Bellied pigs become bored and even destructive. Exercise is essential for the health and well-being of this pet. Regular exercise and access to the outdoors is certainly essential, one method for controlling the pet’s weight. Pigs also instinctively like to “root” or dig with their snouts. An area of soft dirt in the yard, set aside for this specific purpose, can fulfill this need. Pigs seek out food with great gusto and can learn to open the refrigerator, cupboards, garbage cans, and pantry doors. This drive for food can lead to begging or demanding behaviors if not controlled. Pigs must be taught respect by setting rules and boundaries. Successful owners employ behavioral techniques to set boundaries, using positive reinforcement to instill manners and respect. As with any other exotic pet, check local regulations to be sure it is permissible to keep a potbellied pig in your home. PIGS Animal Sanctuary is an excellent website with good information and resources.