Cats and dogs make wonderful pets, but some residents in El Paso, TX are looking for something a little more unique.
If you are looking for a new pet, have you considered adopting a potbellied pig?
Potbellied pigs are loving animals and as loyal as any dog, but they are also smart and fun to be around. Sadly, people have many misconceptions about potbellied pigs which can lead to problems.
Here are five things you need to know about potbellied pigs before bringing one home to El Paso, TX.
There are lots of names for potbellied pigs.
There are lots of different names out there for potbellied pigs, but each of these names describes the same breed. ‘Vietnamese Potbellied Pig’ is one of the most common. The others include ‘Miniature Pot Belly Pig’ and the ‘Chinese Potbellied Pig.’ Some breeders even develop their own names to market their pigs under, like ‘European Bluebutts.’
Potbellied pigs are smaller, not small.
Some potbellied pig owners have the wrong idea about how large a potbellied pig will become when they grow up. An adult potbellied pig can range from 100 to 250 pounds. Although potbellied pigs are heavy, they are compact animals which are not usually larger than a larger dog breed. An average potbellied pig is between 120 to 150 pounds. The average potbellied pig is between 16 and 26 inches tall.
Teacup and Micro Mini Pigs are regular potbellied pigs.
Some breeders market Teacup or Micro Mini Pigs as separate breeds, but this is not true. All potbellied pigs in North America and Hawaii come from the same line. The difference is that these ‘smaller’ pigs are selectively bred and undernourished to create a smaller size. These smaller pigs have a typically shorter lifespan than larger potbellied pigs and suffer from more health problems.
Potbellied pigs need a special diet.
All pigs love to eat, but it is important for potbellied pig owners to feed their pets the correct food. Owners can help their pigs stay healthy by choosing to feed them special pigchow. Potbellied pigs should never eat dog or cat food, and it is important to avoid feeding them animal fat.
Potbellied pigs are still pigs.
It may seem obvious, but some potbellied pig owners forget that their pets are still pigs. This means they have the same natural instincts as other pigs.
Most potbellied pigs love to root, or dig, in the dirt. This is a natural behavior and owners need to accept it as part of having a pig. Owners may want to provide a rooting box to limit damage to their backyard.
Due to their dry skin, potbellied pigs tend to scratch themselves against anything available, including your favorite sofa. Provide a scratching post to let them relieve themselves without damaging your home.
Pigs and mud naturally go together. Hanging out in a cool mud hole is a favorite activity for any sized pig. Owners of potbellied pigs should be able to give a place to their pets to wallow in the mud, especially on warmer days.
The veterinary team at East El Paso Animal Hospital can help keep your potbellied pig healthy. Call 915-593-1712 to schedule an appointment.