have dogs or cats as pets. Since 1986, some people in the United States
have chosen Vietnamese
Potbelly Pigs as
pets. A man named Keith Connell introduced these pigs into North America, intending to sell
them to zoos.
Soon however, individuals
became interested in these pigs as pets. At first they were very
now they cost no more than purebred
cats and dogs.
pigs have been marketed
pigs. They are miniature only when compared to other domestic
pigs, which average 1,000 pounds or more. Reports differ on how much
pigs typically weigh—some say 70-150 pounds and others say 100–250
That’s a wide range! The point is: potbelly pigs are big! They are not
considered to be intelligent
resources say that pigs are the fourth most intelligent animal. Monkeys
first, dolphins are second, whales are third, and pigs fourth. Pigs
have a good
memory and learn quickly. Pigs can be house broken and can be taught to
litter box, much like a cat.
They spend a lot of time sniffing
around. Their sense of
smell is so
keen that they can smell something that is 25 feet underground! This
them well when they live in the wild, because they can find food
sense of smell can also help humans. Some pigs are trained to assist law enforcement
officers. They can
sniff out drugs, just like dogs.
heard the sayings: “Dirty as a pig.” “Stink like a pig.” “Sweat
like a hog.” All these sayings are misleading. Pigs are not dirty and
smell! On top of that, they are not capable of sweating! If pigs have
confined space, they keep it clean. (Beware however, when they are
their own space, they are not so neat.) Perhaps you’ve seen pictures of
in the mud. To pigs, to get muddy is
not getting dirty. Pigs cover themselves in mud to keep cool. They do
sweat glands like people do.
a well-deserved reputation
for being messy
eaters, so if you’re accused of “eating like a pig,” this is not a compliment!
If you chew with your mouth open
or smack your lips when you eat, then you do eat like a pig! They seem
their food. they can
however, close their nostrils
when digging in the dirt, looking for food.
social animals. In the wild, they live in groups called sounders. Like
pigs can be difficult to live with if they don’t know who’s the boss.
to establish yourself as the “top pig.” You set the rules. Consistency
is important when training pigs; set limits you can live with. Along
lines, because pigs are social animals, they may get bored if left home
A friend of mine had a pig that ate the wallpaper off the walls when it
bored. It was not a pretty picture!
that pigs live a long life when compared to other animals. The estimate
potbelly pigs live from 15 to 30 years. Of course, how long they live
on factors such as how much exercise a pig gets, if their weight is
control, if they receive their vaccinations
regularly, and if they are examined regularly by a veterinarian.
a pet potbelly pig would make a cute and cuddly pet, consider the characteristics of
pigs carefully. Do not be deceived
by people who say that
will stay small if you control their food. This is not true. In fact,
underfeeding a pig can be harmful. Cute piglets grow up to be large
under the right circumstances, they can make wonderful pets.
by: Jeanne Swafford
from Teachers' Domain, http://www.teachersdomain.org.
Partridge Films and Educational Broadcasting
Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Collection funded by the
U.S. Department of Education