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How to take really Good Care of your Prized Pet Pig

The most popular variety of pet pig is the Pot-bellied Pig and
its variations because they are smaller than other breeds of
swine. Despite what many people might think, pigs make great
pets. They are as smart as a dog if not smarter and live longer
(15 to 20 years or a little longer.)

But if you are considering a pet pig, you should understand that
pigs do not stay small. They have been bred through the centuries
as livestock, which usually means the larger the better, and most
pigs can reach around five hundred pounds or more and grow to be
as long as an average human. Even the pot-bellied pig breeds can
reach almost two hundred pounds and will be the size of a medium-
sized dog at maturity. As pigs reach maturity, especially male
pigs, they become aggressive and territorial. It is better to
plan ahead for their eventual move from the family home into a
pen for the safety of your family.

To have your pet pig in the house exclusively is not good for it
in any event. Pigs need outdoor time and ideally should be kept
outdoors most of the time. Pigs are grazers and need to do so in
order for their health and immune system to work properly. It has
consistently been found that pigs confined to a house or cages
have only half the lifespan as a pig that is kept outdoors and
let in the house occasionally.

Pigs love to play with toys and you should spend some time with
your pig in order to find out what toys it likes best. Some pigs
like to be around their humans all the time. You should keep this
in mind when building a pen for your pig. Pigs have similar
social habits as humans and you can not assume that leaving a pig
alone for hours will keep it happy. If you do you will have an
unhappy pig on your hands, which leads to health and behavior
problems for the pig. When you get a pig as a pet you should
assume that it is part of the family, period, and treat it as
such. Pigs need the socialization even more than other pets.

Pigs can and do suffer from depression when they become
neglected. They need stimulation and interaction. Essentially
pigs are high maintenance pets, but the benefit is a very
intelligent, happy, friendly pig pet that will love you. The
closer you keep the pig to its natural habitat the better for the
pig. If you plan a pen with plenty of territory, provide shelter,
water, toys and maybe even a playmate if you are going to be away
and not be able to provide the pig with company, you should have
a happy pet.

Here are the elements that you will need for a pen for your pigs:
It is best to just fence whatever yard you have and let him roam
as he will instead of fencing just a corner for the pigs. Pigs
need territory. You will need to provide a shelter for them to go
into when it gets too hot outside, and a wallow or mud hole for
them to roll in when it gets hot. This will also protect their
skin from getting sunburned. Provide a sand box to soak up sun
for a good hot rub, and toys for the pig to play with while in
the backyard. You will need edible vegetation for the pig to
graze on such as dandelions and edible grasses. DO NOT use
pesticides or chemicals in your backyard or on your plants were
your pig can get to them and eat them. The same is true if you
have a pool in your backyard. The splashing of chemical-laden
water onto the grass will make your pig sick.

It has been found that dogs do not make very good companions for
pigs as they are too hyper and loud for the pig's comfort. A
mature male pig will have little patience with a loud dog that
wants to play all the time and will become upset and may even
attack the dog. It is safer to pen the dog away from the pig,
especially if you have a hyper dog. Pigs do enjoy the company of
cats as they are quiet and make good sleeping partners.

If your pig becomes too territorial you will need to correct the
problem quickly by providing enough space for him and maybe even
getting a companion pig to help him develop appropriate
territorial instincts. An aggressive pig can usually be retrained
if you catch the behavior problem early enough. Be a responsible
pet owner and pay attention to your pet pig's needs. In order to
fully understand you pig you should read up on a pig's natural
behavior and try to accommodate your pet as much as possible.

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