Friday, July 20, 2012

A Pot-Bellied Pig in Georgia

"Come here, quick!" my husband said, as he stood at the motel window, holding the curtain back.  I hurried over to the window, and lo and behold, there was a gentleman in the parking lot, walking his not so mall pet pig!  I rushed to get my iphone, opened the door, and hustled out to the sidewalk behind the motel, still wearing my pjs, and said to the man, "May I take a picture of your pig?"  He smiled and said, "Of course, you can!"  And then, brave as can be, I asked, "May I touch him?"  "Yes," he replied.  I touched that pig on his back and on his head and felt his bristly hide.  A neat experience, and one I had never had.

Not knowing much about pigs as pets, I googled pet pigs, and found out some interesting facts.  Most of the information referred to pot bellied pigs, and my husband assures me that was indeed a big pot-bellied pig that we saw as we were passing through Georgia on our way down to Florida for our granddaughter's birthday celebration this past April.

Did you know that pigs can live 15-20 years?  That is one consideration if a person is thinking about having a pot-bellied pig for a pet.  Some folks get pets, tire of them, or because of other valid reasons, take them to shelters.  Not all get adopted as we know.  So, getting any pet means a long and loving commitment.

Most of us have a vision of pigs eating slop and snorting, and rolling in the mud.  But, it is very important to feed a pet pig the right food.  If they eat anything and everything, they will gain weight here, there, and everywhere.  Fat around their hearts is harmful to their health.  Fat hanging over their eyes can cause them to be blind.  Also, since they have short legs, being overweight makes it hard for them to walk.

Just like your dog or cat, pigs should be spayed or neutered.  When pet pigs become adults, their strength and hormones can make them hard to handle.  They also need vaccinations to protect them against disease and their hooves must be trimmed regularly.

Where do pet pigs sleep?  They like being outside, but they like being warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  So, providing them with a heater when it is cold, and a fan when it is hot, will make them comfortable.  They also like to burrow down into a pile of straw to sleep.

Are they loving animals?  The information on the site I visited said indeed they are.  Some can be real babies and even like to be on their owner's lap.  They can be very lovable and are sensitive.  Ignored, they might act the same as a toddler who is ignored and exhibit less than acceptable behaviors.

Pet pigs are interesting and cute.  I have no idea if they like to be hugged, rubbed, talked to, or patted.  But, I learned a lot after this chance encounter with the pig at the motel, and respect those who have chosen to make a pot-bellied pig a part of their families.

This post written by Pam Todd, whose Bags and More by Pam shop features hand-crocheted items for people, pets, and homes.  Pam is a member of the Crafting for Animals Guild on Art Fire, and a supporter of the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee.

1 comment:

Fisher and Staff said...

What a neat article! I can't imagine having a pet pig, but you just never know. - Jobi