Tips for Raising a Pot-Bellied Pig in the House

Posted by Allie Layos
National Geographic

Pot-bellied pigs are surprisingly clean creatures that make great house pets. 

Pigs aren't the first animal that comes to mind when choosing a new family pet; but maybe they should be, especially when it comes to the pot-bellied pig.

Pot-bellied pigs have been gaining popularity as household pets because they are intelligent, friendly and surprisingly clean. In the right situation, they can make a great addition to your household, but there are a few things to consider before bringing one of these pigs home.

Mirror
Mirror

Having a pot-bellied pig around the house is like bringing home a new baby, and you will need to put as much time into pig-proofing your home as you would when baby-proofing.

This means locks on your lower cabinets, pig-proofing your electrical sockets, and keeping all pesticides and dangerous chemicals out of reach. Pigs love to rub on things and are much stronger than they look, so it is also important to remove anything they can knock over while rubbing.

Many pigs do not like slick surfaces, so you may want to cover any slippery floors with throw rugs, at least until the pig becomes accustomed to the surface. You should also create a space that the pig can call its own, whether that be an entire room or just a section, and provide your pig with blankets and pillows for burrowing.

One of the other challenges you will have to confront with your pig will be house-breaking. House-breaking a pig is often easier than house-breaking a dog, as pigs have a natural propensity toward cleanliness. They like to "go" outside or in the same place every day.

Because of this, you should avoid using treats during the house-breaking process, as this will just distract the pig from what it does naturally. Just show the pig to the right place, and use lots of praise when you get the result you want.

National Geographic
National Geographic

Many pig owners use a combination of litter box training and outside training. Litter boxes should be larger and more shallow than a cat litter box, with no hood. Do not fill the pan with cat litter, as your pig may try and eat it. Instead, fill it with newspaper or wood chips.

Pot-bellied pigs are extremely intelligent. They can walk on a leash, and are often eager to learn tricks. Because of their intelligence, it is suggested that you provide them with toys to keep their minds stimulated.

One pig favorite is called a rooting box, which is simply a wooden box filled with stones, hay, or similar material with treats hidden throughout. Pigs love rooting around to find the treats, and will do so for hours. Just make sure that the fill material is not small enough to be ingested accidentally, and that the wood has been sanded to avoid splinters getting stuck in your pig's nose.

If you follow these guidelines, your life with your pig will be virtually unlimited. Pigs also live much longer than dogs, so you can enjoy the companionship of your porcine pal for many years to come.

Tips for Raising a Pot-Bellied Pig in the House