The Norman Transcript

Features

July 28, 2013

Pigs are non-traditional pets

NORMAN — When most people think of their ideal pet, a certain breed of dog or cat instantly comes to mind. However, for those who love different pets and are willing to put in a little more time and effort, a pot-bellied pig can be an ideal choice.

“Pot-bellied pigs, including mini and micro pigs, can make good indoor and outdoor pets,” said Philippa Sprake, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “Pigs are social animals and each has their own personality.”

While pigs are unbelievably intelligent and undeniably adorable, there are a few things petowners should know before bringing little Wilbur home to stay.

“When it comes to deciding on a piglet, it is very important to choose one that is at least 8 weeks old, weaned and comes from a reputable breeder to ensure that it is healthy,” Sprake said. “Also, even though they are called miniature, micro pigs can still grow to around 40 pounds, and full-size or traditional pot belly pigs can reach 100 pounds or more, so it is important to see the parents of the pig you are planning on taking home to evaluate your piglet’s potential adult size.”

When it comes to training your new pot-bellied pig, remember that pigs can be as intensive a pet as dogs and as such, they need exercise and social interaction, or they may develop health and behavioral problems.

Pigs can be trained very similarly to dogs using positive reinforcement techniques such as clicker training.

They also are highly food motivated, so make sure that their treats are low in calories, such as fresh fruits or vegetables, to prevent obesity.

For more information on raising a pot-bellied pig, go to vetmed.tamu.edu/

pettalk.

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Pancreatic enzyme disease in dogs

    Dear Dr. Fox: A close friend has a police dog (a German shepherd, bred in Germany for that purpose) with severe health issues. The major problem is pancreatic enzyme deficiency. His vet has him on pancreatic tabs, but he still has loose ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Norman resident honored as volunteer of the week

    Each week, we recognize a volunteer who is making a difference in the lives of veterans and surviving spouses in the area. This week’s volunteer has been making the trip each week to Goldsby for the last five years. I’m proud to say that ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Air travel tips for seniors with special needs

    Dear Savvy Senior, I would like to fly my elderly parents across the country next month for my daughter’s wedding but have some concerns about the flight. My mom has trouble walking long distances and my dad has COPD and needs an oxygen ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Couple with autistic children lead Thorn Bush Autism group

    For Leah and Christian Eisenbeis raising two children with Autism is not only a challenge but it’s been a blessing, too....

    April 20, 2014

  • Free pressure canner checks offered

    With warmer weather trying to get a grip on April’s temperatures, it’s time to get the dial on your pressure canner checked. This is a free service provided by the Cleveland County Extension Office, 601 E. Robinson St. in Norman....

    April 20, 2014

  • Norman artist pledges to continue painting until colors fade

    About five or six months ago, I came across an article in The Norman Transcript about local artist Almira Hill Grammer, who had a display of her work at the State Capitol....

    April 20, 2014

  • ‘Blood moon’ rising

    I guess we all have one thing in common right now. We survived a “blood moon.” What a whirlwind of a week. It seemed that, like Hillary Clinton, the universe was just tossing shoes at me left and right. Maybe it was a sign I need to slow ...

    April 20, 2014

  • What to know about use of BVO

    Q: I’ve heard about Brominated vegetable oil recently. Could you provide some more information? A: Brominated vegetable oil, also called BVO, is a food additive that is often used to keep citrus flavor emulsified in sodas and sports ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Blessing opens demo garden

    A blustery, gray day didn’t mute enthusiasm for the first Saturday of the spring season April 12 at the Cleveland County Master Gardeners demo gardens and the Norman Farm Market....

    April 20, 2014

  • OHCE members receive awards

    Cleveland County’s Oklahoma Home and Community Education members Carol Doner and Megan Doner were award winners at a recent OHCE District meeting in Mustang....

    April 20, 2014