Niagara Gazette

Web Extra

July 29, 2013

Bringing home 'Babe': What you should know before getting a pet pig

When most people think of their ideal pet, a certain breed of dog or cat instantly comes to mind. However, for those who love more exotic 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 (CVM). "Pigs are social animals and each has their own personality.

While pigs are unbelievably intelligent (and adorable), there are a few things pet-owners should know before bringing little Wilbur home to stay.

The first thing future owners should do is check with their local homeowners’ association as well as their home’s zoning regulations to ensure that pigs can be kept on the property. Pigs can be extremely noisy, especially when adapting to a new environment, and the last thing any new pet owner wants is an angry neighbor or landlord trying to have the pet removed.

"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," said Sprake. "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."

Pigs can be trained very similarly to dogs using positive reinforcement techniques such as clicker training. They are also highly food-motivated, so it is important to make sure that their treats are low in calories, such as fresh fruits or vegetables, in order to prevent obesity.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Web Extra
  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 22, 2014

  • Do White Castle prices tell us anything about the minimum wage?

    The paper looked at how many delicious steamed sliders the minimum wage has been able to purchase over time. The point is that as it notes, in 1981, the $3.35 minimum could buy a whole dozen. Today, at $7.25, it could purchase just 10.

    April 22, 2014

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 22, 2014

  • NIA Space station art 042114 'Easter Dragon' has special delivery for space station Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA New planet art 041814 Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected -- a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 17, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 17, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page