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Pot-bellied pig: The Manís New Best Friend


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Friday, 16 de January 2009

Pot-bellied pig: The Manís New Best Friend
George Clooney was perhaps the responsible for the rising popularity of the Pot-bellied pig in the United States. The actor lived 18 years with his pet pig, “Max, the Star” and even took it to its Hollywood mansion. Max weighted about 130 kg when he died on December of 2006.

When we talk about Pot-bellied pigs, it’s inevitable to compare it to its larger relatives. A Pot-bellied pig is different from other breeds because of its size: the Pot-bellied pig has about 50/60 kg, and it shouldn’t have more than 100 kg, while other breeds can easily reach 400 kg. We can almost compare the Pot-billed pig to a Saint Bernard, however the problem seems to be in keeping it small.

There is a lot of controversy about the “purity” of the Pot-bellied pig, since it’s easy to sell a mixed breed pig as a Pot-bellied pig. The owner might end up with a pet with the double of the size initially expected. To recognize Pot-bellied pigs, you should look to the tail and skin. Even as a baby, the Pot-bellied pig should have a straight tail, any waving indicates mixed blood. The skin should be black and the ears should be erect.

The worst enemy pigs have is their name. The adjective “pig”, carries a lot of negative characteristics that are associated with this animal. The Pot-bellied pig is a clean animal that has no smell and can even be housebroken. There are even owners that share their beds with pigs. Although not advisable, it shows that the Pot-bellied pig isn’t an unclean animal and that needs to be kept in a sanitary environment. Besides, Pot-bellied pigs are hypoallergenic pets, meaning that people with allergies tend to tolerate this pig without any or few allergic reactions.

Not being an apartment pet, it can be kept in good health and hygienic conditions in the city or countryside. The pig should be kept in a closed space, with dirt, preferably soft, like mud, with access to a lake or a pond. The sleeping are should be clean at all times. The food should be put in a plate. Pot-bellied pigs shouldn’t be fed with food leftovers or fattening diets like most pigs used as meat producers. There are commercial mixes for these pigs. The diet should be rich in fibers and have low calories. Hay, fruit and vegetables are always welcomed.

The Pot-bellied pig needs all that other pets need. The vet is one of the most important needs. The vaccination plan is crucial to allow that humans and pigs share the same space in a healthy way.

For those with these conditions, the Pot-bellied pig is a terrific option as pet. Although they need training to adapt to the presence of humans and to interact with them, there are those that already call these pigs “the new man’s best friend”. Smart, active, funny, curious and affectionate in their own way, the Pot-bellied pig isn’t the first pick that comes to mind when you think about getting a pet. However, they are a surprising option for those that want a long time companion, around 20 years. Because of its longevity, the Pot-bellied pig may very well turn out to be the most touching pet of a lifetime, whether by its singularity, whether by its companionship. Ask George Clooney that actually took Max for a ride in John Travolta’s plain, that used to include him in many photo shoots and that frequently took him to the set.
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