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Mini pigs have become favorite pets by many people. They are smart, affectionate and extremely cute to boot. However, a quick look at the history of mini pigs would show you that they were not always considered as pets.
In the past, potbellied pigs which are known for their small size were used in medical and pharmacological research as well as sources for organ transplantation. Their small size made them more practical to work with in the laboratory setting than their bigger counterparts. They are also featured in zoos attracting interest and attention from the crowd. Luckily for these pigs, as interest and curiosity of them grew, wealthy pet owners purchased these pigs which started the trend of having small pigs as pets.
Their popularity steadily grew in the 1980’s until it experienced a slight decline due to ordinances prohibiting people from keeping farm animals in the city and the difficulty with raising pigs, albeit smaller in size, in the family home. Their popularity was subsequently renewed in the 1990’s and 2000’s featuring smaller-sized pigs which we refer today as mini pigs.
Mini pigs are adorable creatures! They make friendly and extremely affectionate pets and their size contributes a lot to their cuteness factor. No one is immune from the charms of a mini pig and if you are not immediately sold to the idea of getting a mini pig as a pet, here are some things which may change your mind in the future.
House-training your pet mini pig would take some time and effort on your part the same way it does when training other kinds of pets. They can be trained to use a litter box to avoid messy situations. Training teacup pigs may even be easier than other animals since they have a high IQ and are considered very smart.
Unlike dogs which are known for their hyperactivity, mini pigs are less destructive. You do not need to worry as much for your furniture and other household items. However, you may need to keep you food safely stored somewhere your pet do not have access since mini pigs, the same as their bigger family members, have healthy appetites and are known to eat any food they can find.
Mini pigs possess a higher IQ compared to other animals. This makes training easier. Aside from housetraining your pet to make them suitable for the domestic setting, you can also teach them tricks for fun while spending quality time with them. Spending training time would have a positive effect on you and your pet. Your pet’s achievements can bring a feeling of pride and satisfaction from accomplishing several goals. On the other hand, your pet will become more docile and affectionate from the quality bonding time that you both had.
You are less likely to get frustrated when teaching mini pigs tricks. They are generally quick learners so teaching them would be an enjoyable experience for you as the pet owners. They are known to be highly motivated by food so you should use this knowledge to your advantage. Since pigs love to eat, you can use food as a reward or treat to encourage certain behaviors.
It is safe to say that teacup pigs are hypo-allergenic and therefore would pose no danger for people who are allergic to other animals such as dogs and cats. Pigs have no fur and no fleas and shed very little hair so there are no irritants that can cause an allergic reaction.
This is good news for people who are very fond of animals and would love to have a pet but cannot do so because of their medical condition. Owning a clean and fur free pig is the solution. You get to fulfill your dream of having a pet without the unfavorable complications associated with it.
A lot of people say that mini pigs are low maintenance pets. Although it requires roughly the same amount of care needed by a pet dog, the details may be different. Thus, knowing more about their specific needs in terms of food, grooming and exercise is a must.
Pigs are hearty eaters! They are likely to eat any kind of food thrown their way so you should be careful of the amount and type of food you feed them.
Mini pigs can be easily overfed and the absence of a thalamus makes them feel hungry all the time. An extremely fat pig does not mean it is healthy. Overfeeding your pet could result in a lot of medical complications and can even hasten your its death. Likewise, not all kinds of food are healthy for your pet. Stick to specially manufactured food designed for mini pigs. Also, fresh vegetables should be a staple in their diet while fruits such as grapes and apples should be reserved as treats. Cheese and salty snacks should be avoided.
While pigs have no fur and have little hair, other parts of their bodies still need grooming such as their skin, ears, tusk and hooves. Keeping your pet well-groomed is essential in maintaining its health.
You can keep their skin smooth and soft by rubbing oils into them and prevent sunburns by rubbing lotions into their skin especially when their skin is exposed to the sun for a long time. To keep its hair clean, you can shampoo it once a month and not oftener. Excessive shampooing can dry your pet’s skin. Also use a mild shampoo to prevent damaging your pet’s skin. You can also clean its ears and have its tusk and hooves trimmed by a veterinarian.
Pigs need to exercise daily or they can get mean literally. Getting enough exercise for your pet can greatly improve its mood. Daily walks are a must and ideally you should have a designated area where they can regularly graze around. Physical activity also helps in maintaining your pet’s healthy weight and gets rid of excess energy which if not vented out can make your pig more aggressive.
With these tips and tricks, you are sure to have a fantastic time with your mini pigs!
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