MEDICAL The below information is meant to be helpful in an emergency when there is no veterinarian available. Always follow the advice of your vet first. Much of the below information comes from other Pot Belly Pig owners who have provided suggestions as to what has worked for them. The Pot Belly Pig Rescue and its officers/owners/agents/volunteers accept no liability for the below information and advises everyone to contact their veterinarian whenever there is a problem and follow their advice. By continuing to read this information you agree to accept these terms. You also need to understand that every pig (like every child) is different and a solution that works for one pig may not work for another. It is recommended that putting your pig under anesthesia should only be done as a last resort. Many Pot Belly Pigs do not do well under anesthesia and have either become brain dead, mentally slow, or died from it. Your vet will be your best source of information on this. Remember that a little piggy screaming because they do not like the vet is not a reason to put them under anesthesia for a simple procedure. Few children like the doctor and few children are quiet for the doctor -your pet pig is no different. Like a child they do often remember the vet and may even give you a hard time about going into the vet's office. Always bring a treat to give your pet right after seeing the vet so that it is a positive experience for them.

GERMS Pot Belly Pigs have far less germs than your cat or dog. A wonderful study was done on this and we are awaiting a copy of the updated version and then we will publish it here. After you read it you wonder why anyone would ever complain about a pig when the pets that really have the germs are the dogs and cats.

SHOTS Pot Belly Pigs should have their initial shots when they are about 3 to 6 weeks old and then a booster shot 3 to 4 weeks later. After that they only need to get a booster shot once a year. I am really big on shots because seldom do I see a sick pig that has had its yearly shots. The shots protect our little darlings from getting any nasty germs or diseases from other animals or environments. The items that go into Pot Belly Pig Shots are as follows: Bordetella Bronchiseptica, Pasteurella Multocida, Bacterin - Toxoid, Parvovirus, Eryslpelothrix Rhusicpathiae, Leptospira Canicola, Grippotyphosa - Hardjo, Icterohaemorrhagiae, and Pomona Bacterir

PIG BECOMES AGGRESSIVE UN-NEUTERED MALE: The number 1 reason we receive calls concerning a pig becoming aggressive is that someone turns out to have an un-neutered male. Male Pot Belly Pigs that are not neutered do not make good pets. They can become aggressive, smell, are unmanageable, difficult, if not impossible, to train, and spray on everything and everyone. Having your pet neutered will stop his unwanted actions. Even pigs that are neutered when they are adults will go back to their sweet personality after being neutered. It is NEVER TO LATE to neuter your male Pot Belly. It will also make it easier to board your pet if you ever need to as many facilities will not accept an un-neutered male.

MATURE FEMALE: Females go into heat every 3 weeks for about 3 days (give or take a little). Many females may never act any different and other than noticing that they are swollen from behind you would not realize they were even in heat. However, some get PMS type symptoms and can get cranky during that time of month, may want to be left alone, may forget to use their litter box, etc. After they are out of heat they go back to their normal selves. If you're pet is becoming a problem when she goes into heat then you may want to consider having her spayed. Many times owners of females tell me that the first 2 or 3 heats their pig got moody but then after that they did not. You may want to keep this in mind if you are considering spaying your female because of her mood when she went into heat.

DE-WORMING: Pot Belly Pigs are very subject to internal parasites and should be de-wormed by your veterinarian once a year when they get their yearly shots. These are microscopic organisms so do not expect to see them in the manure.

JEALOUSY: Jealous over something like a new baby or new boyfriend or girlfriend can cause your pet to start to act more aggressively. We have heard many stories of our little darlings deciding that they didn't like the new boyfriend or girlfriend and actually pushing them out of bed at night. We have to remember that Pot Belly Pigs are like little children, they will act out just like a child would do in the same situation. Normally a tap on the nose with a firm "no" will solve the problem. Other times you need to give a "time out" followed by "let's try again" and then reward them with a treat when they behave correctly.

INFECTIONS: Infections such as an inner ear infection, worms, mites, etc can cause our pets to not feel well. Many times they have no way of telling you they hurt except to act out. A quick call to the vet to get his opinion is the best thing to do. We have seen many pigs that turn up to be acting up because of an ear infection or other health problem. Always make sure your pet is in good health.

WAS YOUR PIG A BOTTLE FED BABY? We are noticing that Pot Belly Pigs who were bottle fed may tend to start to nip or bite when they turn the age of around 2 years. This does not always happen but it is something you need to make your vet aware of. See our section under "Pregnancy" for more information on this.

BOREDOM: Pot Belly Pigs are like any 2 or 3 year old. As they mature they get board with the same daily activities and some will require you to come up with additional activities for them. Pot Belly Pigs that are apartment pigs may need activities or the chance to go to someone's yard to play in periodically. Here we call it "Piggy Camp". Sometimes a vet will go out to see a pig that is acting out only to find that like any child, it needs to be able to get out once in a while. We have found that even a weekend at a location they can get lots of exercise in is helpful and if done at least several times a year or more can make for a much happier pig and owner.

STRESS: Some pig's stress more easily than others. That is not to be confused with a pig that screams because they don't want their nails done or yearly shot. A pig under stress may refuse to eat or drink. Any time a pig does not want to eat or drink you need to call your vet right away. We probably see more of this in pigs who come into the rescue because they do not deal well with the loss of their owners and their environment. They can occasionally have a heart attack or stroke and die. We always keep Pedialyte on hand to force fluids down any pig that refuses to drink or under stress while we await the vet. Like any good mother or father you need to learn the difference between your pet truly being under stress or just being very noisy to get its way.

It requires a lot of patience and love to work with a rescue pig that is under stress and getting aggressive. The most important thing to ask when getting a pig that is a rescue is what is the true behavior patterns for this particular pig. If you're pet had problems with aggressive behavior before you got it then it may not be an easily correctable situation. If you're pet was never aggressive in his past home but is now acting out it is likely that with some time, love, and of course treats, that it will relax and go back to its old self. Be sure if you are getting a rescue pet that you and your family spend time with it and ask the people who care for it daily what its personality not only seems to be, but what did the previous owners have to say about it. Stress can kill a pig and the sad truth is that some pigs can not and will not get over the loss of their prior owners and may not survive. We have several pigs that it took many, many months to get them to accept the loss of their prior owners only to realize that we could not place those pigs in a new home for fear they could not make yet another adjustment.

BEER: Yes, I said Beer. As silly as it may sound there are a few pigs that are cranky and mean one day and nice as pie the next when they are given a little beer every day. This is certainly not something I would want to suggest but I have seen over and over again where it works wonders on pigs that are thought to be a true problem. I have had owners tell me good and bad results with using a small amount of beer (like 1/2 can for a full grown Pot Belly Pig who is around 100+ pounds. I have discussed it with the vet and he sees no problem if all else fails. It seems to also work many times for pigs under severe stress. We had a pig at the rescue years back that was not nice. She was awful and would charge at everyone and try to nip them. I just knew we would have her forever as I considered her not placeable. Every evening I would come home from work to find my husbands friend out back visiting the pigs. I warned him over and over about this particular pig but it fell on deaf ears as he told me that the pig and he got along just fine. It was not long before I noticed a difference in the pig's behavior and she was much calmer and actually seemed almost nice. I was dumfounded when my husband's friend asked if he could have her as a pet. It turned out that he had been going out every night and having a beer with the pig. In return, the pig loved him and was much calmer every day awaiting his return. Needless to say, he took the pig home and they are both very happy together. On the other hand I have heard from people who say their pig seemed to have gotten a hangover and never wanted to touch beer again or became a little sick from it. If you want to try to use beer to calm you're pet down before a long ride or other stressful event I suggest you try this technique using only a little and note how your pig reacts to it and then decide if it works or if you should increase it. I remember that using beer was written up in one of the pig magazines a few years back so it is not a new technique, just not what most people would expect.

IF ALL ELSE FAILS: There are some great animal behavior trainers that I have seen do wonders with Pot Belly Pigs. There are some great experts out there that for a reasonable fee can get rid of some bad habits (whether the pigs or the owners).

PIG REFUSES TO EAT OR DRINK OR HAS DIARRHEA This is serious, call your vet right away. A Pot Belly Pig can quickly become dehydrated and die. I always keep Pedialyte on hand in case I need to force liquids down the pig. Remember, the cause of this could be as simple as they ate too much of something and it gave them a tummy ache to having been poisoned by something. In rare cases the pig may have an internal problem needing immediate attention. Do NOT try to self treat this condition, call your vet. Do NOT give your pig aspirin. I have talked to people whose pig has died as a result of being given aspirin and although I also know some people who have no trouble giving it to their pig, I would not want to be the one whose pig could not take aspirin and have it die. Trying to locate the reason your pig is ill will help the vet to decide what course to take. If you pig was outside all day go out and look in your yard and see if perhaps something didn't get thrown into your yard that your pet got into or perhaps someone left out some pesticides or other chemicals. Like any child, your pet is an adventurous toddler and they don't know that certain items should not be eaten.

PREGNANCY Pot Belly Pigs are pregnant for 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days. Unlike other animals they can actually choose to delay their delivery time until they have what they want. It never ceases to amaze me what some mother Pot Belly Pigs will hold out for things such as another pig's blanket, special food, television, you name it and we've seen it. But breeding a Pot Belly Pig and having it give birth is never as easy as people think. I would have to say that a Pot Belly Pig birth is far more stressful and tiresome on the owner than breeding any other pet. Many problems can arise and many times it is not such a joyful experience. If you want to give your kids the birth experience there are many other ways to do it than a Pot Belly Pig. The chances for a problem to occur and your children to be traumatized are far too great. I will never forget explaining in detail the problems that can happen in a Pot Belly Pig birth to a woman whose pig was pregnant. It was to be a great neighborhood adventure and she already had homes lined up. The first pregnancy and birth went perfect and she was happy to let me know so. The next pregnancy and birth were a disaster and something she will never forget as all babies died. Needless to say she had her pig fixed not long after that. A pregnant mother pigs needs to eat much more than if not pregnant. She may be the best pet you ever had and loving as can be but when she gives birth she may become mean and nasty thinking she has to protect her babies. She may decide she has no interest in removing them from their sacks. She may decide that nursing is just not her thing. She may decide she is too stressed out and kill her babies. You may think she is doing great only to wake up and find that some time in the middle of the night she decided not to feed them any more, or has accidentally sat or laid on them and crushed them to death. She may have decided that keeping them warm was too much extra work and let them die from getting cold. Many, many things can go wrong and the high rate of percentages show they probably will go wrong.

We suggest that the first 72 hours after birth you check continually to ensure that there are no babies getting crushed and that mom is really feeding them all. If you have a problem call you vet. Never allow a female under the age of 2 years to become pregnant as it may kill her and chances for major problems are much more likely. The most important point is that you want to try everything to have the mother pig nurse the babies. Bottle feeding a baby Pot Belly Pig may seem like it will be rewarding but the chance it may die in your care should outweigh that. There is also the problem that we are noticing that Pot Belly Pigs that were hand nursed many times end up turning into bitters or nippers when they turn 2 years old. We can not give you a scientific reason why but our guess has always been that it is because young pigs are born with their eyes open, sharp teeth, and able to walk. They learn early how to fight with each other over the best nipples and later how to play rough with each other. They bite each other and they learn from those experiences what does and does not hurt. Most Pot Belly Pigs are so gentle you can put you hand into their mouth to feed them and they will carefully take it from you as they have learned from the start what hurts and what does not. We presume that a bottle fed pig never gets this and that may possibly be why at about the age of 2 some of them begin to nip or bite. If you find you must bottle-feed be aware that it is a job that requires you to feed them around the clock EVERY 2 HOURS. Miss even I feeding and it may be enough to have the baby die. Remember also that some times a baby pig may come into your life that must be bottle fed due to its mother dying or other problems. Do not feel bad if you have done everything perfect and it just does not make it. A mother pig may have skipped a feeding before you got it or the baby may have not eaten on schedule before you got it. The missed feeding that you had no knowledge of may be just enough to cause it not to survive even after days of what seems to be fine. We always use goat's milk to bottle-feed. It can be purchased in certain grocery stores in the dairy section or purchased in the powdered form at some feed stores. If it appears we have a baby that is going bad we may alternate a little Pedialyte and then some goat's milk. I do NOT recommend you ever mix both in a bottle together because for some reason I have found doing so does not work well in the end. Having I bottle with Pedialyte and one with goats milk and then alternating them seems the way to go. When I say alternating them I do NOT mean feed one feeding with Goats Milk and the next with Pedialyte. I mean let it suck a little on the Pedialyte and then suck a little on the Goats Milk. If it can not or will not suck then use an eyedropper. Stop the Pedialyte completely once the pig seems stable. Make sure you keep the baby pig warm.

WEIGHT The most important thing to understand about your Pot Belly Pig is that they have no mechanism to tell them they are full. Given the chance to eat themselves to death they would and could. A Pot Belly Pig always thinks it is hungry so it is up to the owner to keep a watch on its weight.

Is your pig overweight or underweight? A regular Pot Belly Pig's average weight is between 90 and 120 pounds. A miniature Pot Belly Pig's average weight is usually around 60 pounds. If a regular Pot Belly Pig gets overweight it can get several hundred pounds. If a miniature Pot Belly Pig gets overweight it can get up to 90 pounds. Then of course there are the crosses between Pot Belly Pig and regular pig and we all know those can get REALLY big. Many times those are the ones you see on TV when they show what someone thought would be a smaller pet. But a much easier way to tell how your pet's weight is doing is by looking at it. If your pet has it's backbones showing it is under weight. If you look straight in the eye of your pet and can not see the full round eye - it is time to diet. Aside from health issues that can come up due to being over weight and aside from the fact that it cuts way back on your pet's life (instead of living up to 30 years may only live 5 or 6 years) it also causes your pet to suffer from impaired vision. The condition is called "entropia". The fat will hang over the pig's eyes until the pig can no longer see. This also may cause their eyelashes to be forced into their eye, which can cause them pain and possible permanent scar to the cornea, which will result in poor vision. If you diet your pig back to its regular weight chances are that you will be able to also get rid of the fat over its eyes and your pet will again be able to see. If you wait to long to diet your pet you may find that even after they loose the weight, the fat will not come off their eyes and they will still not be able to see. Dr. Hewitt who was a farm vet was very successful in performing a minor surgical procedure that required injecting the fat around the eye and it often results in good shrinkage of the fat, allowing for improved vision. Then there are the cases where the eyelashes have damaged the eyeball and although you may again be able to see the pig's eye, it will appear cloudy and have reduced the vision.

If your pig is under weight you need to determine if it is being underfed which is easy. If you feed your pig more and it still does not gain weight then the problem may be that it has worms or parasites. Call you vet whom will probably give your pet a shot.

If your pet is over weight you need to put it on a diet. And what is a diet for a pig? Well, depending on the type of Pot Belly you have and depending on your life style will depend on the type of diet you decide to use. Your vet will be able to guide you best. A regular Pot Belly Pig that is overweight should be dropped down to 3/4 cup of Pot Belly Pig Food in the morning and 3/4 cup of Pot Belly Pig Food in the evening. Any treats should be items like fruits or vegetables but at a reduced amount. Other treats can be items that have few calories such as popcorn or Cheerios cereal. Then you need to make your pet exercise. Exercise takes on different meanings for different pigs. Some need to have you run them around the back yard (but do not over due it to the point your pig is out of breath, remember the idea is to loose weight, not to have a heart attach). To other pigs just having to walk to the location of the food is exercise. Every extra step they take is one step closer to loosing weight. For some pigs dieting will bring on a cranky child (just like what happens to many adult dieters) that is where items that have few or no calories come into play. We have found that popcorn really works well as they feel they are getting more food but the reality is that what they are getting is not fattening. For those of you that are vegetarians I usually recommend you eliminate Pot Belly Pig food completely or drop to 1/2 cup in the a.m. and again in the p.m. and then substitute with a well balanced fruit and vegetable diet in the a.m. and p.m. and then every few days add some alfalfa cubes. The reason I say I recommend this to those that are vegetarians is because I have found over the years that most people who are not vegetarians do not truly understand what a balanced fruit and vegetable diet is. Giving carrots one day and oranges the next day does NOT constitute a balanced fruit and vegetable diet. Unless you can truly provide a balanced fruit and vegetable diet stay away from eliminating the Pot Belly Pig Food during the diet because that will be where they are getting their needed vitamins and minerals. I also recommend giving them children's vitamin every day. We use Flintstone Children's Vitamins. Your veterinarian will be able to direct you to the diet that will work best for you and your pet.

We are always asked what our position is on owners who either can not or will not diet their Pot Belly Pigs. This is a really hard call because although the physical health of the pig is not good if it is overweight, the prospective of what will happen to its mental health if it is forced to part from its owner many times outweighs the good. The situations where an owner is not able to diet their pet usually is a situation where the pig is truly "over loved" and are getting lots of treats that are usually the cause of the problem. Those pigs are usually so bonded to the owners that leaving them even to go to a "Piggy Diet Clinic" may stress them out to the point of death (heart attach, stroke, etc.). Cities that try to enforce the weight of a Pot Belly Pig may start with good intentions but may find in the end that they are instead causing the death of the pet from stress. I would much rather work hard with an owner to get them to cut back or replace fattening treats with low calorie ones than I would to suggest that pet be taken. In making laws concerning Pot Belly Pigs people need to realize that they have a very high IQ, which is equal to that of a toddler. With this IQ in mind they have to understand that a pig having to separate from an owner is in many cases like taking a 1 or 2 year old child away from its parents to never see them again and not understanding why. Our stand is that we would rather see an over-loved pet whose life may be cut shorter due to it being over-weight than to remove it from its family and provided it survives the stress of the loss, looses weight but is permanently mentally disturbed from the loss and may not ever be place able again. As you will see in other sections of our web site, pigs (like children) who have to leave the families they love many times will end up with behavior problems and no longer may be a pet someone may want to adopt. Most owners do not want their pet's life cut so short and we find many times they will have trial and errors at dieting their pigs but noting more than we humans have when we try to diet ourselves. Another important point to consider when working on Pot Belly Pig legislature is that putting a limit on the weight of a Pot Belly Pig causes individuals whose pets are overweight to be afraid to contact a vet when they have a medical problem. We get calls from people whose pigs do not get yearly shots because of their fear that the city they live in will discover they have an overweight pet and take it away from them. Putting a limit on a Pot Belly Pig's weight may seem like a humane thing to do but when you look at the picture at large it really does more harm than good. A really easy exercise toy to make is to take an old large plastic soda bottle or gallon jug of milk and punch some small holes in it. Place a large item of food inside of it such as a piece of dog food that can not come out the holes. The smell will keep your pet busy for hours chasing it trying to get the food out. Do not leave it on the floor for more than a few hours at a time or your pet will figure out the food never comes out and will stop wanting to play with it.

DEHYDRATION This is always a serious problem and can result in death. I always keep a bottle of Pedialyte handy for emergencies and if they won't drink it you can force the fluid down them. Get immediate medical attention.

LOOSING HAIR During the summer months many pigs will shed their bristles. Some will shed a little and others may actually loose all their hair. This is different than if your pet all of sudden is scratching a lot (they all lover to scratch but not in excess), large areas of hair is coming out in clumps, scabs, or bloody patches on the skin. If this is the case, it is time to call the vet and have him look at your pet. Chances are that it may have a simple case of mites which the vet will then administer a shot or oral Medication. We like to first try shampooing our pet with "Bio-Groom Shampoo with pyrethrins" which can be purchased at the local feed store or any place that sells products for horses. Follow the directions on the bottle EXACTLY. It comes concentrated and you must dilute it before use. Then apply it to the pet and let sit for no more than 10 or 15 minutes - then wash off thoroughly. If you have a pig that is very uncooperative we have found that you can hose the pig off first, then spray on this solution from a spray bottle, and then wash off thoroughly using the hose again. I want to WARN EVERYONE that you can NOT leave this on longer than the bottle says. Doing so can cause your pet's skin to burn and create a much bigger problem than you started with. Usually within 48 hours you will start to see new hair growth starting. If it does not solve the problem contact your vet.

TOOTH CARE The veterinarian should check teeth once a year during the pig's yearly visit for shots. Some males may need to have their teeth checked twice a year if their tusks grow fast. The tusks can be cut back flush with the lip. If left to grow they can tear the inside of the lips or if very long, the pig can accidentally catch a tooth on a fence or other surface. This could risk fracturing the entire tusk/tooth - in the worst case, even the jawbone. Only the male Pot Belly Pigs get tusks.

It is also important to cut back the tusks as they could cause accidental damage to a person or other animal. Even the most loving pig does not realize that their sharp tusks stick out. It is too easy for a pet pig that has long tusks to be playing with a human and accidentally poke them with their tusk.

URINE SMELL Pot Belly Pigs urine should be clear and odorless. If it smells then something may be wrong. In most cases the simple answer is that your pet is not drinking enough fluids. This is easily taken care of by adding a little fruit juice to the water. Your pet should want to drink more because it likes the taste. If this does not work you may want to call your vet.

EYES Please read the section on "Weight" which will discuss quite a bit about the eyes. In addition, it is important to understand that it is common for Pot Belly Pigs to have some orange, crusty discharge from the eyes. This can be cleaned weekly or more frequently if needed, with cotton balls soaked in clean warm water. Be sure to get between the lid and brow where a lot of discharge can build up.

NAILS Pot Belly Pigs that are outside and get to walk on hard dirt or concrete part of the time tend to not need to have their nails trimmed. Pigs that go for walks on concrete many also not need to have their nails trimmed, as they stay trimmed naturally. It is the Pot Belly Pigs that either spend a lot of time inside or are on softer ground that need to have their nails trimmed once or twice a year.

It is a good idea to get your pet use to having its feet touched. You can keep their nails trim yourself by using the same type of emery board you use on your nails and weekly filing their nails down. I do not recommend you cut your pets nails yourself because there is to much of a chance for an accident. If you find that your pet needs its nails trimmed you should take it to your veterinarian. Most Pot Belly Pig owners have the nails trimmed when they have the yearly shots.

Some Pot Belly Pig owners like to paint their pets toe nails. They use the same polish they use on their own nails. If your pet does not object to this I see no problem with it. If your pet gets upset about it then you probably would not want to do this. I have seen quite a few Pot Belly Pigs who have their nails done weekly and actually get upset if they do not get them done. Whether they like the one-on-one attention they get or whether they like their feet played with I can't be sure. I will never forget a pig that was boarding who became very upset when it had to go several weeks without its nails getting painted. When the owner came over and did its nails it was happy for another week until it went home. I will never forget that pig because she went to great efforts to not get her feet dirty. It upset her owners when she decided to fall in love with another pig that was boarding and was nothing like her. He was not good looking, liked to be dirty all the time, and could care less if his nails and feet were covered in mud. It was true love until he decided to move them out of the nice clean plastic doll house they slept in and took the blankets and put them into what I would call a "piece of garbage" wooden type house that was on its way to the trash. She refused to sleep with him any more and actually slammed the door shut in the plastic house. We had to have the owners of the male come back from vacation early to comfort the poor heartbroken pig. The owners of the female came and painted her nails, which made her very happy. She then let the poor heartbroken male sleep half way in and half way out of the plastic house, but the love was definitely gone. You are probably wondering what color she wore - Hot Red of course! I want to mention that the male was neutered and the female was spayed so pigs falling in love has nothing to do with them being able to mate.

EARS If your pet keeps shaking its head, continually has dirty looking inner ears, or appears to be bothered by its ears you need to call your veterinarian. They will most likely clean out the ears and put medicated drops in them. Ear infections can cause you pig to become very cranky so it is important to have a vet look at them if their appears to be any problem.

While on the subject of ears I want to discuss ear piercing. I know there are quite a few pig owners who have gotten their pets ears pierced. It is a personal decision as it does not seem to cause the pig any problems or discomfort. I am told by people who have had it done that they took their pet to the same place that did their own ears and it was done the same way. My only concern is that you make sure that you use the type of earring, which will not fall off and possibly end up being eaten by your pet. I have seen some pigs with earrings that were specially made that had their names and phone numbers on them incase they ever got lost.

DRY SKIN Pigs are well known for getting dry skin. The dry skin problem is one of the major reasons that farm pigs are always in mud. Mud helps hydrate a pig's skin not to get so dried out. A lot of people think this means that pigs are dirty. On the contrary, pigs are extremely clean animals.

We like to use Jojoba Oil for dry skin yet others like to use things like Avon's Skin So Soft. Some people add oil to their pets diet (remember, use moderation or you will have a sick pig). Use only corn or olive oil - a maximum of 4 tablespoons per week.

There are people that tell me that after they give their pig a bath they put hair conditioner on it and they find it helps keep away dry skin, You need to remember that pigs, like kids, can be allergic to some things. Always test a new product on your pig in a very small area to ensure they are not allergic to it.

To obtain information on Jojoba Oil you can go to or e-mail:

TREATS We all know that our little darlings will eat anything we give them. But not everything is good for our pet and it is important to make sure that any treats you give them will not make them fat or sick. Most types of fruits and vegetables are fine. Treats such as raisins, grapes, Cheerios cereal, and popcorn (plain) are also fine. Teaching your pet that the treats are in a plastic container, which makes noise if you shake it, will help to get your pet's attention when you want it. Things not to give as treats are any type of sweets, chocolate (which can be toxic to your pet), nuts, meat, cookies, candy, cake, bread, potato chips, dog food, cat food, or anything that could be excessively fattening. Remember that when you give your pet a treat it does not have to be a handful. It should be a single treat such as 1 (one) Cheerio, 1 (one) raisin, 1 (one) grape, etc. at a time. Giving them one at a time has the same effect that giving them a handful at a time does but will give them less calories.

I would like to say a word about chewing gum because I am aware that many pig owners let there pets chew gum. Gum is not good for your Pot Belly Pig if they swallow it. If they spit it out it will not be good for your house or furniture or anything else it may land on. I am told all the time by pig owners that their pet will spend lots of time chewing the gum and when they don't want it any longer the pig will spit it into the owner's hand. If it works this way then there probably is not a problem allowing it. However, it is not advisable if there is any chance that your pet will swallow it.

I will always remember the pig owner who told me over and over how beneficial chewing gum was to her pet. She said it kept it busy for hours and when it got tired of the gum it would always nudge her to let her know to take the gum. I warned and warned that pigs, like children, can not be trusted to always let you know when they are done with the gum. One night I got a call saying that her pet not only left the chewed gum on the floor but then rolled on it. It took her hours to get the gum out of the pig's hair, not to mention her carpet.