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Consideration needed before buying pot-belly pig

I believe many people buy pot-belly pigs on impulse. They are cute, adorable and different from puppies. But, what they don’t realize is that there is no such thing as a “mini” pig. They can get well over 100 pounds. Mine weighed over 250.

And, they are a long-term commitment. They can live 18 to 20 years. Older pigs will develop arthritis. Spaying females is a must because 85% of unspayed females will develop tumors and 50% of those will not survive surgery. If your pig needs surgery, it’s a serious procedure which requires a long-term recovery period.

If you try to adopt a pig from a sanctuary, they will ask you for the name of your veterinarian. Breeders don’t care.

All will periodically need their hoofs trimmed, which is a two-person procedure, one to hold down the pig while the other trims the hoofs. Male pigs will need their tusks trimmed, and they don’t like it.

Pigs need room to run and play. I saw one pig being kept in a 8- by 10-foot dog pen, which was totally inadequate. They are a herding animal and should have a companion with whom they can bond. They need wallows to roll and root in. Warm shelters in the winter and protection from the sun in the summer. Pigs do not sweat, so they need a pool to keep cool. And security from dogs.

They feel joy, pain, fear and stress, which is why pig-wrestling contests are cruel to them.

So, if you are thinking about getting a pig, please be sure you want to make this commitment.

Harold Wilson | Corydon, Ind.

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