The first pigs are said to have evolved in South-East Asia around two million years ago and subsequently spread out from there all over Eurasia and Africa. Wild pigs can predominantly be found in forested areas, especially near oak trees, as their love for acorns keeps them close. Recently, Asian pot-bellied pigs – a kind of small domesticated breed – have been gaining in popularity as a kind of house pet and in some cases even as an emotional support animal. Given larger farmyard pigs destructive tendencies, it’s hard to keep them as an indoor pet once they’ve reached maturity; however, smaller pot-bellied pigs only measure 15-20 inches in size and weigh up to 150 lbs (around 70 kg) when fully grown, making them more adaptable. However, all pigs will crave outdoor spaces, so when considering getting a pot-bellied pig (PBP) as your choice of emotional support animal, you should first take in your surroundings to make sure that your living conditions will be suitable to cater for all of your pigs needs. Lecture aside, there are also many benefits to choosing the charming PBP as your emotional support animal; below are a list of our faves.
Pot-bellied pigs are considered to be the fourth smartest animal in the world and their mental capabilities are often compared to that of a two-year-old child. Because of this, PBPs are able to learn many different commands and can be litter and house-trained. But keep in mind that this intelligence can turn against you; unlike dogs who are always eager to please, PBPs have their own mind and sense of priorities. This is, in part, what makes the PBP such an interesting and charming choice of pet; their personalities can vary wildly and in some cases can even be quite stubborn. This can at times be challenging but is all part and parcel of the fun of getting to know your pet on a deeper level which will in turn create a stronger bond.
The PBPs’ higher intelligence also makes them more emotionally intuitive which is why they make such a fantastic choice of emotional support animal. They have been recognized as a constructive form of therapy helping families with children suffering from autism to help them with vocalization and calming. Pigs have also been known to detect low blood sugar in diabetes sufferers and can help those individuals properly medicate themselves. Furthermore, they’ve even been documented as being able to detect and warn of oncoming seizures. For those in need of an ESA, pot-bellied pigs have been shown to ease anxiety and panic attacks and improve the symptoms of depression and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in some individuals.
Another reason PBPs make for a great choice of emotional support animal is that they’re generally non-allergenic, which means that if you do intend to take them into public spaces then they’ll be less likely to disrupt members of the public. It’s important to remember that even though you’ve gained the right to have your ESA accompany you in areas that are usually restricted to animals, others might not be as comfortable with the transition and their needs and feelings need to be respected as well.
Inexpensive To Feed
A pot-bellied pig’s diet is a simple one; like any pig they too have a reputation for eating just about anything they can get their snouts in, but a proper, nutritional diet will be essential to keep your ‘Babe’ happy and healthy. Luckily their natural piggy chow is cheap as chips, making their upkeep relatively inexpensive.
The phrase ‘happy as a pig in mud’ has propelled the image of pigs being content wallowing in their own filth; however, contrary to popular belief, pigs actually pride themselves on their personal hygiene and can become depressed if their living conditions become soiled. A large dog bed with some torn blankets and cardboard can act as your pig’s sanctuary; a place where they can feel calm and safe if they get stressed out. Given their propensity for cleanliness they will keep this space relatively tidy so it will only need maintenance every so often. The reason pigs are often found rolling around in mud on farms is that they have no sweat glands, and therefore find it very hard to regulate their body temperatures. If they have a little paddling pool to play in in the hot summer months then they’ll happily forgo any mud. One other thing to consider when caring for your piggy outdoors is that without a proper fur, their skin is exposed to harsh UV rays which can lead to further complications down the track. It’s a good idea to apply a little children’s sunblock and provide ample shade when playing outdoors.
The PBP’s sense of self is admirable and their love and affection need to be earned and not taken. However, with the proper care and attention you can expect your porcine pal to live to a healthy 15 years of age. Happy truffle hunting!