Exotic Pet Insurance: How to Protect Your Pot Bellied Pig

Taking care of their cat or dog entails a quick phone call to the nearest veterinarian for the average pet owner. Vets and their staff encounter hundreds of dogs and cats every week, so they’re familiar with the pet and can keep expenses down. A standard insurance plan can help with veterinary costs and provide additional treatment depending on monthly charges.

If you own an unusual pet, such as a potbellied pig, it may be more difficult to acquire basic pet insurance than it is for a dog or cat. It may be more challenging to ensure exotic pets, but it’s far from impossible. You may get pet insurance for the following species of birds and animals:

  • Parrots/Cockatoos
  • The Amphibians (Frogs, Lizards, and Geckos)
  • Chameleons
  • Ferrets and Chinchillas
  • Ratti (Gerbils/Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, and similar rodents)
  • Hedgehogs and goats
  • Iguanas/Snakes
  • Pigs with a potbelly
  • Snakes/Tortoises as well as Turtles

Many pet owners are willing to go to great lengths to ensure the health and well-being of their dogs. Injuries and treatments that need extensive surgery, medicine, and boarding can cost thousands of dollars. As a result, the cost of caring for an exotic pet may be more than that of a domestic dog or cat. This is why many pet owners insure their animals to reduce their financial exposure.

Consider the following while searching for a service provider:

A few firms restrict you from using their network of veterinarians. Therefore, you may not be able to take your pig to any other veterinarian. In some instances, you’ll be able to visit any veterinarian you choose. Some plans also allow you to consult with professionals for the best possible treatment.
Some plans will pay the costs of medical checkups as part of your coverage. It’s possible that selecting this option could raise your monthly premium, but the benefits may outweigh the prices in the long run.
When it comes to my deductible, what does each occurrence mean? The term “incident” often refers to a single instance of an accident or disease.

It is possible to find insurers that will cover the expense of significant medical and surgical operations as well as boarding for your potbellied pig while it’s sick.


Potbellied Pig Physical Characteristics

One-size-fits-all pigs don’t exist since each pig is unique. Pigs are “genetically varied,” according to Susan Armstrong-Madison, owner and president of the Pig Placement Network and Rushland, Pennsylvania’s Ross Mill Farm. There is hence a great deal of variation in their physical dimensions.

“Creative breeding’ that is continuously occurring,” adds Dr. Daniel Gray of the Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Gentle Vet Animal Hospital, to the theory that potbellied pigs’ physical traits evolve.

On the other hand, Gray claims that potbellied pigs weigh 90 to 150 pounds, are between 16 and 30 inches tall, and are 16 and 24 inches long.

You should anticipate your newly rescued pig to grow to full size between the ages of three and five, says Dan Illescas, who heads the Central Texas Pig Rescue in Austin.


Rooting Is Everything

Potbellied pigs use their snouts to dig and hunt for food. One of the most beneficial aspects of potbellied pigs’ natural behavior is connecting with their surroundings through rooting.

According to Illescas, Piggy snouts are used for play and digging burrows to lie in. Pigs don’t sweat, but they have a complex mechanism for controlling their body temperature that most humans aren’t aware of. Pigs may stay cool on a hot day by rooting. Dirt and sludge also provide excellent protection from the sun’s harmful rays.”


Pork Bellies eat what?

People don’t understand how important a pet pig’s diet is when they own one, Illescas says; it’s the most important thing to know when you own a pig or any other animal.

It can be dangerous for pigs to get poor nutrition because they increase. Many piglets are not adequately weaned. They are sent to new homes with strict and harmful feeding instructions that many pig parents follow, unknowingly causing their pigs to suffer due to these severe and dangerous feeding rules.

So how can a person who owns a pet pig avoid problems like this one? The pet owner will keep their pet healthy by feeding it a pelleted, balanced diet made for potbellied pigs and following the advice of their reputable breeder or adoption center, and of course, their veterinarian. She says they should eat this nutritious meal twice a day, on the same schedule.


Gray also says that you should avoid giving your pet pig treats high in sugar or processed. Gray says that low-sugar, high-fiber fruits, and vegetables are pet pigs’ best treats.


It’s not just humans who have to figure out what to feed their pigs and how much they can eat when they’re outside. Madison says that if a pig eats grass in your yard, you should cut back on how much food you give each day based on how much it eats.


Gray says that how much water your pig needs depends on how much exercise they do and how much water is in their food (lots of veggie treats often mean less water intake).


He says a lot isn’t the most crucial thing to look for. It’s the availability that’s important. Pigs like to root, so they will often spill their water out of their bowl and not be able to drink it later. This needs to be closely watched.


With a Potbellied Pig in the House


While caring for a potbellied pig is a big job, the rewards can be worth it when you think about how these animals act in your home.

Nancy Shepherd, the author of Potbellied Pig Parenting, says that pigs are not only amiable animals, but they are also brilliant.

Shepherd: “They learn quickly, don’t forget, and can figure things out.” People don’t forget what they learned if they do something they don’t like.

People should make sure not to spoil their pet pigs or make them the boss of the house, Shepherd says. This is why. Both positive and negative reinforcement is retained by pigs, allowing them to achieve their intended outcomes (for instance, sometimes pigs will nudge at their owner when they want something).

She goes on to say that, in general, pigs aren’t particularly destructive pets, but if you want to prevent your carpets or couch cushions from being damaged because of their rooting habits, you can build them a rooting box.


Grooming and Hoof Care Requirements


Armstrong-Madison claims that potbellied pigs do not have a strong odor, contrary to popular belief. Hence they do not require as frequent bathing as, for instance, a dog.


Shepherd blames the pig’s odor on the fact that they’ve been kept in squalid circumstances. As much as they like using the same site every day, pigs might develop bad breath when the area where they use the restroom becomes unclean because of the lack of a clean alternative.


Porks don’t have as much shedding as other pets because of their hair, not fur. According to Shepherd, one shed every year occurs within a week, generally in the spring, and begins at roughly two years of age. Brushing your pig will help prevent dry skin. Fleas, on the other hand, tend to avoid pigs.


Taking care of pig hooves is a little more involved. As Illescas points out, “Pigs will require frequent hoof care, and the sharp tips will need to be trimmed in older pigs (typically three years or older).”


A pig parent may do hoof care, and Illescas recommends it because of the bonding experience and the enhanced awareness of the pig’s well-being that comes from doing it yourself. Ideally, it should be done when the pig is calm and receiving belly rubs. To avoid a single painful trip to the doctor, he advises doing routine care on your pet on a more frequent basis. The only exception to this rule is if you aren’t confident in your abilities to do the task of pig hoof trimming yourself. A pig’s feet might be seriously harmed if claws are kept on for too long.


A Potbellied Pig’s Health


Potbellied pigs have an average lifespan of about 15 years and are typically considered in excellent condition. Even if they’re fed a decent diet and have been spayed or neutered, they still have specific health challenges to contend with. Among the most prevalent health issues, Gray has observed in potbellied pigs are mange, obesity, and arthritis.


If you want to keep your pig safe from these and other problems, ensure they are adequately vaccinated, fed properly, and seen by a veterinarian with experience with potbellied pigs.


Gray explains that “specialized expertise, medicine dosage, and equipment” are required to manage the pigs safely. It’s a significant danger that a veterinarian isn’t familiar with potbellied pig symptoms and misses or delays a diagnosis because of this.


Spaying or neutering your potbellied pig is an essential thing you can do as a pet parent. When it comes to the health of the female pigs, this helps prevent unwanted pregnancies.


Shepherd explains that “female pigs that have not been spayed, she will cycle every 21 days.” As adults, they are more prone to suffer from uterine problems, such as endometriosis and tumors.


Behaviors of Potbellied Pigs


Because pigs are very gregarious animals, you’ll probably end up with more than one pig in the future.


As pack animals, pigs perform best in the company of other pigs. This is a lesson that most people learn the hard way, adds Illescas, because most individuals who maintain their first pig for a year-end up getting a second one. To make the transition easier, he suggests starting with two bonded pigs, as meeting new pigs and getting them used to each other might take months.


While it’s true that a pig and a dog don’t always get along, he says, “Pigs and cats get along very well. Many cats appear to be happy to give pigs a nice massage, which the pigs like very much.”


However, a pig will let you know if they are not feeling well. An otherwise pleasant home might be disrupted by their brilliance, which makes them exceedingly manipulative. Pet owners, according to Shepherd, must establish the norm for the home and make it clear to their pigs that they are the ones who decide the rules.


Weaning pigs too early might cause them to engage in charging or butting behavior, much like they did while nursing from their mother. The Shepherd advises putting a cushion between you and your pig if it does that.


Investing in a Potbelly Pig.


If you’re considering bringing home a potbellied pig, make sure you do so only from a reputable breeder or rescue organization.

When looking for a pig to adopt, Shepherd advises that you do your homework and look for an animal that has been nursed for at least six weeks. Pigs must stay with their mother for that long.

With any adoption, you’ll want to make sure all the documentation is in place, including the adoption contract, as well as documents from the breeder or rescue that detail your pig’s dietary requirements, their veterinarian health and immunization status, and their housing needs.

According to Shepherd, prospective owners should do their due diligence and visit reputable breeders or rescues to understand better the surroundings and where the pig is coming from before adopting one.

“You get what you pay for.” “Your chances of getting a socialized, vet-treated, and home-ready pig are limited if you purchase a pig from [a non-reputable source],” she explains.

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