Not everyone is suited to own a dog or a cat.  But for many, even the idea of a gerbil, a lizard, or a parakeet doesn’t sound appealing either. Instead of jumping right to exotic pets that may be expensive to keep and provide a stable and balanced life for, maybe owning a pot-bellied pig is a good option! (Admit it, a part of you has always wanted to adopt a runt like Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web!) Here are some reasons to consider getting a pot-bellied piggy for a pet.

1. They are intelligent animals. Potbellied pigs are naturally observant creatures, who accept training when the commands are consistent, clear and well-rewarded. Some pot-bellies have even been trained to wipe their feet before entering a room, and can master dozens of tricks if their trainer is patient and persistent. (Be wary though- these animals can also learn negative behaviors, so be sure that you keep rules consistent!)

2. They are easy to feed. Pot Bellied pigs can eat fruits and vegetables, and must have a meal twice a day. They have to be careful not to eat too much fructose-high fruits, and do well with a veggie rich diet. With portion control and balance, a pot-bellied pig is considered an “easy keeper” which means they do not need large portions to get the nutrients they need!

3. They get along well with other pets. For multi-pet families a pig is a great addition! Pot-bellied pigs can go on long walks and meet other animals without a problem. Because they are used to farm life, and being surrounded by livestock, pigs generally don’t mind the company of cats, dogs or humans for that matter!

4. They can be housebroken! Pot-bellied pigs can be potty trained and respectful of boundaries as they have excellent memories that help them retain commands. Some pigs even have been known to housebreak themselves! Despite the reputation for being mud-lovers, pot bellied pigs are actually decently hygienic pets that prefer to eliminate outside or in a litter box.

5. The celebrities love them! (Granted, this is not a great reason to justify buying a pot-belled pig per se,… but it is a fair point!) George Clooney famously had a large pig named for many years; celebrities have proven to be pig fanatics for decades!

*Note:  Be careful to do your research about caring for a pot-bellied pig before you purchase one. Some breeders promise “tea cup pigs” when their animals really grow to enormous sizes. Make sure you have read reviews, seen references, as well as the parents of the pig you are considering for purchase. Some pig breeders agree to take the pig back if it exceeds the weight of 150 or 200 pounds (and therefore is larger than a typical potbellied pig).  Don’t sign up for something you can’t handle!