Since everyone at work knows I once operated a rare livestock farm with a menagerie of endangered species, I am often the first to know whenever we get new residents like Malcolm, the potbelly pig.
Seriously, you are not ready for this cuteness. It is next-level cuteness. Malcolm is the Grand Emperor of Cute on the Island of Precious Cuteness, and aire to the cute dynasty – hat is how cute he is.
Needless to say, the minute I met this 10-month old oinker of awesomeness, I was in love. Hopeless, blubbering, infinite love. His charm and swagger is undeniable. No one stands a chance against his adorable disposition. Resistance is futile.
80-lb Malcolm came to us last week. His owners loved him dearly, but could no longer afford to keep him. Based on his jovial personality and obvious love of people, he’s been very well socialized.
He was an instant sensation the day he arrived. At one point, there was even a line of people trying to get a peak at him in his kennel. Mr. Popularity loves every minute of the attention, though. He’ll eat out of your hand and roll over for belly rubs, making soft grunts and snorts to let you know he’s having the best time ever. He even gives kisses. I stop by his kennel at least twice a day for a kiss.
If I had a house with a yard in an area of Los Angeles where it is legal to own a potbelly pig, he would have already gone home with me, and we’d have matching Miss Piggy shirts. Though there are many places that do allow them as pets, my particular neighborhood doesn’t. So I’m channeling my heartbreak and devastation into finding this handsome fella a new, loving home.
Pigs actually make wonderful house pets, believe it or not. They’re very social, adaptable, hearty, and incredibly intelligent. Here are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about having one as a pet:
They’re a lot to love.
Tiny teacup piglets are irresistibly adorable. Instagram pictures of napping piglets being cradled in a baby carriage is just about the cutest thing ever, right? But guess what? They grow up. And they can get big. Really big.
Potbelly pigs can grow to be anywhere from forty pounds to about two hundred and fifty pounds when fully grown – which is a pretty broad range. Many people who sell pigs at swap meets or online will claim their pigs are “teacup sized” and will not grow beyond forty or 50 pounds – very often that ends up not being the case at all. So make sure you have the space and wherewithal to responsibly care for your pig regardless of how big he gets.
For example, 10 month old Malcolm is about eighty pounds now, and still has some growing to do since pigs don’t fully mature until they are about three years old. He may double in size, or he may not. We just don’t know yet. Either way, he’ll always be handsome.
Pigs are naturally born communicators
Some dogs like to bark or whine to communicate with us. Other dogs don’t bark at all, telling us what they want or need in other ways. Pigs are exactly the same way – and depending on what they are trying to get across, can be very loud. It’s for this reason, I don’t recommend pigs for apartment or condo living.
They’ll outsmart you, like, all the time.
Pigs are very intelligent, and potbelly pigs are quite trainable. Much the same as dogs, they can be house trained, leash trained, and will even learn a few tricks. They are curious and playful, but also headstrong and sensitive. They will become easily bored and possibly destructive if not provided with enough activities and enrichment.
If you let him, a pig like Malcolm will end up running your house. But setting the ground rules and enforcing them from the beginning is key to making sure your pig learns good manners.
Spoiler alert: pigs love to eat.
One of the reasons I love pigs so much is because we share a common love for food. We also share a natural propensity to gain weight quickly and become obese. So if you’re going to invite a pig (or me, for that matter) to live in your home, be prepared to closely monitor his diet so he doesn’t overdo it. Because he’ll want to.
Pigs are allowed as pets in many Los Angeles area cities – but not all!
Many places throughout the LA area are zoned to allow potbelly pigs as pets. But before you decide to adopt a love-machine like Malcolm, make sure it’s allowed in your city.
Malcolm is already pretty well mannered and sweet. He’s a special guy looking for a special home where there are consistent rules, praise for good behavior, and correction/redirection with lots of repetition and patience. Oh, and belly rubs. He insists on a home where there are lots and lots of belly rubs given.
In the Chinese Zodiac, 2019 is the year of the pig. That makes this Malcolm’s year – so let’s find him a home!