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Veterinarians - How to Choose

Sooner or later you are going to need a Vet. Don't wait till the last minute to address this question! You may regret it when a crisis comes up.

Here are 5 questions you should ask your Vet before allowing him/her to treat your pet pig, or even BEFORE you get a pig.

  1. Has this Vet ever worked with potbellied pigs before? If not, does he/she know of a Vet who has? Or is he/she willing to learn? (Some vets are not willing to learn. They just assume PBP's are treated the same as farm pigs, which is a very big mistake.)
  2. If the answer to #1 is yes, can he tell you of other pot belly pig owners that are clients so you may talk with them and gain their experiences and share yours with them about potbellies.
  3. Are you allowed to stay with your animal at all times while being treated? You should always be allowed to stay with your pig when getting shots. You should also demand to be present when the pig is being put under for surgery (we have done this, so do not be afraid to ask). Insist on being there when your pig awakens.
  4. Does your Vet listen when you have questions or offer advice or information? If the answer to this question is No, FIND ANOTHER VET! Some Vets dismiss pet owners outright as not knowing anything. When it comes to pot belly pigs, this belief is usually wrong. (I lost my first pig by not following this rule. The Vet said he would do one thing, then did another.)
  5. What would the Vet do, in the event the animal bit him? What would be his reaction, i.e., want to destroy the animal to test for rabies? Notify authorities? What would be his reaction?

These five questions are very important. Your Vet should be willing to discuss these with you for as long as it takes, until you are satisfied you have enough information. If your Vet is not willing to sit down and answer these questions, or does not give you complete answers, or refuses to refer you to existing clients with potbelly pigs, FIND ANOTHER VET!!

As we mentioned above, we lost our very first little boy because the vet (actually a veterinary college) did not do what they said they would do. They used swine anesthesia rather than Iso gas. We got our little boy home and he died about 10 hours later in our arms (reaction to the swine anesthesia). You do NOT want to go through this!

Again, do not be afraid to ask these questions. You are paying for this service and your pig is depending on YOU to do the right thing. So, ask the questions, and any others you feel you need to ask. And make sure you get the answers you want (in writing if necessary). If your vet is not open to this, gives you attitude, or refuses to listen, GET ANOTHER VET!

The information presented within our information and resources section has been collected from what we consider experts and various reputable persons including vets, sanctuary owners, and private pig owners among others. Information shown is the latest available. Although we have had pet pigs for 20 years and consider ourselves quite knowledgeable, we are by no means veterinarians. Any health related information presented below should be checked out with your personal veterinarian.


Pigs are where it's at.

ALL pet pigs should be spayed or neutered before sold. They should be at least 6-8 weeks of age and weaned from mom.

PLEASE do your homework before getting a pig for a pet. Make sure that you are zoned for pigs as pets. Is there a vet in your area that will see mini pigs?

Please make sure that you're ready to commit to this pet for the next 12-15 plus years. The truth is that the potbellied pig is only a good pet for those who take commitment and responsible pet ownership very seriously.


"Potbelly pigs are not products you just throw away when you get bored or become overwhelmed. They are intelligent, caring creatures who depend on you for their survival.

PLEASE: Do your homework BEFORE getting one. Don't be stubborn or worse, ignorant. Know the facts before you get into unexpected problems."

Richard Slayton
Proud Pot Belly Pig Dad.
Animal Poison Control

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is your best resource for any poison-related emergency, 24/7, 365. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call 888.426.4435. A $65 per case fee may apply.