Pigs are usually up for eating, whether they need food or not, so it's important to control a potbelly pig's calorie levels. Having healthy treats on hand is key to this, whether you use them for training tools, rewards or occasional snacks. Making homemade treats allows you to control ingredients, quality and freshness.
Focus on Pig-Friendly Ingredients
In the wild, pigs eat a range of vegetation, acorns, grains and small animals. Potbelly pigs require a high-fiber diet; excess fat and protein consumption can cause unnecessary weight gain. Although pigs tend to prefer sweets, some have sugar intolerance. You must avoid high-sugar treats. Focusing on making treats with produce and other sources of fiber produce will benefit your potbelly pig's health while providing a tasty snack.
Fruit and Vegetable-Based Treats
Fruits and vegetables are a healthy treat base for potbelly pigs. For a simple homemade treat, cut vegetables and fruits such as carrots, apples and sweet potatoes into thin strips or cubes, and spread them across a baking sheet. Top with olive oil and bake until dry and crispy. Cooking time averages 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees. You can utilize a range of fruits and vegetables, but don't go overboard on sugary fruit.
Peanut Butter and Popcorn
Potbelly pigs love peanut butter, and popcorn offers them fiber. Mixing the two creates another tasty homemade treat. Pop 3 tablespoons of popcorn kernels, which yields about a cup of popcorn. In a large bowl, melt a quarter-cup of peanut butter in the microwave; this will likely take about two minutes but varies. Add the popcorn to the peanut butter and stir them together for a sticky, yummy homemade treat your pig should love.
Ingredients to Avoid
Some foods aren't good for pigs' diets. These include overly fatty foods, excess dairy products, refined ingredients like pretzels and potato chips, and sweets like cake and pie. Avoid chocolate, as some pigs are allergic. Too much salt can lead to salt poisoning in pigs, so limit salt content. Relatively unseasoned organic table scraps are fine. Also, although wild pigs may occasionally eat acorns, eating too many can cause a toxic reaction, so limit or avoid acorns when creating homemade treats for a potbelly pig.
- The Blog of Potbellied Pigs Tender Loving Care: 5 Best Treats for Pot Belly Pigs
- Healthy Pigs: Pot-Bellied Pig Nutrition
- Reginald H. Barret and Grant H. Birmingham: “Wild Pigs.” Fisheries, Wildlife, & Aquaculture Extension
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.