By nature, potbellied pigs are relatively clean animals. If you keep pigs as pets -- whether in the house or outdoors -- the biggest odor problem you're likely to encounter is from pig urine and feces, not the pigs themselves. Pig urine contains high amounts of ammonia, so accidents in the house can cause a nasty stink. Fortunately, products are available to help you get rid of pig odors; a few basic husbandry practices can eliminate smells.
You can add odor-eliminating supplements to your pig's food that help keep ammonia smells to a minimum. Such additives might contain sarsapon, a natural ingredient derived from the yucca plant. If your pig uses a litter box, such a supplement makes cleaning somewhat easier to bear. Pigs with flatulence won't emit such foul odors when their food includes these supplements.
If your pig does pee on your carpet or floor, you need a cleaning product that gets rid of the ammonia smell. While you can use products marketed for dogs and cats -- which are more readily available at pet stores and supermarkets -- it's best to purchase cleaners designed specifically to get rid of the extra ammonia in porcine urine. You can find them online or ask your vet for a recommendation. You can also use powder products in your pig's litter box to keep odors down.
Spaying and Neutering
It's a good idea to spay and neuter your pig for reasons other than odor control, but it's a necessity for that purpose. By the age of 2 months, potbellied pigs are sexually mature. Intact male potbellied pigs can become aggressive, but they also stink. Neutering takes care of the odor and the aggression. Intact female pigs go into heat every three weeks. Besides behavioral issues, intact females pee all over the place. Spaying eliminates the heat cycle and your pig should remember her potty training.
Clean Up the Pen
Many municipalities still consider pigs livestock and don't allow them to be kept as pets. If your town does permit you to have a potbellied pig, take care to remain a good neighbor and clean up after your pet. That's true whether you're taking your pig for a walk or if he's "doing his business" in your backyard. In 2014, the city of Pensacola, Florida considered an ordinance allowing potbellied pigs that stated that it was unlawful for pig owners to allow the areas in which pigs are kept to become the "source of odors which are detectable on adjoining properties." Failure to keep your yard free of pig odors could cause you and other pig owners to lose the right to keep your pets in your town. Cleaning up the pen daily should prevent any odor issues.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.