Pot Bellied Pigs/Itchy pig

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Question
Just curious -- as soon as I put lotion my legs in the morning, Terk immediately follows me around until he can get a good scratch against them. It's the funniest thing. Why does he do that? Does he like the smell, or does he want me to put lotion on him too? Do you think he knows it's lotion?? I feel silly for asking, because I love it and he wags his tail every time afterward. He won't do it front on strangers or houseguests, though. Only my roommate. He seems to especially like vanilla and coconut scents!

Answer
It's the smell. Pigs have an incredible sense of smell, and scented lotions and cosmetics can have a strange effect on pigs. Their reactions range from simple signs of enjoyment, like rubbing, to intense, almost seizure-like behavior. In extreme cases, the pig will freeze and fall to the floor, rubbing his face against the floor and jerking, sometimes squealing. It's very scary to see the first time it happens!

Pigs do love the smell of vanilla, and it can be used to coax a pig into a crate, or teach a pig to use an object for a trick.

Pot Bellied Pigs

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Helen Morrison

Expertise

Pot-bellied or other miniature pet pig care, including diet, housing, training, health care. Can provide information about zoning, adoption, supplies, and organizations. Questions about any kind of pet swine are welcome!

Experience

Owning, raising, and caring for small pet swine, including "Vietnamese" pot-bellied pigs since 1992.

Organizations
Pigs of Great Fortune; FAREC; PigCollaborative

Education/Credentials
BBA from KSU

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