March 2015 E-News: Smart Pets Celebrate World Water Day!

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During the month of March, High Touch High Tech is celebrating National Pig Day (March 1st) as well as World Water Day (March 22)! Let’s celebrate by taking a closer look at one of the smartest pets on the planet and why they love to play in the water so much!

Pigs are the fourth most intelligent creature on earth next to dolphins, chimpanzees and humans. They can be curious, mischievous and even sometimes manipulative. Pigs are sensitive creatures that can be playful, and almost humorous. They have a love for playing in the water as well as in the mud!

Contrary to a popular belief pigs are clean animals. They prefer bathing in fresh water rather than mud. However, they do wallow in mud because it helps to keep them cool longer than taking a dip in water. The water will evaporate off their skin faster than mud will! Mud also helps to block their skin from being burnt by the sun. Pigs don’t “sweat like pigs”; they are actually unable to sweat, and they like to bathe in water or mud to keep cool. Another reason why pigs wallow in the mud, is to keep pesky parasites and other insects from biting their sensitive skin.

There is an actual colony of pigs located on the island of Exuma in the Bahamas that can be seen sunbathing on white sandy beaches and swimming in the crystal blue Caribbean waters. The pigs frolic in the water and have impressive paddling skills. You can drive your boat up to the shore and pigs will swim right up to you, in search of a tasty treat. Want to hop out of the boat and swim with the pigs? Go right ahead! So what are these pigs doing in the Bahamas? Legend has it that sailors left the pigs on this tiny, uninhabited island planning to return and use them for food, but they never came back and now the pigs rule. Other theories include that they were part of a business scheme to attract tourists to the Bahamas.

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Pigs can make exceptional household pets with the right training and proper positive reinforcement from their owners. Pigs can easily learnĀ tricks, such as sitting, turning circles, shaking hands, rolling a ball, retrieving an object, and even blowing a horn. It is not necessary to teach your pig tricks for the sake of tricks, but it is necessary to teach your pig good manners. Teaching your pig simple things like ‘sit’, ‘be gentle’, etc., you will develop a system of communicating with your pig. Pigs love to learn and are capable of learning many behaviors and words, even full sentences. A training session with your pig shows him that you are interested in him and that you care. And don’t forget to pay your pig! Pigs are highly food-motivated and will do just about anything for a treat. When it comes to training a piggy; a small piece of a treat works as well as a handful. Once your pig has learned a few behaviors, reward him only after he’s followed a series of directions. Reward him with a small treat and with lots of praise and enthusiasm, too! Keep the training fun and short, starting with 3 minute sessions and working up.

Pigs love to be scratched, rubbed and massaged. They can be affectionate in their own ways. Most pigs don’t like to be picked up, but will gladly lie with you and enjoy a long cuddle. Pigs appreciate and seek out human company.

A pig may be one of the smartest pets you can own, but before you go out and purchase a piggy, please make sure you do all the homework and research first! These pets have an average lifespan of 15-20 years, that’s a really big time commitment!

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