What to Consider When Adding a Pet Pig to Your Family
Our goal is to help facilitate successful pig adoptions all over the world, where pigs can find loving forever-homes for the most special lifelong relationship. Remember, when you're getting a pig, ADOPT, DON'T SHOP! :)
Does your city allow pigs? Pigs, even pet pigs, are considered livestock by the USDA and all governing bodies. Check with your local ordinances to ensure pigs are allowed in your city.
How big are mini pigs?
A healthy mini-pig can weigh between 80-200lbs, no matter what a breeder says. Pigs grow until they are five years old, and are always very small at birth. There is no 100% accurate way to predict what the full grown size of a pig might be. If you have a size restriction then a pig may not be the right pet for you.
What kind of space does a pig need?
Pigs do best with a lot of outside time. They will need a safe, secure space in which to root and play. They will also need to be provided with shelter from the elements, always have fresh water available and have a pool or wallow in the summer to help them stay cool. Pigs are tough on a yard and will tear up the grass and soil while rooting.
Should I spay/neuter my pig?
YES. Pigs who are intact, particularly males, are often exhibit aggressive behaviors based on their hormones. Always spay and neuter your pigs (and pets in general!)
How do pigs behave?
Pigs are loving, enjoy cuddling, belly rubs, and are often super chatty with their people. However, it's a common misconception that pigs are just like dogs. The biggest difference between pigs and dogs is that dogs are often willing to do anything for their parents, but pigs are highly self-concerned, more intellectually and emotionally complex, and independently-minded. They require a lot of stimulation (and have been known to make messes and get destructive if left alone for too long!)
A pig parent's goal should be to enable confidence in their pig. Confidence comes from security in their social standing, which is structured as a ladder with each person and animal in the family on a separate rung. By asserting leadership qualities, you and your human family members can comfortably establish yourself as higher on the ladder. When pigs feel confident in their social structure, they're much happier.
If you're a pig owner and struggling with the pig in your family, we offer free behavioral consultations . Click here to schedule a call with a pig behavior expert!
What should I feed my pig?
An adult pig's diet should be low protein and low fat. For adult pigs looking to maintain weight, we recommend feeding 1 cup of high quality miniature pig feed twice/day for pigs up to 150 lbs. Pigs love salads, vegetables, and fruits as well, but generally we recommend using those as supplements and snacks (not as a replacement for a meal).
Sadly, 95% of mini-pigs get rehomed at some point in their life. This is often because pig parents had the wrong expectation for their pig or aren't allowed to have one in their city/HOA, We never want to see pigs get rehomed, as it is often distressing to them, causing them to grief for their lost family. We would be happy to schedule a free behavioral consultation with you to help you work through any issues to help you keep your pig in your family.
While pigs can get along well with other barnyard animals and cats, you must use extreme caution with dogs. Dog attacks are common and one of the leading causes of death in pet pigs (that includes sibling dogs). Dogs are predators and pigs are prey animals, no matter how well behaved the dog there can be some hard-wired instincts to go after the pig. Pigs can also be extremely pushy towards other animals but have no way to defend themselves if they go too far and often end up injured in a fight. Pigs and dogs should never be alone unsupervised, even if they appear to be friends. They should have separate spaces to stay in when unsupervised. What happens if you plan to travel?
Pigs bond very strongly with their owners and do not always respond well to them leaving. Pigs should never be dropped off at a dog kennel for boarding and a sitter who is familiar with the pig will need to be found. This person will need to know the pig’s behavior, schedule and what to do in case of an emergency. A pig may try to challenge any incoming caretaker or develop health issues (such as ulcers) due to the stress of their owner being gone.
Vet care Vet care for a pet pig can be challenging. Many small animals vet will not see pigs and you will have to seek out someone with experience. Pig vet visits typically cost more, as they are an exotic animal and not as common for most clinics. Pigs do not do well with anesthesia and need to have a special type used (Isoflorine or ISO). Spaying or neutering your pet pig is extremely important and can be quite costly (typically $250-$400 for a spay and $100-$300 for neutering). Male pigs that are unaltered emit a strong smelling musk and can act aggressively towards people or other animals. Un-spayed females can forget where to go to the bathroom, act aggressively or whine uncontrollably when they come into heat every 21 days. Additionally, uterine cancer in unfixed female pigs is incredibly high and signs usually begin to show around 5 years old. Routine
Pigs thrive on routine, which means their owners must also stick to that routine. Meal times should occur at the same time every day, which means you need to get up every morning and be home at the same time every single day. Failure to stick to a routine can lead to a destructive or loud, demanding pig. Pigs are very time-consuming pets that require a lot of attention and time from their owners to be well-behaved members of the family.