What is a mini pig?
A mini pig is a classification of domestic pig (typically a pot bellied pig) that is less than 400lbs. They are considered “mini” because they are smaller than a typical farm hog, which can weigh 500-1000+ lbs. Pigs live up to 20 years and are a long-term commitment as a pet.
What about those pigs that stay really small?
Unfortunately this is one of the most common myths about pet pigs. Breeders are trying to make their product appealing so they often lie about the size a pig will get to sell more pigs; they typically say their pigs will stay between 20-40lbs. Breeder’s will say that their pigs are different or will stay small if kept to a “special diet”, which simply isn’t true. Their pigs are the same as every other mini pig and that “special diet” often means feeding a pig tiny amounts of food to keep it small. Pigs kept on a severely restricted diet are malnourished and can develop health problems and even die after only a few years. Pigs can begin breeding at 6 months of age but will not reach their full size until 3-5 years old, so be aware that the “fully grown” parents you might see at a breeder’s home may actually be very young pigs (a well fed pot belly pig will only be 40-50 lbs at 6 months old). Pigs that get bigger than expected are often given away by their families; only 2-5% of people that buy a pet pig keep it. If you have a size limit then a pig may not be the right pet for you.
Aren’t pigs cleaner than dogs?
Yes and no. Pigs are extremely clean in their bathroom habits and prefer to only go in one area that is far away from where they eat or sleep. But pigs also spend most of their time digging in the dirt or cooling off in mud so they do get very dirty. If you have a pig in your house you can expect dirt on your baseboards and muddy snout prints all over! Luckily, most pigs love to be groomed and brushed so they can be cleaned up easily.
Aren’t pigs really smart?
Pigs are incredibly smart animals but that also makes them more emotional, less obedient and much more stubborn than other pets. They need constant mental stimulation and proper activities or they can become destructive or moody. Giving a pig a lot of time outside and places to root and explore can help keep them busy. They will also need boundaries to be a better companion animal.
How will a pig get along with my other pets?
Pigs and cats can actually get along well in most cases, and pigs do well in a farm setting. However, extreme caution must be used with pigs and dogs. Pigs and dogs do not communicate the same way and pigs can be very pushy, causing even the best-behaved dog to snap at them. As pigs are prey animals they do not have a way to defend themselves and generally come off worse in a fight. Dogs are also predatory animals and can see pigs as something to chase or attack. Dog and pigs must always be supervised when together and should be securely separated when unattended.
Can I have a pig in the house?
First you need to make sure pigs are allowed in your area. Pigs may be classified as livestock in your area and not allowed. You will need to check for restrictions in your city. Many Home Owner Associations also do not allow pigs, so if you have an HOA you will need to check that too. DO NOT get a pig if your city or HOA does not allow it. You cannot hide a pig; they are loud animals. Many families who have not properly checked restrictions have been forced to give up their pet pigs, which is extremely hard on both the family and the pet. Pigs need a lot of outdoor time and space and do not do well in apartments.