Keeping Pigs as Pets

2019 Is the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Pig so let’s take a look at some pros and cons to keeping pigs as pets!

We choose our pets for various reasons. Self-sufficient cats entice those of us who prefer independent roommates that do not take up much space. Dog lovers seek out the companionship and boisterous personalities of tail-wagging pooches. Exotic pet owners appreciate the uniqueness of their reptiles and amphibians and how they may serve as conversation starters. 

Pot-bellied pigs also can make for interesting pets and can quickly become beloved additions to households. Curious, trainable and very intelligent, pigs offer more as pets than many people may realize. Oftentimes, they are mistakenly perceived as dirty, smelly, sweaty messes. Such misconceptions may make people wary of adopting pet pigs. While not ideal for everyone, pot-bellied pigs can make wonderful pets.

The Pig Placement Network, a service that facilitates pot-bellied pig adoptions and placement, says that while pigs are highly trainable and can learn at a faster rate than dogs, the behavior of pigs is quite different from pups. Prospective pig owners must learn the intricacies of pigs before considering taking one in as a pet. 

Pigs are regarded as prey and therefore have developed a suspicious nature. It can take time to earn a pig’s trust. Furthermore, pigs can become stubborn, depressed and easily bored if not given adequate attention. This may lead to destructive or aggressive behavior. Mini Pig Info, another pet pig resource, says pigs will constantly test limits. They quickly can learn that squealing will get them attention. Unlike other pets, pigs’ emotions closely mirror those of humans. 

Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig

Pot-bellied pigs, which originated in Vietnam, are one of the smallest breeds of pigs as compared to what one would find on a farm. Piglets may start out small and cute, but even a smaller potbellied pig can reach 100 to 170 pounds in adulthood. Those who don’t understand this ahead of time contribute to the growing number of pet pigs surrendered to shelters. 

Other factors that can influence if a pig is a right pet for a person:

• Pot-bellied pigs can live an average of 12 to 15 years with proper care. 

• Communities have their own specific rules regarding pet pigs. Check if pigs are legal before adopting one.

• Pigs are not apartment dwellers. They will need exercise and access to a yard that allows for rooting and exploration.

• Pigs have a pronounced sense of smell and will immediately know when someone is eating or opening food.

  • Finding a veterinarian who is familiar with pot-bellied pigs is key to maintaining the animal’s health and longevity.

Pot-bellied pigs can be a welcome addition to a home. With education, training, and patience, pigs can make great pets.