November 4th is Mini-Pig Day! Pigs have traditionally been known as farm animals. However, they’ve recently decided to take a shot at living the pampered lives of a beloved pet, and are doing pretty well at it! These guys are not only really cute, but they are also extremely smart and lovable. However, it’s important to do plenty of research before adopting one. A Westminster, MD vet lists a few things for you to consider in this article.
You’ve likely seen pictures of ‘Teacup pigs’, sometimes called mini pigs or micro pigs. These charming bovines are very small and, of course, very cute. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation about them, some of which is very harmful. The main thing? Teacup pigs are actually potbellied pigs. They only stay small because they are deliberately malnourished and kept underweight. Inbreeding is also at play. These practices can lead to many health issues, and can severely impact the pig’s health, longevity, and quality of life. Aside from that, there’s also the fact that Porky may get much larger than the adorable little pigs you’ve seen in photos. How much larger? Potbellied pigs can reach 200 pounds.
Another thing to think about is price. Pigs that are marketed as teacup pigs can be extremely expensive. Some can cost over $3000! That’s just the cost to purchase one: it doesn’t even include food, housing, or veterinary care.
Alhough mini pigs are becoming more popular, they are still fairly rare as pets. You’ll need to find a veterinarian who has been trained to work with pigs, and is comfortable performing spay/neuter surgery, which we recommend.
Rules and regulations regarding pig ownership vary greatly depending on state, city, and even HOA. This is also something to consider if there is a chance that you may move in the future.
Pigs are fairly high-maintenance pets. They need quite a bit of room to roam and play, and they also need a lot of activity, toys, and training. Pigs that become bored or unhappy can quickly become aggressive. Unfortuantely, this leads to many of them being surrendered or rehomed. Porky will need lots of toys and enrichment, and possibly even a buddy!
As your Westminster, MD animal clinic, we are always here to help. Contact us with any questions about your pet pig!