Pigs are often associated with dirty, disgusting and undesirable situations. After all, people call messy individuals “pigs” and messy spaces “pigsties”. Actually, pigs are naturally very clean, obedient and intelligent animals, and they can make wonderful pets. However, just like owning any other pet, when an individual chooses to own a pig they must understand how to properly interact with, take care of and raise their pet pig.
Tips for Raising a Pet Pig
Pet pigs can be successfully house and leash trained, just like pet dogs, and they can be quite fun to work with. However, they have very unique care requirements an individual should be prepared for. The very first step for successfully owning and raising a pet pig is to make sure that it is legal to do so in your neighborhood. Some neighborhoods prohibit the ownership of a pet pig, so this needs to be researched in your own neighborhood. Once you have determined that it is legal to own a pet pig in your neighborhood, you can learn what it means to raise a healthy, happy pet pig.
1. Find out how to keep your pig healthy and happy.
Pigs are naturally very social creatures, which means you can’t simply place your pet pig in your backyard, feed them once a day, and hope to keep them happy. They need to spend time interacting with you so you can assert yourself as the leader, otherwise they may become spoiled or even aggressive. You may even want to consider getting two pigs so that they can keep each other company. Pigs are also very smart, very curious, and very strong. They may pull up the carpet, open their enclosure gate or squeeze through fencing, and they will often do these things if they feel bored. It’s important to your pig’s health and happiness that they remain preoccupied and stimulated. Even if you choose to keep your pig indoors sometimes or most of the time, they should also have an outdoor area where they can root and play. One final factor to consider in keeping your pig healthy and happy is their lifespan and associated costs. Depending on the specific breed of pig, they can live for up to twenty years and they will need food, vaccinations, hoof and tusk trimming and other veterinary care for the duration of their lifespan.
2. Make sure your pig has a place to wallow.
While wallowing in mud puddles may be where people got the idea that pigs are messy, this is actually an important action that helps him regulate proper body temperature. Pigs cannot sweat, so wallowing allows them to remain cool, especially during hot weather months.
3. Provide your pet pig with a varied diet.
If you ensure that your pig has a plentiful and varied diet rich in fruits and vegetables, he will remain satisfied and he will be less likely to root around constantly. Rooting can lead to severe plowing of your yard, and it usually can be minimized with a better diet. It is important to make sure that you don’t feed your pig food that is intended for a slaughter pig or other farm animals.
4. Make sure your pig has a dry and sheltered sleeping spot.
Piglets love to burrow in a deep litter of hay in order to stay warm, a habit that many adult pigs will continue to perform. Make sure that your pig doesn’t have sawdust in his shelter as this can cause respiratory difficulties when they root around to make a bed.
5. Love your pig.
Pigs enjoy human interaction, and may even lie down to receive a tummy tickle from their human friend. It is important to take the time to interact with and love your pig, as this will build a more rewarding experience for both of you.