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Adopting a Pig

If you are considering the adoption of a miniature pig, please review the questions below carefully. Miniature pigs are intelligent, affectionate, and clean; but they are not always a good match for those in the market for a new animal companion.

Are you looking for an animal that will stay very small?

If your answer is YES, a miniature pig is not the right pet for you. Even miniature pigs reach a healthy adult weight range of 90 to 250 pounds. They stand 18 to 24 inches at the shoulder, and have the girth of a large-breed dog. You may have heard people talking about "Teacup" or "Micro" pigs, but there are actually no such breeds. Domestic miniature pig breeds include Vietnamese Potbellied, Kunekunes, and Göttingen Mini-Pigs. Potbellied pigs and Potbellied crossbreeds are the most commonly available, and comprise most of the pigs in our sanctuaries and rescue network as well as those offered by breeders. If managing an animal that could reach as much as 250 pounds at adulthood does not change your mind, keep reading. A sweet friendly piggy may be in your future!

Are you ready for a 20 year commitment?

You read that correctly. 20 years. Miniature pigs live for an average of 15 years, but many have been known to pass that mark and live on to a ripe old age of 20; sometimes a bit longer. Pigs often need special considerations and care as they move into their senior years. If your answer to this question is NO, unfortunately a miniature pig is not the pet for you. If you are looking for a long-term animal companion and you are ready to commit to his or her needs for as much as 20 years, please read on.

Can you provide for the veterinary care of your pig?

Piglets need to be spayed or neutered when they are of an appropriate age. Like cats and dogs, pigs may also need vaccines, worming medications, regular check-ups, and medical treatment for any injury or illness that may crop up during their lifetime. Pigs also need their hooves trimmed, and sometimes their tusks too. Most pet owners require veterinary assistance to provide this service. Finding an experienced vet and obtaining services for a miniature pig can be surprisingly costly, as even veterinarians who treat "exotics" may not have adequate experience with miniature pigs. If you answered this question NO, a miniature pig will not be a good pet for you. If you are able and willing to provide for proper veterinary care for the lifetime of your pig, continue to the next question!

Are you willing to provide your pig with a proper diet?

An appropriate diet is imperative to your pet’s health. Your pig may try to convince you otherwise, but they cannot just eat anything they want! Miniature pigs should be kept on an appropriate miniature pig-chow; selected and measured in keeping with their age, weight, and growth. They also need healthy treats like grasses, vegetables, fruits and the occasional boiled egg. Miniature pigs cannot be kept on a diet of dog or cat food, farm-pig food, or scraps. We also strongly caution against any breeder-created foods that have not been assessed and approved by the FDA. While your pig will greedily eat anything you put before it, an improper diet will result in unhealthy weight gain or loss, aggressive behavior, and number of other long-term health issues ranging from skeletal malformation to blindness. If your answer to this question is YES, keep reading! If this is not a commitment that you feel comfortable taking on, the miniature pig is not a good match for you.

Are you able to provide a safe enclosure with adequate shelter and access to water?

In addition to regular access to sun, shade, and clean water, pigs need a large safe area in which to engage their natural piggy behaviors. Pigs love to rub, root, and wallow; three natural and necessary behaviors that can often prove very destructive if they are "indoor-only" or not provided with their own space in the yard. Pigs love to be inside, and may be house-trained, but they need their outdoor time too! Outside, pigs need an appropriate shelter that will protect them during all seasons and bedding that is kept clean and fresh. They need regular access to a wallow or wading pool, especially during warmer months. If you are unable to meet any of these requirements, you will not be able to keep a miniature pig for a pet. If you answered YES, proceed to the last question!

Are you prepared for a pet that needs a lot of attention?

Pigs are highly social herd animals; and, for that reason, we often try to adopt them out in pairs. Even then, they need lots of love and attention. But, for a pig kept alone, you are his or her "herd". The sensitive and social pig makes for a most affectionate pet. However, lonely pigs can become very destructive and occasionally aggressive. If you welcome a pig into your family, the pig must be family! If your answer was YES, a miniature pig may be just the companion for you!

If you are comfortable with all of the information above and interested in adopting a miniature pig, please review our Adoption Overview.

Questions?

Please contact us at info@lilorphanhammies.org.

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