There’s no question about–potbellied pigs, especially as young piglets, are one of the cutest creatures on the planet. There’s a lot of craze going around with people wanting these amazing animals as pets, yet the rate of abandonment and rehoming is growing across the country.
If you are thinking of getting a pig as a pet, please do your homework and keep the following in mind:
- Pigs are a long commitment. With an average lifespan of 15-20 years, they will outlive other common domesticated pets. If you are thinking of a pet pig, are you ready for this lifetime commitment?
- Pigs are herd animals. This means that they operate within their own social circle–whether with humans or fellow pigs. We highly recommend having at least a pair of pigs, not just one, in a household. However, if you are rescuing or adopting a pig that has already lived in a single-pig home, be aware that bonding with other pigs (or animals) will take time and can be difficult. Be prepared to accommodate these adjustments, and don’t quickly give up on the pig.
- Pigs bond very strongly to their families. They are affectionate, social creatures and do not respond well to change. As such, they may not welcome strangers in your home. At Hog Haven Farm, we work very hard to keep our pigs socialized, with outreach programs in the community and visits to the public. Most domesticated pigs, however, may demonstrate dominant and aggressive behavior towards strangers. It’s a defense mechanism for pigs, and can be adjusted with proper training.
- Pigs are high maintenance, meaning they require attention! Pigs who are neglected (in terms of time spent) can demonstrate behavioral issues, such as rooting up carpet and tearing holes in walls, tipping over garbage cans and making a general mess. Do you have the proper time to spend with a pig? Please consider how long you’re gone throughout the day before making a commitment!
- THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A TEACUP PIG! Please bear in mind that most potbellied pigs grow between 50-200lbs, and much like human children, there is no size guarantee! DO NOT adopt or purchase a pig with the mindset of keeping a tiny pig in the house. However, pigs are very deceiving with weight. Because they are so dense, a 50lb pig may appear much smaller than they weigh.