At Hog Haven Farm, we get asked a lot of questions. Sure, it isn’t every day you meet people who are determined to do everything they can to support, rescue, educate and service the community with potbellied pigs. Many of the questions we are asked are centered around the bathroom habits of pigs–and the rest comparing pigs to dogs. People need a reference point to understand the connection of pigs as pets–and here is the answer to our most frequently asked question: Why Pigs?
Let’s talk first about the concept of keeping domesticated animals as companions–i.e. pets–in our homes. Psychological studies over the last decade have agreed that there are both physical and psychological benefits of maintaining a human-animal relationship. Research suggests that keeping a pet can reduce stress, lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce depression, loneliness and isolation, and increase social interactions and connections with those who have similar pets. Whether it be a typical household pet–such as a dog, cat, or bird–or an exotic pet, the bond between humans and companion animals is undeniable.
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:
In August 2014, we rescued Pumba, a four-month old potbellied pig looking for some TLC and a good home. It was our intention to foster Pumba and find him a good match–but, he instantly bonded with us, and we decided to keep him! Pumba had been fed a poor diet, and in such case, was overweight with terribly dry skin and mange mites. We switched him to a healthier diet, including pig chow and a supplement of vegetables, and gave him skin treatments with coconut oil. In addition, we provided him with an Ivomec treatment (a dewormer) that helped eliminate the mange. Check out Pumba’s pictures over the past few months–he’s looking way better, and he’s finally grown into his body! We absolutely love this guy, and must say that our first real rescue attempt was a success!