Pigs as Pets
Posted by Far North International on August 30, 2018
Here we are for part 2 of the pig series. We’ll get into house training and behaviors as well as three different breeds and what to expect.
Pigs are very smart animals and that makes them easily trainable. They are also creatures of habit, however, so the key is to train them as early on as possible. If you don’t want them going in a certain room, block it off with a dog gate or a playpen. Pigs can be trained to use a litter box just make sure it’s in a different area from where they eat. Use shredded paper or pine chips inside instead of cat litter as some pigs tend to eat the litter. Overall, pigs like to be clean so if they have regular access to outside (like a dog door) then they will only eliminate waste in one corner of the yard.
They are similar to dogs in the ways they can be trained and their love for their owners. Most pigs love to play especially with toys that can keep them occupied while indoors. All pigs should also be neutered or spayed to reduce aggression and frustration.
Rooting is something all pigs do either to communicate, to cool off, for food, or for comfort. It can cause bruising if the pig is feeling extra aggressive or needy, so experts recommend redirecting them to a blanket or a stuffed animal so they won’t try to root ino your skin. Pigs will try to root through your flooring if they don’t get let outside everyday. If there is a garden or other area you don’t want the little guy rooting through or grazing in then have a fenced off area where the pig will be able to root freely.
The three most common breeds of pigs for pets are the pot bellied, the miniature, and the kunekune.
Pot- bellied pigs are active, curious, affectionate, and ready to be trained. The majority of this breed only grow to be the size of a medium or large dog. Because of these traits they are one of the most popular breeds.
The miniature (aka teacup) pig are the smallest of pig breeds who need a lot of interaction and attention. It is best to have more than one so they can always have someone to play with. Be careful when adopting, however, as baby pot-bellied pigs can be sold under false pretense or can be underfed to stunt their growth.
The kunekune pig is hairy breed that is very friendly and affectionate which makes it the ideal choice for playing with children indoors.
Having a pet pig is a unique experience that teaches patience and adaptability. However, this isn't a decision you should just jump into; volunteer somewhere and really get to know these awesome animals before you take one or two home. Depending on the personality of your pig pal it can be frustrating to train them, but if you give them a chance and take your time they will learn. As mentioned, pigs are one of the smartest animals and have a lot of love to share!
Go back and read the last pig blog here!