TEACUP PIGS ARE ADORABLE.
That’s just a fact. But there are a lot of things to consider when thinking about getting any animal as a pet, so we’re outlining why you need a pig and why you might think twice.
Pigs are very trainable, as they are very very intelligent! Pigs are like 3-year-old children - intelligent, curious, mischievous and sometimes manipulative. They are sensitive creatures that can be playful, and even humorous. In the intelligence scale, they are only two species away from the intelligence of humans! Only the monkey/ape family and the dolphin/whale families are more intelligent.
Pigs don’t have coats, so they don’t shed dander like cats and dogs. That means they tend not to aggravate allergies in people with pet allergies
You can litter train them, and teach them tricks just as you would a dog. They are clean, generally non-allergenic, odor-free, flea-free, charming and inexpensive to feed. Pigs are social, bonding easily with humans. When you bond with a pig, its a bond like no other animal. They’ll readily roll over for a tummy rub, as well as snuggle with you. They don’t bark, prowl the streets or spread rabies. Compared with dog droppings, mild smelling “pig berries” are a breeze to clean up. Pigs are motivated by food, so treat-based positive reinforcement training is best. You can take them for walks, and you can usually use products made for dogs, including leads, bowls and adorable little jackets and outfits.
Piggies are "special" animals and owners who take the time to understand the psychology of piggies bond very closely with their piggies. Many owners sleep with their pigs, travel with their oinkers, dress them in costumes and share every aspect of their lives with their piggy companions. Piggies love to have their tummies scratched, and to snuggle with their owners.
Pigs don’t have sweat glands, so they don’t generate their own funky smell. The males only begin to stink because when they mature they develop scent glands that smell awful. Neutered and female pigs don’t develop these glands, so they never really smell bad in and of themselves.
Pigs are very sociable, and they get on well with other household pets, especially if they are introduced to other animals at a younger age.
Pigs love to be in blankets, and not just during winter holidays. They love their blankets all the time. Digging around in blankets helps alleviate their rooting instinct, and when they do that, you’ll have a pig in a blanket.
WHY YOU’LL WANT TO THINK TWICE
While pigs are highly trainable and can learn at a faster rate than dogs, pig behavior is vastly different from dog behavior. As eager as a dog can be to please his master, a pig’s respect, trust and cooperation must be earned.
Piggies are herd animals with a strong pecking order. If they are spoiled, they often become territorial, and aggressive towards humans, especially house guests. The pigs have an instinctual urge to be "Top Hog," and defend their turf. Pigs with lots of subtle, daily discipline and boundaries in the home, do not exhibit this phenomena. The oinkers must be taught the word "NO" and to respect humans.
Piggies enjoy time outdoors, in a fenced yard (secure from hostile dogs) and/or taken on daily walks. This cuts down on household territorialism, and gives the pig something to do. Pigs root, although this can be somewhat curtailed. They rarely get fleas, but do get mange, which is easily treatable. All in all, pigs have the potential to be the BEST pet, or the very WORST pet. It really depends upon the expectations and efforts of the owners.
If you are getting a pig for a teenager, ask yourself if you are prepared to take care of the pig when your child gets busy with high school activities. Who will take care of the pig when your child leaves for college or first job? Proceed with caution when getting a pig for young children. Children of any age are frequently intrigued with the idea of getting a pet pig, but quickly the responsibility of daily care falls in the hands of parents. Are you prepared for that?
You need to know the legalities of owning a teacup pig in your area. They can be considered livestock or exotic animals and not always allowed in neighborhoods.
Standard procedures for cats and dogs, like spaying and neutering, need to be done by a specialist on a pig. This is important because you have to spay and neuter pigs (all or our male pigs are neutered, but our females are too tiny for the surgery until they are 4-5 months of age). If not spayed or neutered, piggies can become unmanageable.
Pigs need access to water, as they love to play in it. If you get a teacup pig, get a little shallow kiddy pool.
Pigs don’t have anything that regulates their hunger, so they are always hungry. They can learn how to open fridges and cabinets to get to food so it's best not to give them food from a cupboard - they will remember which cupboard they need to open!
OKAY, SO THESE ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF HAVING A TEACUP PIG.
Some people think they would be too much hassle, and other families couldn’t imagine their lives without their pigs. Like any animal, you have to weigh the benefits and the disadvantages and make an informed decision about whether or not you can handle the responsibility and whether or not the animal will be happy with the life you can give them. It’s not a decision to make lightly, because you don’t want to put a pig in an animal rescue just for being itself! By far, the hardest thing I do is helping a pig when it has been returned getting over its depression.