So you think you want a pet pig?
Before you make up your mind to go out and buy or adopt any animal, there are a few questions you need to answer for yourself and for others who may consider selling or adopting you a pet pig.
Have you ever owned a pig before? If so what happened to it?
Are you aware of the long term commitment involved with owning a pet pig? That they can live to be 10 to 17 years old or longer. That pigs bond deeply with their caretakers and it is very important to understand that they are not just throw away animals when you tire of them or they get sick and need medical attention.
Many states are now faced with over-population of miniature pet pigs that are being dumped. Please don't be come part of the problem.
Do you have one now?
If you already have one, why do you want another? Are you aware of the increase in medical bills and that long term care is doubled. Are you prepared for the long haul of more than one pet pig? If so and you have done your homework and know that you can care for more than one, then you will be making a difference by adopting instead of purchasing your next pet pig. All pigs can stand a buddy and it will also be to your pigs benefit if you can afford the new one. Just remember it will need to be kept separated and gradually placed in with yours. Be sure it is up to date on all vaccines and is not going to bring in an illness that can endanger the pig that you now have.
Is this to be an inside or outside pet pig?
All pigs need outside time, even if you are acquiring a house pig. Pigs love to root and lay in the sun and it is healthy for them to do so. They will get a lot of their needed iron from the dirt along with other nutriments. But remember that if it is to be an inside pig, it will need a litter box or someone to open the door so he/she can go outside to potty. Although easy to housebreak they still need supervision.
Do you have a fenced in yard?
Not just any old fence will do, but it is a start. Pigs can and will root under a fence if they can. If it is not secured into the ground my post, concrete or hooks, you might end up with an escape artist. This can be dangerous for your pig if it can get out and get hit by an on coming automobile. It is your responsibility to make sure it is safely enclosed in a safe area at all times. Do not take this lightly.
If inside, is your house pig proofed?
Living with a pet pig is like living with a 2 or 3 year old child. They are smart and inquisitive and love to explore. They can open cabinets and doors and even been known to open refrigerators. They can pull over lamps and upset tables and have been known to get bored and chew and pull up linoleum and even to eat drywall when looking for something to do. They need lots of stimulation to keep them occupied and satisfied and out of trouble.
What age are you looking for?
There are several reasons that age should even matter. One is if you have small children in your home. If you do, then you need a baby piglet that will grow up with the children. Also, your age and health must be considered. Remember the pig lives for a long time and you need to be around to take care of it. If not, you need to have someone in place that will care for the pig should something happen to you. This should be a consideration no matter what your age or pigs age. We advise that you take out a small insurance policy on yourself for the benefit of your pets you may leave behind. You should name them in your will and also who is to take charge of them.
Also, if you are getting an additional pig, consider the size and age of the pig you already have and try to match them up equally. This will help them in setting their pecking order and becoming buddies.
This is a personal preference. Also consider how you will bath and take care of it.
Male or female?
Both males and females make good pets if neutered and spayed. But sometimes if you are adopting an older female that is on the large size and over weight, it is not always feasible to spay a female. Remember that pig will have PMS every 21 days for the whole of its life. Please take this into consideration when adopting a pet pig. You will have to live with this for ever how long the pig lives.
Are you willing to pay shipping? Are you willing to drive 3 or 4 hrs to pick one up?
It's not always easy to find a pig next door. You may have to shell out some bucks in order to get the pig shipped to you plus blood test and health certificates. So if you can't afford these, you can't afford the pig. This is only the beginning of the costs involved with owning a pet pig. This is where it starts and it is a responsibility to not take lightly.
Are you prepared for the winter with one? Meaning if it is an outside pig, do you have the right shelter with hay and a heat lamp available.
All animals need shelter and a place to be warm and out of the cold. If you have a house pig, all is well. But if you have an outside pig you will need to have a good shelter for him. If you live where it gets really cold then it should be insulated and have lots of bedding where it can bury under to keep warm. Heat lights are great but also remember they can cause fires and should be used with extreme caution. They should have water that is not frozen so you may need to find a way to keep the water from freezing.
The other side is that they need cool water during the summer months and a pool to keep cool in. Also don't forget shade. If you don't have trees or shrubs then consider putting up a lean-to or even black screening used in hot-houses to block the sun rays. Pigs get cancer from the sun just as humans do if they have no source of protection from the suns elements.
Do you own a dog(s)? If so, what kind and how do or does it get along with other animals?
This is a very touchy subject and one that requires a lot of thought and consideration. If you own a dog that has any kind of hunting instinct, then you really don't need a pig. Remember that dogs are predators and pigs are prey. In a fight between a pig and a dog, the pig will most likely be the looser. The rule is NEVER LEAVE A DOG AND PIG ALONE TOGETHER UNATTENDED.......!
Are you zoned to have a pig as a pet? Lots of towns, cities and villages don't allow them.
Always check this out first and get it in writing. If you get a pig and it is not legal, you have put the pet pig in harms way and more than likely it will end up homeless. If you are not zoned for pigs and still want one, then either move or work to change the zoning rules first. Better safe than sorry.
Would you be willing to take 2 so that it would have a friend to snuggle with if an outside pig?
When possible, it is always best to have two pigs. If you are a first time pig owner, you may want to start out with just one and then add another one in about six months. You will find you will have happier pet pigs and it will not take away from them bonding with you and your family.
Have you located a vet that knows about potbellied pigs or is willing to learn and to treat?
This is really important to find one before you get a pig. Lots of people wait and then can't find a vet and this can lead to the pig dying with out vet care when needed. A good reputable breeder or sanctuary owner should make sure you are lined up with a good veterinarian. If not, you maybe able to locate one on our web site at http://come.to/pigsaspets .
Can you supply us with a reference from a neighbor or vet?
If you have a local vet who has treated other pets for you, you can ask him for a letter of reference or a close neighbor who knows how you take care of the pets you already have owned or now have.
Can someone come check out your home to be sure it will be safe?
We will be glad to send you a home check list so that you can feel comfortable with having a home check done. You will know what they look for and how to make corrections. Most breeders and sanctuary owners will be glad to go over everything in detail with you. We, like yourself, only want the best for your pet pig.
We really care about these pigs we place and each sanctuary has it's own check list to insure the pig will be well cared for. We are not breeders and we are not in it for the bucks but for the pig and therefore we want to be sure it will be well cared for.
We love to find good homes for abandoned and unwanted pet pigs but we are also cautious and want the new owner to realize the long term commitment they are making. The average size of a mature pig at the age of 3 yrs is between 90 and 150#. Pigs have special needs so you really need to have done your homework in finding out about them and to know up front what you will need to do to have a secure and good home for one.
We will be glad to mail you a free packet of information just for the cost of mailing. You can request one by E-Mailing Webmaster@pigsaspets.org .
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and if we don't know the answer, we'll find the answer. It is important that you make an informed decision for it is a long term commitment.
For the right people they make wonderful pets but for others they become a nightmare, so just please be sure and do your homework first.
Thank you for your interest in pet pigs.