Pet mini pigs are so popular that many of them have cute social media accounts on the internet. But do mini pigs make good pets in the real world? Mini pigs are not good pets for people uninformed about the challenges ahead. A pet mini pig has farm animal needs and might come with unexpected health issues. Your pet could grow bigger than you bargained for when you brought the adorable “miniature” pig home.
Mini or miniature pigs are also called teacup, micro, pocket, and pygmy pigs. However, according to the American Mini Pig Association’s Breeders Code of Ethics, respectable breeders should only use official terms like “American Mini Pig breeds or mini pigs.”
Mini pigs usually have stocky bodies with pot bellies, short legs, and small snouts. They are smaller versions of standard-sized pigs, but they’re not all miniature in size. They can range in weight from 70 to 300 pounds. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing exactly how big your young mini pigs will get until they mature.
Want to know more about raising mini pigs as pets? Read on to learn about a mini pig’s needs and decide if pig parenthood is right for you.
Do Mini Pigs Make Good Pets?
Mini pigs do not make good pets for people unprepared for their needs, size at maturity, and potential health issues. However, having mini pigs in the family can be fun and rewarding as long as their human caregivers understand the pitfalls. Be prepared to adjust to negative surprises and commit to your mini pig’s life-long care.
Pet mini pigs need outdoor space to enjoy fresh air, root around and relieve themselves. Some are litter box trained, but that’s only one less of many messes they love to make in your home.
Raising mini pigs as pets depends a lot on their breeding. Adopting mini pigs from reputable breeders is incredibly important to increase the probability of having healthy pets. Tragically, health issues from inhumane breeding practices plague mini pig populations worldwide.
How Do You Adopt A Pet Mini Pig?
Adopting healthy, happy mini pigs begins by making sure it’s legal to do so where you live. The next step is accepting you need to get more than one. Mini pigs need companionship, which could include your other pig-friendly pets, too.
Now choose a mini pig breeder that follows these and more protocols recommended by the American Mini Pig Association:
- The breeder offers a health guarantee and upfront disclosure of all mini pig health issues or defects.
- Your chosen breeder raises their mini pigs until at least 6-8 weeks old and spays or neuters them no less than a week before adoption.
- A reputable breeder ensures that their mini pigs are adequately weaned, well socialized with humans, and comfortable in a home environment before adoptions take place.
Don’t trust breeders who guarantee their mini pigs won’t grow over a specific size or weight. Instead, trustworthy breeders estimate a healthy weight range based on reliable, mature mini pig growth knowledge.
Also, prepare for the unanticipated costs of mini pig adoptions. Mini pigs cost thousands of dollars and much more to feed and care for them their entire lives.
How Long Do Mini Pigs Live?
Mini pigs live an average of 14-18 years, depending on their breeding and living conditions. However, some breeding practices used to keep mini pigs as small as possible cause genetic defects that drastically shorten their lives.
Dwarfism breeding in mini pig populations cuts their lifespan to fewer than five years or even two years. Shady breeding practices of starving young mini pigs to make them appear tinier cause health conditions from malnutrition. Note that healthy mini pigs get at least occasional respiratory infections with a runny nose.
All pet pigs need playmates, naps, time outdoors, positive reinforcement, and superb nutrition for optimal longevity.
What Do Mini Pigs Eat?
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, pet mini pigs eat a nutrient-rich pelleted chow formulated for mini pig health. It is recommended to add variety and extra nutrients to your mini pig’s diet with fresh or thawed vegetables. With their complete set of teeth, mini pigs love to munch on carrots, celery, pumpkin, squash, and leafy greens.
It’s okay to give your mini pigs low amounts of starchy vegetables and fruits, but not much. Avoid feeding them packaged foods – including dog and cat chow – not formulated for mini pig health needs.
Pet mini pigs need lots of food and are messy eaters! They eat and do everything else like messy toddlers, no matter their age.
Can I Keep Pet Mini Pigs In The House?
Keep a pet mini pig in your home only if it has first been house-trained by its breeder, or accept the challenge of house-training yourself. But beware – even the tamest domesticated mini pigs can’t shake off their playfully-destructive instincts. They mean no harm when they break into cupboards or topple houseplants.
If your mini pigs live at least part-time indoors with your family, here are some quick tips for successful cohabitating:
- Use child-proof locks on lower cabinet doors
- Don’t leave anything on the floor or low shelves you would miss if your mini pigs destroy it
- Supervise your mini pigs throughout the day, never leaving them alone for long periods
- Pet-proof your home to ensure your mini pigs are safe from sharp corners, toxins, and places they could get trapped
Outdoor living for mini pigs should include a warm insulated shelter and a spacious fenced-in pen. They need lots of space for play and dirt or mud for cooling their skin.
What If Pet Mini Pigs Grow Too Big?
Mini pigs mature at a much smaller size than standard pigs. However, many mini pig parents are unpleasantly surprised by how large their pets grow overall. Understand ahead of time that mini pigs vary in size. For example, one mini pig might mature at just under 100 pounds, whereas another might grow to over 200 pounds. Successfully adopting a young mini pig means being okay with whatever size your pig gets. Hopefully, you’re not one of the unlucky families who accidentally adopts a baby pig that turns into one of the largest pig breeds in the world.
Far too many pet mini pigs are abandoned by families overwhelmed with how challenging they can be. Learn about the pros and cons of mini pig parenthood before adoption to prevent more of these sweet animals from becoming unwanted and homeless.