The Star-Herald

Should you adopt a mini pig?

There is nothing cuter than a teeny weenie mini pig. Well, I haven’t really seen a mini pig, only regular piglets, which are so cute, too.  Would I like to have a little mini pig running around with my dogs? Oh, yes, I would, but if I’m being realistic, I will probably never own one. They are quite costly, and they really are not the ideal pets, from some of the articles I have been reading.  If you do decide to get a pig for a pet, you will need to really read up on them to know what you are getting into.

Mini, micro, teacup and pixie — there are lots of different names that breeders use to describe their pigs.  The problem is none of them are regulated, so it’s tough to know exactly how big your little pig will get.  There are 15 to 20 breeds of mini pig, and all of them are 150 to 180 pounds at full size — but compared to full-size farm pigs, which hover around 600 pounds, they are mini.  

A breed of very tiny pigs doesn’t exist in nature. Because pigs can take up to five years to reach their full size, it’s tough to tell how large your new pet will become.  Your best bet is to visit your pig’s parents in person so you can see how big they are.  

Have dreams of bringing your little piggy home and snuggling on the couch or playing fetch together?  Pigs and their humans bond eventually, but it is a slow process.  Being the pack leader with a pig is important. They might head butt, nip or bite if they think you’re lower on the totem pole.

Pigs live to eat, which can be both good and bad. Pigs are fast learners and can be very much focused on learning if food is involved.  

Pigs also have high social needs and they hate to be alone.  Most pigs do best when they can hang out with their own kind.  Pigs enjoy their company with humans and they like the belly rubs and treats.  They don’t live to be with humans, though — that’s why successful pig owners have at least two pigs.

Check out this article, “8 things you should know before adopting a mini pig,” by Marygrace Taylor, to get more info on pigs: www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/pets/a20706352/mini-pig-care/.

If you are looking for a new pet to add to your human family, be sure to check out The Central Aroostook Humane Society, located in Presque Isle at 24 Cross St. You can also check out our Facebook page to see what pets are up for adoption. 

Please be responsible: spay and neuter your pets.

“I learned long ago to never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty.” (From www.graceylevine.com)

Gail Weider is a member of the board of directors for the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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