Mini pigs require a community and this mini pig FAQ page is designed to be of utmost help to raising a mini pig.
NEWS UPDATE! There is now a mini pig forum on this site (Mini Pig Forum) where judgment is NOT permitted. Please feel free to contribute and bounce ideas off other mini pig parents.
Information on having a mini pig as a pet below…first please excuse my shameless plugs as I am trying to build up my shops! Thank you for your support.
Other than our adventures with a mini pig, our other venture is woodworking (made by my husband, an Italian craftsman). Beautiful handmade items straight from a raw block of wood at The Treehouse Woodshop. Stunning items including handmade pens and matching cases, impressive presents. Mention you were directed to our shop from My Mini Pet Pig and you may qualify for a discount! Also like The Treehouse Woodshop Facebook page. Piggy items available and make some pretty wonderful gifts!
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Check out my most popular creation from my shop: a pig-inspired extra thick and strong mini pig rooting blanket that has been made to help many mini pigs feel safe, warm and comfortable:
This blanket is a pig’s best friend since it is thick enough to endure their strong rooting snout and allows them the comfort and security they need, especially when coming to a new home. Most pigs don’t like toys but they always love their blankets! You can order one for your piggy here. Pig tested (over and over again) and pig and mom approved.
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Mini pigs can make fabulous, unrivaled pets. They can be as affectionate as a dog or cat, cleaner and smarter than both and continually astound you with their aptitude for learning tricks. In fact, mini pigs might be the best kept pet secret around.
That said, there are many considerations when thinking of getting a mini pig as a pet. A mini pig may not be the right pet for you and you may not even be legally allowed to have one. So check below for all the information you need to consider before you embark on this wonderful 12-15 year mini pig adventure.
[A small caveat we feel is important to mention: We are fully in support of rescuing an animal that needs a home. We have never used a breeder before and never would for any other kind of pet. There are so many animals in need of a home and we have always adopted our pets from animal shelters or, in the case of our cats, the street.
Unfortunately, mini pigs are a small version of the potbelly pig and although there is no assurance that it will remain small, it will almost surely remain smaller than farm pigs usually available for adoption at animal shelters. If we had the space and time to work with an older pig, we would undoubtedly take in a pig in need of shelter. All pigs, mini or not, have the endearing personality we have come to love and a bigger pig would just mean more cuddle warmth. We wanted a piglet though to raise as our own, especially because we have two small kids and wanted to avoid any potential issues in training an older pig, so we went the breeder route for our pet pig.]
Below is a list of the essential considerations of having a mini pig as a pet. Please also see this page for specific necessary products.
Our pet shop, Coccolino Creations, on Etsy has items that your pet pig would love and that would help with their rooting habits. We are always happy to make custom items, just contact us. A percentage of the proceeds from every sale goes to helping animal shelter pets too!
This information refers to mini pigs, micro mini pigs, teacup pigs, juliana pigs, etc. Please keep in mind that all of these names are interchangeable and are not different kinds of breeds; rather, they are referring to the size of a potbelly pig.
1. Zoning Laws – Can you have a pet pig?
Before you even begin to think of having a little snorter slipping and sliding on your floors, you need to find out if it is legal. Pigs are considered livestock and not all towns will allow people to keep pigs in their area. In order to check, you need to call the municipality of the town in which you reside.
2. Is a Pet Pig the RIGHT PET – Do you have enough time to devote to a pet pig?
I get emails all the time from people asking how much they need to be home if they get a pet pig. Is a pet pig the right pet for them if they work outside the home?
My answer is usually leaning towards no. Depending on the circumstances, pigs do not like to be alone for too long unless they are raised with another pig to keep them company. They thrive on and require attention and love and will act out in ways you would most definitely want to avoid if they are left alone too long.
If you work outside the home full time, a pig is really not the best pet for you. They do not do well closed up for too long, be it in a crate or in a small room. They become destructive and potentially aggressive because they don’t know how to express that they are lonely.
Please think twice about a pet pig if you (or someone else) is not able to be with them at least on and off during the day. Pigs will show endless love but they require sufficient attention.
3. Local Veterinarian – Is a vet close enough to call in case of an emergency?
Assuming you can legally have a pet pig, you need to ensure you have a veterinarian who is experienced in dealing with pigs within reasonable driving distance. Although a pig’s health is typically excellent, you do need to make sure you can get the proper care if necessary. Call around as many veterinarians who deal with other livestock animals also deal with pigs, micro mini or otherwise.
4. Breeder – Who to choose?
Now comes the fun part. As we mentioned above, if you are interested in having a pig as a pet and are willing to accept an older/larger pig, we will help you locate a rescue pig. If you are adamant about having a micro mini pig and have the resources to get one, you need to ensure you use a reputable breeder. Micro minis can cost up to $5,000, depending on the breeder, however a healthy mini pig can be found for much less at $800-$1,000. That is still a hefty sum but you will not be able to find a micro mini for much less.
You will find a lot of classified ads for micro mini pigs but tread carefully as they are often extremely young farm pigs sold when they appear small enough to pass for a micro pig. Same goes for pig auctions. You have no way of relying on the size of the pig and we do not support these practices as they are often to the detriment of the pig’s health.
The best way to find a micro mini pig is to do some research online and contact several breeders. What you are looking for is a breeder that has a reasonable amount of breeding pigs at any given time; that the pigs are socialized from the beginning; that the breeder can answer any question you have; and that the breeder has paperwork from a licensed veterinarian that s/he will send you.
Make sure your pig is not taken away from the sow too early as nursing is very important to the healthy development of a pig. Before 8 weeks is too early.
If getting a male, make sure he comes to you neutered. A female cannot be spayed until about 12 weeks so that will usually be your responsibility. Either way, make sure your pig is fixed since this will help avoid behavioral issues as well as any unwelcome smells.
You will ultimately want to go with your gut instinct. Some breeders really care about their pigs and pride themselves on raising healthy socialized pigs. You need to find this kind of breeder so you are comfortable with what you are embarking on.
5. Taking your mini pig home – What to do once you get your pig home?
Most of the time, future mini pig parents cannot wait to tote their little piggy around like a puppy. Be forewarned that your pig will have absolutely no desire to be cuddled in your arms for the first day, second day, often third day, etc. It takes a lot of time and trust for the pig to accept being picked up. Some equate a pig’s squealing when picked up to torture and bullying; others simply say you must do it enough for them to get over it. Whatever the case and whichever way you choose to proceed, be patient and give it some time.
Make sure you have a special area reserved for your mini pig. That can be an area of five feet by five feet or an area as small as a child’s pack n’ play. The bigger is NOT the better as that leaves more room for accidents. Make sure you have a sturdy gate like Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate, White that your mini pig cannot open with its strong snout. They can get past most simple gates (and create a mess of a lifetime when you think he’s safely contained) so make sure it’s a strong one!
However big the space is, put a good rooting pet bed like one from our shop (we’d love your support!) on one side of the space with plenty of blankets for warmth, rooting and security in the bed (again, please consider supporting our shop!) and the Marshall High Back Ferret Litter Pan(Colors May Vary) on the other. Make sure the pig can get in and out of the litter box. At first, a ferret litter box will do. We have found it easiest and cleanest to get a value pack of Four Paws Wee-Wee Puppy Housebreaking Pads, 150-Pack to put in the box, not any sort of litter that can be scattered about.
Also make sure the piglet always has access to a non slip pet bowl like Durapet Non-Tip Bowl, Large of fresh water.
6. Potty training – Where does a mini pig go to the bathroom?
Potty training to go outside is very possible. In fact, most pigs prefer to defecate outside and urinate inside, though they will do both if necessary. Pigs are very flexible but prefer the same spot and will designate a spot for each in the outside area.
Just like a puppy, you need patience and persistence. You must expect and allow for accidents since pigs cannot hold their bladders until they are about ten months old. Make sure you set up a routine to take your pig outside first thing in the morning, right after breakfast and then every two or three hours after. He may not always go but you want to give him the option, just as a puppy.
Most pigs will need to go overnight until they can hold their bladder a little longer. Even if you are determined that your pig only go potty outside, you should still provide a litter box inside for overnight.
Rewarding your pig for going potty is often considered unwise. They will learn to manipulate and even trick you into thinking they are going just to get a reward and come inside and pee all over your carpet. On the flip side, sometimes a small reward is necessary to teach your pig to go to the bathroom outside or in their designated area so just be aware that it will inevitably come with some potential trickery on the pig’s part later on.
7. Feeding – What should I feed my mini pig?
Keep in mind that a pig should get ½ cup of food per 25 pounds of weight. So your little mini should get ½ cup of food total in a day, split into two portions: ¼ cup in the morning and ¼ cup in the evening. Small treats are okay, especially in the beginning and for training purposes, but they should be limited to one cheerio or a quarter of a grape, etc. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale are great snacks during the day. They should also be able to graze when possible, though keep in mind that this means more water consumption and therefore will need to urinate more often.
Do not overfeed (or underfeed) your pig!
8. Socialization – How do I socialize my mini pig?
It is essential that you socialize your piglet from the start. Always choose a breeder that promotes socialization and contact but the job continues (or rather begins again) when arriving at your home. You need to be patient.
For the first day, let your pig get accustomed to being in his new space. Don’t give him free reign. Keep him in his small area and go in and sit with him. Do not try to force him to do anything. Sit and let him explore around you. Once he seems a little more comfortable, offer him a treat. This should be one of his food pellets since most pigs will not know what to do with a cheerio in the beginning. They soon learn, don’t worry! Once he takes the pellet from you, praise him but don’t try to reach out to him as this may scare him away and negate any progress.
Each day, try a little more contact. If your pig is getting skittish or scared, back off a little. You want your pig to be comfortable but you also need to establish contact so your pig understands the concept of being a social pet. This process might continue for a few days or even a couple of weeks. Try to spend as much time as possible with your pig so that he gets more and more comfortable.
If you have other pets, do the introduction slowly and behind gates so the animals can see each other but not touch each other. Do this for a few days with no contact beyond the gates. Remember that pigs are prey animals and will most likely be frightened. Do not stress your piglet. Let your pig show you the way by allowing him to initiate more interaction. Cats are usually pretty easy since they will come on their own time. Dogs might be more frightening to pigs so be patient. Never leave your pig alone with another animal, even if they appear fine. A little squeal might rouse a playful dog and even a playful pawing could result badly.
9. Picking up your pig – Can you pick up and hold a mini pig?
If your pig is demonstrating good behavior and seems at ease, you can also try to feed him a little while holding him in your arms. When you hold him, you MUST make sure his hooves are secured on your arm so he doesn’t have the feeling that his legs are hanging free. You want to hold him with his bottom on one side of your arms and his snout on the other, like a puppy. This will make him feel tight and safe. Also try putting your hand right up to his snout as that might comfort him.
Whenever you are ready to hold him, be it the third day or fifth or even first if you decide to push through the fear (not always recommended), make sure you praise him the whole time and give him treats in the beginning so he associates this with something positive. Never put your pig down mid-squeal as he will learn that he gets his way when he squeals. You must hold him through the squeal once you’ve started. This can be scary (and ear deafening) as he squirms and tries to jump but you cannot let him jump since he could get very hurt.
When he settles down from the squeal, put him down and praise him. Try again a little while later and do the same. The more he gets used to this being a good thing, the better he will get each time.
10. Maintenance – How hard is it to maintain a mini pig?
Maintaining a pig is very easy. They are hearty and do not require much health care. They are prone to mites and mange if exposed to other pigs, so look for any scratching or ear batting as well as any dry spots. This is easily fixed with a shot of Ivermectin. This can be administered by a vet or by you, if you are comfortable. It can even be given orally though make sure the dosage is correct.
You should brush your pig daily with JW Pet Company GripSoft Slicker Brush Soft Pin Dog Brush so they enjoy it. They will come to like this “massage.” Give him treats in the beginning so he learns this is nothing painful. Brushing will help with skin care and stimulate blood flow to help him have a shinier coat.
If your pig has dry skin, you can use a small amount of Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil, Cocoa and Shea Butter, 8 Ounce (Pack of 2) every day. You can also use Barlean’s Organic Oils High Lignan Flax Oil, 250 Count. Just mix a half teaspoon once a day with his food. This will help shine the coat in just a few days.
Bathing should not be done more than once a month since this will dry out your pig’s skin. He also does not need more than that, if an indoor pet. Pigs will not enjoy the bath so make it quick and efficient. Put a Rubbermaid Commercial Rubber Safti-Grip Bath Mat, Large, 16″ Width x 28″ Length, White in the tub (or a baby tub) and fill the tub with warm water and a tablespoon or two of baby oil. Sponge bathe him with the water and speak gently to him. Do not get water in his eyes or ears.
A vet should see your pig once a year, unless you have any concerns in which case you should bring him in.
11. Enjoy – How long can I expect to have my mini pig?
Your pig will live for 12-15 years and will make one of the most loving and loyal pets you will have. He will outsmart you, love you and want to cuddle with you every day. Give him the attention he needs and deserves and you will be very happy.
Remember to make sure your pig has plenty of blankets to root into. We would love your support of our Coccolino Creations Etsy shop, where a percentage of each purchase is donated to animal related causes or shelters!
We know how difficult it is to raise a pet mini pig and aim to provide answers to your most difficult mini pig questions. We try to answer within 24 hours but this is all on a voluntary and non paid basis.
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