Pigs are a lot cleaner than you might think. They are very intelligent, can be very obedient and they can be house trained and leash trained, just like dogs. But if you’re considering a pet pig, there are somecare requirements you need to be prepared for.
First, check local regulations to make sure keeping a pig is legal in your area – it’s not in some places!
If it is legal then you need to be sure you have the means to keep a pig healthy and happy. Pigs are very social, so you need to be able to spend time with him.
It’s also important that you are able to assert yourself with your pig. If you don’t you’ll end up with a spoiled, pushy and possibly aggressive pig, which could be dangerous.
Consider getting two pigs so that they can keep each other company, as well.
Don’t forget that they are smart and curious. Once they learn how to do something, such as open the fence gate, they won’t forget. You need to stay one step ahead of your pig, as they can be very sneaky; he’ll try to manipulate you to get his way.
It’s important to keep your pig occupied and stimulated, or else he could be destructive when bored. If possible give your pig an area outside where he can exercise his rooting instinct. But be aware that your pig can turn a reasonably large area into a ploughed field in an instant.
Give him access to good grazing and a good diet and the ‘rooting’ problem will be less severe.
Consider the lifespan of a pig and the associated costs. Pigs can live up to 20 years and will need food, regular vaccinations and hoof and tusk trims, in addition to being spayed or neutered. If you move, will you be able to take your pig with you?
Love your pig. Pigs, like most animals, enjoy interaction with their owner. It is not unusual to see a pig lying down for a tummy tickle!
Make sure your pig has access to a wallow to help him keep a proper regulation of body temperature. Because he doesn’t sweat, this is particularly important in hot weather and the only way that he can stay cool.
When kept free, pigs are surprisingly clean animals; apart from being muddy from a wallow of course. It’s only when they are kept locked up that they become smelly!
Make sure your pig has his own dry and sheltered sleeping spot with hay as his bedding. A piglet will burrow into a deep litter of hay to stay warm. An adult pig will be satisfied with wood shavings, but not sawdust!