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How to Care for a Pet Pig

Pigs are a lot cleaner than people think and they make super pets. They are very intelligent and can become very obedient. They can be house trained and leash trained just like dogs, but they have unique care requirements that you should be prepared for.


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    Check local regulations to make sure keeping a pig is legal in your neighborhood.
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    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 interacting with the pig, and you need to be able to assert yourself as the leader or else you'll end up with a spoiled, pushy and possibly aggressive pig, which could be dangerous for children. Consider getting two pigs so that they can keep each other company, as well.[1]
    • Remember that pigs are very smart and curious. Once they learn how to do something (pull up the carpet, open the fence door, and so on) they won't forget, and you need to stay one step ahead of them. They can also be very sneaky, not unlike a toddler who'll try to manipulate you to get their way.[2] It's important to keep them preoccupied and stimulated, or else they can be destructive when bored.[3]
    • Pigs should have an area outside where they can exercise their rooting instinct.
    • Consider the lifespan of a pig and the associated costs. Pigs can live up to 20 years, and they 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 bring the pig with you?
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    Adopt or purchase a pig from a reputable breeder. A piglet from a pet store or farm might seem cute, but it might also turn into an unhealthy and unsocialized nightmare. Visit the breeder's facility and ask to see the parents of the prospective piglet (the sire and the dam) so you can judge their temperaments and know what to expect with yours.[4]
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    Love your pig. Pigs, like most animals, enjoy interaction with their 'person' and it is not unusual to see a pig lying down for a tummy tickle.
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    Make sure they have access to a wallow to ensure the proper regulation of body temperature, particularly in hot weather because they don't sweat and this is the only way that they can stay cool.
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    Be careful of the free range method as they 'root' and can turn a reasonably large area into a plowed field in no time.
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    Be sure your porcine friend is allowed access to plentiful grazing and is fed a varied and satisfying diet. This will minimize the extent and severity of rooting.
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    Pigs will enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables. Never feed your pig pig feed intended for a slaughter pig or other farm animals.
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    Make sure they have their own dry and sheltered sleeping spot where they can enjoy hay as their bedding. Piglets burrow into a deep litter of hay to stay warm. An adult pig will be satisfied with wood shavings (not sawdust).


  • Teach him to respond to his name and simple commands such as 'no' and 'out' are easily learned.
  • Try to remember that it can be difficult for a pig to look up because of the conformation of his neck so keep this in mind if you expect him to look at, or see something.
  • Your pig can get sunburned so put sunscreen on his back if he's out for too long or you can take him for a walk in the afternoon.
  • Make sure he's not bored all day. Make sure you have things to entertain your pet pig and care for him.
  • For a piglet, try to give him lots of room so that he can roam around. Then give him company before night.


  • It would be much kinder to keep two pigs than just one. Life rarely allows us to be constant companions to our pets and loneliness is an unkind fate.
  • Avoid starting a regime of care for the piglet that is impossible to continue for the adult pig. It will be hard for him to understand why things have to change.
  • A piglet is a charming and tiny thing but an adult pig can be enormous and unless handled sensibly could become aggressive and therefore dangerous.
  • As with any animal, without proper care your pig can be very dangerous, especially if handled wrong or abused.
  • Pigs often get lonely and need another pig to keep company, you may think you're enough, but sometimes, you aren't.
  • Remember that sows can easily produce piglets in the teens per litter so make sure you have two of the same sex or that a boy has been neutered. It is not recommended to neuter a male pig that is older than a week or two.

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Categories: Pigs