So you’ve seen the pictures of a cute little baby pigs and your heart skips a beat. You’ve seen them on the web or on TV and you think I really want one of those for a pet. Really? Here are some tips that just might change your mind or help you to do more research before rushing out to adopt or buy one on impulse. If you are honest in answering these questions, you will know if the pet pig is the right pet for not only you but for your family and where you live. You might just find the pig is not the pet for you at this time in your life. Don’t put the pig at risk for satisfying your own desires.
1. ZONING – Have you checked with your local code enforcement to see if they are legal where you live? Be sure to get a copy of the exact code even if the person you speak with says they are legal. And look it over even if they say they are not legal. Some working in the office don’t realize there is a difference from “farm livestock” and the “potbellied pet pig ” swine.
2. Have you been around any type of pig before, especially an adult potbellied pig. If not, you may want to visit with a rescue or sanctuary before reaching a decision that could put a pet pig at risk.
3. Do you realize that pet pigs can live 15 years or longer? Some have been known to live to over 20 yrs old. Also they grow until they are between 3 and 5 yrs old and an adult can weigh more then 100 pounds. Some closer to 200 pounds.
4. Have you thought about what it may cost to keep a pig as a pet? Do you have a veterinary that will see and treat your pig if he gets sick or needs care? Can you transport the pig to a veterinary if he is sick and needs to go? Do you have a proper kennel to transport him in? Don’t take these things lightly. It could mean the life and well being of your pet pig.
5. And vacations? Do you have someone in place that can care for them while you are gone? Or are you familiar with a sanctuary that would board you pig during this time? If you plan on traveling with your pig, do you know you have to have blood testing done and health certificates before traveling across a state line?
6. Have you really thought about it and done your homework or is this an impulsive decision you may regret later? Very important to make it an informed decision.
7. Do you have small children or even young teens living in your home? Are you prepared to change a way of life to fit a pet pig into the family? Like never allowing a toddler to walk around with food or bottle in his hands? This can cause the child to get bit.
8. Do you have the time it takes to live with a pig and train the pig to keep it healthy and happy? You will need to pig proof your home just as you would for a small child.
9. All pigs need outside time just as people do. They need either a fenced in yard or pen to keep them safe as they soak up the sun rays and explore their areas. Are you prepared to supply this need for one? They should also have an outside shelter incase you are away and it begins to rain, storm or snow.
10. So you really want a pig, but do the other family members? They can make life hard for the pet pig and also for you if you are all not in agreement.
11. If you work or otherwise have a busy life style, would it be better to have a different type of pet? One that wouldn’t require so much attention and time. Maybe a cat or bird or even a guinea pig?
12. Are you willing to not only ask questions but to really learn how to care for a pet pig? Are you willing to let someone come into your home and help you learn the proper way to care for one and to be sure your house is ready and properly pig proofed?
13. If your purchasing a pig for you child or children and they leave home to go to college or to work, are you willing to be the caretaker of the pet pig? They will need you more then ever at a time like that.
14. Do you own your home or do you rent? If renting, do you have your landlords permission in writing that you can have a pet pig? What if you have to move or sell your house? What will happen to the pig? Will you be sure and move where the pig can go also? This is so very important, as pigs don’t really do well once they are an established member of your family.