Having a baby pig as a pet can be quite fun.
They like to nest and cuddle, they’re intelligent, and best of all, they can be toilet trained just like dogs.
These house pets don’t demand much and can be kept indoors as well. However, just like the way you need to know what to do and what not do when raising a human baby, the same applies to baby pigs.
Read on as we provide some basic pet care advice to keep you and your baby pigs happy. This includes developing a proper bond with them but also setting up boundaries to ensure that they don’t wreak havoc in your home and still actually listen to half of what you’re instructing them to do.
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The Do’s of being a Baby Pig Owner
Provide Them with a Place to Nest
Pigs like to roll around in soft blankets and get comfortable. You can even throw in some snacks as a treat every now and then. However, don’t make the mistake of adding a rooting box full of hay. It’s true that pigs enjoy rolling around in the hay, but they may start defecating in it as well, which will eventually lead to the most unpleasant stench in your house.
Do Get Comfortable Picking Your Pig Up
Pigs like being picked up, but if you do it the wrong way, they’ll squeal like it’s nobody’s business. Instinctually, pigs believe that the only times they’ll be picked up is when they’re being attacked, so get them comfortable. If you pick them up and they squeal. Let them down gently to make them feel secure. Over time, they’ll start liking it.
Do Train Your Pigs
While pigs can be quite stubborn, it’s possible to train them to respond when you call. Pigs are quite intelligent and will pick up on you trying to train them when they need food. Not training your pigs may lead to spoiled pig syndrome where the baby pig may run into any family members who they feel are “weak.” Training can be as basic as teaching them how to “come” and “sit.”
The Don’ts of Being a Baby Pig Pet Owner
Don’t Treat Your Baby Pig like a Dog
Baby pigs can be like dogs at times when they want to cuddle, and when they beg you for snacks. But when they want attention, or they’re being very stubborn, their behavior is almost catlike. Don’t expect your pig to come running when you call it- it’ll come to you only when it wants to.
Similarly, you may be able to teach them a trick or two, but don’t expect them to try very hard to please you like a dog would (you can try bribing them with food though).
Don’t Expect Your Pig to Enjoy Cold Weather
While adult pigs are still better at handling the cold, baby pigs are not. During the winter, they’ll probably spend most of their time by the heater. They may even stay close to the oven or turn up when you’re using a hairdryer.
Even though they love food, you won’t be able to bribe them with snacks to go outside in the cold weather. It’s best to just build them a nice cozy spot in a warm spot in the house.
Don’t Spoil Your Pigs by Hand Feeding Them
There’s a reason why truffle farmers use pigs to source truffles. Pigs rely on their sense of smell, which is quite strong since their eyesight isn’t the best. Even if you’re trying to show your love, don’t let them eat out of your hand- even if the food has finished, they may still smell something and try to bite off your finger.
Don’t Give Your Pig Free Access to the Entire House
Pigs have tiny bladders, and if they’re running all over your house, they may let loose if they really have to go. This will be especially worse if you have carpeted rooms or rugs lying around. Let them have access to fewer rooms and make sure their room/litter space is easy for them to reach.
If they have managed to pee somewhere else in the house, make sure to get the smell out properly to prevent them from returning.
Don’t Let Them Think they’re In Charge
When left to their own devices, baby pigs can get quite out of hand. Train them to understand the word “no.” If they’re going in places they shouldn’t be in or doing anything stupid, you can tell them to stop and overtime, they’ll actually start listening to you.
This is also particularly important when you’re potty-training them to keep them from pooping all over your house.
While you need to train your pig and learn the right way to handle it, the experience is quite fun. Every baby pig has a different personality, and with time, you’ll be able to find out if the one you have likes being cuddled, what its favorite treats are, and what are the ways in which you can actually train it.
For any technical queries like the diet of a baby pig, it’s a great idea to consult a veterinarian so that you don’t overfeed them, but they still get the recommended nutritional intake to encourage healthy growth. The vet will also be able to address any additional concerns you may have about any abnormal or aggressive behavior your baby pig might be displaying, especially if it’s a rescue.