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How to Take Care of Mini Pigs as Pets (Care Sheet & Guide 2021)

Nicole Cosgrove

May 21, 2021

Introduction

While pigs on farms are generally used to their meats, mini pigs are having a moment as animal lovers everywhere learn about these pint-sized pigs. Also referred to as micro or teacup pigs, these adorable pocket-sized pets are smart, social, and super friendly. However, as cute as they are, mini pigs come with their own unique care needs. They shouldn’t be treated like pink dogs or guinea pigs.

Before you add a mini pig to your home, here is everything you need to know about caring for this lovable creature.

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Mini Pig Facts

  • Mini pigs are emotional creatures and need plenty of love from their human family
  • Mini pigs actually have dreams when they’re sleeping!
  • Mini pigs can learn their own names and many other phrases and words
  • Mini pigs have the brain capacity of a five-year-old toddler
  • Pigs are the third smartest animal, behind dolphins and chimpanzees
  • Mini pigs can’t sweat
  • Mini pigs can live for 15 to 18 years

Do Mini Pigs Make Good Pets?

While mini pigs may look cute and cuddly, they don’t make the perfect pet for everybody. Farm animals are illegal to keep as pets in many cities, so always check your local laws before buying a mini pig. If you live in an apartment or tiny home, you should not buy a pet mini pig. Even though they’re referred to as “mini,” a full-grown mini pig can grow to be 50 cm tall and weigh as much as 150 pounds. He also needs plenty of space to roam, run, and play.

If you already own a dog, you may not want to add a mini pig to your family. Since pigs are natural prey animals, a mini pig, and a pooch may not make the best combination.

Mini pigs are exceptionally social beings and need constant interaction and attention. If you work long hours or aren’t home often, you shouldn’t get a mini pig.

However, if you have plenty of space and love to give, a mini pig could be the perfect pet for you.

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Where Can I Get a Mini Pig?

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Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixaby

Mini pigs aren’t pets that you can simply pick up at your local pet store. You can adopt a mini pig from a local animal shelter, pig placement network, or an animal rescue sanctuary.

If you’d rather buy a pet mini pig, always do your research. Never buy a piglet from a pig mill. This can result in you ending up with a sick or unsafe animal. Your pig should always come with registration and vaccine records. Always purchase a mini pig from a reputable, qualified, and experienced mini pig breeder. Ask your vet for recommendations, visit the American Mini Pig Association’s website for a list of good breeders in your area, or ask trusted friends or family.

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Mini Pig?

A mini piglet alone can cost between $1,200 and $6,500. Pig adoption fees can range between $100 and $200. Additionally, your mini pig will need supplies, food, and routine veterinary care, which can all really add up over time. Remember, mini pigs can live for 18 years. Are you ready to make that kind of investment?

You should always neuter or spay your mini pig before four months of age. This can run between $300 and $500. Annual vet care costs will cost between $150 and $300 for mini pigs ages one to 11 years and include shots, tusk and hoof trims, dental checkups, and deworming. For old mini pigs, the vet care costs will run between $300 and $500 and include routine diagnostics, shots, tusk and hoof trims, dental care, and more. Surgeries and emergency vet care will run up to $500.

Care costs will include $600 to $1,000 for fencing, $160 for a pool, $500 for a crate or chute to take your mini pig to the vet, $150 for sand piles and other enrichment items, $20 for food and water dishes, $30 for travel costs, $30 to $400 for sunscreen, aloe lotions, and supplements or medications, and $500 for feed.

The average annual cost of owning a mini pig is at least $900.

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What Kind of Home Does My Mini Pig Need?

If you plan to keep your mini pig outside, he will need a large shelter and a fenced-in roaming area. If kept inside, you still need to get a crate for your pig where he can rest and relax. Keep straw in the outdoor shelter and a soft blanket in the indoor crate.

Outdoor fences should be high and have no holes. They need to keep your pig in and intruders out.

Both indoor and outdoor mini pigs can be litter box trained. High-backed ferret litter boxes work wonders for young mini pigs. Once he gets bigger, you can make your own. Fill the litter box with pellets, pine shavings, wee-wee pads, paper litters, or grass pads.

What Should I Feed My Mini Pig?

Your mini pig needs a diverse diet of high-quality pig pellets, veggies, and fruits. Different food formulas are made for different stages of your pig’s life, including starter pellets, young and growing feeds, adult pellets, and senior pig food. Newborns are generally bottle-fed. Always consult with your vet about what pellet formula to feed your mini pig.

In addition to commercial pig chow, feed your mini pig a variety of fruits and veggies. These can include celery, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, pears, grapes, apples, and leafy greens.

Always ensure your mini pig has access to clean, fresh water.

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How Do I Take Care of My Mini Pig?

Mini pigs are highly intelligent animals and need plenty of socialization and affection. Plan to spend at least a couple of hours every day interacting with your pig.

Since he’s a curious creature, your mini pig will try and get into everything. Pig proof your home with baby gates and child-proof locks. When your pig is out and about, keep a close eye on him so he doesn’t eat toxic items, hurt himself on a sharp corner of the furniture, or get too tough with small children. Keep him in a safe, secure pen when you’re not watching him.

You should bathe your mini pig weekly. Use shampoo and soap specially made for pigs. Human soaps can dry out or irritate your pet’s sensitive skin. Bathe your pig in the bathtub. Keep the water lukewarm. Brush your pig with a scrub brush to remove dead skin. Rinse him thoroughly and apply baby oil to keep his skin hydrated.

How Do I Know If My Mini Pig Is Sick?

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Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Despite mini pigs being generally healthy animals, they are still susceptible to diseases and injuries. Some common symptoms of a sick pig include not eating, lethargy, lameness, fever, difficulty defecating or urinating behavioral changes, and skin changes, such as lesions or sores.

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your mini pig to the vet right away.

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Conclusion

Mini pigs can make great pets for the right people. If you have plenty of time to devote to your pig, and enough space for him to happily roam, a pet mini pig could be a great pet for you.

Here are the care guides for a few more interesting pets!


Featured Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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