Pet teacup pigs have increased in popularity over the last decade. But are they real? “Teacup pigs” is a name labeled to any more miniature pig and could be substituted for mini, pocket, and micro pigs. There are several breeds of teacup pigs, including Chinese pot-bellied pigs. A purebred mini pig is black with upright ears and a straight tail.
The 5 Facts About Teacup Pigs
Adopting an animal is a huge step, and you should have all the facts- regardless of whether it’s a cat, dog, rabbit, pig, or any other. Here are a few facts about teacup pigs:
1. Teacup Pigs Live for 13-20 Years?
Teacup pigs live for 13-20 years with an average lifespan of 15-19 years. However, you must feed them a well-balanced diet and offer proper medical care to reach the maximum age.
2. Teacup Pigs Need Supervision When Living with Other Pets
In the wild, pigs are prey, while cats and dogs are predators. So, while you can train cats and dogs to live in peace with teacup pigs, you should never leave them unsupervised, even with the most harmless dog or cat.
3. Teacup Pigs Can Grow Up to 20 Inches
Teacup pigs typically weigh between 70-200 pounds and grow to 14-20 inches. Despite the adult size varying, most teacup pig’s size depends on the parent’s size. These pigs stop growing at the age of 4 -5 years.
4. Teacup Pigs Communicate with Each Other
Can teacup pigs communicate? Yes, they can.
Teacup pigs communicate with body language and sounds. They can make more than 20 different calls, including grunts, squeals, and screams. When contacting each other, teacup pigs make low-pitched grunts; when playing or in alarm, they bark and scream or squeal to indicate urgency.
Additionally, they can communicate their feelings through actions. For instance, to indicate aggression, they thrust the head against each other or by biting.
Pet teacup pigs mostly use olfactory and auditory cues to communicate than they use visual. For the younger pigs, they dig and eat new objects as they explore their environment.
5. Teacup Pigs are Trainable
Teacup pigs are bright, and you can train them to sit, come, stay, or fetch objects. You can also teach them to roll on their back during hoof trimming or to walk to their carrier in the car.
What Do You Need to Know Before Buying A Teacup Pig?
Let’s face it. Snuggling a teacup pig can be heartwarming. Pigs are sensitive and intelligent animals and look adorable, just like puppies.
Because of these, teacup pigs have become popular pets. Unfortunately, adding a pet to your family can bring unexpected consequences. Therefore, conduct thorough research starting with the following:
Do Teacup Pigs Stay Small?
One primary reason teacup pig owners surrender them to the animal shelter is that they grew more than their expectations. Since many owners buy the pet teacup pigs while young, some grow to an unexpected weight and size.
When buying the pig, it is advisable to ask for a picture and get information on the parents. Better yet, you can request to meet the parents. Some breeders sell a different breed of pigs as teacup pugs. However, with time even the smallest will grow and may not fit in your car.
Do You Have Access to Veterinary Care?
Just like the normal pigs, teacup pigs require vaccinations. They are also susceptible to diseases such as flu-like humans and may require vet services. However, most vets do not accept pigs, so you’ll need to have a vet who treats pigs.
Again, since pigs are prey animals, they may hide injuries. So get a vet with the knowledge and skills to identify symptoms of illnesses in your pet teacup pig.
How Do You Transport Your Pet Pig?
Pigs can get motion sickness in a moving vehicle, just like humans. Do you know how to get a pig in your car? Is your vehicle big enough to transport your pet pig? Remember, at a minimum, you should have a car with a trunk to transport the pet pig.
Do Teacup Pigs Smell?
While your pet pig may not have a body odor, their manure stinks. In other words, if you plan to adopt a teacup pig, you should not live close to your neighbors, and if you do, expect a few complaints.
What Happens to Unwanted Teacup Pigs?
Just like any other pet, teacup pigs pay the price when owners relinquish them to shelters. If you adopt a teacup pig without the relevant information, you will be overwhelmed since pigs need extra care.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to re-home teacup pigs, and many shelters may lack the capacity to take them in. In such a case, euthanasia could be the only option available.
Is it Legal to Keep Teacup Pigs?
Is it legal to keep a teacup animal in your locality? It is illegal to keep farm animals in most cities. Unknowingly, people adopt pet pigs only to learn later that it is not allowed in their municipalities.
Torn in such a scenario, you can either find another home for your pet pig or move. Unfortunately, such restrictions are the primary reason why such pet pigs end up in shelters.
What Type of Shelter Do Pigs Require?
Owning a pet pig is not similar to owning other pets. In fact, while you may house-train them like other pets, you cannot sustain their needs in a home setting. For instance, pigs are curious and love to explore the environment and root around.
Toys may not be appropriate for teacup pigs as they can eat them, which is a significant risk to their health. The best toys for the pigs should be easy to destroy and safe to eat, such as treats. Additionally, if a pig stays indoors for long, it gets bored and may tear couches or knock over tables.
To avoid such disasters in your home, teacups pigs are best suited outdoors, where they have enough space to play around. When outdoor, you should provide the teacup pig with shelter and a wallow.
It would be best to fence the area properly since they can uproot or push the fence over. A strong fence is also essential to protect your pet from wolves, coyotes, dogs, or bears.
Finally, you should consider extra shelter and care for your pig when you leave your home for a long time. Get someone you can trust with your pet pig.
Like the other pets, teacup pigs should have a balanced diet of minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fiber. Since most over-the-counter feed is suitable for farm pigs, you can balance your pet pig’s meal with the available human foods at home.
For instance, pet pigs love vegetables and fruits. You can also give them human foods as long as they are not toxic. However, human food cannot meet their nutritional requirements; you still need to feed them pig feed. Again, the pet pigs should have access to clean water always.
Should You Spay or Neuter Your Pet Pig?
Mature male pigs are large and aggressive. Therefore, it would be best if neutered when young. However, only a qualified vet should perform this procedure. On the other hand, spaying is not a standard procedure.
If you adopt both genders, you should neuter the male to avoid a litter of pigs as it can be overwhelming.
In the end, if you are sure you can be a perfect life companion for a teacup pig, visit your local shelter for consultation.
Featured Image Credit: sinagrafie, Shutterstock