Edited to add: I’ve learned so much since I wrote this pig post years ago. What’s that saying? When you know better you do better. So in good consciousness I have to change the message of this a bit.
First, it is still 100% true that we loved having a pig for a pet. She was extremely smart and much easier to train than a dog. We loved it so much that we’re picking up two more very soon!
Second, knowing what we know now I would never purchase another pig from a breeder. There are thousands (millions?) of pigs from breeders who are given up by their owners for not staying “small” enough. Pigs, even mini pigs, will not stay tiny. Many can grow from 60-80 pounds. Without proper training they can insert their dominance over small children or other animals in the house.
Third, if you really want a piggy go to a rescue. PLEASE go to a rescue. There are amazing places like Oinking Acres Farm that rescue pigs who were originally bought as pets. They adopt out these pigs for a fraction of the price breeders charge. Reputable rescues will be honest with you about how big their pigs will get and what to expect from them as far as behavior and living habits.
Okay, I feel better now. Carrying on with what our pig-as-a-pet experience was like.
Having a pet pig
We’ve had a pet, seriously really a live one, for over three weeks now. And she’s still a live one. The house plant comparison is so not true and omg there are so many terrible bacon jokes out there.
I am still not used to people saying “your pig is cute” or “thanks for letting us pet your pig.” It just doesn’t roll off the tongue and land into the ears the same way sweet phrases about puppies and kittens do.
The kids have walked her and wiggled her into ridiculous costumes. McKenna has staged photo shoots complete with tablecloth backdrops and magic wands and no pig in sight because Ruby might let us dress her like a flower/rabbit/belly dancer but she’s not holding her own wand.
We let her wander the house sometimes and we’re sort of counting the days until it feels like spring EVERY day so she can be outside more than she is indoors. She eats pig food (like rabbit food) and fruit and veggies and any crumb of anything that has ever been left on the history of our floor.
She was litter trained before we got her but she forgets about her litter box a little if she can’t SEE it so I’m always talking to her about whether or not she has to go potty which is pretty much like parenting my kids but she doesn’t pee down the leg of her pants after underestimating the time it takes to get to the bathroom.
She yells at us a little when we pick her up but stops once her feet are cradled and snuggles up on the kids laps. My husband loves her but he won’t admit it. If there were a Moby wrap for pigs he’d try it out, I’m pretty sure. I’ve caught him doing the baby-sway more than once while holding her. Usually while handing her to me so I can do the baby-sway.
Sawyer has stopped climbing on top of chairs when he sees her and she doesn’t eat things that aren’t food or bite unless you put your finger in her mouth because you think you might have fed her Easter candy with the wrapper on it (McKenna!). The kids at all the schools love her, she’s been on tour and the parents love her too until their kids ask for a Ruby of their own.
So that’s Ruby. We were completely skeptical about getting a miniature pig for a pet but now we pretty much love her. She’s easy and clean and doesn’t mind an occasional ridiculous outfit and 30,000 photos.
Everyone has had so many questions about owning a pig. I hope I answered them all. If you have any more just leave them in the comments or on my Facebook page and I’ll answer them. We’re really happy with our decision even though this is like the gateway animal to a farm full of horses and cattle.
Dedicated to Ruby Rainbow Watson. McKenna is absolutely sure there are pigs in heaven and you’re up there keeping her sister happy.
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