Micro pigs are cute and trendy among celebrities and, increasingly, average individuals too. But with this teacup pig fad comes a problem: More and more people are purchasing a new pet without considering the realities of owning and raising a pig for the next two decades.
Misleading information can mean people like you purchase a teacup pig only to regret your decision years (or perhaps even just weeks or months) after making your purchase and putting your pig at risk. That’s why below, we outline 5 things you need to know before you ever considering purchasing a pig of your own.
1. Teacup Pigs are Potbelly Pigs
News flash: Teacup pigs are baby potbelly pigs. This means they won’t stay small forever which is one of the main reasons why individuals purchase them as pets. If you’re someone purchasing a teacup pig expecting him or her to stay that size forever, you may want to consider another pet altogether.
2. They Can Reproduce as Early as 3 Months Old
Often, breeders will point to teacup pig parents to show buyers how large a pig will grow to be. Unfortunately for you, potbelly pigs can reproduce as early as 3 months old, meaning that the size of their parents may be deceiving.
Remember: Potbelly pigs often grow until they are 5 years old and can easily reach over 100 pounds. Not exactly what many individuals expect from a so-called “micro pig.”
3. It’s Unhealthy to Keep Your Pig Small
Some breeders are guilty of dramatically underfeeding pigs to keep them small. Others even turn to inbreeding to achieve a smaller size, causing genetic complications in the process that can compromise long-term health.
Underfeeding a pig to keep him or her small will cause immune system difficulties, sensitive skin, and hoof problems in addition to a whole host of other issues. Micro pigs aren’t meant to stay small, and you must feed them a healthy diet if you wish to own one.
4. Pigs Must be Given Room to Explore and Play
While dogs and other domesticated animals should be given room to play, pigs should be prioritised even more. In fact, pigs love to root, play in the mud, and roam with other pigs. Due to their high intelligence levels, they will grow depressed or angry without being given this room.
If you’re looking for a sedentary pet, a pig isn’t a good choice.
5. Micro Pigs are Expensive to Maintain
Because most people assume a micro pig will stay, well, micro, they also assume they are relatively inexpensive to care for over time. However, the pigs themselves are expensive, as are food, veterinarian costs, sterilization costs, and proper set-up.
If you’re looking for a cheap pet, micro pigs aren’t it.
Understanding What You’re Purchasing Before You Purchase it is Vital
While it’s ideal to research a potential pet well before ever considering a purchase, many don’t. But without understanding what you’re purchasing, especially if you’re considering a teacup pig, you may be left in a bad position with a pet you don’t actually want.
By taking the 5 considerations above into account, you can ensure you’re making an informed choice and purchasing a pet you’ll love for decades to come.