As you can see below, we think there are far more advantages than disadvantages to having a potbellied pig as a pet, but that doesn’t mean that a pet pig is for everybody. There is a reason we often use the phrase “Pig Parent”; having a pig is very similar to being a parent. It requires a lot of love (and even more patience), and it is not a responsibility to be taken lightly.
- Long life span (anywhere from 12 to 20 years, and sometimes even longer).
- Pigs are relatively clean and odor-free
- No fleas (but we do suggest inspecting them for ticks if they’ve been outdoors)
- Very little shedding (although some pigs do blow their coat once or twice a year, at least that is done in a quick time period)
- Pigs are quiet (no barking) although they can get vocal at meal time!
- Very smart and can be easy to train to use a litter-box, perform tricks, and to wear a harness
- Not expensive (good quality pig food is still usually cheaper than dog food, and their yearly vet work is very affordable)
- Communicative and affectionate
- Long life span means a long commitment from the pig parent. Do you know what you’ll be doing in 20 years?
- There are zoning issues with owning a pig. You must make sure your home is in an area that is zoned for pet pigs (and this includes any home that you may move to in the next 20+ years.
- Finding a veterinarian who is qualified to treat potbellied pigs may be a challenge
- Pigs can become spoiled and manipulative. Again, just like human children. You have to raise them right.
- Pigs require a commitment of time and energy from their people
Like most pets, adopting a potbellied pig is not something to rush into or something that should be taken lightly. There are ways to work through the disadvantages to make being a pig parent doable. For example, if the thought of a 20 year commitment is daunting, then possibly consider adopting an older pig. We think that is a wonderful way to “work the system”. Pet pigs are a wonderful animal and can be a great addition to your family, but they are not for everyone.
Please do your homework before deciding to bring a pig into your life. If you’re not sure, look into volunteering at a pig rescue or sanctuary. That’s another way to have pigs in your life!