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THINKING ABOUT A PIG????
BY: MARYANN MILLER
A pig is a beautiful commitment for 10 to 15 years. Having a pig in the house is a lot like having a 3 year old child that is well behaved, but never gets older.
For the most part they are well behaved and very clean and learn very quickly. Periodically they will attempt to deviate from what they know is best and test you to gently guide them back into socially acceptable ways. They learn the good and the bad.
What is cute when the piggie is 30 pounds is downright assaultive at 95 pounds. They are very fast learners. The house must be "pig proofed" and you will learn new things like not leaving your purse on the floor where a pig could get into candy, cosmetics, pins or medicine.
A pig can use a doggy door to go outside at will to a safe fenced, dry and clean potty and exercise area. Young children must be made to understand that a pig is not a stuffed toy, but truly an animal to be respected.
The animal has a huge mouth, a hard head, tusks that grow over time and hooves that can be hard and sharp. Sometimes what could be perceived as rough play with another child or even a dog to a pig is threatening and he won't like it and might lash out which is natural for them to do when they don't like something.
Youngsters and pigs, everything goes into their mouths.
Everything from dropped cereal and cookies to small toys and game pieces. So as the kids outgrow the putting things in their mouths stage, a pig never does. This makes you into a most fastidious housekeeper.
Commitment, training, gentle guidelines or discipline, support from a group of pig people to work through challenges are all things that you will need.
Make sure you are zoned to have a pig!
In order to assure that the animal has only one thing on his mind (being your pet) have him spayed or neutered ASAP.
Do you have a back up system for his care during vacations and time away from home?
Many kennels are not equipped to provide quality care for the pet pig. There are several very good boarding facilities throughout the United States that can board your pig while you are away. Some will even provide transportation from the local airport for the pet.
Is there a veterinarian in your area who is knowledgeable in pet pig care?
What about career moves or a change in lifestyle? The average family moves every 3 years or so. Are you committed to researching the new location to find a pig friendly community?
I hope I am not discouraging you with some of this stuff. Pigs are the best companions in the world for the right people in the right circumstances.
I volunteer at a sanctuary and have seen many tears because children have had to give up their pets for any number of reasons. The little pigs given up often miss their own people and get depressed, sometimes not wanting to eat or drink.
You are doing the right thing for now and gathering as much information as possible. In the meantime while you are pondering this lifestyle change what about sponsoring a pig already in a sanctuary? You will get a picture, know his name, his character and help support him monetarily. Some places even let you visit.
The youngsters can display their special pet's picture and show that to friends. There are sanctuaries all over the country for pigs. In this group, in the center of the country is Pig Pals Sanctuary. They have a web site and the person who operates it is very supportive.
Hope I haven't offended anyone out there. I am passionate about pigs as pets with the right people, in the right circumstances, and for the long haul.
Maryann... Mother of Worf and Agnes
2000 - 2011