Charlotte the Pig's Guide
I meet a lot of people who say they'd like to add a pig to their family. And while I love hearing this, I wanted to make sure that one thing is clear, we pigs are not impulse additions. At least, it is likely to turn out badly for everyone involved if we are impulse decisions. Sure, we are super cute when we are little. And there is probably something valuable to being cute when we are little in terms of survival. Let's face it, if human babies came out as teenagers, most parents might not ever have kids. But, just because we are cute, doesn't mean we pigs can't require a lot of work. In fact, adopting a pig should be a decision given the same level of consideration and thought given to having or adopting a human child.
First thing to consider-
The first thing to remember is that nothing worthwhile is ever easy. We are going to take a lot of work, effort, loving, some stressing, sleepless nights worrying, and lots of planning. We are going to have accidents or at the very least get ourselves into mischief. And keeping us locked up or outside alone is not a solution. We are super social animals. We need attention and companionship. So, if you want a nice decoration get a wall poster or a painting. If you want a buddy to love you and want your love back, then maybe a pig is right for you.
Second thing to think about -
Can I afford the costs of doing this right? Getting a home ready for pigs is much like getting one ready to bring home an infant. You need to piggy proof your house. You need blankets. You'll need food. You need a harness to take us for walks (what? humans don't leash train their kids?). And we need you to be okay when we destroy things and make you feel like it was wasted money. But, don't worry, we enjoyed destroying it! And finally, our medical care can be expensive at times. Not many vets know how to care for us, so sometimes procedures and treatments for us cost more their a dogs. That being said, we are pretty healthy animals.
Third thing to consider -
Are you in this game until the final bell rings? Pigs are not toys. We are not accessories. We are living, thinking, feeling beings that understand and think about the world around us. We don't want to be abandoned. So if you don't own your home or aren't sure you'll always live somewhere where pigs are allowed, please don't bring us into your life only to abandon us once your circumstances change. We want to know we can trust our family to always be our family. Obviously, no one can predict everything that will happen in the future. But, don't adopt us thinking, "Well, I can always just find them a new home." Because finding pigs new homes can be very challenging.
Fourth thing to consider -
Are you willing to adopt an older pig? Yes, piglets are adorable. But, if you buy a piglet, some older pig is still stuck in a rescue because someone else bought a piglet and then abandoned them (and there are always pigs being advertised on craigslist or in Trash and Treasure sites). And by purchasing a piglet, you give a financial incentive to the person raising piglets to keep doing so at the expense of the 90% of pigs that end up in rescues (or worse, euthanized). So, as much as you might want to adopt a piglet, you'll be doing so much more good for pigs everywhere if you adopt a pig from one of the many pig rescues already overloaded with pigs looking for families. And these pigs are often full grown (meaning no surprises when it comes to final size - which for some people can be an issue depending on spacial limitations). And you can get to know your pig's adult personality. If you want a super loving pig that likes to sleep all day or one that wants to go on long walks... you have a better chance of finding a good piggy match for you by adopting an older pig. Plus, often these pigs are already spayed or neutered which nearly ensures a longer and healthier life. And this also makes it more likely that they will make a better member of the family living inside the house. And finally, adult pigs are just as trainable and also in many ways easier than dealing with some piglet behaviors.
Fifth thing to consider -
Are you under the illusion that there is such thing as a teacup pig? If you believe that, let me tell you that you should also believe in teacup humans. The trick is underfeeding a human so severely that they don't grow to full size, but inside their organs still do. This leads to a very painful life and early death. So, if you like the idea of causing a pig to suffer, then a teacup pig is for you. If you want to give a pig a happy life, then drop the notion that there is such thing as a 1000 pound animal that can stay 10 pounds. Anything less than 50 pounds is likely in someway food deprived or was malnutrition at an early age (and there may be a few exceptions, but for every one exception probably 50 others are suffering pigs).
Sixth thing to consider - Do you want a pig around for 20 years? Because that is how long we could possibly live. If you are thinking only about right now, please don't take this giant step that will effect both you and a pigs life. Make sure you've considered that what you are doing is a huge commitment.
Seventh thing to consider - If you have successfully navigated the above things to consider, one more thing to consider is are you ready to make one of the best choices you'll ever make? Do you want to share hours and hours of happiness with an adoring porcine pal? If you've really considered every aspect of adopting a pig, done your research on the many great site out there that give you truthful information (like Minipig Info) and still think adopting a pig is a good choice for you, then I can tell you that so many wonderful pigs are waiting at rescues right now for you to give them a happily ever after like our new family did for my mom and me.