Before we decided to get Oscar, I did a ton of research on how to provide a safe, comfortable home for a mini pig. When the time came for us to go pick him up for the first time, I was nervous but felt prepared. However, as the months went on, I realized there was so much I didn’t know about mini pigs. Oscar seemed happy, but I worried constantly that I would overlook an important medical or behavioral issue just because I didn’t know the signs or symptoms.
With our dog, I have so many resources. We are surrounded by other dog owners, online resources, and tons of experienced veterinarians. With our mini pig, it has been really difficult finding answers to everyday questions, particularly the “is this normal or something I should be concerned about?” type. For most mini pig owners, even experienced and knowledgeable veterinarians are hard to find.
Over the past few months, I have found some great communities made up of other mini pig owners willing to share their experiences and help answer questions. So far I’ve had the best luck finding communities online with social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has some large groups of mini pig owners, but I’ve had mixed experiences with those groups. My favorite resources are individual mini pig accounts on Facebook and Instagram since they often show everyday life with a mini pig. Over time, I have figured out which people I feel comfortable reaching out to, the ones willing to help other pig owners and kindly answer questions. Even better, I’ve learned so much just by seeing what concerns other people have so that I’m better prepared if an issue pops up with Oscar.
When searching for a mini pig community, it’s important to find one that makes you feel comfortable. Particularly in a larger group, see how group members respond to questions before you commit. Few things make me more angry than a new mini pig owner asking a question and being berated by other pig owners. If that happens to you or you see that happening, leave and find a group that makes you feel comfortable asking questions. We are all in this together and it’s hard to find good answers, so don’t tolerate a community that responds negatively to people reaching out for help.
It can be difficult at first to build up a community of helpful mini pig owners, but the payoff is worth it. A good community provides you with people going through similar experiences with many of the same questions you have. Because they have their own mini pigs, they understand the love you have for your pig and know that you are doing the best you can with the information you have. We’re all learning together, and it helps to have some friends who can help!