I had so many questions while deciding whether or not to get our first mini pig. I owned dogs but didn’t know anything about owning a pig. I have learned so much from my experience finding and raising Oscar. My hope is that my experiences help you decide if a mini pig is right for you and, if so, help you get off to a smooth start!
Below are the main questions I get asked about mini pigs. There are four main sections so that you can find the answers you need: Basic Mini Pig FAQs, I’m Considering Getting a Mini Pig FAQs, and I Just Got My First Mini Pig FAQs, and I Have More Questions About Mini Pigs FAQs.
Basic Mini Pig FAQs
How big do mini pigs get?
You can drive yourself crazy researching this question, as I did when deciding to get Oscar. Some people will tell you all about their teacup, micro, or mini pig, and others will tell you that none of those even exist. A few breeders will give you a weight guarantee, others will give height guarantees instead, and some won’t give guarantees at all. From what I understand, it’s even possible for a pig to get a grandparent’s gene and end up unexpectedly larger than both parents, surprising you and the breeder.
I had all of these concerns when deciding on Oscar, and here’s my take on it. There really are no guarantees on pig sizes, so hope for the best and plan for and expect the worst. I knew I was ready to get Oscar when I was okay with him being 200+ pounds. If he grows to be 60 pounds, that’s great. If he grows to be 200 pounds, I will love him the same and have the space and ability to house him if he does get that big. If you know you can’t keep a pig over a certain weight (like 25 or 50 pounds), a mini pig is not the best option for you at this point. You don’t want to bond with your new piglet and then have to give him or her away. Make sure you’re okay with a large pig if yours gets big, and you can focus on loving your new baby and not stressing about a quickly growing pig.
I’m keeping track of Oscar’s height and weight as he grows, so feel free to follow and see how big he gets.
How long do mini pigs live?
Assuming that a mini pig is healthy and properly cared for, the average lifespan is 12-15 years.
Are there veterinarians for mini pigs?
Yes, and it’s very important to find a mini pig veterinarian near you before deciding to get a mini pig. I recommend doing an internet search of vets near you and also calling to confirm that your selected vet will provide care for your mini pig. This article is a good place to start when looking for veterinarian care for your mini pig.
What do mini pigs eat and how much?
Mini pigs can eat so many things! Finding a variety of things to feed Oscar is fun. For his meals, we feed him Mazuri Mini Pig food. They have several kinds depending on your mini pig’s age, so make sure you get the right kind for your pig. Since Oscar is still young and small, we feed him 1/4 cup of the pellets twice daily (based on our vet’s recommendation) and supplement it with vegetables, salads, and occasionally fruit. Consult your veterinarian about the best type of food and amount for your mini pig.
Mini pigs can eat a lot of the same foods humans do; just be sure to avoid salt and too much sugar. You want to feed him or her a variety of foods in moderation, and it’s extremely important to not overfeed or underfeed your pet pig. Here is a list of Oscar’s favorite treats!
Can mini pigs be potty trained?
Yes! Oscar was much easier to potty train than our dogs! Also, pigs can be trained to go outdoors, to use a litter box, or both. Pigs are smart and generally potty train easily but, as with any young animal, there will be accidents so training requires patience and consistency. Young piglets cannot completely hold their bladders until they are older (I’ve heard nine months old), so it’s important to make sure they have easy access to a potty box or outside every few hours.
Can mini pigs be trained to do tricks?
Yes! Pigs are smart animals, so I recommend training your pig for basic obedience and any other tricks you like. Have fun with it! I use clicker training because it makes the most sense to me, but there are so many great training methods. Here is a video on basic mini pig training and how I taught Oscar to go in a circle. He has also learned to sit!
Do mini pigs bite?
Yes, they definitely can! Oscar went through a brief biting phase that we were able to stop, but mini pigs can bite hard if they want. If your mini pig is biting, make sure to take it seriously and stop the behavior as it will become a real problem as your pig grows. Here is more about Oscar’s biting phase and how we got him to stop.
Update: After Oscar’s first biting phase, we stopped the behavior and went several months without any biting issues. Then, he started biting again. Here’s what we did the second time to try to stop his biting.
Do mini pigs make noise? What do mini pigs sound like?
Mini pigs make several different noises. Oscar made some sound recordings so you can hear his different noises! Hear him oink and also make his anticipatory, frustrated, and hangry sounds. He was even kind enough to record his squeal! You can also listen to Oscar’s sleepy screaming or snoring sounds.
Are pigs different than dogs as pets?
Yes! We have experienced some definite differences between mini pig and dog personalities. The main difference for us is that our mini pig doesn’t have the desire or need to please us like our dogs do. Pigs are stubborn and, frankly, Oscar mainly does what he wants. He balances this out with being smart and funny. He also trains more easily than our dogs. Another main difference is that our mini pig isn’t as playful as our dogs. He is more cuddly than our dogs, which I absolutely love about him, but he doesn’t have much desire to play with toys. He would rather eat!
I’m Considering Getting a Mini Pig FAQs
Should I get a pet mini pig?
First things first: check your zoning laws and find a local veterinarian who treats mini pigs. Before you get attached to the idea of getting a mini pig, make sure owning one is legal where you live and that you have a vet who is qualified and willing to provide care for a mini pig in case of an emergency.
Mini pigs are amazing pets for the right people and the right homes. They take a lot of work and provide a ton of love in return. Mini pigs are stubborn and require a lot of attention. They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time and can become destructive if they get bored or lonely. They are smart, which is a great quality but also brings with it more challenges than a less intelligent animal. If you have the time and energy to spend on raising a pig, they will be an amazing pet for you.
If you aren’t sure if a mini pig is the right pet for you, I also recommend spending time in groups or forums for pig parents to see what issues and concerns they are experiencing. There are two main Facebook groups I recommend: “Mini Pig Education” and “Pre Loved Pigs.” Join these groups and watch the posts for a while. This is a great way to see the good and the challenging of owning a mini pig and to find out if a mini pig is the right pet for you.
Is a mini pig right for my family?
When deciding if you want a mini pig, make sure to discuss your decision with your entire family. Since pigs require a lot of love, attention, and discipline, it is important that each member of your family is on board with your decision. I really can’t stress this enough. My husband and I waited several years before we were both excited about getting a mini pig, and I’m so glad we did. There were times when one of us was too busy or too overwhelmed to be completely on board, and raising a pig is so much easier (and more fun!) when each family member pitches in to help.
Is a mini pig right for my home?
Before you get a mini pig, think about the type of home environment you prefer. This is an area we didn’t consider enough initially. We enjoy a quiet home, and Oscar is much louder than we expected. In fact, Oscar makes noise most of the day. Aside from the initial squealing, Oscar “talks” to us pretty much all day through oinks and grunts. Some of the noises are adorable, but some are very loud and disruptive. Pigs also get three sets of teeth in their lives, so teeth grinding is very common. Overall, we have accepted the noises, but it’s something to consider before making your decision. If, for example, you run a business out of your home and need quiet for phone calls or concentration, make sure you have a place where you can get away from the pig noises if necessary. For actual sound recordings from Oscar, check out our post on mini pig noises.
What are the pros and cons of owning a pet mini pig?
How do I pick a mini pig breeder?
There are tons of teacup, micro, and mini pig breeders out there, and it’s difficult to pick the “right” one. Make sure you’re comfortable asking the breeder questions and don’t hesitate to ask as many as you need to feel confident you’ve selected a good breeder. Here are some important questions to ask a breeder to help narrow down your search.
One question to ask a breeder is how old the pig’s parents are. Pigs can breed at a really young age but don’t grow to their full size until around three years old, so it’s possible for a breeder to show parents who are under three years old in pictures and not yet full grown. The breeder may be showing you the real parents, but the parents may still have years to grow before reaching their full size. Although there are no real size guarantees with mini pigs, make sure you ask the breeder the parent pigs’ ages if you’re trying to estimate size.
Another question to ask is how old the piglet will be when coming home to you. There are different opinions on the right age, but you want to make sure the piglet is old enough to be weened from his or her mother before being available to you (many people consider 8 weeks the minimum age). I didn’t ask this question of our breeder, and Oscar was five weeks old when we picked him up. Everything turned out okay, but I was concerned for a while that he was weened too soon. Make sure to ask a breeder the birth date of your piglet and at what age they make piglets available to get a feel for if the breeder is right for you.
If you are able to consider location in your breeder search, I recommend doing so. Many mini pig breeders will ship piglets, but I wanted to avoid that if possible. I was lucky enough to find a breeder within a few hours of us, so we drove to meet the breeder and pick up Oscar instead of putting him on a plane. If a plane is your only option, that’s okay too but consider closer options if you have them.
Once you’ve done your research, just pick the breeder you feel most comfortable with. I researched tons of breeders and found positive and negative feedback with most. After asking all of my questions, I picked the one that made the most sense to me knowing it might not be the “best” or the “right” one. Do your research, gather your facts, and then go with the one that feels right to you.
Is it possible to get a “rescued” mini pig?
Yes! There are many teacup, micro, and mini pigs who need homes for so many reasons. For many of these pigs, their owner didn’t plan for how large the pig would get and other owners didn’t truly have the time or energy required to raise a pig. If you are able to take in a rescue pig, there are rescue sites that will help connect you with great pigs who need homes. One site you can check out is Pig Placement Network, but there are also groups on Facebook for pigs needing to be rehomed, including “Pre Loved Pigs.” Don’t forget to check your area’s Craigslist as well but, as with any pig, make sure you are okay with any size of grown pig before you adopt.
I have dogs. Will my mini pig and my dogs get along?
This is tough to answer because every situation is going to be different. We have two dogs, a pit bull mix and a Boston Terrier, and they are friendly but generally not welcoming of new animals, so this was one of our biggest concerns when deciding if a mini pig was right for our home. Our dogs and Oscar are doing fine together, but the dogs tolerate him more than love him. We also never leave the dogs and Oscar together alone. If we can’t be in the room with them, I make sure they are in separate rooms or each in their own crate so that everyone feels comfortable and safe. Pigs and dogs can be great friends or have disastrous outcomes, so make sure to always keep an eye on them or separate them if you’re not around. For more on how we introduced Oscar to our dogs and how they’re getting along, check out this post.
I Just Got My First Mini Pig FAQs
What should I buy to prepare for my mini pig’s arrival?
This is such an exciting time, and it’s fun to get everything ready for your new pet pig! Before your mini pig arrives, I recommend getting a crate, a bed, blankets, food and water bowls, litter box and puppy pads, a harness, and a play pen. I have a detailed post on what we bought Oscar before his arrival and what ultimately worked (and didn’t work) for us.
Will I be able to hold my new mini pig?
Unlike dogs, pigs generally do not like to be held as it’s just not natural for their feet to be off of the floor. This doesn’t mean that you can’t eventually pick up your mini pig, but it will take some time before you can hold your pig without him or her squealing. A quick tip on this: if your mini pig squeals while being held, do not put him down. It’s important to hold your pig through the squealing so that he doesn’t equate squealing with getting what he wants.
Here is a video on how to hold your mini pig, so if you’re preparing for a new mini pig or having trouble finding the best way to hold yours, check it out.
I just brought home my new mini pig. What do I do now?
Mini pigs take time to trust and bond with their owners, so go slow and let your mini pig get to know you. Mini pigs don’t like to be held initially, so avoid lifting and holding your mini pig right away if possible. Find a small room to confine your new piggy to so that she feels safe (and to avoid accidents), but make it a space where your piggy can still see you. We didn’t have a room that worked for this, so we bought a portable play pen; this kept Oscar confined to a small, safe area but made it so we could move him from room to room with us.
Spend time just sitting on the floor and letting your new piggy come to you. Feel free to use treats during the first few weeks to help your new mini pig feel safe and comfortable being near you (place the back of your hand flat on the floor and place the treat in the palm of your hand as this gets your piggy used to taking treats gently). If you’ve raised a puppy, the bonding process for a puppy and a piglet is very different, so don’t worry if your pig isn’t immediately warming to you. Keep letting your piggy come to you and get to know you; the bond with your mini pig will take time but will be so worth it!
My mini pig hates his harness. How do I put a harness on my mini pig?
Putting a harness on your mini pig can be challenging in the beginning. Here are a few things to try. For the first few times, try putting the harness on your mini pig when she is sleeping or resting on your lap. Your mini pig will be relaxed and less likely to fight the harness.
Another thing I recommend is giving treats when putting the harness on your mini pig. The positive reinforcement helped Oscar to see his harness as a good thing, and it instantly made harness training easier. This post discusses types of harnesses for your mini pig and includes a video (featuring Oscar!) showing how to put a harness on your mini pig.
My mini pig is foaming at the mouth! What’s wrong?
Nothing – don’t panic! It’s natural for mini pigs to foam at the mouth. Your pig is probably wanting to eat or even just thinking about food.
My mini pig roots outside and comes in with a muddy snout. I try to wipe his snout clean, but he throws a fit. What can I do?
Instead of wiping down your mini pig’s snout, try tricking him into cleaning it himself. When your mini pig comes inside, take him to his water bowl to get a drink. If he’s been eating grass, he will likely want a drink anyway. When your pig gets a drink, he will naturally clean his snout off in the bowl. This has worked for us every time. If your pig has a really dirty snout and that doesn’t work, try grabbing some treats to give while you wipe down his snout and see if that makes the process easier.
My mini pig seems itchy and is scratching a lot. Is this normal?
Mini pigs love to scratch, and it’s normal for pigs to scratch on furniture, against walls, and anywhere else that suits them. However, if your mini pig is scratching obsessively and is having trouble focusing on anything but scratching, you might be dealing with sarcoptic mange. Oscar had sarcoptic mange after coming home for the first time, so you can read about his mange symptoms and treatments to learn more.
How can I entertain my mini pig?
A lot of mini pigs aren’t very playful, so you might need to get creative with ways to entertain them. We bought Oscar tons of dog and infant toys, and he really wasn’t interested. Pigs mainly play with toys that involve food, so most types of food-oriented toys will work as long as you watch your pig’s overall treat intake. After a lot of trial and error, here is a list of Oscar’s favorite toys that might help you find some for your mini pig.
Where can I find clothes for my mini pig?
Finding mini pig clothes is surprisingly challenging! I went on a quest to find clothes for Oscar and tried dog clothes and even infant clothes, but those didn’t fit him. I ended up sewing some clothes for him and also finding a great online store. Check out my updated mini pig clothes post for more details.
It’s not working out with my mini pig, and I need to rehome him or her. How can I do that?
There are times when it’s necessary to make the often difficult decision to rehome your pet mini pig. If you are in that situation, there are some sites that can help. I recommend joining the group “Pre Loved Pigs” on Facebook, and you can post your pig for rehoming there. There are many pigs lovers in that group who can help find a good home for your pig. Another option is to check out the Pig Placement Network to learn more about how you can surrender and post your pig on their website.
I Have More Questions About Mini Pigs FAQs
My question wasn’t answered on here. Where can I get more information about mini pigs or an answer to a specific question I have?
I am currently not able to respond to comments on the site, but there are other ways to get answers to your questions about mini pigs. One option is to do a search on this site to see if your question is answered in a previous post or comment. Another option is to join and post in the group “Mini Pig Education” on Facebook. That group is full of experienced pig owners, so you can often get quick, helpful responses to questions, whether you are a potential or current mini pig owner.