Adopting a dwarf pig can be tempting for many people, but unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see these poor beasts abandoned because the person had not educated enough before the adoption.
The miniature pig is not as easy an animal to raise as a dog or a cat, it will require a lot of care and attention to live properly, but in turn will be very affectionate and playful, an ideal pet. for people willing to make certain sacrifices.
Be aware of what a miniature pig really is before adoption
The dwarf pig is not a common pet. Its name is particularly misleading, since many people believe that these varieties of pigs do not weigh more than 10 or 15 kilos. Although there are several varieties (Vietnamese, New Caledonian, Yucatan, Pécari or American dwarf pigs), there are none that are so small.
In reality, these pigs weigh between 35 and 80kg and measure between 35 and 55cm high depending on the variety, stature they only reach when they are only three years old (pigs grow very slowly.)
You should also be aware that these animals have a very special character. They are very stubborn and tend to want to be dominant, a real pig character in short!
Finally, you have to accept the fact that your garden will be strewn with holes (of course, raising a dwarf pig in an apartment is unthinkable). Indeed, it is in the nature of the pig to scratch the ground to find food, in any case it should not be prevented from following this instinct.
How to acclimate a dwarf pig upon adoption
If you are well aware of the profile and needs of this animal and you are ready to make all the necessary efforts for it to live happily and in good health, then you can take the step of adoption.
Do not hesitate to find out about the different breedings that exist in France, and to discuss with the breeder himself to learn more about the small mammal that will come to share your life. The pig must be at least three months old before leaving its mother. If he is separated from the latter before this age, he will not yet be weaned, and just like dogs or cats, he may have behavioral problems in the future.
Once at home, install it in its room that will be dedicated to it (which will have to be prepared beforehand). This piece should not be chosen at random. First of all, it should not be located upstairs in the house, since climbing stairs is too difficult and painful for a pig, besides damaging its joints. The floor should not be slippery either (it will therefore be necessary to avoid tiling), this would cause him too much stress. The room must also be ventilated and well insulated from outside temperatures (mainly against winter temperatures).
It will have to be equipped with a large basket, in which we will have placed cushions. Avoid putting on blankets that the pig will tend to eat, which can cause intestinal obstruction. Finally, install a bowl of food and another of fresh water.
The pig, in nature, is a prey and not a predator. He will therefore be naturally timid. It will therefore be necessary to make him spend his first month in his “room”, the time that he gets used to his new environment and to the people living in the house, with whom he will have to get to know gently. You will need to speak to him in a soft voice and above all never rush him or force him to do something, so that he will trust you little by little.
Once this first month has passed, it will be necessary to open the door to let him slowly discover the house, always under surveillance to avoid a potential accident. Finally, he can discover his favorite playground: the garden.
Landscaping your garden for a dwarf pig
Setting up your garden for a miniature pig is far from the most difficult aspect. It will suffice at first to enclose the perimeter to prevent it from escaping, but also your plantations if you have any, because your pig will not deprive itself of feeding on everything that passes under its snout.
Finally, if there are steps (to enter or exit the house for example), consider installing access ramps so that he does not have to climb them.
The feeding of the dwarf pig
Contrary to popular belief, the pig is not a “trash” animal to which we can give everything. Salt or too strong spices are very harmful for him, and in general, human food is too fatty. Feeding him with leftover meals would quickly make him obese or sick.
We prefer to give it a purely vegetarian diet. Specific granules for dwarf pigs (which can be found in specialized stores), accompanied by fruits and vegetables (cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, lettuce, salads, apples, pears or endives for example), will give him everything he needs. he needs to be healthy. We will split his daily rations into two meals.
Avoid giving him food for other animals. Dry food for dogs or cats contains too much protein, which will only promote fat intake.
Finally, it will of course be necessary for him to have fresh water at will, which will be changed every day.
The behavior of the dwarf pig
Raising a miniature pig is nowhere near as easy as raising a dog. Indeed, these animals have a bad temper and it is very difficult to get them to do what we want, or to forbid them to do anything.
Rules will have to be imposed from the start. If, for example, the sofa is prohibited, it should absolutely never be allowed to climb on it, not once. The pig being endowed with a very good memory, he will be able to remember everything that you will have allowed him to do and will not understand that you deny him something when you allowed him before, even if it was there. several years.
However, you should never hit a pig, even to punish it. He might later be afraid of you and no longer trust you. Remember he will remember it all his life. The reprimands should be done by voice such as saying “NO” in a loud voice to make him understand that what he is doing does not please you.
It is also important to know that a pig is a very intelligent animal that loves to learn. So do not hesitate to make him understand terms like “sitting” or “lying”, in the same way that one teaches these commands to a dog.
Playing ball with him can also be a good way to stimulate his intelligence, in addition to making him play sports, because yes, if it is not stimulated, the pig is an animal that has a tendency to laziness and who can easily become overweight. Do not hesitate to go out for a walk with him (by putting on a harness and keeping him on a leash), to make him work out and make him see something other than your house and your garden.
Finally, be careful to never leave your pig alone with a child. He may see him as a hierarchically inferior being, and his dominating instincts take over, leading him to be aggressive.
The health of the dwarf pig
Much like a dog, the miniature pig will need to have up-to-date vaccines to be immunized against various diseases. Regularly giving him dewormer will also be necessary.
It will also be useful to have him sterilized, mainly for health reasons for females, and for behavioral reasons for males, who tend to become too dominant when they are whole. It is strongly recommended to have them sterilized before the age of six months to avoid any complications following the operation.
Other than that, the miniature pig has fairly solid health as long as it receives a balanced diet. Only be careful during the very cold of winter, to cover it well when it goes out: there are coats for miniature pigs. As this animal does not have a coat, it will be naturally sensitive to temperature variations.