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Mini Pig Facts & Myths

Myth: There are no pigs under 300 pounds.

FACT: Healthy mini pigs average from 50-150 pounds. Some smaller bred mini pigs average 50-80 pounds.


Myth: Teacup, micro, nano, pocket pigs etc. are breeds of mini pigs.

FACT: These labels do not describe a breed of pig. They are terms used by irresponsible breeders trying to sell/promise that the piglet will stay the size of a piglet.


Myth: Mini pigs are just potbellies.

FACT: Mini pigs are not all Vietnamese Potbellied Pigs. The American Mini Pig or smaller mini pigs of today have been mixed with several different breeds and some have no potbellied genetics at all.


Myth: Mini Pigs only stay small in size if they are starved or malnourished.

FACT: Mini pigs come in all different shapes and sizes depending on their genetics, diet, environment, and lifestyle. Mini pigs can be small in body composition and height and be completely healthy. Mini pigs should be fed a diet of 2% of their body weight. One should be able to feel a mini pigs hips with gentle pressure, but should not see ribs, spine, or hip bones sticking out which are obvious signs of malnutrition.


Myth: Pigs are chubby or fat.

FACT: Mini pigs should not be fat. Not being able to feel their hips, large jowls doubling their face size, rolls of fat or immobility are all signs your mini pig is overweight. Mini pigs face and body should be proportionate and streamline. In fact, mini pigs are more slender bodied. Overfeeding your pig can be just as detrimental as underfeeding or a malnourished pig and is scene more often.


Myth: A fat pig is a happy pig.

FACT: Pigs suffer physically and mentally from obesity. The excess weight puts a huge stress on their body. They develop painful arthritis and lose interest in everyday activities. Allowing a Mini Pig to become obese is irresponsible.


Myth: Mini Pigs should have their tusks removed.

FACT: Removing the tusks of a pig requires a risky surgery. Tusks are not rooted in the same as teeth and cannot be “pulled”. Tusks are made of ivory and are part of the jaw. Surgery to remove the tusks is invasive with potential to break the jaw bone or cause life threatening infection According to The Merck Manual, “Removal is challenging even for skilled surgeons and may result in mandibular fractures.”


Myth: Mini Pigs are quiet pets.

FACT: Mini Pigs are quite vocal. They communicate with a wide range of vocalizations. They chat, oink, grunt, bark, whine, bellow, shriek, scream, wail, coo, grumble, gurgle, moan and groan. They communicate and express many emotions or moods with sound: greetings, fear, anxiety, pain, stress, excitement, hunger, fun, bored, startled, scared, anticipation, in-heat, startled, isolated or lonely, farrowing, and nursing. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, “Communication in pigs is mainly vocal”.


Myth: Mini Pigs make easy pets.

FACT: Mini Pigs make wonderful pets for the right family. Not every family is the right fit for a mini pig. While many families do enjoy having Mini Pigs as pets, they are highly intelligent animals that require structure, training and attention.


Myth: Mini pigs can eat anything, such as table scraps, slop, kitchen leftovers, dog food, or chicken feed.

FACT: Mini Pigs have very specific nutritional needs. Just like with humans, excessive calories, sugar, high fat or fried foods can cause obesity and bowel upset. Mini Pigs are best suited to a Mini Pig complete pelleted feed with low fat, low protein and high fiber.



Myth: Mini Pigs cannot get fleas.

FACT: Mini Pigs typically do not get fleas because their skin is tough and not the ideal host. The fleas will hop on and stay just long enough to invest a home, yard or other pets. However, piglets can get fleas resulting in poor health, poor hair, and anemia.


Myth: Mini Pigs do not shed.

FACT: Mini Pigs do not shed continuously like cats or dogs but they do blow their coats up to twice yearly. This coat blowing occurs over several days to weeks. The pig will shed most or all of his hair while growing in a brand new softer coat.


Myth: Mini Pigs have a foul odor.

FACT: Mini Pigs do not have a body odor. Male mini pigs not fixed can have a foul odor, however fixed pigs do not smell.


Myth: Mini Pigs cannot sunburn.

FACT: Pigs are susceptible to sunburn. Pink pigs are especially vulnerable. Painful burns can happen if the pig is not provided adequate sun protection. Pigs should have adequate housing and shade to escape the harsh sun. Mud makes an excellent sun block and even mini pigs love to roll in it in hot months.


Myth: My regular vet will surely treat my pig, because he treats my dogs.

FACT: Veterinarians that are willing to treat pet pigs are far and few between. Not all vets will treat pigs, and some will treat them but have little to no experience or training with pigs. Securing a veterinarian experienced with pet pigs before bringing your pet home is very important to handle routine and emergency care. Most often times an exotic vet is needed.


Myth: If you want your pig to bond you need to raise him on a bottle from very young.

FACT: On the contrary, removing a piglet from the sow is dangerous to its health and can affect his long term behavior. Bottle feeding is very risky to the piglet as piglets can aspirate and die. We do NOT support bottle feeding pigs as a practice. Only in emergency or orphaned situations and even then a piglet should be pan fed or feeding through a small syringe should be used for more accuracy and control of fluids. Missing out on mom’s nutrients can weaken a piglet’s immune system. Also important is the social benefits the piglet receives from his mom and littermates. The sow will teach a piglet manners and discipline. This makes your job as a pig parent much easier down the road! A naturally weaned and socialized piglet will have no problems bonding with his new family and have less health and behavioral risks than a bottle fed baby.


Myth: Mini Pigs and dogs make great companions.

FACT: While some dogs and pigs have become great friends, the two species have different communication, body language, and family dynamics. Dogs are predators by nature, while pigs are prey by nature. This can make their relationship very difficult. Pigs and dogs have all different personality types, while some dogs are curious and like pigs, others may show no interest, while others may be jealous or display aggression. Growing up together from young ages is often times more successful. Pigs should never be taken around strange dogs or dogs trained to hunt. Taking your pig to a dog park for example should never happen.


Myth: Mini Pigs don’t feel emotions.

FACT: Mini Pigs are very sensitive and emotional creatures. They feel all the emotions that we do. They feel excitement, frustration, anxiety, sorrow, mourning, urgency, and fear. They bond with their family and express joy at reunions.


Myth: Mini Pigs sweat “like a pig”.

FACT: Mini Pigs only have a few sweat glands, but these are not effective at controlling body temperature. They will sweat from their snouts but do not sweat all over like humans. They use mud or water to cool off in the heat as the evaporation lowers their body temperature.


Myth: All pigs are cuddly, social, and affectionate.

FACT: Mini Pigs are individuals each with their own personality. Some may be cuddly, social, and affectionate. Others will be aloof, independent, bossy, or busy. Just like humans, they can all be very different in likes, dislikes, and overall personality.

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