ICYMI, pop star Ariana Grande and YouTuber Logan Paul both bought mini pigs (aka “teacup pigs”). Which got me thinking: Are mini pigs actually a thing? Do they really stay “mini”? After a quick web search, I found out that the answer is no. But they have such cute pink noses, little hooves, and sociable personalities, it’s no wonder people want to adopt them.
So, here’s what you need to know about these animals before you go out and get one:
1. There is no such thing as a “mini pig,” “teacup pig,” or “micro pig.” These smallish animals are actually inbred, underfed potbellied pigs. Breeders teach new guardians to feed them a restrictive diet, which results in a malnourished, growth-stunted pig. When fed properly, a potbellied pig can grow up to be 100 pounds or larger! Yup, everything you’ve seen about micro pigs is just false advertising.
2. They’ll probably have health problems. Just like “purebred” dogs—who are bred to be a certain size or have a certain look—these pigs often suffer from a bunch of health problems. Many have squished snouts, which can make it difficult for them to breathe.
3. Breeders fool buyers. They trick people into buying “mini pigs” by showing them piglets and passing them off as fully grown adults. Guardians are then surprised when their companion pig grows past the size they were promised.
4. Many are given up as they get larger. Guardians often can’t handle the consequences that come with having a pig companion—such as the eventual growth and resulting size, paying for the special veterinary care that’s required, and providing the animal with the proper environment and food that they need in order to be happy and healthy.
Pig sanctuaries have been overflowing since the “micro pig” scam started sweeping the nation—it’s becoming a real problem.
5. It might be hard to find a place to live with a pig companion. According to CBSNews.com, “Many cities and counties do not allow pigs on property [that is] not zoned for livestock.”
6. Adopting a pig is like adopting any other companion animal. Choosing to adopt is a huge decision, and you shouldn’t do it unless you’re 100 percent ready and able to provide the animal with the care and attention they deserve.
Make sure you do a TON of research before adopting a pig—you’d be making a 15- to 20-year commitment!
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If you are totally positive that you can provide the best life for a companion pig, be sure to adopt from a reputable sanctuary rather than buying from money-hungry breeders or stores.