So, you want a pet pig?

Michael Blackwood, Staff Writer

Recently, pet pigs have grown in popularity, in part thank to many celebrities purchasing pet pigs of their own, but do pigs make great pets, or is that a job best left to other animals?

There are a few myths regarding pigs. The first is that there are “tea-cup,” or “mini” pigs. Margaret Jarvis, a former pig owner, had her pig, Petunia, for only a year. In that time, Petunia, who was advertised as only growing to 15 pounds, grew to 40 pounds, the size of a medium sized dog.

Jarvis is not alone in this, Daniel Joines, another former pig owner, said about his tea-cup pig, Abigail, “She was small when we got her, but she got big.” He elaborated by saying that she grew roughly to a size of around 130 pounds.

Another myth that many pig breeders advertise is that the pigs do not eat a lot of food. Most breeders recommend between a quarter of a cup and one and a half cups of food per day, however, according to both Jarvis and Joines, pigs actually eat much more than that. Jarvis said, “We would feed her a cup of the pig feed three times per day and give her vegetables too.”

The third myth is that pigs make good house pets. This is seen many times in popular culture, on television shows and in movies. Joines said, “We kept [Abigail] outside. It’s not easy to keep a pig inside.” Jarvis stated that she kept her pet outdoors because Petunia like to make mud pits and nestle into the ground.

While both Joines and Jarvis said that they did not get what they were expecting with their pigs, they both recommended pigs as pets in general. However, they both recommended pigs, only if the prospective owner has a lot of land for the pig to live on.

Neither of the two got rid of their pigs because of any of these reasons. Joines’ pet passed away due to health complications, and Jarvis had to sell hers because she was trying to sell her house and she said that people would see Petunia and immediately think that the house was dirty.