Do Pigs Make Good Pets?

Pigs can be incredibly cute and they are among the most intelligent of animals. Some have successfully kept them as house pets, but if you are thinking of going this route yourself, be warned that they are more demanding than a cat or dog.

Here are some of the pluses and minuses of having a pig as a pet:

Easy to Train

Thanks to their above average intelligence, it is not very difficult to train a pig. You can even potty train them. The rewards system used for dogs works even better for pigs because food is their prime motivator. You can pretty easily train a pig to do what you want, if you offer the right snack in return.

That Intelligence Can Work Against You

Those smarts that make them easy to train can also turn into a nightmare as pigs can teach themselves to open things, such as cupboards, where food lurks. Be prepared to use childproofing-style tactics.

Very Clean Animals

Contrary to their representation in popular culture, pigs are very clean animals that don’t smell. They also don’t shed, which can save you a lot of work.

They Make a Mess

Pigs themselves are clean, but they naturally like to root around looking for food, which can wreak havoc on your rugs and other interior objects. They will also tear up your yard looking for same.

Very Friendly

Pigs share some of the same characteristics that make dogs so appealing. They “laugh” and squeal with pleasure when approached with a treat, and will also “bark” at danger.

Easily Stressed

If you are a highly stressed person looking for a pet that will help you to relax, pigs are not the animal for you. They can be easily stressed, which leaves pigs more susceptible to disease.

They are also not a good choice if you want a pet to exercise with as pigs don’t sweat and can quickly overheat.