Why I Cringe When People Buy Teacup Pigs

The Pig As Pet Reality

Pigs are not like dogs or cats. They are like pigs, which means they’re really strong. And they can get rambunctious, if not outright destructive — especially when bored.

Unlike dogs and cats, who can live comfortably enough with human contact alone, pigs are highly social animals who do best when paired with other pigs. They’re not truly happy until they have others of their kind in their immediate company.

The Specialty Vet Bills

There’s also the health care issue to consider: Pigs require veterinary care, too. Moreover, they must be spayed and neutered, if they’re to behave like pets.

And what most people don’t get is that anesthetizing and sterilizing a pig isn't exactly the same as spaying or neutering a cat or dog, so exotic animal veterinarians are often a pig owner’s only option — and the procedure can be more expensive for a pig.

Good luck finding affordable pet pig care in suburbia!

The Law

In addition to keeping a pig healthy and happy, owners must also be in compliance with the law.

For example, in Miami-Dade County, all livestock is banned, unless the land is zoned for agricultural use. The fact that you don’t think of your pig as livestock won’t matter to your zoning board — or a neighbor who disagrees with your assessment of your pig as a pet.

In fact, zoning violations are one of the main reasons why people and their pigs are separated. There’s even a website devoted to pig owners who find themselves fighting zoning laws so they can keep their pets.

The Need for Rescue Groups

As the so-called teacup pig grows in popularity, so does the need for pig rescues. These facilities not only work tirelessly to take care of abandoned pigs, and place them in forever homes, but they also spread the word that the term “teacup pig” is an oxymoron.

Here’s a popular site run by a group of rescuers should you need any more inducements to experience the same visceral reaction that I do anytime I come across yet another duped individual and her currently tiny swine in training.

Don’t get me wrong — I think pigs are great. They’re whip smart, affable and entertaining. But as you may have realized after reading this diatribe, they are not for everyone — and way less so for the minions of well-meaning consumers who are done in by teacup pig industry untruths.


Check out more opinion pieces on Vetstreet.

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