Check The Checklist Again:
Make sure you have all the items on the New Owner Check List and that you didn't forget anything, including finding a vet. It is very important that you research and verify with local zoning, codes or any applicable governing boards that a pet pig is permitted and will be legal where you live. If for any reason you don't want or believe you need to confirm the legality of owning a pig, PLEASE DO NOT GET A PIG. There is no way you can guess or assume because you live in a small town, have great neighbors or someone else locally has a pig that you will be safe. CHECK AND BE SAFE!
Make Your Piglet a Home:
Welcome your piglet home with his own designated living space. This first area is usually temporary for small piglets and can be a play pen, crate or any small space where the pig can be confined like a bath room or laundry room. Select an area where the walls and floors (like tile or linoleum) will be easy to clean. Select an area that offers privacy, free of drafts that can be keep at a comfortable temperature. Do not let him have free run of the house. This small confined space is necessary to protect your piglet until he acclimates to his new surroundings and helps him bond with you. When you are not attending to him or watching him, put him in his area. This will reinforce his litter box training and keep him safe while he's learning about his new home. Make this area as secure and as peaceful as possible especially for the first few days. Make sure that he is safe and protected from any pets, children or even well meaning visitors gaining access to his area. Pigs are not like puppies, they don't welcome everyone and come running. Normally a little piglet in a strange place will leary of most everything, and doesn't need unnecessary intrusions.
Have fun and personalize his new home. The choice of design options are unlimited. You can color coordinate in piggy colors like pink or baby pastels. Choose a cartoon theme like Porky Pig, Peppa Pig, Ms. Piggy, or Piglet from Winnie the Pooh. Popular children books like "Charlotte's Web" or "The Three Little Pigs". Get creative with a farm motif and accentuate with pig decor like pig lamps, pig pictures or pig figurines. Most important is to have the essentials and to make it comfortable for your piglet. Select a soft bed that offers support from the floor. Provide plenty of blankets to comfort and keep him warm. Place non-tip food and water bowl away from litter box. Put the litter box in a corner furthest away from the bed and food bowls. For litter use pine shavings (no cedar) or pelleted equine bedding. Stuffed animals, balls, toys especially enrichment toys like food balls, and if desired a little bin to keep them in. Piglets love rooting pads too.
Get inspiration and ideas from some great enclosure design along with actual pictures of pig homes -
See Pig Pen Design
Bonding With Your Piglet:
When your pig arrives he will probably act nervous and scared. He may run from you, hide, refuse treats or squeal. This is normal. Your baby left his mom, siblings and all that he has ever known. Most likely, he is the only pig in this strange place, with strange smells and strange people. Be patient and give him some time to adjust and feel secure. We have already held, petted, rocked, kissed and potty trained your piglet to prepare him for the transition into your home. Your piglet needs time and your patience as he gets to know you and gets familiar with you and his new surronding.
This is a challenging time for many new owners. Finally able to bring their own pet pig home, the new piggy parent is eager to play, pet, hold and love their baby. Unfortunately the feeling is not mutual because usually the piglet wants no part of that. You are like an alien that has ab
Eating From Your Hand
Best way to bond with a pig is spending time over food. Also at the heart of training a pig is rewarding desired behavior. The best reward for a pig is food. Let your piglet explore and get comfortable with his new area that you prepared for him. When he has settled in a bit, get on his level and sit with him, do nothing for a while. Give the piglet time to get use to your presence and your smell. Bring a book, phone, tablet, head phones to keep occupied and if needed a cushion or pillow for comfort, After the piglet start to relax a little, the next step is to lure him closer by offering him treats. Piglets can be finicky eaters is make sure it's a treat he likes. At any point if the piglet balks or refuses a treat, back up a step or stop and try again later. Most likely he will refuse fo eat a treat from your hand, so you toss or place a treat near him. Gradually get the treats and him moving closer towards you until he is eating right beside you. Put your hand on the floor with treats by it or put a treat on your leg. Then put the treat in your hand. Depending on the piglet it might take several minutes to several days before he eats food from your hand.
After eating from your hand, entice him with more treats and slowly rub him on his sides. Do this at his pace. If he acts uncomfortable, back off a little until he is calm again. Keep working with him and he'll start to enjoy being petted. You will know you have mastered this when suddenly he'll flop over and lay on his side while you pet or scratch his belly. I call it the flop and pigs love it. They will lay there almost like they are in a trance for hours, or until you stop petting them
Holding Your Piglet:
Piglets don't like to be held. It frightens them and they'll squeal in protest when pickedvv up. For over 2000 years, man kept pigs for no other purpose but to slaughter them and eat their flesh. Within the last 50 years until we started keeping them as pets, a picked up pig was usually a dead pig. Predators like big cats picked a pig up by the neck to kill it. People picked a pig up to slaughter it themselves, or carry it to the market or slaughter house. Man pierced their snouts with hog rings, branded, castrated and pulled teeth without anesthesia. Pigs were inhumanely housed and fed. Today, humans are still cruel to pigs. It's horrific the abuses that are exposed in the farming, transportation and meat industries today. If man had treated dogs that way for 2000 years, puppies would scream when we picked them up too. It has been said that you have to earn a pig's trust and for good reason too!
Pigs can get used to being held and it's important to be able to do so especially in an emergency. We start picking them up and holding them, to get them used to being held. ith picking our piglets up, and if they squeal it will be briefly as you lift up them up. Start by sitting on the floor and offering treats. Pick the piglet up from sitting position and hold him close your chest. Make him feel secure. I often gently bounce the piglet up and down like you would a baby. Picking your piglet every day, will help him get used to being held without struggling or squealing. If your piglet squeals while you'rea holding him, don't put him down until he's been quiet for at least 10 seconds. If you put him down when he squeals you are training him (actually he is training you) to squeal so he will get put down. vvvv
Pig In A Blanket:
Pigs love blankets and a piglet will often feel secure when wrapped in blankets. I'll wrap a piglet in a blanket to carry him around or to hold him while watching TV. A new piglet will usually be calmer when swaddled in a blanket when first being held.
Dogs and Other Pets:
Pig usually get along well with most animals. People often ask "How do pigs do with dogs"? I tell them "great, but the real question is: How do dogs do with pigs?" Some dogs and pigs can be best friends and be inseparable. However, dog do attack, maim and kill pigs. Pigs are prey animals and dogs are predators. A small to medium dog like a beagle can easily kill a pig. DO NOT GET A PIG if you have hunting dogs, a dog with a strong prey drive, a snappy or biting dog or a dog that doesn't get along with other animals. When a fight occurs, the pig will not win. In all fairness, the pig probably instigates the conflict by stealing food or rooting on the dog. I have Great Pyrenees, bred to be livestock guardian dogs (LGD) and I even don't trust them totally. When it comes to dogs and pigs, it is best to very cautious. Never leave a dog and a pig alone unsupervised.
The first couple of weeks you can spoil and over indulge your piglet. This will help him bond to you. After this initial transition period, use good judgment in doling out treats and affection. Don't let your little darling become a spoiled brat. It is up to you to train him or he will try to train you. Consistency, patience and treats are essential to training your pig. Your pig will need to be litter box or house trained, trained to wear a harness, walk on a leash, take a bath and learn some simple commands. These and other training techniques and tips can be found on the site under
Miniature Pig Care.