I'd like to have a pet pig, but are they as dirty as they seem to be?

Filed Under: Pigs

Pet pigs, who often live indoors and are bathed regularly, are as clean as dogs or cats. Wild pigs or pigs who live on farms are obviously dirtier, but with good reason.

Pigs in the wild and on farms often give themselves mud baths—much like rhinos, elephants and horses. There are several reasons this mud bath in beneficial to pigs. The mud helps rub off and suffocate small parasites, and, as it dries, builds a protective barrier that repels flies. Mud is a sunscreen, especially helpful to fair-skinned pigs. When their mud coat is wet, it cools the pig in hot weather; when the mud is dried, it insulates against wind.

Wild pigs, who live in family groups, will designate a separate area of their encampment as a "bathroom," often very far from where they sleep. This obvious preference for clean living is one reason pet pigs are so easily housetrained. Pigs are intelligent and compassionate—and clean—animals. If you have the space and time to dedicate to a pig, they make wonderful pets.

Topics: adoption

Similar entries

  • Pot bellied pigs are sweet-natured, intelligent, active and adorable. As a pet, however, they can be extremely demanding. Before you adopt a pig, please be sure you have the time, space and energy to dedicate to your new family member’s very particular needs. So many pigs are abandoned to sanctuaries because their owners weren’t prepared for the demand a pig places on its human companions. But if you can meet these demands, having a pot bellied pig in your home can be extremely rewarding, and you’ll have a friend for life.

  • Guinea pigs are wonderful pets, gentle and loving. They easily become quite accustomed to human handling, and love to be petted and held regularly. Some guineas will make a rumbling, chirping sound while they’re being petted, similar to a cat's purr.

  • Which small mammal will make the right pet for you? Here’s a short rundown of their specifications.

    Hamsters

    Golden hamsters live 2-3 years and grow to about 6 inches in length. As solitary animals, they should be kept alone in their cages. Hamsters are active pets and require large cages; a minimum size would be 12 x 12 x 18 inches, but a larger cage is recommended. Be sure to get the prerequisite hamster wheel to help them burn off some of their extensive energy.

  • Think the current swine influenza scare is just a bit of media drama?  Don’t be too sure.  Pigs have the potential to serve as a genetic “mixing vessel” for influenza viruses carried by birds, pigs and humans.  Most viruses tend to be species specific but not those of the Influenza type A viruses.  These viruses can easily swap genetic code between traditional avian, pig and human infections.  It is feared that this mixing of genetic code may someday result in a flu pandemic to rival that of the 1918 Influenza epidemic.  

  • Tetanus is caused by a neurotoxin produced by club-shaped bacteria, known as Clostridium tetani. In the presence of oxygen or other adverse environmental conditions such as cold or a lack of humidity, this bacterium will produce a single inactive spore. The spore is a defense mechanism by which the bacteria are able to survive conditions that would result in their death.