As mentioned in the Miniature Pigs Guide post on Deciding if miniature pigs are the right pets for you, a good vet with pig experience (and I’m not talking about the men she’s dated) can come in handy here. A pre-screening by your vet or certification from the breeder’s vet will help you pick the healthiest pig for your home.
Your pig of choice should be active and energetic, not too fat, have clean, straight teeth, clear eyes and his or her hooves should be trimmed and free of damage. But there’s more to picking the right pet than just its general health considerations
Be sure to spend time with miniature pigs you’re considering as pets. Temperament is a very important consideration. Like dogs, pigs that have not been socialized can bring a host of problems to the household. If the pig you are considering is aggressive or skittish, consider a different pig. Caught young enough, these social concerns can be readily overcome.
Also, never make an impulse purchase when it comes to pets (miniature pigs or otherwise). Gifts, or adoptions/purchases made solely on the basis of cuteness are likely to result in later regrets. A pig will want to become part of your family, eager to greet you with squeals of delight when you come home and anxious to sleep with its head on your lap just like a dog. If you aren’t sure you can commit to the adoption of a new family member (not just a pet) then a miniature pig is not the right pet for you.
Remember that there is more to picking a pig than you might originally think. Miniature pigs come with a host of special considerations unique to them. Just because you know everything there is to know about the care and feeding of dogs or cats does not qualify you to be a good piggy parent. It’s worth repeating – do your research in advance and do it thoroughly.
Decide if you want a male or female pig and then decide how soon you can get it fixed – more on that in a future post on Bringing Piggy Home. Also decide what types of miniature pigs best fit your lifestyle. We’ll cover the different “models” in our next post – Types of Miniature Pigs but for now, recognize that pigs come in different sizes and some can live as long as 25 years! That’s a serious commitment so make sure be you know what you’re getting in advance.