In Recent Years, the Use of Mini Pigs as Pets has Become Popular in Latin America and the World. Here are Some Pros and Cons of Having one at Home and its Care.
LatinAmerican Post | Daniel Alejandro Vergara
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These mini pigs of 35.5 cm in average height are not only representing a change in the market, but they also pose new challenges in terms of animal care and protection. To begin with, it is necessary to remember that historically, pigs were domesticated by humanity for the purpose of protein production and the development of some agricultural work. With the evolution of science, and a process that would take just over 25 years, certain small breeds were genetically crossed and this led to the creation of the Mini Pigs. Before being marketed as pets, they were widely used in research in the field of medicine, for the treatment of some hormonal and neuronal diseases, since their organs and some genetic characteristics are similar to those of humans.
According to research carried out at the School of Zootechnics of the University of Costa Rica, the mini pig, whose scientific name is "Sus Scrofa Domestica", has about 16 subspecies and 45 breeds in the world. The diversity of Mini Pigs leads to variations in weight, height and biological and genetic conditions that must be known by the owners of these animals to give them a good lifestyle and the necessary care. And it is at this point that one of the biggest problems is generated with the purchase, sale and adoption of company pigs. It is common for people who acquire one of these animals to be completely unaware that they can grow up to 60.8 centimeters, and some breeds such as the Vietnamese pig can weigh between 75 and 100 kg, dimensions that in a small home can cause some complications in daily life and lead to the abandonment of the animal.
On this subject, an article published on the website of the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) states that: "Before buying a mini pig, it is essential to consider if there is enough space for it to be at home, because even the smallest breeds must have access to outdoor areas so that they can develop their natural behaviors. Preferably, it should be a place where it does not live with other animals (avoid community gardens, for example) because there would be a risk of contracting parasitic infections.
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Taking into account how complex it can be to have a Mini Pig at home, here are some tips for its care:
- According to research from the University of Costa Rica, pigs have the ability to establish and allocate separate areas for eating, defecating and urinating. Therefore, in the enclosure in which they develop, the owner must provide a feeding area and an area where the animal can defecate.
- The same research calls for the care of their skin, since it requires a lot of hydration, and if they are light-colored, they can suffer from sunburn. If the pig does not have access to mud or a pond with water, consider applying fragrance-free Vaseline, neutral baby cream or, alternatively, infant sunscreen once a week.
- As for their diet, one of the most common mistakes is to give them meals that are highly loaded with carbohydrates and fats, which will influence the animal to grow and tend to gain weight because it is not a species that performs high levels of physical activity. That is why, if you want it as a companion pig, this part of the diet is essential.
- In an article from the National University of Colombia, two veterinary doctors recommend that the nutritional diet of these Mini Pigs be similar to that of a human: “mini pigs need three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a snack or snack between the first two and between the last two. They should have a balanced diet of vegetables, protein and fruit, their favorite food."
- The UNAM article also states that if you are thinking of having one of these animals, you should take into account their natural behavior, biting, scratching the ground, uprooting plants and removing the mud are natural behaviors that a person in a house can represent some challenges in coexistence with the mini pig.
Finally, it is necessary to make the call that before acquiring a Mini Pig, inform yourself in the best way, if possible with a professional, about the care that these animals should have. The foregoing with the aim of avoiding abandonment, failures in the care of the mini pigs and material damage, if these recommendations are taken into account, it is most likely that the experience with these companion mini pigs will be beneficial, long since their expectation of life ranges between 14 and 21 years, and of course very funny.