Want a pet pig? Here’s what to know before getting one

Local News

NIXA, Mo. –According to a press release from the City of Nixa, on Jan 11, 2021, City Council voted on an ordinance allowing residents to own miniature pet pigs. The ordinance took effect immediately.

The release states the swine must weigh less than 120 pounds to qualify as a “miniature pig.”

Other stated requirements for owning a pet pig are:

  • Must be registered annually at Nixa City Hall.
  • Only one mini pig per housing unit
  • No breeding allowed
  • Not allowed to run at large
  • Must keep current vaccination against rabies
  • Must be microchipped and contact info on microchip must be updated annually
  • Must trim and maintain tusks so not visible outside the animal’s mouth.

Ozarks First talked to Dr. Bridget Zacharias, an associate veterinarian at McClure Veterinary Clinic who specializes in pig care.

Addressing the rabies vaccination requirement in Nixa, Zacharias said “There isn’t a rabies vaccine made specifically for pigs per se, but we can still vaccinate them for rabies. It would be an off-label use for the rabies vaccine, that just means there isn’t a pig vaccine for rabies, but it’s still safe to give.”

Zacharias emphasized research is important before getting a pet pig. “You need to do some research on good breeders too because some breeders raise them as feeder pigs or get feeder pigs versus true mini pigs.”

Noting differences between traditional pets, Zacharias said.

“Pigs can get foreign body obstructions; things stuck in their bellies. They can’t just throw it up, not as easy as a dog. It’s a lot harder for them.” Zacharias continued, “They can get along with other animals. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily leave them alone with your dog or cat, because sometimes they can be a little territorial. But they make such good companions.”

Another important factor in owning a pet pig is proper feeding: “You don’t want to feed them too many treats and you don’t want to feed them too much. Because if you feed them too much that can lead to obesity and that can be a very common problem in pigs.” said Zacharias.

Overall, Dr. Zacharias recommends pigs as pets saying “They’re very entertaining, they’re very sociable. They really keep you on your toes. They’re really good companions, they like to cuddle. As you can see this one is being very cuddly.”

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