NEAR NEW HAMPTON, Iowa (KTTC) – Mini pigs have become popular pets in recent years, but many pig parents-to-be don’t often have good or even any information about those animals before taking them on as pets.
Kym Olson takes care of six mini pigs, some are hers and she’s fostering the rest.
She says one of the biggest misconceptions about the animals is that they will stay small forever, which isn’t the case.
Comet is a four month old mini pig that Olson is currently fostering.
When he’s a little older, he’ll be closer to the size of his sisters at almost ten times the weight.
“Potbelly pigs or mini pigs grow until the age of five,” said Olson. “Whether it be height, length, weight, or stockiness.”
She and other pet pig parents want to educate folks who may be interested in adopting a pet pig of their own, as they can often be impulse buys because of how cute and small they are as babies.
“We need to check your zoning laws within your cities and communities,” said Olson.
Laws for these animals are different from those governing more common pets like dogs or cats.
You also need to make sure that you have a vet in your area that is able to care for pet pigs because they are different than your typical farm pig.
“Get fully educated, reach out to all of us that are in the community and let us help you if you don’t know what you’re doing or what you’re getting into,” said Olson.
She also mentioned how important it is to do your research first.
“With as intelligent as they are, you really need to keep them stimulated,” said Olson.
She gives her pigs toddler toys and treat-type dog toys. Mini pigs are eager to learn, they can learn tricks, words, and colors.
“It’s a different world out there with a pet pig, but it’s probably the best companion animal you can get,” said Olson.
If you are interested in learning more about pet pigs, The American mini Pig Association will be visiting the Des Moines Home and Pet Show this weekend.
Kym Olson will be there as well and is bringing along a few of her mini pigs.