Another guest post from John Brooks.
It really is delightful when someone comes along and reliably offers to submit a guest post or two, or three, or more. That person is John Brooks and he has submitted many posts; the last one being Ageing Gracefully Applies To Our Dogs As Well. It may be found here.
But before going on I would just like to say thank you to the very helpful comments about Pedi and his diabetes.
So without any further ado here is John’s latest:
Pigs, Dogs, and Other Pets: Do They Get Along?
By John Brooks, December 3rd, 2020
Pigs are extremely intelligent animals, and this intelligence makes them great, loving and attentive pets. Most people opt for American miniature pigs as pets. This breed is a descendant of potbelly pigs and other small feral pig breeds. Breeders have specifically created miniature pigs to be smaller and lighter than full-sized pigs, so they can trot around the house like a dog or cat would. Most American miniature pigs will weigh between 50-75 pounds and stand 12-15-inches tall.
Ultimately however, it does not matter whether you have a full-sized or miniature pig, their ability to interact with other animals remains the same. Bringing a pig into a situation with other pets or bringing home a new pet when you already have a pet pig can be a stressful time. Pigs are prey animals. They typically react to new situations with fear.
But, you can cut down on your pet pig stress by choosing the right companion animal for them. Pigs can get along with other pets, you just need to make the introduction and relationship as safe and healthy as possible. Here we explain how to do just that.
Pigs and Dogs
Pigs and dogs living together in harmony is a big concern for most pet owners. There are plenty of photos online of pigs and dogs as best friends. But, do not count on your pig and dog getting along. Pigs are prey animals and dogs are predators. It is very easy for instinct to take over for both animals, especially if you are not there to supervise the interaction.
In addition to their instinctual behaviors, pigs and dogs have different social cues. Both are playful and intelligent animals, but their body language will be completely different. Your pig may annoy your dog and vice versa because they are unable to understand that the other animal needs a break.
These complications do not mean a pig and dog can get along. You just have to take precautions. If you do have a dog and pig together in the same household, it is essential that you supervise all of their interactions. Ultimately, if you are going to let your piggy roam free, your dog will need to be in a crate while you do so, or in another room or outside.
Pigs and Other Pets
As far as other pets are concerned, pigs will do well with almost any other prey animal. If you are searching for a friend for your piggy, here are the most common pig and pet relationships, and tips for making these relationships work:
In general, pigs and cats do well together. Despite cats being predators, the website All About Cats state that pigs have similar personality traits to cats. Additionally, cats are much less likely to hurt a pig than a dog. Even miniature pigs weigh from 50-100 pounds. It will be very hard for a common housecat to injure this size animal.
As with all animals, you will need to ensure the personalities of your cat and pig work well together. A lazy cat and playful pig will not be a good combination. However, a cat and pig with complementary personalities will likely get along just fine.
Personality will come into play when introducing pigs to other farm animals. Animals that tend to buck or head-butt can hurt a pig. Similarly, pigs can bite if they feel threatened. Always test out a farm animal with a pig under supervision before putting them in a pasture together.
Farm animals that work well with pigs include sheep, goats, cows, donkeys, horses, and llamas. Obviously, you will need a lot of property to house any of these animals. Pigs work well in the same pasture as other farm animals, but it is better to give them their own living quarters in a barn or lean-to.
Pigs can be an amazing pet. They are trainable and affectionate. You can even teach them to walk on a harness. But, you will need to take some care in finding them a friend. Pigs can become close to many different species of animals. Some just work better than others.
Keep the personality of your pig in mind when looking for a companion. You will also want to keep early interactions short. Finally, supervision is key when it comes to successful relationships between your pig, dog, and other pets.
Another brilliant essay.
Thank you to John and I write on my own behalf and, I am certain, on behalf of many, many other people.
Thank you, John.