Photo Credit: @hippothepiggy
Mini pigs are very social, and they need loving relationships in order to be happy. Many times you are not going to be able to be with your pig 24/7, so they may get lonely when you are not home. Having another pet is generally a good idea to keep your pig content, but is a dog a good option?
A good way to describe if they get along well is it’s a risk. Pigs are naturally prey types of animals, and dogs are predators, so there’s always a possibility of something going wrong when mixing them in households. At any given moment, they could get in an alteration and cause damage to each other and possibly even death.
What should you do if you want to have pet pigs and dogs together?
The first rule that you need to follow is never let your pig and dog be alone together! They may seem to be perfectly fine when you are around, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get into an entanglement when you aren’t there to scold them for doing so. If you don’t have an option and you have to leave them home alone, build a pen for your pig.
It’s actually much cheaper than you would think to make a pig-pen, and if you don’t want to buy one, you can even order one on Amazon. Check out this link here to order one on Amazon. The higher the fence wall, the better! You wouldn’t want a stray dog climbing it and injuring or killing your pig. If you want to build it yourself, there are plenty of YouTube videos such as the one I’ve provided below that will help you out.
So maybe you live in an apartment and you don’t have anywhere to keep your pig outside. You could always just lock your dogs in a room or kennel to avoid them from seeing each other. Make sure you do not go away for a while if your pig is locked up in a room. Pigs get bored quickly, and when boredom hits, they tend to start destroying stuff around them, including chewing walls and furniture.
The herd hierarchy
Mini pigs are herding animals and constantly will test their herd mates to see who is the leader. Mini pig’s herd mates would include dogs if they live with them. Even if your mini pig is much smaller than your dogs, they will still try to test them. Usually, this is just nipping and nudging, but sometimes can be biting and charging. Many times this will start a fight between your dog and mini pig.
Usually, you’re going to have to step in and stop this, but if you can, it’s actually better to let them fight (as long as they’re not hurting each other obviously). If you let them fight it out, they will discover who the herd leader is and start to accept their roles. If it is your dog that is the leader, your pig will probably still challenge them, just not nearly as frequently. For this reason, you want your mini pig to be the leader.
The best way to ensure your mini pig will be the leader is by getting a dog that won’t grow very large. Unfortunately, the dog will probably be somewhat scared of your pig, but that is better than a toxic relationship that could go badly at any given second. But you still have to watch them, your pig could easily hurt or kill your small dog, just as a large dog would do to your pig.
The risk of stray dogs to mini pigs
If you live in an area that has many stray dogs, I would recommend that you do not leave your mini pig outside much, even if they are in a fenced-in area. Stray dogs will do anything they can to get a meal, especially starving ones.
Why is it risky to have pet pigs and dogs together?
Dogs are carnivores, you never know when their instincts might unleash, and before you know it, they have severely injured or killed your pet pig. Many times when your pig squeals, it may trigger your dog’s instincts. Even if they are friends, it’s not something your dog can control.
Pigs are omnivores meaning they will eat vegetables and meat if it is given to them. Especially when left alone with small dogs, they could easily injure or kill them. As I have said before, pigs are herding animals, and they constantly test their herd mates to see who is the strongest (which would be the leader). Sometimes your pig might go as far as injuring or killing your small dog to show their dominance.
Pigs will annoy your dogs
Your mini pig will make lots of noise and constantly nip at your dog. Some dogs will become very aggravated by this, which can lead to it getting ugly.
Which dog breeds pose the highest risk to pet pigs?
Obviously, larger dogs will pose a higher risk to mini pigs than smaller ones do, and actually many small dogs are threatened by pigs. Here are some common breeds that are known for being very aggressive towards mini pigs (there are many more these are just a few common breeds).
- German Shepherd
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Presa Canario
Which dog breeds are in the most danger by pet pigs?
On the other hand, there are many dog breeds that are at risk of being injured or killed by pigs. These breeds are mostly smaller dogs that show aggressive tendencies such as these below.
- Cocker Spaniel
- Jack Russell
Because of the risk, should you even consider having a pet pig and a dog together?
In my opinion, if you really love those animals, then yes. As long as you take the responsibility to always be watching when your pig and dog are together, there will be no issues. Even if the relationship turns out badly, there are still options such as keeping your pig in a pig pen or barn at most times. And for your dog, just having them sleep in a kennel or a separate room with a shut door.
Don’t let this article scare you. You can totally have a pet pig and dog be together and everything will be fine. It’s just important to know that you need to be cautious, and sometimes dealing with them will be challenging.
Examples of people who have had pigs and dogs in the same household
One of my friends on Instagram @hippothepiggy pig lives with 3 dogs. One of them is a Pitbull, which has the possibility to hurt the pig, but they actually all get along very well. Although they get along well, she says “I’m lucky that they do. I would never leave any of my dogs alone with my pig.” Although she hasn’t run into any problems, she still doesn’t want to risk anything happening.
Another Lady is not this lucky. Her pig is constantly getting in fights with her Doberman dog (very capable of hurting the pig). The pig steps on the Doberman’s feet and constantly snorts at her. There have been many fights which this poor lady has had to break up to avoid anything seriously awful from happening.
I found another story about a pot-bellied pig named Atlas, who also was not so lucky. She, unfortunately, did not have anyone there to immediately break up the fight with a dog. Atlas was found with her ear completely chewed off and had to be rushed to the vet. Luckily, the vet was able to save Atlas, but there were still some major injuries that had occurred.
Atlas could not hear out of her left side anymore because she did not have an ear, and the area that was damaged got infected and constantly needed checkups. I would show you the image of the injury, but it’s so disturbing that I don’t feel it’s a good idea to do so.