Pigs as pets
We have concerns about the welfare of pigs when they're kept as pets, due to how difficult it can be to meet their needs.
Pet pigs have specific needs and, like farmed pigs, there are strict laws concerning their diet, identification and movement. It can be challenging to look after them properly, which you need to do under the Animal Welfare Act.
We would urge anyone considering keeping a pig as a pet to find out as much as possible about their needs and whether it's a realistic pet for you.
Size of pigs
Whilst piglets may look cute, even miniature breeds (e.g. the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig) soon grow up to weigh 35 to 70 kilogrammes (over 150 kilogrammes if overfed). Other breeds will grow as large as a commercially farmed pig i.e. 200 to 300 kilogrammes, sometimes more.
The average life span of these breeds is five to ten years, although some can live up to 25 years.
Whilst some pigs have a very good temperament others should be handled with care.
Take a look at the following pages for some important considerations for anyone considering or already keeping pet pigs.
- The law concerning keeping pigs as pets
- Environment for pigs kept as pets
- Caring for pet pigs (information on diet, company and health and welfare)
- Our Pet Pigs Information sheet (PDF 92.8KB)
- RSPCA Position on micro and mini pigs (PDF 134KB)
- Defra guidance: Keeping a pet pig or 'micropig'
- Defra: Guidance for keepers of sheep, goats and pigs
- Our farmed pigs pages