Skip to Content

How to Pet a Pig

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclaimer for additional details.

Pigs are cute and fun to be around, thanks to their intelligence and friendly nature.

As a result of the pig’s extraordinary rise in popularity, many people who would never have considered getting one as a pet now do.

Pigs thrive on human interaction and are especially fond of getting their bellies rubbed. In general, they tend to be very social creatures. Pigs that are kept as pets enjoy being around people and like it when they are stroked, rubbed behind the ears, and talked to.

If you just got a pig and want to show how much you care for it, or if you’re going to visit a friend who has one, this article is for you.

Get ready to learn everything you need to know about how to pet a pig!

woman petting pig's head

First Thing First

You wouldn’t go up to a complete stranger and hug them or snuggle with them at a party, would you? Then there’s no reason you should go up to an unfamiliar pet and rub its head.

Like people, animals have rules about how to greet each other when they meet for the first time. 

Problems can arise since most people either don’t know or don’t care about those rules. 

Remember that any animal may react defensively (by hiding, snarling, or biting) if scared, nervous, or uneasy. 

In contrast to human beings, pigs cannot verbalize their preference to be left alone. They look to their owner to act as both speaker and guardian, defending them from harm. 

That’s why it’s important to always get the owner’s OK before introducing yourself to their pig. You can win them over with a simple “Can I say ‘hello’ to your pig?” 

However, if the owner says no, you should respect their decision and leave the pig alone.

The Essentials of Pig Petting

Given their size, petting a pig entails not so much a soft touch as it does a satisfying scratch, such as behind the ear.

Nevertheless, before you go petting and scratching a pig, there are a few things you should know.

  • Always approach the pig slowly and never chase it.
  • You should never sneak up on a pig from behind; instead, approach it head-on or from the side so it can see you coming.
  • Piglets and their mothers need privacy. A mother’s instincts are something you shouldn’t try to challenge.
hand stroking, petting a cute white little pig wearing blue dress

How to Pet a Pig 

To ensure the pig enjoys your petting, it’s best to find out from the pig’s owner where and how the pig is scratched on a regular basis.

Scratching is something that pigs tend to love.

So, instead of long, gentle strokes, soothing scratching is the way to go.

It’s no secret that a pig’s favorite place to scratch is its belly, but they also like to rub their faces, heads, necks, and backs.

In fact, you can get pig scratchers at the market. Invest in a scratching pad for your pig if you find yourself too busy to satisfy its natural scratching appetite.

You can put the scratcher pad on a wall, a tree, or anywhere else your pig can reach it to help relieve its itching.

Newborn pink piglet in the hay and straw

Are Pigs Intelligent Animals?

Pigs are wonderful creatures with an intelligence that is quite astounding.

Pigs have the IQ of a human child and are recognized as the sixth most intelligent animal in the world. 

Only humans, chimpanzees, elephants, crows, and dolphins are ranked higher than pigs on the list of the most intelligent animals.

Pigs are far more clever and receptive to training than any canine species. In only a few days, they are able to respond to their names and respond when they are addressed.

They pick up new skills immediately, can be trained with little effort, understand words, and vocalize their emotions.

Also, pigs, along with very few other species of animal on the globe, possess the capacity for self-awareness.

mother pig and piglets on hay at organic pig farm

Did You Know That Pigs Sing and Talk to Each Other?

One of the most fascinating and sweet characteristics of pigs is their mothers’ ability to sing to their babies while they eat.

Piglets are social animals from the moment they are born, and they quickly learn to follow the sounds of their mothers.

Pigs are extremely communicative and are always chatting with one another.

From indicating hunger to calling for mates, scientists have found more than 20 unique moans and squeals made by these animals.

white mini pig in wicker basket

Do You Want to Have a Pet Pig?

Pigs can be found in a wide variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and very different personalities.

Ask yourself why you want a pet pig, if you have the proper environment for one, and if you have the time to commit to caring for it.

It will then be less of a guessing game as to which pig breed is best suited to your needs, and you can give your pigs the care they deserve.

Pink-skinned pigs, for instance, are extremely susceptible to sunburn; if you don’t provide adequate shade for them, they won’t do well in your care.

It’s also not widely known just how massive a pig can become. Your pig may weigh in excess of 1,000 pounds!

Even miniature pig varieties have the potential to mature at a weight of 100 pounds or more. Therefore, it is still a sizable animal, and the decision to purchase one should not be made lightly.

Your domestic pigs are also social creatures that would rather not be left alone. As a result, it’s wise to have at least two.

If your pigs spend time socializing with one another, they will be less bored and less likely to get into trouble.

When considering a pig as a pet, it is important to select the appropriate breed, bearing in mind the animal’s expected size and personality as an adult.

Also, keep in mind that they are social creatures; therefore, it is ideal to own a pair, for which you will need enough space.

a miniature pot bellied pig sitting on the cushions of a sofa

Popular Pig Breeds for Pets

There are already hundreds of pig breeds in existence across the globe. From the tiny pygmy hog to the gigantic Eurasian wild pig, this family of mammals has it all. 

Yet, these three varieties of pigs are commonly kept as pets: 

  • Miniature pig 
  • Pot-bellied pig 
  • Kune Kune pig
Adorable little girl with hat petting, stroking a pig

Choosing the Pig’s Sex Before Purchase

If you’re thinking of keeping pigs as pets, you’re probably wondering what sex you should buy.

Male pigs that have not been neutered are better left as breeders. So if you decide to have a male pig, it is better to castrate him.

Mature male pigs grow very large and can be aggressive. Therefore, it is important to castrate male pigs while they are still young. 

Keeping a female pig as a pet is typically easier. They are much more subdued, trainable, and amiable.

Final Thoughts

Pigs are adorable, friendly, and extremely intelligent creatures.

They cherish people’s company, the attention lavished upon them, and, of course, physical contact. There is no limit to the amount of scratching, cuddling, or stroking that can be done.

They are also wonderful to have around the house as pets, but not everyone can keep them as family members.

Before deciding to bring home a pig as a pet, it’s important to understand how it differs from a canine or feline friend.

It is possible to tame them, but doing so requires knowledge, dedication, and significant training. This is because they are very intelligent and like to trick their owners into getting what they want. 

Therefore, if you don’t put in the effort to teach them properly, you could easily end up with a 200-pound pet that is aggressive, territorial, and dominant.