Unless you live under a rock, you've probably noticed the trend of teacup pigs becoming a popular choice for a household pet. Also known as micro pigs or mini pigs, teacup pigs have been around for more than 50 years, but have seen a sharp increase in popularity since 2009, when Paris Hilton purchased one as a personal pet. The moniker of 'teacup pig' stems from charming pictures of the breed fitting into a small teacup, and these images strikingly illustrate the miniature size of the tiny pigs when they are very young. Although teacup pigs are touted as a great household pet, it's important that consumers note a few key details about these animals before they jump into ownership.
What most people don't know about teacup pigs is that those adorable pictures of the pint sized piggy’s are taken when they are only a few days old, and the breed actually has the potential to grow to be up to 200 pounds! When full grown, teacup pigs are really too big to be appropriate household pets. Many people, who purchase teacup pigs, thinking they will remain tiny, are overwhelmed by their adult size and end up abandoning the pets. Hundreds of thousands of these teacup pigs have ended up in rescues or shelters in the past several years due to this issue. Although some breeders claim to guarantee that their teacup pigs will not exceed a certain size, in actuality there is no breed standard established for teacup pigs. Such a claim should be regarded with extreme caution.
Another important issue that owners run into with teacup pigs is the reality of taking care of them. Although breeders like to advertise the teacup pigs as keeping themselves very clean, the reality is that their living space is not characterized as clean, and this can come as quite a surprise to uninformed owners. Teacup pigs eat a great deal and scavenge for food if they do not get their fill, and may chew on and eat household items when unwary owners are not paying attention. They will turn their living space into an untidy mess, and teacup pig owners are often quickly overwhelmed by the mess they can create. Of course, the breeders who sell teacup pigs won't tell you all these facts when they are extolling the virtues of their adorable baby pigs. Any person interested in owning one of these teacup pigs should make sure they have done all their research on the breed before committing to raising one.
Although the concept of teacup pigs is trendy, and the tiny teacup pigs are truly adorable when they are very small, the reality of these animals is very different from what popular culture would lead you to believe. If you are truly interested in owning one of these teacup pigs, make sure you have the appropriate space to raise one, a good deal of time and patience to devote to them, and be prepared for your bitty little pig to grow into a sizable porker after they have matured!