Emotional support animals have become extremely popular in recent years. The most common types of emotional support pets are dogs and cats, but a lot of people own ESA hamsters, rabbits, rats, and gerbils too. All of these species provide excellent emotional animal support. But another great ESA option that more and more people are availing of is an emotional support pig. The idea of having an ESA pig may sound a bit curly to you… But it’s an option not to be snorted at!
What Is An Emotional Support Pig?
An emotional support pig is a pig, usually a pot-bellied pig, that a person with mental health problems keeps as a pet in order to improve their mental state. People with all kinds of mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, phobias, and insomnia, can benefit from the emotional support of pet pigs.
ESA pigs are afforded certain special rights under the law because of the key role they play in improving their owners’ mental health. Emotional support pigs are allowed to travel with their owner in commercial airliners, and they are allowed to live with their owner in otherwise “No Pets Allowed” accommodation.
Do Pigs Make Good Emotional Support Animals?
Undoubtedly an emotional support pig is an exotic ESA. The most common ESAs by a long shot are dogs and cats. The reason pet pigs are rare is that they traditionally have not been kept as pets anywhere near as much as dogs and cats. But this does not mean they can’t make excellent emotional support animals.
Pigs are highly intelligent – easily as much so as the vast majority of dog species, and often more. They bond very easily with humans. They are loving, extremely friendly and social, and rarely bad-tempered in any way.
Due to their high intelligence and outgoing, social nature, they are very easy to train and learn very quickly.
Are Emotional Support Pigs Popular?
While emotional support pigs are certainly exotic ESAs, they are becoming more popular and common. It is now not all that strange to see a person taking their ESA pig for a walk on a leash, carrying it under their arm, or taking a drive with their pig riding shotgun.
Emotional support pigs deserve their increasing popularity because they make wonderful emotional support animals due to their high intelligence, cheerfulness, and ease of socializing with humans.
Where Can I Get An Emotional Support Pig?
It is easy to get an emotional support pig. Many pet shops have pot-bellied pigs, and pet pig breeders are common all over the country.
ESA pigs are considered livestock and zoning rules vary between states and municipalities. It is important to find out the specific rules regarding pet pig ownership in your area.
Are Emotional Support Pigs Difficult To Look After?
Pigs are not particularly difficult to look after. As mentioned before, they are highly intelligent and therefore easy to train. They are extremely social animals and so will require a lot of love and attention. They love the company of humans, as well as other pigs and even other animal species such as dogs and cats. The more company the better for an emotional support pig!
Pigs are happy to live indoors, but they also require lots of outdoor time and copious exercise. Pigs have a natural urge to root (dig) and they must be allowed to engage in this innate behavior. Pigs can walk on a leash and travel in a car and will enjoy long walks and play sessions in the garden or park. An ESA pig needs to be exercised every day. Bear in mind, they are often quite slow walkers due to their short legs.
ESA pigs live between 12 and 15 years, so getting a pet pig is a big commitment, and not to be taken lightly.
What Do ESA Pigs Eat?
Pigs adore their food. They are certainly not picky eaters and they are constantly keen to chow down! Because they are so smart they can easily figure out how to get into cupboards and even open the fridge. But if you allow your ESA pig free reign to eat whatever it wants, it will become fat and unhealthy. Pigs have very little self-restraint when it comes to diet!
Even if your ESA pig is adorable and you want to spoil it, you must make sure that it does not over-eat. A pet pig needs to eat a healthy and balanced diet of grains, vegetables, and a limited amount of fruit. Good all-in-one complete pig feeds are available from most pet stores. Pigs also need lots of water, especially when the weather is warm or they have been exercising.
So that is the lowdown on emotional support pigs. ESA pig ownership
is a big responsibility, but it can also be enormously rewarding.