Surprising Tidbits About Your Pet Piglet

Although they’re not quite as popular as dogs and cats, piglets make excellent pets. These animals are smart and gregarious – meaning they love company. In spite of their love of mud baths, piglets are actually quite clean. Read on to discover some surprising tidbits about your pet pig.

The Basics

Male pigs are called boars. Sows are female pigs. When a sow gives birth, her young are called piglets. After a piglet is weaned, it is no longer a piglet. Instead, the young animal is known as a shoat. Click to learn how to wean a piglet.

Pigs Can Sing

A nursing sow will sing to her piglets. When piglets are born, they quickly learn to run toward the sound of their mother’s voice. Piglets also are quick to recognize the sound of their own names. 

Humans and Pigs are Genetically Similar

Our DNA has so much in common that pig stem cells are used to research cures for human diseases. Pigs and humans also have similar physiology and organ size, which helps us learn more about cardiovascular disease and obesity. 

You Can’t Sweat Like a Pig

That’s because pigs don’t actually have sweat glands. And, though we’ve all seen photos of pigs rolling in the mud to cool off, you won’t find a lot of modern pigs getting down and dirty. That’s because modern farmers regulate barn temperatures to keep the animals comfortable. 

Pigs Can Swim

Much like dogs, pigs are natural swimmers. In fact, wild pigs in the Bahamas have been known to swim out to passing boats in hope of a tasty treat. If you’ve got a pool at home, take your pet piglet for a supervised dip.

Piglets Love Cuddling

Because pigs are such social animals, they love to cuddle. In a group, they often sleep snout-to-snout. And, when they’re sleeping, they’ve been known to dream – just like people do.

Ancient Pigs Were Massive

Approximately 16.3 million years ago, enormous pig-like creatures roamed the earth. These animals are officially known as enteledonts, but today they’re often referred to as “terminator pigs.” That’s because they were about 1,000 pounds and 7 feet tall at the shoulder. At home in the American Badlands, these ancient pigs were at the top of the food chain. 

They’ll Eat Anything

This is one stereotype that holds true: your pet piglet will actually eat anything. Pigs are omnivores and gorge feeders. Omnivores eat both plants and animals. Left to their own devices, gorge feeders will eat until they’re completely full. Pigs do, however, eat slowly, savoring their food. These animals are also pretty thirsty. A grown pig can drink 14 gallons of water every day.

China Loves Pigs

China is home to the most domesticated pigs on Earth. In Chinese culture, the pig is associated with fruitfulness. Couples who want to have children often display pig statues in their bedrooms for good luck.

Pigs Can Run Marathons

They might not be the tallest or most athletic creatures, but pigs have been known to run a 7-minute mile. That’s better than a lot of humans! 

Pigs Are Really, Really Smart

Your pet piglet is likely smarter than your pet dog. In fact, pigs are thought to be the third-most intelligent animal, just behind apes and dolphins. You might have already noticed that your pet piglet is quick to learn new tricks. 

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