The only pet pig I ever knew was Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web, and Zoey is also “radiant”, “terrific”, and I’ll say “some pig”, indeed. Her mom, Suzanne, traveled to Pennsylvania’s Spring Woods Miniature Pet Pigs Farm from her home in New Jersey to bring a little, 7 week old Zoey home. Now, a little over a year later, Zoey is a wonderful part of their quirky family!
Suzanne shared with me some of the ins and outs to being a pet pig owner. Having been a pig parent once before, she did a lot of research to find the right farm to get a new pig from. After falling in love with Zoey’s profile and her beautiful white coloring, Suzanne settled on Spring Woods because of their very realistic view and educational information on pig parenting as well as their ethical breeding standards.
Suzanne says pigs are much easier to train than dogs but you have to be very clear with them. Pigs don’t work well with “gray areas” so keeping strict training is best. Poorly trained pigs or spoiled pigs can become aggressive and badly behaved or bossy.
Suzanne works from home so it was an ideal scenario to bring a pig into the family. It took Zoey a day or two to become potty trained, compared to the month or more timeline it might take a dog. Suzanne started her out with an indoor potty, much like you would for a cat but with pine shavings, and now she spends lots of time in the backyard and walks are really just for exercise. Zoey has also been trained to know what cabinets she can play in, she has her tupperware and pots and pans that she can pull out when she’s bored and stuck inside.
Zoey will do anything for food. She’ll “sit” and “stand” and twirl around, she’ll even play her little toy piano for some cheerios. Mom said they are working on “shaking hands” now. Ever wondered how you feed a domesticated pig? Zoey spends a lot of her day outside grazing in the backyard, otherwise she has a ball that mom fills with pellets 3 times a day. Morning and night time meals are made up of a delicious mix of veggies and fruits. Suzanne shared a menu of “kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, grapes, strawberries, cucumber, zucchini, eggplant, and baby carrots.”
Just because Zoey is a miniature pig, don’t mistake her for those tiny little piglets you might see on the internet. Zoey is a good 60lbs at this point and quite long for a miniature pig; she could continue growing until she is 3 years old. The 30 – 40lbs pigs out there make you wonder if they are getting a healthy nutritious diet. It’s important to have proper expectations for a pet pig and, often, pigs who have gone to owners with unrealistic expectations end up in shelters. When raised well they are known to be loving, loyal, social pets, who are intelligent and very entertaining additions to any family.
Zoey has two sisters; Bella, an 11 year old Jack Russell mix and Nala, a 2 year old cat. The three ladies get along much like most sisters do, vying for who’s in charge and who gets to snuggle closest with Mom on the couch. Zoey and her sisters have a very involved extended family, too. Suzanne’s brother, his wife and daughters love coming over to spend time with the animal members of the clan. Zoey’s Aunt Donna loves to spoil her by playing with her or spending time brushing her piggy hair. The uncle, aunt and cousins stay with Suzanne’s babies when she has to go out of town. The Petzi Treat Cam has been great for these specific occasions. Being a work-from-home pet owner, Suzanne worries about her 4-legged little ones back at home and the Treat Cam let’s her check up on them and keep tabs on her human family as well. Suzanne’s nieces have a blast playing tricks, knowing exactly when Suzanne will be logging in and setting up some sort of prank, like ransom letters in attempts to get mac and cheese. Zoey has her own facebook page where you can see all kinds of Petzi Treat Cam antics as well as funny home videos and adorable pictures of life in a home with 4 species.
Suzanne loves her 3 girls and speaks fondly of each of them and their relationships with each other. “Zoe Zoe” likes to think she‘s top dog around the house, as pigs tend to do (she’ll even bully her human cousins), but she should leave it to the real dogs, and Bella has no problem reminding her of that. “Bella boo” is a sweet old gal who watches the occasional chaos from her comfy spot on the couch. She loves to relax and be pet and can get jealous of Zoey hogging all of Mom’s attention. If Zoey goes to snuggle on the couch with Suzanne, you can bet Bella will be relocating herself on the couch as well. Nala is the quiet cozy, ever patient kitty that mostly keeps to herself but loves people and is friendly with everyone.
While Zoey took to the Petzi Treat Cam immediately, Bella needed some time to warm up to it. But now they both try to get the launched cheerios before the other one. Zoey, being so smart, has taken to waiting until she hears the sound of the launcher, she’ll only come running if she knows there are cheerios in it for her. When mentioning how smart her Zoe Zoe is, Suzanne said, “she probably even knows I’m talking about her right now, because she’s looking at me.” Suzanne was excited to get the Treat Cam because she knew how much Zoey liked to go through her cabinets. She was eager to see what would happen when Zoey was left alone. To her surprise, Zoey only makes a big mess when Mom’s home, otherwise she doesn’t touch a thing. Suzanne lives alone and, except for the family that comes to play on the weekends, it’s just the 4 of them.
“It’s like having kids, especially with a pet pig – it’s like a 2 year old with tantrums, they need you. They really help you when you’ve had a bad day, you know, you can go sit on your couch and they will come in your lap and when you give them a treat they are so thankful. Zoey makes a big deal about smacking her lips to show you how much she enjoyed the treat. They put a smile on your face, [their] big huge smile faces make you feel wanted.”
You can follow all the funny and sweet moments in the life of Zoey on her Facebook page.
Zoey playing in the kitchen Thief Zoey making trouble