Dog or Pig: Adopting one of these pets can save you £50 a month

More families are choosing pet pigs instead of dogs as they cost less to buy and take care of. The RSPCA is concerned.

People swap dogs for pet pigs as the cost of living crisis hits home
© Photo by Alexandra Novitskaya on
People swap dogs for pet pigs as the cost of living crisis hits home

As people are no longer able to catch up with the rising prices, they look for creative ways to cut on practically everything. A micro pig breeder has noticed a recent surge in people adopting adorable hogs and attributes it to the fact that dog care is simply too expensive for some.

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'The piggy boom'

As new puppy owners fear that giving a good life to a dogwill be too expensive long term, they turn to micro pigs who behave similarly to pooches. The surge in pig adoption was coined as the ‘piggy boom’, Mirror reports.

The estimated cost of keeping a pig is £50 / $60 less per month if you compare it to a dog. It is a significant saving as the average cost of caring for a canine in the UK is £250 / $300.

Olivia Mikhail, the owner of ethical micro pig breeder Kew Little Pigs, said:

Everyone talks about the puppy boom, but now there is a piggy boom!

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Posted by Kew Little Pigs Ltd on Thursday, August 11, 2022

'Just like dogs'

One of the reasons families across the UK favour pet hogs is that, unlike cats, they can behave just like dogs. They wag their tails, go for walks on a leash and can be taught tricks such as agility, 'sit' and 'stay'. These animals also have a solid 15-year life span.

Lisa Thomas, who welcomed micro pig Biscuit into their family, said:

She has brought so much love and joy into our lives.

According to Lisa, the animal knows when it's time to settle downat night and sleeps in the house on its dog bed with blankets in it ‘for rooting a nuzzling’. Biscuit also goes for a swim in the family’s pool in the garden, often sitting on her own pool float.

Lisa added:

All the things you get from having a dog we get from Biscuit, she gets excited when the kids come home from school, and she is one of the family.
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Is it easy to keep a pig for a pet?

Due to restrictions on movement, a special walking route must be planned and approved for owners who want to take their pet hogs outside.

Kew Little Pigs makes all new adopters take a special pig-keeping course to ensure the animal welfare standards are met and the pet gets good care.

But for many new owners like A&E nurse Jane Sudds, who adopted Wilbur during the lockdown in the winter of 2020, the joy of having pet pigs far outweighs any paperwork.

Jane said:

Wilbur just wants to be wherever I am, but he also has his ball pit, mud pit and sandpit in his outside pen. Adopting Wilbur has been wonderful, he's like a dog, but more too!

Whilst many families are happy to welcome their money-saving adorable pets, the RSPCA is wary of their rising popularity.

They wrote in a statement:

If you're thinking about keeping a pig as a pet, we urge you to find out as much as possible about their needs and whether it's a realistic pet for you.

Read more:

These giant pet rabbits that were 'bred to be eaten' were found in dreadful conditions

5 ways to pay less and keep your pet happy as the cost of living rises

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