Say goodbye to the concept of “pig”, which was once considered a dirty, angry and ridiculous animal. Know that this species is considered the fourth smartest on the planet – after only humans, chimpanzees and dolphins. His IQ Quotient exceeds that of dogs. Well, this cute little guy has reached pet status. And in the homes in which he rules, he is treated like a lady: he applies moisturizer and sunscreen, cuts his nails, eats fruit to control his weight, and enjoys every comfort. He even frequents spas to take care of his fitness.
As a social, calm, well-meaning and intelligent animal, the domestic piglet can be a good choice for those looking for a different pet. In fact, the fashion came into being after some artists started showing their pigs walking on a leash. But before adopting or acquiring this type of pet, it is important to know some characteristics and care. The little pig is cute, small and chubby. But make no mistake, it is growing! “Piglets”, as they are called, when they come from dangerous breeding sites and have adequate food, can reach 50 kg when they are adults. But it is not uncommon to exceed 100 kg, even if it is small (a traditional pig exceeds 400 kg).
Veterinarian Isabel Juan de Oliveira, known as “Dr. Pig” for being a swine specialist – and the only one in the country that takes care of piglets exclusively – has her clinic in Serra da Cantareira, but treats patients across the country, with scheduled flights. In Campinas and cities in the region, she makes periodic visits to see her “take”, as she usually calls her patients, playing a toy in the shape of her nose. She even set up a Pork Hotel Spa in Mairinque, SP, to host these pets when they need to lose weight or when their owners are traveling.
When asked if she recommends raising a Minipeg in an apartment, the vet replied, “Of course, I would recommend a dog in an apartment.” “But it is important to remember that the owner needs more time to take his pet for a walk between two and three times a day,” he warns. Before choosing a pig, she suggests that the master check if there is a veterinarian in the city who knows how to take care of the breed, which has different immunity from butchering pigs.
Pigs are omnivores, that is, if they feed on animal and plant foods, they need to eat everything. The vet warns that “injections cannot contain a vegetarian diet, and malnutrition or anemia can occur.” However, because they like to eat a lot, it is necessary to maintain a balance so that they do not become obese. She recommends certain portions and natural food (fruits, vegetables, grains, animal protein). Some people use rabbit food, but it must be supplemented with animal protein.
Dr. explains. pig. There are also vaccines specific to zoonoses, as well as vaccines that prevent pneumonia and diarrhea. These animals, because they are intelligent, are easily trained and are very clean, they always defecate and urinate in the same place. And soon they learn the rules of the house.
Another care is pig skin, which, due to the lack of sweat glands, cannot receive astringent products (such as dog shampoo). It is better to use baby products. “It is also important to apply sunscreen as there is no hair covering and to moisturize the skin,” the vet recalls.
Attorney Luiz Cesar Aguirre D’Otaviano lives on a farm in the Joaquim Egídio region, where he owns more than 20 dogs. He and his wife Helga and their daughter Ryan love animals and adopt abandoned people to take care of them, especially the elderly who are not wanted by anyone. A few years ago they decided to buy a piglet to raise with dogs. This is how the kiwi reached the headquarters and soon invaded humans and other animals. “Smart, affectionate and charming,” D’Otaviano recalls.
Soon she learned to open the fridge and cupboards for food, took her bed and grew up. In a short time she reached 100 kg, even with a balanced diet based on fruit and corn, because she never accepted food. “The biggest difficulty we had was finding a vet who understood that pigs are not for slaughter,” says the teacher, who has felt at various times the lack of safer guidelines. At the age of six, Kiwi died of a heart problem. It happened two years ago and the family is still grieving the passing of their “little lady”.
Some cities, such as Campinas and São Paulo, do not allow pigs to be raised in urban dwellings, even if they are domesticated. Veterinarian Paulo Anselmo, director of the Department of Animal Welfare and Protection in Campinas, explains that the local law that created the Animal Ordinance in 2017 prohibits the breeding and survival in urban settings of any animal other than cats and dogs (except for jockeys and equestrian horses). “If the inspection finds young animals in the city, they will be collected and donated to anyone who can demonstrate their ability to breed in rural areas,” he warns. Neighboring cities such as Valinhos and Hortolândia do not have specific legislation on this subject.
Since the 16th century, pigs have been used to help illustrate human anatomy. Due to the physiological, morphological and biochemical similarities between pigs and humans, the use of pigs in scientific research for experiments in the biomedical field has become popular. But since they needed a smaller “guinea pig” to make it easier to handle, minipig lines were developed. It is common today to use biological heart valves made from pig tissue and even the heart has been used in transplants in humans.