Now there’s a statement! Are pigs really such a great alternative – let us see?! We’ll begin by looking at what we’re proposing they are an alternative to.
A Dog – frankly, what is it for? Principally it’s a (relatively) low maintenance companion or’pet’, kept these several millennia by human beings to keep company and fulfil several added needs that the man may have. Dogs can search, they can shield, they could herd other animals, and they can serve as an alarm system. Dogs can sniff truffles, drugs, explosives and cancers. Perceptive and biddable, the perfect all-rounder? Contemplating my dog, he costs me his food and the occasional shot and one or two bits of puppy paraphernalia (leads, bowls,’toys’, blankets, basket and treats), and in return he’s better than a door bell or car alarm, and has got a set of gnashers than would scare most people should they cross him or threaten me – he’s also a valuable alternative to chemical therapy for my depressive metabolism. Dogs smell when wet, such as rolling in fox and cat poo, eat all manner of disgusting garbage, and drop hair everywhere they could around the house.
Is your pig a fantastic alternative? An excellent one even? Not certain if I am honest. An alternative suggests a replacement,’accessible as another possibility’. So can a pig replace a puppy? I wouldn’t let it into the home, their intelligence and strength / size makes them petty destructive creatures. The odor you can get used to, though I would probably tolerate a dry dog better. They, like a puppy, eat whatever (but more of it), have a magnificent sense of smell, and are totally trainable – in fact they’re probably more intelligent than a dog, a few studies have demonstrated that the pig has an intellect equivalent to that of a 3 year old human being! They tend to grow larger (obviously this depends on breed) than many dogs, certainly with much greater front-end power and more powerful jaws. They have got lousy eyesight and aren’t especially mobile (so would be less demanding of exercise than a dog). They will likely live longer than a dog too, and where there are a whole lot of breeds of pig, there’s far greater variety in the doggie world.
If you would like an alternative to a dog that does not require much exercise, and you’ve got a garden that you don’t mind being grubbed up, and you do not mind carrying a slight whiff around with you, then a pig is a excellent alternative: a great companion, trainable, entertaining and fun to be around.
A Cat – hmmm, I have to confess a solid dog-bias here, so haven’t much positive to say about cats, but what they are very good at is owning a household, appearing graceful, and keeping people with limited mobility happy. They are good company when they fancy it, but have a tendency to look down on you in precisely the same way as a dog looks up to you unreservedly. A cat is good at catching vermin (and songbirds too, which is a tiny downside), but has horrible toilet habits. Cats aren’t so easy to train (because they can not see the point). They come and go as they please, can utilize a flap, and are less costly to feed than a puppy. Your pigs will consume any vermin dumb enough to offer themselves up in their pen, but aren’t gifted hunters or athletes. Pigs do not jump, aren’t comforting to stroke, and are not really a gentle companion around the house – but then they haven’t got sharp claws .
A pig really isn’t any kind of alternative to a cat, let alone a good one! For a start they’re more easily house trained and don’t carry fleas that enjoy the taste of human beings. They are also a heck of a lot larger than domestic cats but then they won’t attract tiny animals and birds in your home either (they will have eaten them !) . Contrary to your cat, the pig will always respect you as an equal, and be a lot more’needy’ of your focus.
To summarise then: give me a dog or a pig rather than a cat any time, but I am not convinced that the (let’s face it, better tasting) pig makes the better pet, though they’re a smart companion in the ideal setting (small holding, large garden, allotment possibly?) .