Resources for Pig Parents

Potbellied Pigs as Pets in Colorado

There are more than 60 counties in Colorado, each with their own regulations, rules, and zoning policies. Hog Haven Farm strives to educate potential pig owners by providing pertinent information for various counties in Colorado, where laws differ on keeping a pig as a pet. Unfortunately, many pigs are classified as livestock; while we strive to change the conceptions of potbelly pigs, owners and potential owners of these wonderful creatures must be aware of laws in the counties in which they reside. When owners are forced to remove their pigs because of zoning laws, the results are heartbreaking and devastating. Hog Haven Farm hopes to educate you before you are forced to re-home your pet! Below are resources you may find helpful for legally keeping your potbelly pig. We keep this page up to date as we obtain new information, but please, contact your county zoning if you have questions about pig ownership.

Denver Metro Areas

Commerce City (Adams County): Potbelly pigs are permitted, but you may only have one (1) per household, and there is a 70lb weight limit. More information can be found here.

City of Aurora (Adams and Arapahoe Counties): Potbellied pigs are banned in suburban areas; please check your specific zoning! If you reside in A or RA zoning, you may keep livestock, which includes potbellied pigs. Please visit this link for more information. You may petition zoning in City of Aurora to keep a pig as an emotional support animal (ESA), but the process is arduous and not guaranteed.

City and County of Denver: A Livestock or Fowl Permit allows an individual to keep livestock or fowl such as, but not limited to, horses, mules, donkeys, burros, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, chickens, geese, ducks, or turkeys on their property. Potbelly pigs fall into the livestock category as swine. In order to obtain a Livestock or Fowl Permit you must first send a (pre-approval) letter to the Director of the Division of Animal Care and Control at 1241 W Bayaud Ave, Denver, CO  80223, with specific information. A formal request must be submitted to Zoning, and if Zoning approves the request, the owner will need to send a copy of the zoning approval letter to the Director of Animal Control. The owner then must purchase the permit from Animal Control. Please visit this link for more information.

City of Englewood (Arapahoe County): Potbellied pigs are currently banned.

City of Lakewood (Jefferson County): Livestock are permitted on properties, zones R-1-43, R-1-18, R-1-12, AND R-1-9 when certain criteria are met. There is a maximum 3 pigs per household; currently, City of Lakewood has a size limit of 70lbs per pig. Please visit this link for more information on zoning.

City of Littleton (Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson Counties): Potbelly pigs are classified as livestock; there are certain zones within the City that allow for livestock, including A, RE, RL, and RS. Please check your zoning prior to adopting a potbellied pig; they are not allowed in most zones. Please visit this link for more information on zoning.

City of Northglenn (Adams County and Weld County): One potbellied pig per household is allowed, but there is a 95lb weight restriction, and the pig must be registered with a bona fide potbelly pig registry (such as AMPA). You can view the full zoning code here.

City of Thornton (Adams County): Each household may have no more than four adult animals, which may include dogs, cats and one Vietnamese potbellied pig. (Animals under three months old are not included. Domestic birds, fish, snakes (under six feet) and reptiles that are nonpoisonous and not a health hazard are welcome.)

City of Westminster (Adams County): you may keep one (1) potbellied pig, not to exceed 95lbs, so long as you have a permit. Visit City of Westminster’s Code of Ordinances for more information. To apply for a permit, visit this link.

Jefferson County (Unincorporated): Livestock are permitted in this county. Please refer to specific zoning requirements for the exact number of animals per acre/square footage. Please visit this link for more information.

Wheat Ridge (Jefferson County): You may obtain a permit to keep up to two (2) potbellied pigs. Please visit this link for more information.

Northern Colorado, including Boulder/Lafayette/Longmont/Fort Collins

City of Boulder: you may keep pigs, but the number of pet pigs varies on type of zoning and lot size. Please visit this link to find your zoning type and restrictions/ allowances.

City of Lafayette (Boulder County): you may keep up to two (2) potbellied pigs, but they may not exceed 22″ in height or 150lbs in weight. The pig must be neutered or spayed, and also be vaccinated. More information can be found within Lafayette’s Municipal Code.

City of Longmont (Boulder and Weld County): you may keep potbellied pigs in city limits, but each pet pig must be licensed within 30 days of acquiring the animal, and must have proof of neuter/spay and veterinarian health check/proof of breed. Visit this link for more information.

City of Loveland (Larimer County): Potbellied pigs are allowed within city limits, but must be licensed, neutered/spayed, and vaccinated. View the municipal code here.

Fort Collins (Larimer County): you may keep potbellied pigs as pets per the same guidelines as dogs/cats/rabbits. Please visit this link for more information.

Southern Colorado and Colorado Springs Metro Areas

City of Colorado Springs: Colorado Springs allows homeowners to have a maximum of two (2) potbellied pigs, given that they do not exceed 100lbs each. Potbellied pigs must be registered with the city’s animal control office for an annual fee of $75 per pig. In addition, potbellied pigs must be microchipped and altered to reside within city limits. In public areas, pigs must wear a harness and lead, name tags, and leads may not exceed 10′ (ten feet) in length.

City of Woodland Park: Woodland Park does not have any zoning restrictions on potbellied pigs, nor are there any registration/licensing requirements for pigs. There is a maximum of three dogs per household, but no limits specified for other types of domesticated animals.

El Paso County (Monument, Fountain, and Unincorporated Colorado Springs): You may keep up to 6 domesticated animals in your home in any combination. There is an ordinance against public grazing–so bear in mind that you may not take your pig to any public area, such as a park, and allow them to eat the grass.

Pueblo, Boone, Rye, and Pueblo County: There are no zoning restrictions against potbellied pigs; you may keep domesticated pigs in your home without licensing requirements.

Pet Pig Adoption

Undoubtedly, piglets are one of the cutest, cuddliest creatures on this earth. The wagging little tails, cute snouts, and fast movements (we call it the zoomies) make them a desirable pet. But, unfortunately, there is an epidemic in the United States with unwanted pet pigs. Researching pig parenting prior to adopting a pig is crucial.

Pigs are smart–the fourth smartest mammal, in fact. This can be good and bad! Intelligence means that pigs can be easy to train as house pigs–they will learn to use a litter box, pee pads, doggy door, or have other ways to let you know when they need to potty (like ringing a bell at your back door). They are clean animals, and do not like to defecate anywhere near their food or bedding. But they can learn undesirable behaviors, too–like opening your cabinets and refrigerator, knocking over the kitchen trash, and pulling your bedding down or stealing your laundry to make their own special sleep spot (called a nest).

Having a pig as a pet is rewarding, but they come with their own quirks. Understanding their behavior is important; they are not like dogs, as many people like to assume. Pigs really are more like perpetual human toddlers; they have temper tantrums, attitudes, and will repeatedly push your buttons as they test boundaries. So if this sounds like a lot for you to handle from the get-go, you may want to look at adopting an easier animal to manage instead.

Still think you want to bring home a pet pig? Here are a few important pointers for keeping one:

  1. Pigs need adequate space outside. As grazing animals, they like to munch on grass, dandelions, and other greens outside. They also have natural behaviors, like rooting, that are important to their psyche. While you don’t need a massive amount of land, having an outside area is critical. You can create a rooting area for a pig, so it won’t destroy your entire yard with it’s curious snout, but they do not do well cooped indoors all of the time. Don’t want your yard rooted up? A pig not might be the right fit.
  2. Pigs do not sweat. They need an area to cool off outside during the summer months, like a kiddie pool or even a mud hole, and need access to fresh water 24/7.
  3. A pig is a routine-driven creature. They like to have their meals at the same time every day, and will let you know (loudly) if you deviate from their schedule. Like deviate by minutes. They will also wake up with the sunrise, and head to bed at dusk. If you can’t stick to a routine, a pig is not a good pet for you.
  4. Pigs need companionship and attention. They love to have their tummies scratched, and to snuggle with you. They are not a good pet to keep if you work long hours or frequently travel, and therefore can’t provide regular attention and companionship.
  5. Pigs can coexist with other animals, but are not a good combination with dogs. But there are so many cute dog and pig videos on Instagram! We cringe every time we see these videos. While dogs and pigs can coexist, they do not understand each other. Instinctually, dogs are predators and pigs are prey. Normal pig behaviors, like squealing or running, may trigger the predator instinct in your loving family dog, and that’s it–the pig has no way to defend itself from the attack. Additionally, pigs have different methods of communication that dogs may find annoying. Pigs and dogs must only interact under strict supervision, and never be left alone together.
  6. Pigs are dominant animals, and will try to be alpha in your household. If not properly trained, a dominant pig can be aggressive (especially to house guests and strangers), and become rude when they want something. You must learn dominance training to be alpha to your pet pig, otherwise, they will not be a fun family addition.
  7. There is no such thing as a teacup pig. Yes, mini pigs are real–they are also referred to as potbellied pigs, Juliana pigs, micro-mini pigs, etc. But these labels are not a breed of pig–they exist for breeders to sell more piglets. Mini pigs range in size from 70lbs at the extreme low end to 300lbs at the high end, but in our experience, many of these minis stay in the 100-180lb range. Do not get a pig if you cannot handle the extreme high end of size. Much like humans, you will not know, even from seeing the parents, how big the piglet is going to be at adulthood. Often, the parents are just babies themselves, and not full grown when they start producing litters. Pigs can grow until they are 5 years old, although the skeletal structure stops growing around 3 years. Want to know the size before you commit? Please, please consider adopting an older pig. There are so many of them in need of a forever home, and you won’t have to worry about size if you choose one who is already done growing. Adults also have established behaviors, and are much easier to work with!
  8. Pigs are a lifetime commitment. They bond very closely with their people, and they grieve when they are separated. They will cry real tears when surrendered to a shelter, or sanctuary, or even a new home. Pigs live 15-20 years on average, so be prepared for the commitment.
  9. Do you rent your home? Wait until you’re a homeowner before committing to a pet pig. PLEASE. Many landlords will not accept pet pigs in rental properties, and it is totally unfair (and selfish of you) to bring home a pet you may not be able to keep. Renting is not stable–you may move once in ten years, every year, every couple of years….change is stressful to piggies, and if you have to move, there is no guarantee your pig can come with you. So please, if you rent, just don’t go there.
  10. Ensure your new piggy is spayed or neutered! Unspayed females have a heat cycle every 3 weeks, which leads to aggression and bad moods, and simply, not a fun pet to have around. Additionally, females can develop uterine tumors, cysts and/or cancer later in life, so making sure they are spayed leads to a longer, healthier life. Intact males will attempt to break out of fencing and enclosures, and will mount everything and anything they can, as well as emitting a strong, musky odor. They can also develop testicular cancer. If you are adopting a pig from Hog Haven Farm, all of ours are fixed prior to adoption!

Ready to adopt? Please fill out an adoption application to start the process. Since we are a rescue/sanctuary, we want what is best for the pig. It takes a bit of time to adopt through us to ensure best fit for the pig and for you, but if you’re ready and willing, it is worth the extra effort!