Pigs make wonderfully intelligent and personable pets, but laws in California make owning one difficult. Whether you can legally own a pig depends on your location and the type of pig you want.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: You can legally own certain types of pigs in California, but local ordinances may restrict ownership in some areas. Potbellied pigs and miniature pigs are allowed in most places, while restrictions apply to larger commercial swine.

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about legally owning pigs in California. We’ll outline state laws, restrictions based on pig type and size, county and city ordinances, proper care and handling, and tips for finding pig-friendly areas.

State Laws and Restrictions on Pig Ownership

When it comes to owning a pig in California, there are certain laws and restrictions that you should be aware of. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of both the pigs and the community. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key considerations.

Potbellied Pigs

Potbellied pigs have become popular pets in recent years due to their small size and adorable appearance. In California, owning a potbellied pig is generally allowed, but there are some guidelines that owners must follow.

For instance, the pig must be spayed or neutered, and it must be under a certain weight limit, typically around 120 pounds. Additionally, potbellied pigs may not be kept in residential areas that are zoned for single-family homes only.

It’s important to note that local ordinances may vary, so it’s always a good idea to check with your city or county government for specific regulations regarding potbellied pig ownership.

Farm Pigs and Swine

When it comes to owning farm pigs or swine in California, the rules are a bit more stringent. These types of pigs are typically raised for agricultural purposes and require more space and resources than potbellied pigs.

In most cases, owning farm pigs or swine is not allowed in residential areas or areas zoned for single-family homes.

If you have a large property in a rural area, you may be able to obtain a permit to keep farm pigs or swine. However, there are often specific requirements that must be met, such as providing adequate fencing, waste management plans, and proper housing facilities.

Zoning and Permit Requirements

One of the most important factors to consider when owning a pig in California is the zoning regulations in your area. Zoning laws determine how land can be used and what types of animals can be kept in different zones.

It’s crucial to check with your local government or planning department to understand the zoning regulations in your area. They can provide information on whether pig ownership is allowed and if any permits or licenses are required.

Violating zoning laws can result in fines or other penalties, so it’s essential to be in compliance.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that some cities and counties have specific ordinances that prohibit or restrict pig ownership altogether. These ordinances are put in place to address issues such as noise, odor, and public safety concerns.

Remember, it’s always better to be informed and abide by the laws and regulations in your area to ensure a positive and responsible pig ownership experience. If you’re unsure about any of the rules, reach out to your local government or consult with a legal professional to get the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Local Ordinances for Keeping Pigs

Notable City Laws

If you’re considering owning a pig in California, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local ordinances in your city. Some cities have specific regulations regarding the ownership and keeping of pigs.

For example, in Los Angeles, residents are allowed to own miniature pigs as pets, as long as they meet certain size and weight requirements. These regulations are in place to ensure that pigs are properly cared for and do not pose a nuisance to the community.

In San Francisco, however, owning a pig is not allowed within city limits. The San Francisco Health Code specifically prohibits the keeping of pigs as pets. This is just one example of the variation in local ordinances across different cities in California.

It’s crucial to research and understand the specific laws in your area before bringing a pig into your home.

Checking Your County Rules

In addition to city laws, it’s also important to check the rules and regulations set forth by your county. County ordinances may have additional restrictions or requirements for owning pigs. These regulations can vary widely depending on the county you reside in.

One useful resource to consult is the official website of your county government. They often provide information on animal control and zoning regulations, which can include guidelines for owning pigs. Another helpful source of information is the local animal control office or county clerk’s office.

They can provide you with the most up-to-date information and answer any specific questions you may have about keeping pigs in your county.

Remember, it’s essential to comply with all local ordinances when it comes to owning a pig. Ignoring these regulations can result in fines or other legal consequences. By doing your due diligence and understanding the laws in your city and county, you can ensure a smooth and legal ownership experience.

Caring for Pet Pigs Properly in California

Keeping a pet pig can be a rewarding and unique experience. However, it is important to ensure that you are well-prepared to meet their specific needs. In California, there are certain considerations to keep in mind when caring for pet pigs to ensure their health and well-being.

Housing Considerations

When it comes to housing your pet pig in California, it is essential to provide them with a suitable and secure living environment. Pigs are intelligent and curious animals, so they require ample space to roam and explore. A backyard or fenced area can be an ideal setting for them to graze and play.

It is important to ensure that the pig’s living space is clean, well-maintained, and free from potential hazards. Pigs can be prone to sunburn, so providing shaded areas or access to shelter is crucial. Additionally, they should have access to fresh water at all times.

Some local ordinances in California may have restrictions on pet pig ownership, so it is important to check with your local authorities before bringing a pig home. Certain communities may have size limitations or require specific permits for pig ownership.

Diet and Nutrition

A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the health of your pet pig. Pigs are omnivorous animals and have specific dietary requirements. Their diet should consist of a combination of commercial pig feed, fresh fruits and vegetables, and occasional treats.

It is crucial to ensure that your pig’s diet is well-balanced and meets their nutritional needs. Consult with a veterinarian or a pig nutrition expert to determine the appropriate diet for your pet pig. They can guide you on the correct portion sizes and frequency of feeding.

It is important to note that overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health issues in pigs. Monitoring their food intake and providing regular exercise is essential to maintain their overall health and well-being.

Health and Veterinary Needs

Just like any other pet, pigs require regular veterinary care to ensure their well-being. It is crucial to find a veterinarian who is experienced in treating pigs or exotic animals. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive treatments for parasites are essential for your pig’s health.

Pigs are susceptible to certain diseases and health conditions, including respiratory issues, skin problems, and obesity. Regular veterinary care can help prevent and address these issues in a timely manner.

It is also important to provide your pig with mental stimulation and regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally healthy. Pigs are intelligent animals and can benefit from interactive toys and activities that engage their natural instincts.

Finding Pig-Friendly Homes and Communities

Questions to Ask

When looking for a pig-friendly home or community in California, there are several important questions to ask:

  1. Are pigs allowed? Before moving to a new neighborhood or community, it is crucial to check the local zoning laws and regulations. Some areas may have restrictions on owning pigs, while others may have specific guidelines or permits required.
  2. Are there size restrictions? Some communities may have size restrictions for pigs, so it is important to know the maximum allowed size. This information can help potential pig owners determine if their pet will be suitable for the area.
  3. What are the housing requirements? Pigs require specific housing accommodations, including adequate space, shelter, and fencing. It is important to inquire about any specific housing requirements or restrictions in the desired community.
  4. Are there any noise restrictions? Pigs can be noisy, especially when they are hungry or unhappy. Some areas may have noise restrictions or ordinances that could affect pig ownership. It is important to clarify these regulations before bringing a pig home.
  5. Are there any special permits or licenses required? Depending on the location, there may be special permits or licenses required to own a pig. It is essential to understand any legal obligations and ensure compliance with local regulations.

Ideal Locations in California

While pig ownership may have its challenges in California, there are some areas that are more pig-friendly than others. Here are a few ideal locations:

Location Reasons
Sonoma County Sonoma County has a relatively lenient approach to pig ownership. There are no specific size restrictions, and pigs are allowed in certain residential areas.
Santa Cruz County Santa Cruz County is known for its diverse and accepting community. There are no county-wide restrictions on pig ownership, making it an attractive location for pig enthusiasts.
Nevada County Nevada County has clear guidelines for pig ownership, allowing pigs in certain residential areas with proper permits. The county also provides resources for pig owners to ensure compliance with regulations.

It is important to note that regulations and guidelines can change, so it is always recommended to check with local authorities or consult a legal professional for the most up-to-date information.

For more information on pig ownership in California, you can visit the official website of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Registering and Licensing Your Pet Pig

If you are considering owning a pig in California, it is important to understand the legal requirements for registering and licensing your pet. While pigs are not considered traditional pets, they can make wonderful companions for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to care for them.

1. Check Local Regulations

Before bringing a pig into your home, it is crucial to check the local regulations in your area. Different cities and counties may have specific rules and restrictions regarding pig ownership. Some areas may require permits or have size restrictions for pet pigs.

It is always best to do your research and ensure that you are in compliance with the law.

2. Register Your Pig

In some areas, you may be required to register your pet pig with the appropriate authorities. This registration process typically involves providing information about your pig, such as its breed, age, and any necessary vaccinations.

It is important to keep up-to-date records of your pig’s registration to avoid any legal complications.

3. Obtain a License

Depending on where you live, you may need to obtain a license for your pet pig. This license serves as proof that your pig is legally owned and properly cared for. The process for obtaining a license may vary depending on your location, so be sure to contact your local animal control or licensing agency for specific instructions.

4. Follow Health and Safety Guidelines

When owning a pet pig, it is essential to prioritize their health and safety. This includes regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and providing a suitable living environment. Pigs can be prone to certain health issues, so it is crucial to stay informed and seek professional advice when necessary.

5. Stay Informed

Owning a pig is a unique experience, and it is important to stay informed about the latest trends, regulations, and best practices for pig ownership. There are various online resources, forums, and communities dedicated to pig owners, where you can find valuable information and connect with fellow pig enthusiasts.

Owning a pet pig in California can be a rewarding experience, but it is essential to understand and comply with the necessary regulations. By registering and licensing your pig, as well as following health and safety guidelines, you can ensure a happy and legal pig ownership journey.


Although not as straightforward as owning a cat or dog, you can legally own certain pigs as pets in California if you follow all state and local laws. Miniature, potbellied, and pygmy pigs are allowed in most areas with proper precautions and care. Be sure to check local zoning rules and get any required permits or licenses. With research and preparation, you can give pigs a happy home while complying with California’s ownership regulations.

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