Potbelly Pigs vs Other Miniature Pig Breeds?

It is not without reason that miniature pig breeds are all the craze lately. These mini pigs make great pets because they are friendly to humans and can be trained to use the potty and walk on a leash. They also consume less food compared to dogs, and require minimal attention since they can play with toys all day. They also make the cut in residences with restrictions on the size and weight of pets one can keep. 
 
If you are considering getting a miniature pig as your new pet, you would be in order to understand the different types available, and their similarities and differences so you can make the right choice. Most popular of these breeds is the potbelly, but it is important to see how it compares to other mini pigs. 
 
Differences and similarities 
The main difference between potbelly pigs and other miniature pigs is their size. The potbelly is slightly bigger and heavier than other miniature pig breeds. They weigh between 35 to 60 pounds with an average height of 16 to 18 inches. Other miniature breeds weigh much less, with some averaging only 25 pounds, and standing to a height of between 14 and 16 inches. 
 
Most mini pigs can easily be occupied by toys and you can leave them alone for long periods to attend to other matters. As for temperament, most are not likely to challenge authority but may require positive reinforcement to help them adapt to the home environment. 
 
Other mini pig breeds 
 
1. Ossabaw Island Hog: Found off the coast of Georgia, this breed display excellent temperament and intelligence. They have heavy coats with a wide variety of colors including blue, gray and red. Weighing between 40 and 200 pounds, they are 14 to 20 inches tall. 
 
2. Kune Breed: Characterized by short legs and round bodies, these little pigs have small tassels hanging from their lower jaws. Their colors range from brown, tan, white and black, white and gold. 
 
3. Juliana Breed: Weighing over 50 pounds when mature, they stand at a height of between 15 to 18 inches. They are extremely smart, loving and docile. Colors for this mini pig vary from silver, red and black. 
 
4. Yucatan Pig: Easy to socialize and handle, this mini pig is a favorite for labs since its organs closely resemble those of humans. Their main colors and silver and gray, and they achieve a height of 16 to 24 inches at maturity, weighing 150 to 200 pounds. 
 
Potbelly pigs are similar to other mini pigs, only that they are slightly taller and heavier. 

How Much Does a Potbelly Pig Cost—and How Do I Get One?

Looking for a unique pet? A pot-bellied pig may be for you. These animals are intelligent and lovable but also a big responsibility. Before you learn all about caring for your pig, you need to know where to get one and how much it’ll cost. 

Finding Your Pot-Bellied Pig 

While you may have found your dog at the local animal shelter, you probably won’t be able to find a pot-bellied pig there. Luckily, there are many organizations that you can find from a simple web search that sell pigs. Before adopting a pig, there are certain things to think about. 

  • Do you have space for it? 
  • Will you mind the smell? 
  • Do you have the resources for food and vet care? 

If you think you’re ready for the commitment then check out these places. 

  • Local farms – many have pigs ready for sale 
  • Online livestock exchanges – there are many sites like Farmia where you can buy/sell all different kinds of livestock. 
  • Pet Sanctuary – Check out any local pet sanctuaries that have rescued animals from inhumane living conditions with the intent to rehabilitate and re-home them. 

Cost of Potbelly Pig

While a pet pig may seem really cute it’s essential to know how much it costs to make sure you can afford it and provide a good home. 

In general, the cost of potbelly pig can range anywhere from $600-$800. The price usually includes vaccinations and a general health certificate and can even include spaying/neutering. Of course, each sanctuary or farm may be different but that’s at least a general price estimate. 

You may also be expected to pay more for transportation or shipping if you live out of state so be sure to check with the seller before deciding. Many times sellers will give a discounted price if you adopt more than one. All financial terms should be decided upon up-front before you go any further. 

Squealing with Delight

As with any animal adoption, it’s best to do your research and be prepared before you make your decision. Pets are for life and bringing one into your home should bring you much joy. 

The History of Potbelly Pigs as Lard Animals

The origin of potbelly pigs can be traced back to Vietnam, where it is theorized that a crossbreeding of four different types of pig formed, over time, what we view as the modern potbelly pig. This origin story, however, is often refuted. Some theorize, that while the potbellied pig did make its way to Vietnam, that it actually made its first appearance in China around the tenth century. The potbellied pig first reached America in the 1980s when Keith Connell brought them over in order to breed them at zoos. Near the end of the 1980s an all-white version of the potbellied pig made its way to Texas.  


Potbellied pigs grew in popularity due to their smaller size. They weren’t traditionally butchered for pork, but rather for lard. During WWll lard was a vital product as it was used to make explosives as well as grease industrial instruments. Before WWll lard was also used a lot in cooking. However, due to the copious amounts of lard needed during the war, people grew accustomed to using vegetable oil as a heart-healthy alternative. Overtime the military stopped needing lard as well. They instead shifted to synthetic lab-produced chemicals to aid their needs. Thus, lard pigs became much less popular and fewer breeds remained farmable.  


Now, the potbellied pig is also kept as a pet. Many farmers no longer see them as a very suitable source of meat due to their large ratio of fat compared to other pig breeds. However, some places in the world, such as Asia, still rely on the potbellied pig for livestock. This is due to how easily they are fed. Potbellied pigs can eat practically anything natural. They also have litters that can reach up to 12 and can have offspring up until the age of 10. 

What’s Involved in Caring for a Potbelly Pig?

Pot-bellied pigs can make great pets. They are naturally clean and highly intelligent. As with any pet, it is important to do your research about caring for a potbelly pig before adding one to your family. Pot-bellied pigs can reach up to 110 pounds and 20 inches tall when fully grown, so plan for that before bringing home a baby. 

Pot-bellied pigs thrive as indoor pets but do enjoy the opportunity to be outside. If you do allow your pig outdoors, it is important to set up a pen that has shade and protection from the elements. Pot-bellied pigs are not able to efficiently cool themselves in hot weather, leaving them susceptible to heatstroke. 

It is also important that your pig has access to clean, cool drinking water at all times. A pot-bellied pig that develops dehydration can become ill with what is known as salt toxicity. Once this condition develops, it is important to re-hydrate your pig slowly or they may develop even more complicated health problems. 

There are commercial feeds available for your pot-bellied pig. These are a much better choice than putting together a homemade blend. Adult pot-bellied pigs are prone to obesity, and commercial feeds are designed with that in mind. A commercial blend will provide all of the nutrients your pig needs to stay healthy without providing a large number of calories. 

Pot-bellied pigs do not require much in the way of grooming. They have hair, rather than fur, and typically have one shedding cycle a year, which lasts about a week. Their hooves require trimming to keep them in good shape. Your veterinarian can do this, and many will show you how to do it as well. It is a simple process and painless for the pig. Mature pot-bellied pigs may develop tusks. If yours does, they will need to be trimmed as well. 

Pot-bellied pigs make wonderful pets. They learn quickly and never forget what they learn, so it is important not to spoil them when they are young. Generally, do not allow your baby pig to do anything you wouldn’t want an adult pig doing. Caring for a potbelly pig is fun and rewarding. The lifespan of a pot-bellied pig is about 15 years, so you will have plenty of time to enjoy your companion. 

 

Can Pigs Fly? At This Point, Probably Not

In the past couple months, Chicago-based United Airlines joined several other airlines in limiting commercial airline travel for pets. The provider tightened the rules for comfort and emotional support animals; amphibians, goats, hedgehogs, insects, non-household birds, and all animals with tusks, horns, and hooves are no longer allowed to fly as service animals. To be honest, I don’t blame them; increasingly, passengers are bringing inappropriate pets into plane cabins under the guise of “emotional support.” Not only does this decrease the validity of emotional support animals (some of us actually need them to handle flight anxiety!), it’s just plain rude.

 

Now, I would love to travel with my pet potbellies if I could. But, even with these new airline restrictions, there are a few major issues with bringing a pig on an airplane.

 

  1. They’re huge! And I mean HUGE! Even the smallest adult potbelly pig, though still adorable, will weigh at least 70lbs—far more than the standard 20lb pet limit most airlines impose. It’s nearly the same as bringing a full-grown human child, albeit one who doesn’t speak, might scream, and can’t understand when you tell him to calm down.

 

  1. They’re loud! If you’ve never heard a pig scream… well… consider yourself lucky. Actually, watch this video. Incessant barking will get dogs—even service dogs—kicked off airplanes. I can’t imagine a pig keeping calm for a whole flight, and the only thing worse than a screaming baby and a barking dog is an unhappy potbelly pig.

 

  1. You can still bring your pet on vacation. If you really want to bring your pig, fly him as cargo. It’s expensive and time-consuming, but if your pet really needs to get somewhere, it’s an excellent option. Rates and availability vary by airline, but it’s worth looking into if you need your potbelly to join you on that beach getaway.

 

Now, of course, there is the occasional success story. In early 2016, this 28-year-old woman brought her pig, Hamlet, on a flight to Miami without an issue. Now, odds are that your pig is not as well-behaved as Hamlet, and even if an airline allows pet pigs, you and the animal will be better off if he just stays at home.

Preventing a Tantrum

Potbelly pigs are wonderful pets. They’re smart, loyal, and affectionate, making them excellent companions. However, as with the best of us, pigs are susceptible to bad behavior. If you’ve lived with a pig for any period of time, you’re likely aware of the worst behavior a pig can exhibit: throwing a temper tantrum.

Yes, you read that correctly. Pigs, just like human, have temper tantrums. This happens when they are upset for any reason—maybe you’ve been out of the house all day, or maybe they’re hungry. Maybe they want to play with their favorite toy, or perhaps they don’t like their new playmate. Pigs can throw a tantrum for nearly any reason, no matter how trivial. When they happen, they are loud, obnoxious, and—to some of us—pretty funny.

Pig tantrums can be random, but if you recognize patterns in your pig’s behavior, you can take steps to prevent them. For example: if you know your pig throws tantrums when you work long days, ask a friend to stop by and hang out with him for a little while. If your pig starts to get hungry at around 5:00PM, orient your schedule around getting home for that feeding.

Unfortunately, tantrums are inevitable, even with the most careful planning. If you return home to a grumpy pig, the best thing to do is to give them a little bit of what they want—whether it be food, attention, or anything else. Give them just enough of what they want to quiet the tantrum, but too little for them to be fully satisfied. Pet owners can also put their pigs in “time out,” depending on the severity of the tantrum. Isolate the pig from the rest of the family (human and animal) for 15-20 minutes.

 

Arthritis? In a Pig? What’s the Deal with That?

Potbelly pigs are notorious for developing arthritis. Though many cases have genetic roots, the majority of arthritic pigs develop the condition as a result of obesity. Yes, these pigs have a “pot-bellied” shape, but it is essential for them to maintain a healthy body weight and get regular exercise. Below, we have detailed the ways in which arthritis can manifest in pigs, as well as several common causes.

A brief refresher: Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. It is very common in pigs of all ages, and the cause is generally related to bacteria. Arthritis can manifest in a variety of symptoms depending on your pig’s age and sex. Sows generally experience stiffness and lameness, whereas piglets might shiver, show pain, have a hairy appearance, or—in the worst cases—die suddenly. In weaners and growers, arthritis causes swollen joints, a reluctance to stand, and potential, diamond-shaped lesions.

Potbelly pig arthritis can have several causes. I have listed some of the most common below:

– Knee necrosis
– Obesity
– Navel infection
– Erysipelas
– Trauma
– Faulty iron injections
– Poor sow immunity
– Leg weakness/osteochondrosis
– Streptococcal infection

In many cases, lameness is the only clinical sign of arthritis. However, if you notice that your pig’s legs are abnormally angled, see a professional. If you suspect your pig may be experiencing a health-related issue, see a veterinarian immediately.

 

Training Your Potbelly is Easier than you Think

Potbelly pigs are some of the smartest animals around. Their ability to retain information and react to stimulus makes them a remarkably easy pet to train—whether you want to teach tricks, develop healthy habits, or prevent damage to your home. Additionally, potbellies are food-driven animals, providing a built-in reward for their excellent memories and willingness to learn. If you have the patience to develop a strong bond with your animal, your pet Potbelly will be trained in no time. Below, we have five essential tips to follow.

1. Determine an objective. Figure out exactly what you want your pig to learn. Potbellies can learn tricks, such as shaking hands and sitting, but you can also teach them useful skills–how to use the bathroom, how to ask for food, and how to ask for water.

2. Gain his trust. A pig will only commit to training if he knows he can trust you. If he doesn’t believe you have a reward, he won’t follow through. Give both yourself and the animal time to adjust to each other and the surroundings.

3. Train at the right time. Pigs can be stubborn animals. They retain information best when they are alert and interested. Don’t force lessons on your pig when he doesn’t want to learn—he’ll only resist your commands. Optimal training times are between or just before meals, when he is especially food-driven.

4. Reward your pig with treats. Be sure to have a special treat to reward your pet pig—not normal food. After the initial treat, only give the food to your pig after he has obeyed the command.

5. Use commands. Pigs can easily pick up on words used. While training, stick to the same one- or two-word commands. This will allow your pig to begin understanding the skill. With enough time and patience, he will no longer need a treat as a reward.

 

It’s Coat Blowing Season! Here’s What You Need to Know

Everybody loves summer. The weather, the sunlight, the appearance of freedom from responsibility–summer is every child’s favorite season for a reason. However, for pet owners worldwide, the months leading up to summer can be hectic and stressful. No, I’m not talking about getting that coveted “beach body.” I’m talking about shedding. Coat blowing, to be specific.

As with dogs and cats, potbelly pigs have a major shedding period in the spring and fall. Spring is often the most intense, so anticipate cleaning up a lot of hair. Pigs blow their winter coats in May and June to prepare for the summer heat, but those who live indoors tend to undergo smaller and more frequent shed cycles.

Regardless of your pig’s shedding cycle, you can help expedite the process–all while fitting in some quality scratches and getting ahead on hair cleanup. There are several pig-specific brushes designed to work with your potbelly’s tough-but-delicate skin. Pig owners can easily get ahead of the blow-out by spending a few minutes each day running a brush through the animal’s fur. From there, dump the fur straight into the trash–clean-up is a breeze when you think ahead!

It is essential to remember that no two pigs are the same. Though one of your pigs may have already blown his coat, the other may take another month or two. If you are concerned about your animals’ shedding schedules, you have no reason to stress out. Several factors, including biological variation, can lead to differences in animals: indoor vs outdoor living, geographical temperatures, location, diet, stress levels, and the presence of family or herd members. Even an extremely healthy pig can be difficult to predict.

Can My Pig Get Sunburned?

In a word: yes.

Just like humans, pigs can get sunburned. Unlike cats, dogs, and other pets, pigs—especially potbellies—do not have a dense fur to protect the skin from the sun. Moreover, these burns can be very bad if the skin is not properly protected.

Sun exposure is a major cause for a pig’s habit of covering himself in mud. This layer of dirt helps protect the skin from direct exposure while also protecting them from bugs. However, if you acquire your potbelly young, you may choose to house him indoors. If this is the case, be sure to provide a mud hole (or some type of equivalent) for him to wallow in—it is important for the pet to build this habit for when he may eventually have to move outside.

Moreover, special pig sunscreens are available. If your pig is going to be out in the sun for a considerable amount of time, consider purchasing one of these sunscreens. Our personal favorite is the Pet Pig Sunscreen by Pigs4Ever. When used before sun contact, the sunscreen will protect your potbelly’s hair and skin from the sun’s burning, bleaching rays. Also, this particular brand is Citronella scented, which makes it an excellent choice for protecting your potbelly from bugs.

If your potbelly is sunburned, don’t panic—their pale skin may make the burn seem harsher than it is. You can tell a burn is present when it is warm and tender to the touch, appearing swollen. It will eventually peel, as with a human sunburn, but it is important to keep the area moisturized while the skin peels. An Aloe Vera gel is your best option. Make sure your pig gets plenty of water, shade, and moisturizer while recovering, and take additional preventative measures in the future.

 

Holiday and Party Safety Tips for Pet Pigs

No matter the season, it’s important to practice safe pet maintenance when it comes to large gatherings year-round. Hosting events can be stressful enough, but the added anxiety of wondering, “Hey, did you see the pig eat those flowers?” is the icing on a severely concerning cake. Between food, lights, plant, presents, and people, extra precautions must be taken to ensure your pet piggy’s health and wellbeing. Below, we have listed a few essential tips for keeping your beloved potbelly safe.

 

  • Separate them from the party. You might be tempted to show off your adorable pet, but the noise and excitement can upset a pig. Even pigs who aren’t normally shy may exhibit shy or violent behavior when overwhelmed. Section off a bedroom for your pig to enjoy all by himself.

 

  • Say no to confetti. Strings and strips of thrown confetti may become lodged in your pig’s intestine. If ingested, he might need surgery. It’s better to err on the side of caution.

 

  • Say no to fireworks. If you live in a city or highly residential area, this is likely a no-brainer. Regardless, if there are fireworks occurring outside, they may upset your pig. Secure them in a safe, escape-proof room—especially on the 4th of July or New Year’s Eve.

 

  • Unplug decorations. This is especially important for strands of Christmas tree lights. If your pet doesn’t recognize an electrical cord (i.e. if something new and seasonal shows up), he might bite down on it.

 

  • Ensure your party guests understand your pig’s diet. Though considered to be the vacuum cleaner of pets, pigs should not eat scraps provided by people. Moreover, if you want to gift your pig a holiday treat, make or buy something pig-friendly.

 

  • Know what is or isn’t poisonous. This is important for normal pig maintenance, but it is especially important around major events. Chocolate, alcohol, balsam, mistletoe, pine, and cedar are all highly toxic.

 

Welcome!

Hello, and welcome to my blog, Potbelly Pig of My Heart! My name is Sarah, and I am a potbelly pig fanatic! I’ve grown up with these adorable, unique animals my entire life, and this website is meant to be a place for potbelly enthusiasts to meet, share their stories, and utilize my advice and resources.

 

Potbellied pigs have become popular pets in the past several years. In fact, at the 2010 Golden Globes Awards, vouchers for Royal Dandie Miniature pet pigs (pigs that stay under 40lbs) were given away to guests. These incredibly social and intelligent creatures were popularized by American celebrities in the early 2000s, and their stardom has only grown from there. They’re cute, they’re well-behaved, and—if you’ve had an experience similar to mine—some of the best pets you can keep.

 

However, getting a potbelly is a pretty big investment. Their lives can span between 12 and 18 years, but they have been known to live well into their 20s. Additionally, their more popular name—pygmy, teacup, or the more colloquial miniature pig—is a slight misnomer. Though they start out small, they can grow to be pretty big animals, reaching full maturation after three or four years. Most experts say that your potbelly, regardless of build, should be at least 50lbs. However, it is more common to have a pig that sits right between the 75lbs and 100lbs mark.

 

To this end, most potbelly pig parents don’t quite know what they’re in for when they adopt that cute, 15lb baby. That’s where I would like to help. A seasoned potbelly pig breeder and parent, I know how to care for these tender, smart, and—quite frankly—big animals. However, I know that I am not alone in my expertise and experience. This site will host a variety of forums on all things potbelly pig-related, as well as a blog with some of my how-to tips and guides. If you are seeking advice regarding potbelly care, this is the place to be.

 

Here’s a video of potbelly pigs so you can see these amazing creatures. Enjoy.