Potbelly pigs are also called Vietnamese potbellied pigs, or potbellied pigs. Being small in size they are also called a miniature pig or micro-mini pig. They became popular because many celebrities owned potbellied pigs such as George Clooney etc. Potbelly pigs are very intelligent, curious, and charming and can make good pets but not for everyone.
Taking caring of their diet can be a headache for some people because of the demanding appetite. They can become affectionate companions if they are properly trained and taken care of. There are a lot of reasons why these mini pigs are so popular, and one of them is that they are very cute. It is difficult to keep them entertained, so you would have to spend a lot of time and play with them.
Potbelly Pigs Characteristic and Behavior
Potbellied pigs look different than your normal pigs (Hogs) in many ways. They have a curved belly that looks like hanging down, straight tails, and erected ears.
- An average life expectancy of Potbelly Pigs is 12 to 18 years (they can live up to 20 years if you take care of them).
- Sus scrofa domesticus is the scientific name for potbelly pigs.
- They can reach up to 2.5 feet when adults and weigh around 45.3kg (100 pounds) to 114kg (250 pounds).
- Their normal body temperature is about 99.3o F.
Pigs are very intelligent and social animals. They want to keep doing something or interact and bond with you all day. They don’t like to sit idle, if they have nothing to do then they will get bored and potentially destructive. Some people think owning a pig is the same as owning a dog. Pigs do have some similarities with dogs like they are very playful in nature and social but they are completely different and have their own unique set of behavior.
Potbelly pigs are very sensitive you need to earn their trust by bonding, playing and giving them treats. Once you have earned their trust you can teach them to walk on a leash, perform some tricks and even house train them. Don’t forget by nature pigs like to search for food, and maybe knocking over some of your household things. So you can hide some of their favorite treat around the house or the backyard like a puzzle game. And they will be happy once they find the treat.
Pigs like to stay in groups so it is better if you have multiple potbelly pigs in your house so that they can socialize. They can bond very easily with humans, and if you keep them with other house pets from a very young age they can learn to live with them peacefully and become friends. Normally potbelly pigs are very friendly and peaceful in nature, but if they feel threatened by humans or other animals in the house they can also become aggressive. And pigs also make a lot of noise, so if you are looking for a quiet pet then potbelly pig should not be your choice.
You need to make sure that you teach your potbelly pig to respect you. This can be done by consistently praising them and giving them treat for good behavior and saying a firm ‘No’ to bad behavior. This is an important aspect of caring for your pet potbelly pig.
Potbelly Pigs Diet
Potbellied pigs aka Mini pigs like any other pigs are omnivores means they can eat both plants and animals when they are in wild. But you should not follow this diet for your pet pig. You can feed your pet pig a large meal twice a day and healthy snacks in between. Most of the potbelly pigs are obese because of overfeeding. Their size may vary, you should be aware of their eating habit and do not overfeed them. You can check if your pet pig is overweight by check if fat rolls over the eye. Always consult a vet; they will help you to check if your pet pig is overweight depending upon the height and body condition.
Your pet pig diet should mostly consist of vegetables, add pellets because they high in fiber and low in fat and protein. You can also add a cup full of vegetables and Romanian lettuce. No starch veggies should make up around 25 percent of your pet pigs’ daily diet. Since fruits contain natural sugar it should be offered in very small quantities.
The piglet should be feed around 2 cups of pig chow a day. The amount can be adjusted depending upon how fat or thin your piglet is. Make sure that you don’t get a piglet until it is 6 weeks old.
If you have an adult potbelly pig, just follow the below guidelines.
- High fiber low fat and protein pig pellets 2 cups a day.
- Nonstarchy veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and celery, etc.) should make up to 25% of your pet pig diet.
- Cauliflower and broccoli should be fed twice a week only because it can cause gas and bloating to your beloved pet pig.
- Include chewable multivitamin daily in their food
- To increase fiber in their diet you can add bran or Alfalfa hay.
Make sure there is less salt in your pig food it can cause bladder stone or other urinary problems. Do don’t feed them your dog or cat food as well. And don’t feed them directly from the fridge (they will learn how to open it, they are very smart). And the most important of all don’t overfeed them.
Related: what you pig can or cannot eat
Potbelly Pigs Housing/Fencing
Pigs are very smart and more proficient than goats to bypass a fence. And pigs are very curious animals they like to explore. So you better pig proof your house, similarly like how you would baby proof your house. Such as covering the electrical sockets and removing any cables that can cause tripping. One of the biggest myths is that pigs are very dirty animals. This is FALSE! Actually, pigs are very clean animals you can even potty train your pigs and give them a treat as a reward. Make sure you keep enough toys for them to play around as well.
If you can try to give your pig their own space by making an indoor tent. They feel more comfortable and happy if they have their own space. Don’t forget to take your pig for a walk to give them a good exercise. This will prevent constipation.
Potbelly Pigs Basic Care
- Pigs have very few sweat glands, so they only sweat through their snout. If their nose if wet means your pet pig is feeling hot.
- Potbelly can be easily potty trained like a dog or cat. Make sure you give them a treat as a reward to make it a habit.
- If your pig is not eating, please take them to a vet because this is not normal.
- You are going to keep your pet pigs indoor a lot, so make sure to take them out so that they can run around it would be a good exercise for them. This is will prevent constipation.
- Pig proof your house like how you would baby proof your house.
- Pigs like to have their own space so make sure you make a small tent for them indoors.
- Do follow the diet plan mentioned above.
Potbelly pigs are wonderful pets but it also requires a lot of attention and care. And make sure you check with your local authority before planning to raise a potbellied pig.
Common Potbelly Pigs Health Problems
Potbelly pigs like to eat a lot. So the owner usually will overfeed them. Check for the fat rollover your pet pigs’ eyes. And take your beloved pet to a vet if you see any signs of obesity. The vet will recommend a proper diet. Make sure you don’t feed them any salty, fatty, or high protein foods.
If your pet pig is not eating properly this is also a sign that something is wrong, so you have to take it to a vet immediately. It could be due to some infection or gastrointestinal blockage
Pigs have very few sweat glands, so they don’t sweat a lot. If you see their snout is wet it means that your pet pig is feeling hot. Make sure you keep them cool and in a shady place. You can also put sunscreen on them when you take them out for a walk.
An annual checkup of your pig by a vet is always recommended. It will help your pig to be well and live long.
Related: Fun facts about pigs.
About the Author
Farm Animals Guide
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive all of the latest news and articles directly to your inbox.