Mini Pigs as Pets: Cost, Life Expectancy, Behaviors

Photo Credit: @poppy.the.piggy

Having mini pigs as pets has been gaining a lot of popularity, especially in the last couple of years. Before you get one of these beautiful pets, it’s important to know more about them. There is a lot of misconception in the pet pig world, so doing your research is very important.

Mini pigs will usually live for around 14-21 years, but ones that were inbred or malnourished may only live 5 years. Mini pigs cost on average around $750-$1,600. Mini pigs are known as being very smart, loving, and emotional. Usually, having two pigs or another pet with your pig will ensure they will be happy.

Continue reading to learn everything you will need to know about the cost, life expectancy, and behaviors of a pet mini pig.

Mini pig cost

Most breeders will charge around $750-$1,600 for their mini pigs but there are many factors that may determine the cost such as if they are neutered or spayed or not. Generally, the smaller they promise your pig will be, the more they will charge. Some breeders may have some proof that their pig won’t grow very large, but most of the time they really don’t know.

If the breeder can provide images of the parents and grandparents of your pig, you can usually expect that pig to grow around their sizes. If not, mini pigs will on average grow to about 90 pounds and be 18 inches tall. If you want to know more about how big mini pigs will get, check out this article here.

Breeders might misinform you to charge you more

Sometimes breeders may use terms such as teacup pigs or micro pigs to try and convey you to think your pig will be smaller than it actually is. In reality, there is no such thing as a teacup or micro pig. So don’t ever pay more for a pig just because they are labeled as a teacup or micro pig, because these pigs will still grow the same as any other mini pig.

The Juliana mini pig is the smallest mini pig in the world, but there are actually very few left in the world. Unfortunately, there is a very flawed registration that allows breeders to get legal papers that they can use to prove their pigs are Juliana pigs when truly they aren’t. Breeders may try to charge you more for these pigs as well, but they are the same as any other mini pig.

If you want to find out more about the truth about Juliana mini pigs and the very flawed and should be illegal registration, check out this article here.

Cost of different mini pig breeds

Almost all mini pigs are mix bred between a potbelly pig, an American mini pig, and a Juliana pig. Purebreds are very rare and usually, if a breeder is claiming they have them, they are not telling the truth. In my opinion, I would never pay more for a pig because of what breed the breeder says they are.

Cost of mini pigs vs other similar pets

Surprisingly mini pigs are actually priced somewhat reasonably, especially when compared to other pets. Here are some similar pets and their costs.

American Pit Bull Terrier$500-$2,000
Labrador Retriever$300-$1,000
Persian Cat$1,300-$1,500
Pony Horses$1,000
Mini Pigs$750-$1,600

Mini pig cost examples

@missjuniperjunebug was labeled as a rare blue-eyed American mini pig by her breeder and was priced at $1550.

@pete_theminipig is an American mini pig that was bought at $850

Adopting cost

If you want to adopt a mini pig from a rescue organization (highly recommend), you will most likely pay much less than purchasing from a breeder. The adoption fee for a mini pig usually ranges from $25-$600. The fee usually covers the veterinarian bills that the pig has occurred, but sometimes these pigs aren’t spayed or neutered, which could be an additional $100-$600 depending on how old your pig is. Usually, adoption fees can be negotiated much easier than with breeders.

Even though it will cost a little more (still less than most breeders), it is even possible to get piglets from rescue organizations. If you want to learn more about rescue pigs and how to get one yourself, check out American Mini Pig Rescue.

Additional costs of having a mini pig

food$250-$1,000 per year
Neuter/Spay (may be included in the price of the pig)$300-$600
medical, vaccinations$100-$300 per year
fencing (for an outside area)$500-$3,000

Mini pig health

Mini pig life expectancy

Mini pigs will live around 14-21 years of age, but breeders may often harm their pigs by malnourishment or inbreeding, which makes them live only 5 years or sometimes less. (source)

Malnourishment and Inbreeding

Unfortunately, many breeders will use very heartless tactics to make their pigs smaller such as malnourishment and inbreeding. The smaller the pig will be, the more money they can charge. When breeders are promising their pigs will not grow over 50 pounds, it is usually a sign that their pigs may be malnourished or inbred to stay that small.

When pigs are Malnourished or inbred, they will have many medical issues that will start to become a real problem at around the age of 1. Malnourishment leads to week bones that make it very hard for the pig to support their own weight. Usually, you will end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars just on veterinarian bills for your malnourished or inbred pig.

Possible diseases

There are many diseases that your mini pig can get. Your pig may be sick if they seem unusually lethargic, and are not eating or drinking. If this happens bring them to the veterinarian to get them checked out or give the vet a call. Below are some common diseases your mini pig may get.

Dry skin

Most pigs will get dry skin sometime in their lifetime. Usually, this has to do with the lack of water consumption or lack of vitamin D. If this happens, contact your vet and let him determine the best solution for your pig.


Arthritis is very common in obese pigs. Making sure you are not overfeeding your pig is very important because pigs will gain weight very fast and it is hard for them to lose it.

Heart diseases

Just like arthritis, heart diseases are more common in obese pigs so feeding them right is important.

Dippity Pig Syndrome

Pigs with this disease will have pain in their backs and many times will squeal in pain when being touched in the back. A good way to spot this is if you see your pig dipping their back when standing or walking. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a cure for this but it’s always worth telling your vet and seeing what they can do about it.


This is a serious diarrhea disease that is very lethal. If your mini pig has watery diarrhea, call your veterinarian immediately and ask for treatment.

Do all vets care for mini pigs

Not all veterinarians will care for mini pigs, so it is very important to contact your local vets and ask them if they do mini pigs, before getting a mini pig for yourself.

Cost of a vet

Depending on if you have the vet come to you or you take your mini pig to the vet, they will generally cost between $100-$300 per year.

Hoof trimming

Mini pigs will need their hoofs trimmed around every 6 months unless they will start to hurt your pig. You can ask your vet to do this or you can do it yourself. If you want to do it yourself, you will need to get some hoof trimmers and pony nippers (links go to the product on Amazon). Watch the video below to find out how to trim your mini pig’s

Mini pig behaviors

Mini pigs are herding animals and need loving relationships with others to be happy. This is why I greatly recommend either getting two mini pigs or having another pet with your mini pig. This is especially important if you can’t be with your pig 24/7. Pigs are very emotional animals and will become very lonely without the attention of others.

Mini pigs are naturally prey animals

Mini pigs have one trait that greatly differs from more traditional pets such as cats and dogs, and that is that they are prey animals. Mini pigs will be scared of strangers and will run away from strangers who try to pet them.

Sometimes it might be risky mixing them with large predator animals such as big dogs. If they don’t get along well, many times the dog will end up hurting the pig and/or killing them. Smaller dogs and cats don’t really pose these problems.

Mini pigs need constant attention

Before getting a mini pig, make sure that you can dedicate at least 2 hours of your day giving them attention. Having another pet will help with this, but mini pigs need constant attention to stay happy. This is especially true if you spoil your pig with lots of attention when they are a piglet because they will begin to expect that level of attention as they grow older.

If you don’t give your pig enough attention, they will become sad, and many times they will tear up your house. Kevin is my friend’s mini pig, and his owner is with her almost every day. But when she had to leave him for a day, Kevin destroyed her couch as you can see in the image below.


Rooting is an instinctual behavior that all pigs have and there is really no way to stop them from doing it. Pigs root weeds to get nutrients out of the ground, but sometimes they root much more than weeds. As you can see in the image above, Kevin had rooted his couch.

It’s important that you teach your pig the word no, so if you catch them trying to root stuff that you don’t want them rooting, you can get them to stop. Make sure you have an outside area that you can let your pig root. If it is a real problem with your pig, you can even have a rooting area inside.

A rooting box is usually a box that is about 3 feet by 3 feet and is filled with many smooth rocks. Hide some treats inside the rocks and let your pig sift around in the rocks and root up the treats. The YouTube video below shows a good example of a rooting box that you can make for your pig.

Check out this post here, to learn more about the rooting behavior in mini pigs.

Best toys for your pet mini pig

Sometimes toys can help your mini pig with their rooting problem. There aren’t many specific toys that are made for mini pigs, so it’s a little bit more difficult to find ones they like. In general, I would say most dog toys could also work as pig toys. Here are a couple of toys that I would recommend purchasing.

Mini pigs have a very short attention time, so they usually don’t play with toys for very long. Toys are definitely not the best way to entertain your mini pig. Rooting boxes and having another animal in your home will give your mini pig the most entertainment.

Mini pigs eat a lot

Mini pigs will willingly eat pretty much anything you give them. They don’t get full very easily, so it’s important to feed them the correct amount they need unless they become obese very fast. You should feed your mini pig a mix of food pellets (mazuri is the most popular brand) and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Most food pellet brands will tell you how much you should feed your mini pig, but generally, you want to feed your mini pig enough that is equivalent to 2% of their body weight every day. Check out this article here, to learn more about correctly feeding your mini pig.

Some people may tell you to bottle feed your pig when they are a baby, but you want to get them eating real food as quickly as possible. Sometimes bottle feeding can lead to the milk flooding their lungs and can cause many problems, including death.

You can easily get your mini pig to do stuff by using food. Pigs live for food; they will do anything to get it.

Pig hierarchy

Mini pigs are herding animals and form a hierarchy in their herd. You (the pig owner) are the head of the heard and you need to show that by denouncing bad behavior and rewarding good behavior from your pig. Sometimes they may challenge you for the head position and get aggressive.

Aggressive behavior

Mini pigs are naturally herding animals and when they begin to form a relationship with you they sometimes might test you to see who the leader of the herd is between you and your pig. This includes aggressive behavior such as head butting and charging.

If this happens it’s important to stay calm and do not raise your voice and yell at your pig. Just stand your ground and give them a couple of nudges back to show that you are stronger than them. Usually, this is just a one-time occurrence and they will treat you as the head of the herd.

How to get your mini pig to listen to you

First off, you need to make sure your mini pig fully trusts you before they will start listening to your commands. This will take time. If you want to learn how to get your mini pig to trust you, check out this article here.

You need to be assertive with pigs, generally when your pig won’t listen to you, it is because you are being too nice. Even though it is hard, sometimes you need to scowl your pig to get them to do what you say. But you need to reward them with treats when they do listen to you.