Pot-Bellied Pigs As Pets: What You Need To Know

Photo Credit: sausagelinx

Having a pet pot-bellied pig is very different from more common pets such as dogs and cats. It is definitely not for everyone, so doing your research before you get one is extremely important. So many pig parents are abandoning their pot-bellied pigs because they never did their research before getting one.

Here is some general information about pot-bellied pigs:

  • They weigh around 70 to 150 pounds fully grown
  • They live to around 14 to 21 years old
  • They cost around $750 to $1600 from a breeder and $25-$600 from a rescue shelter
  • Behave similarly to toddlers
  • Can get aggressive
  • Destructive rooting behavior is common with them
  • You shouldn’t leave them home alone for more than 4 hours
  • Some countries require a special license to get them

Pot-bellied pigs can be your best friend, and in my opinion, are amazing pets. Please continue reading before you make any decisions on getting one. Whether it be their destructive rooting behavior or constant need for attention, many new pig parents don’t totally understand what to expect when getting a pig.

How big do pot-bellied pigs get?

The size of an adult pot-bellied pig ranges between 70 to 150 pounds and 14 to 20 inches tall. That’s slightly heavier than a German Shepherd but also slightly shorter (source). It takes about 3 to 5 years for them to grow fully. Usually, they will do half if not more of their growth in the first year of their life.

Potbellied pig growth chart by age

3 months5-15 pounds
6 months13-30 pounds
8 months20-50 pounds
1 year30-70 pounds
1 year 6 months50-100 pounds
2 years70-115 pounds
3 years70-125 pounds
5 years70-150 pounds

Fully grown potbellied pig examples

Mini pig and dog next to each other
Photo Credit: @hippothepiggy
Photo Credit: @maggiemaethepig

Why some breeders may say they will be smaller

Sometimes shady breeders will tell you their pigs will stay much smaller than this. This is most likely false, or they are doing some shady things to keep their pigs smaller. These shady things include inbreeding and malnorishment.

Although inbred or malnourished pigs will usually stay smaller than healthy pigs, they will have many health problems and usually don’t live past the age of 5. These health problems will cost you a fortune in veterinarian bills. One of my friends paid well over $3,000 on one of his pigs who he has found out was inbred, and he’s only one year old.

How long do pot-bellied pigs live?

Pot-bellied pigs live around 14 to 21 years old, which is longer than most dogs will live. Pig’s who are inbred or malnourished will live shorter, usually don’t age past 5 years old. (source)

How much do pot-bellied pigs cost?

Breeders charge you between $750 to $1600 for pot-bellied pigs. Rescue shelters charge around $25 to $600 for pot-bellied pigs. Neutering/spaying can cost a lot depending on the breeder or Veterinarian, but the price is usually included.

Breeders tend to charge more for pigs that will grow smaller even though they don’t really know how big their pigs will grow. The best way to see how big your pig will grow to be is by asking to see both the parents and grandparents. Then you can make a logical comparison.

Sometimes terms such as teacup pig or Juliana pig are mentioned but do not pay a lot more money for those pigs. They will grow to the same size as any pot-bellied pig will because pretty much all of them are potbellied pigs.

Additional costs

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

Pot-bellied pig’s behavior

Before getting a pot-bellied pig, you need to know about some of their behavior because it’s not all pleasant. They act almost like 2-year-old toddlers. When they don’t get what they want, they’ll have a fit. If you do something they don’t like, they’ll get mad and sometimes even retaliate.


Aggression is a real problem, especially if you don’t get your pig spayed/neutered. Sometimes pot-bellied pigs will become aggressive seemingly for no reason at all. This can be dangerous for your kids or other pets. Their aggression usually consists of nudging, biting, and even charging.

The reason why they have this random aggression is because of their herding and hierarchy tendencies. When you invite a pot-bellied pig into your family, you have started a herd with everyone in your family and the pig. The pig will challenge the other herd mates to see who is the dominant one.

Sometimes you may have to fight back by giving some nudges back to your pig to show them you are stronger. Eventually, they usually will find their spot in the herd and calm down as they get older.

What is rooting and how to control it

Rooting is another bad behavior that pot-bellied pigs have. Rooting is when they dig in the mud and find nutrients in the soil. Naturally, your pig will want to do this and sometimes it may be on your rug, floor, shoes, clothes, or couch.

One of my friends on Instagram @sirkevanhamletbakonthefirst had a rooting problem when she left her pig alone for the first time. This is what her pig did to her couch:

Nervousness, loneliness, and anger can also lead to this happening more often. When you aren’t around, there’s nobody there to tell them no if they start rooting on your stuff.

Good ways to prevent rooting is to always have someone around with your pig, keep them outside when you not home, or take them outside and let the root outside daily. Sacrificing an area of your yard for your pig to root might end up saving you from buying a whole new couch.

Are pot-bellied pigs loud?

Most pot-bellied pigs are very loud. Their squeal is literally as loud as a chain saw. Along with that, they also tend to make a snorting noise all day long that sounds like this:

Do pot-bellied pigs get along well with other animals?

Potbellied pigs will get along with most other animals and pets after time, but sometimes they won’t with dogs. dogs are predators and pigs are prey. This can cause problems if the two ever get into a fight.

Remember pot-bellied pig’s aggressive herding tendencies I was talking about before, well they apply the same thing to your other pets. So if your pig does something that makes your dog mad enough, a fight could easily break out, which can cause severe damage or even death to your pig or your dog.

If you do end up having a dog and pig together, always watch when they are together. Also, have them sleep in different rooms or areas so they won’t fight with each other at night. Check out this article here to learn more about having a pet pig and dog together.

How to care for a pot-bellied pig

Because of their different personalities and behaviors, caring for a pot-bellied pig is very different than caring for a dog or cat. Pigs are more of a commitment. You will have to deal with them getting bored and lonely because when you don’t, they will throw a fit.

Housing your pot-bellied pig

Some people keep their pigs indoors, while others keep them outside. When your pig is young (under 8 months), sometimes they won’t have enough body fat to keep them warm if left outside during the winter.

If you are keeping your pig indoors, I would recommend having a whole room of your house dedicated to them or at least a sectioned off area. This is where they would sleep and go when they want to feel safe. Here is an example of an indoor pen for her pot-bellied pig that works perfectly:

If you are keeping them outdoors, you obviously need to have some kind of barn or pigpen. If it is cold outside, you should also get heat lamps. Adult pot-bellied pigs can thrive in freezing weather, but it’s always a good idea to have heat lamps and to keep them out of the wind. You should also use straw as bedding.

Feeding your pot-bellied pig

It costs around $25 to $55 per month to feed your potbellied pig. This includes both their pellet food, fruits, vegetables, and any other food you may be getting. The majority of your pot-bellied pigs food should be their pellet feed, with fruits and vegetables fed more as treats than meals.

Feeding your pig the right amount is very important because they can get obese very fast and it’s hard for them to lose fat. Most pellet feeds have a recommended feeding amount based on your pig’s size on the bag, but the common rule is to feed them around 2% of their body weight each day.

There are many foods that pot-bellied pigs should not eat. Some of these foods include all meat, chocolate, nuts, potatoes, and salty foods. If you want to see the full list and more about feeding mini pigs, check out this article I wrote by clicking here.

How to entertain your pot-bellied pig

The best way to entertain a pot-bellied pig is to get two of them. Pigs get lonely, especially if you have to go to work and leave them alone often. Having another pig will keep them entertained when you aren’t there to give any attention.

A good way to describe a pig is they’re like a child. They will need constant attention (much more so than a dog or cat would). Most toys do not satisfy them, but there are a few that you can check out here.

One thing that I have discovered is that pot-bellied pigs love music. Classic music seems to be their favorite, especially songs such as this one here by Mozart. Sometimes they’ll even dance to the music. I wrote an article about some of the best ways to keep a pig entertained and you can check it out by clicking here.

How long can you leave a pot-bellied pig alone?

Because of pot-bellied pig’s childlike temperament, they sometimes need to be treated similarly to a child. This doesn’t mean you can’t leave them home alone, but I would recommend doing it for very long. The longest you should ever leave a pot-bellied pig alone for is 4 hours, but all pigs are different. Some you might not be able to leave alone for more than an hour.

When you do leave them alone, put them in their pigpen or separate room. Have some toys and a nice place for them to sleep in their room. You don’t want them roaming your house and rooting up your clothes and furniture.

Deworming and parasite control

Every 4 to 6 months according to the American Mini Pig Association. Parasites are very commonly ingested by pot-bellied pigs, especially those that live primarily outdoors. Deworming is very easily done by putting a solution into their food. Just remember that it has to be done.

Is it legal to have a pet pot-bellied pig?

In our current age, most of you can legally get a pet pig, but you might need to do some extra paperwork to get approved (especially if you’re from the UK). If you’re from the UK, click on this link to get started on that.

Most US citizens can get a pig without any licenses or extra paperwork, but make sure to check your local zoning laws. You could also ask your local veterinarian to see if they know.

What pot-bellied pig owners have to say

After asking a couple of other pot-bellied pig owners if they would recommend people to get a pig, this is what they said:

“That’s a complicated question. Pigs are definitely not for everyone. If you do ALL your research and are prepared to keep a pig 15-20 years and are prepared for the emotional support you must provide, then yes. My initial reaction is to say no because most people aren’t ready for that type of commitment.”


No, I would not recommend getting a potbellied pig unless you know all the challenges that come with it. Raising a pig is not like raising a dog or cat. It’s so important to do your research by reading reliable websites and books, talking to pig owners, and attending webinars.


I would only recommend a pet pig to someone that has A LOT of patience, time, and love! And money 😂 maybe not a lot of money but enough to support their big appetite and costly vet bills if they come with issues like Linx did. They are very fun, loving, and cute but it’s almost as having a two year old hyper toddler. I don’t regret getting them one bit but I really wish I had done more research into what I was really getting into! Lol


As you can see, pot-bellied pigs aren’t for everyone. This is why so many people abandoned them. Please talk to other pig owners, do your research, and make sure you are ready financially before deciding to get one.

You can ask me or any of my followers on my Instagram any questions you may have. Click on the Instagram icon in the top right of your screen to find my Instagram.