Potbellied Pig vs. Kunekune Pig: Which Makes A Better Pet?

Photo Credit: Gregor Julien Straube, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Recently the idea of having a pig as a pet has been gaining a lot of popularity. Although pigs aren’t totally meant to be kept as an indoor pet, it is still completely possible. Most of the ones you get as pets will stay small enough that they won’t take up a ridiculous amount of space.

When it comes to pet pigs, the two breeds people talk about the most is the Vietnamese Potbellied (also known as a mini pig) and a Kunekune pig. Although these pigs have many differences, they both can be good pets.

Comparison chart

Potbellied pigKunekune pig
Weigh 70 to 150 poundsWeigh 150 to 300 pounds
Cost $750-$1,600Cost $600-$1400
Many different colorsUsually brown, black spots
Can get aggressiveVery friendly
Root a lotBarely ever root
Eat primarily pellet feedEat primarily grass

Which pig is better?

In my opinion, a Kunekune pig is the better pig because of how social and easy-going they are, but you could have a different opinion. There isn’t a clear answer to which ones ultimately better, but one could be better than the other for you and your situation.

One thing I would say is if you don’t have a big yard, a potbellied pig will probably be the better option for you. Although some consider Kunekune pigs as a mini pig breed, they really aren’t that mini and usually need some space to roam around and graze. Potbellied pigs aren’t all that mini either when fully grown.

Kunekune pigs grow on average to around 150 to 300 pounds, while Vietnamese Potbellied pigs grow to around 70 to 150 pounds. So if the size is a concern, make sure to take this into account.

Below is a picture of a large adult Kunekune pig (way bigger than you thought right). Although most aren’t this big, if you aren’t prepared for something that grows this big, a potbellied pig might be a better option.

Photo Credit: @kunekunetoots


Personally, I think that Kunekune pigs are better pets than Potbellied pigs mostly because of their friendly and social personalities. Most Kunekune pigs are happy to meet new people and will be very friendly to them.

One of my friends on Instagram @buster_kunekune has had both a Kunekune pig and a potbellied pig as a pet. She says this about them:

“So… personality wise, I love them both. But if a person is looking for a more social, friendly pig – Kunekunes are probably the way to go.”

When I asked about her Potbellied pig she says this:

“That being said, my first pig was a potbelly pig. He was grumpy, he ate a hole through the bathroom door, he pulled the carpet up, he literally ate my grad school homework, he would wake up at 4am and whine for breakfast, he only fell over for belly rubs from my sister, he would try to head swipe me if he wanted food that I wasn’t giving him or if he didn’t want me to pet him… gosh I loved that pig. He kept me on my toes and his love for me was certainly earned, not given freely.”

Remember that not all Potbellied pigs will be like this though. They all have different personalities and different behavior, but they are indeed more likely to have bad behavior than Kunekune pigs are.

I’ve seen many Potbellied pigs that are just as friendly and social as any Kunekune pig.

Potbellied pigs are more aggressive

Naturally, potbellied pigs will challenge members of the herd (you and your family are apart of the herd) to see who the leader is. They will do this by nudging, biting, and even charging. As long as you show them you are the boss, they will calm down.

Kunekune pigs will rarely do this. They are much less aggressive, especially to humans.


This is huge! Rooting is when pigs put their snouts in the dirt and dig around, usually searching for nutrients, or they could be doing it out of anxiety. Potbellied pigs are known for doing this a lot. Sometimes they will do it to your furniture, shoes, walls, and pretty much all of your belongings.

One of my friends @sirkevanhamletbakonthefirst has fell victim to this when her potbellied pig was left home alone for the first time, and her couch got destroyed.

They do this when they’re lonely, sad, angry, or bored (which means they do this a lot). Luckily though, Kunekune pigs don’t really root that much. This is partly because of their more friendly and social personalities and also because of their upward bent snouts.

babysitting your pig

Potbellied pigs usually need more attention than Kunekune pigs do. Potbellied pigs are known for needing constant stimulation unless they will have bad behavior.

This can be extremely draining for you, especially if you have a job or children. Some people compare a potbellied pig to having a newborn child.

Which pig breed is best with children?

Potbellied pigs can act very aggressively at random times because of there herding tendencies, so I would say Kunekune pigs are better with children. You also have to consider that Kunekune pigs are very large and could crush a child, so you should always be careful no matter the pig.


So as you can see, there is a big argument for why Kunekune pigs are better, but what is the argument for potbellied pigs. Well, potbellied pigs are actually the more popular of the two, mostly because of their size.

Most potbellied pigs will only grow to around 70 to 150 pounds, while Kunekune pigs weigh around 150 to 300 pounds. But I’ve already said this, so what are the other reasons, there must be more right? Well not much else.

There are some additional perks to them being small though, such as it’s easier to keep them as a housepet if you don’t have much space, and they fit in the car.

Along with that, they also can be just as social and friendly as a Kunekune, but not usually. Pigs all have their own personalities and will all be different, so sometimes it’s just based on luck.


Potbellied pigs

Potbellied pigs come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes, while Kunekune pigs are all pretty similar. The most common colors for potbellied pigs are pink, black, and brown, and they look like this:

Photo Credit: @poppy.the.piggy
pot-bellied pig laying down on a mat
Photo Credit: @sausagelinx

While some also have black spots, such as the one in the image below. Pigs with black spots are usually called Juliana pigs, but most if not all of them are actually potbellied pigs or a mixed breed that includes mostly Vietnamese potbellied pig genes.

Kunekune pigs

Kunekune pigs are a bit less diverse when it comes to their coloring as the majority of them are brown with black spots. Along with that, they also can be white with black spots, or just pure brown or pure white with no spots.

Photo Credit: @kunekunetoots

Kunekune pigs tend to have longer and softer hair than potbellied pigs do. They also have up-bent snouts and large ears.


Potbellied pigs

The average cost of a Vietnamese Potbellied pig is $750 to $1,600 to buy from a breeder and $25-$600 to adopt from a rescue shelter. The majority of the price is the cost to spay/neuter them. Along with that, there are many additional costs.

Additional costs

food$25-$80 per month
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

Kunekune pig

Kunekune pigs cost around the same as Vietnamese Potbellied pigs do. The average price for a Kunekune pig is around $600 to $1400 to buy from a breeder. They are less common than potbellied pigs are so, they aren’t found in many rescue shelters but expect them to cost around $25-$600 to adopt.

Additional costs

Pigpen, small barn$500-$10,000
Food$30-$90 per month
Medical, additional vaccinations$100-$300 per year
Toys and Miscellaneous Items$50-$400


Potbellied pig

Healthy potbellied pigs usually live for 12-20 years of age. Unfortunately, with potbellied pigs, many breeders will purposefully harm them to keep them small. This usually causes them to only live for around 5 years. The smaller the pig, usually means the more they can sell them for.

Inbreeding and malnourishment problem

These are the two main awful methods some bad breeders will use to keep their pigs small. If you get a pig from a breeder, make sure they are reputable, and try to get testimonies from previous customers. The American Mini Pig Association has a list of breeders in which they have registered to be safe. You can check out that list by clicking here.

Along with these pigs having a much shorter life span, many of them will have expensive health problems starting before age one. You will most likely have to spend thousands on veterinarian bills to keep them relatively healthy.


Potbellied pigs eat a little less than Kunekune pigs do because of their smaller size, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they cost cheaper to feed. Potbellied pigs eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and pellet feed, which can be expensive.

If you want to know more about feeding potbellied pigs, check out the article I wrote about it by clicking here.

Kunekune pigs

Kunekune pigs live on average around 15 to 20 years (around the same as a potbellied pig). Kunekune pigs aren’t commonly inbred or malnourished so you won’t really have to worry too much about shady breeders. The American Kunekune Pig Society has a list of breeders that they have registered. You can check it out here.


Kunekune pigs eat a lot of grass during the summertime and alfalfa during the winter. They can eat pellet feed and other fruits and vegetables, but the majority of their diet is grass or alfalfa. If you want to see more about feeding Kunekune pigs, I have a subheading about it in this article I wrote that’s all about have a Kunekune as a pet.

Deworming and parasites

Both Kunekune pigs and potbellied pigs will need to be dewormed around every six months. It is pretty easy as you just need to put a deworming product in their food.

Hoof trimming

Hoof trimming should also be done about every 6 months. This is much harder to do, but many hoof farriers will do it for you. If you want to learn how to do it yourself, check out this article here. I would recommend not have a veterinarian do it because many times they use sedation methods that can be dangerous for your pig.