If it’s good enough for George Clooney, it’s good enough for us. Pot-bellied pigs make for excellent pets, even celebrity ones. Find out more about this unique-looking animal and how to best care for it.
Pot-belly pigs: Pot-bellied pigs originate from Vietnam and while their numbers are at a steady decline in their home country, they are quite popular in Canada and the United States. With dark black skin and hair, a wrinkled face, and a sagging stomach, this is one of the more distinct-looking breeds. Pot-bellied pigs are quite smart and if you raise them from piglets, you can teach them many tricks. They are also loyal, playful, and intelligent. You should continually challenge them so that they do not become bored. If you are thinking about getting a pot-bellied pig as a pet, they are a good option. However, just note that they can live up to 20 years, so they are a big commitment.
What is a pot-bellied pig?
The full name of this animal is the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. The breed is known for its black skin and face, as well as its body full of wrinkles.
As far as pig breeds go, pot-bellied pigs are on the small size which is why they make for such great pets.
History and Origin of Pot Bellied Pig
Originating in Vietnam, pot-bellied pigs were the most numerous of all pig breeds for quite some while. However, after the 1970s there was a radical decline and now the pigs are listed as endangered animals.
In the 1960s, pot-bellied pigs were exported to other countries, including Sweden, Canada, and the United States. They quickly grew in popularity due to their smaller size, unique physical characteristics, and sweet demeanor.
Pot-belly Pig Characteristics
While not exactly tiny, pot-bellied pigs are one of the smaller breeds, which makes them suitable as backyard pets, especially if you don’t live on a large farm.
Males can weigh up to 110 pounds while females are just a bit smaller at 105 pounds.
If you are looking for a smaller pot-bellied pig, you can consider a teacup pot-bellied pig. This is a category of pot-bellied pigs and is not actually a different breed.
You can find teacup pot-bellied pigs that are almost half in size, around 60 pounds. However, they are rarer to find and are much more expensive to purchase.
Color and appearance
Pot-bellied pigs have black hair and black skin. They do not have any other colorings.
As for the rest of their appearance, pot-bellied pigs are especially known for their large bellies, hence the name. Their stomachs sag low to the ground and pregnant pigs may actually have their stomachs drag along the ground.
Deep wrinkles around their faces are another characteristic. As for their heads, they are smaller in size and both their ears and eyes are smaller than other breeds.
The lifespan of pot-bellied pigs is quite long. With proper care, they can live between 15 to 20 years, which is quite a lot.
In addition to their appearance, pot-bellied pigs have a history as pets because of their good behavior. They are quite intelligent and affectionate.
You can raise your pigs to perform tricks including following, stopping, and even shaking a hoof. They are kind and charming, and each pig has its own personality.
However, with this intelligence can come to a sense of boredom. If there is not enough stimulation for your pot-bellied pig, it can find its own activities, which can lead to a fair bit of destruction.
Like most pigs, pot-bellies like to root. This involves digging in the dirt with their snouts so they have places to lie down in.
On hot days, this behavior is incredibly important as it allows the pigs to have a cooler place to escape the heat. Pigs don’t sweat so they are not able to regulate their body temperatures on their own.
Pot Bellied Pig Care and Maintenance
Pot-bellied pigs need a balanced diet and while part of this can include kitchen scraps, you should pay attention to their diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.
A grain-based diet is key and can include corn, barley, and wheat. Piglets that have just been weaned should also have supplemental vitamins and minerals.
In addition to their grains, you can feed kitchen scraps including vegetables. While the occasional fruit is ok, these are made up of plenty of natural sugars and too much is unhealthy.
Always avoid processed foods as these are extremely unhealthy for your pigs.
How much water pot-bellied pig drinks can vary greatly on a daily basis. You shouldn’t be too concerned about how much your pig is drinking, as long as there are no signs of sickness.
Instead, you should focus more on the fact that there is always a consistent availability of clean drinking water. While pigs are not super messy, they can accidentally spill their water or contaminate it with food.
You should replace their water every day so that your pigs always have access to clean water.
As we mentioned earlier, pot-bellied pigs are not able to sweat. As a result, they can quickly overheat in hot weather.
You will need to provide your pigs with a sheltered area that can provide relief from the sun. It should also protect against wind, rain, and snow in the winter.
In addition to a shelter, pot-bellied pigs need an area to roam around. This should include dirt for them to root in and a grassy area to graze.
Is a pot-belly pig a good pet?
As long as you understand the commitment raising a pot-bellied pig entails, then yes, it makes for a good pet.
Pot-bellied pigs live up to 20 years, so be prepared to care for your pet for quite some time. Furthermore, while they are affectionate, they need good stimulation or else they can grow bored and destructive.
Pot-bellied pigs have unique characteristics, such as a wrinkled face, black skin, and a low-hanging stomach. They are cute, intelligent, and are suitable as pets.