Should You Keep a Potbellied Pig As a Pet?

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Written By Esrat Jahan

Esrat is a well-regarded animal rescue expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience in animal advocacy. Esrat is the former editor of Tails Pet Magazine and volunteers in animal rescue, including Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society and Starfish Animal Rescue.

Keeping a potbellied pig as a pet requires careful consideration and commitment due to their unique needs and characteristics. Potbellied pigs can make good pets if you are willing to put in the time and effort to properly care for them.

However, it is essential to note that potbellied pigs require specific housing, diet, and socialization to thrive as pets. Additionally, they may not be legal to keep as pets in some areas. Overall, if you are dedicated to providing the necessary care and attention, a potbellied pig can be a great addition to your family.

Should You Keep a Potbellied Pig As a Pet?


Benefits Of Keeping A Potbellied Pig

Keeping a potbellied pig as a pet can be beneficial as they are relatively clean and hypoallergenic. They are also intelligent, playful, and affectionate animals, making them great companions.

Clean And Hypoallergenic

Potbellied pigs have the advantage of being relatively clean and hypoallergenic. Unlike other pets that may shed fur and dander, potbellied pigs have hair instead of fur, making them a great choice for individuals with allergies. With regular grooming and cleaning, their hair does not pose a threat to those with sensitivities. Additionally, potbellied pigs have low oil-producing glands, resulting in minimal odor. This makes them ideal for homeowners concerned about pet smells in their houses. Their cleanliness and hypoallergenic nature ensure a comfortable living environment for both the pig and its owner.

Intelligent And Playful

Potbellied pigs are known for their intelligence and playful nature. They have a knack for problem-solving, and you can engage them in various stimulating activities to keep their minds sharp. These pigs enjoy playing with toys, solving puzzles, and even learning tricks. Their intelligence allows them to quickly grasp commands and adapt to new situations. Their playful nature adds an element of fun to your daily interactions, making them entertaining and engaging pets to have around.

Affectionate And Trainable

Potbellied pigs are incredibly affectionate animals. They form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy cuddling and physical contact. They will often seek attention and show affection by nuzzling, snuggling, and even climbing into laps. This bond and affection make them loyal and loving companions. Moreover, potbellied pigs are highly trainable. They are responsive to positive reinforcement methods, such as clicker training, where they learn to associate a click sound with a reward. With consistency, patience, and rewards, potbellied pigs can be taught various commands and tricks. Their high level of trainability makes them a great option for individuals who enjoy training and teaching new skills to their pets. In conclusion, potbellied pigs offer several benefits as pets. They are clean, hypoallergenic, intelligent, playful, affectionate, and trainable animals. These characteristics make them a unique and rewarding addition to any pet-loving household. However, it’s important to consider their specific care requirements and ensure that you have the knowledge and resources to provide a suitable environment for their well-being. With proper care, potbellied pigs can be cherished companions for many years to come.
Should You Keep a Potbellied Pig As a Pet?


Challenges Of Keeping A Potbellied Pig

Keeping a potbellied pig as a pet comes with challenges. They can be headstrong and require training to be housebroken. However, with proper care and attention, these intelligent animals can make affectionate companions.

Challenges of Keeping a Potbellied Pig

House Manners And Behavior

Keeping a potbellied pig as a pet comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the primary challenges is establishing proper house manners and managing their behavior. Pigs, especially when they are young, can be energetic and curious, which may sometimes result in destructive behavior.

Training and consistent reinforcement are crucial in teaching pigs good house manners. It is essential to provide them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive tendencies. Creating a pig-friendly environment with appropriate chew toys and mentally stimulating activities can help alleviate some of these challenges.

Feeding And Nutrition

Another challenge of keeping a potbellied pig is ensuring proper feeding and nutrition. Pigs have specific dietary requirements that need to be met to maintain their health and well-being. It is important to provide them with a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein sources.

Contrary to popular belief, potbellied pigs cannot survive solely on table scraps or human food. Their diet must be carefully planned and monitored to prevent obesity and other health issues. Consulting with a veterinarian or a pig nutrition expert can help ensure you are providing your pig with the right nutrients in the right quantities.

Socialization And Bonding

Socialization and bonding are crucial aspects of keeping a potbellied pig as a pet. Pigs are highly social animals and thrive on companionship. However, they can be initially wary of being handled or held due to their prey animal instincts. Building a trusting and strong bond with your pig takes time, patience, and consistent interaction.

Socializing your pig from a young age and exposing them to different people, animals, and environments can help them become more comfortable and sociable. Regular playtime, grooming sessions, and positive reinforcement training can strengthen your bond and encourage desirable behaviors.

Considerations For Keeping A Potbellied Pig

Before deciding to keep a potbellied pig as a pet, there are several important considerations to keep in mind. Understanding the legal and regulatory aspects, proper housing and enclosures, as well as the owning responsibilities and commitment involved, will ensure you can provide the best care for your new furry friend.

Legal And Regulatory Considerations

When considering a potbellied pig as a pet, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the legal and regulatory requirements in your area. Some cities and municipalities have restrictions or ordinances in place that may limit or prohibit owning potbellied pigs. It’s essential to check with your local government or animal control to ensure your pig will be in compliance with any regulations.

Housing And Enclosures

Providing appropriate housing and enclosures for your potbellied pig is essential for their comfort and well-being. These pigs can grow to be quite large, and they require adequate space to move around freely. A suitable outdoor enclosure should include sturdy fencing to prevent escape and features such as shelter, shade, and mud wallows for natural behaviors.

For indoor living, it’s important to create a dedicated pig-friendly space that is secure and easily cleaned. Pig-proofing your home is crucial, as these intelligent animals can be mischievous and prone to exploring and rooting. Ensure that any hazardous or valuable items are out of reach, and provide plenty of enrichment and toys to keep your pig mentally stimulated.

Owning Responsibilities And Commitment

Owning a potbellied pig requires a significant commitment of time, resources, and responsibility. These animals can live up to 15 years or more, and they require regular veterinary care, including vaccinations and spaying/neutering. Financially, it’s important to consider the costs associated with providing proper nutrition, shelter, enrichment, and medical care.

Furthermore, potbellied pigs are highly social animals and require daily interaction and mental stimulation to thrive. They are intelligent and can be trained, but they need regular exercise, mental enrichment, and socialization to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

Overall, keeping a potbellied pig as a pet can be a rewarding experience, but it’s crucial to understand the legal considerations, provide appropriate housing and enclosures, and commit to the responsibilities that come with owning one of these fascinating animals. Doing your research and preparing yourself for the challenges and joys of pig ownership will ensure a happy and fulfilling companionship with your potbellied pig.

Should You Keep a Potbellied Pig As a Pet?


Frequently Asked Questions For Should You Keep A Potbellied Pig As A Pet?

Do Potbelly Pigs Like To Be Held?

Potbelly pigs can become more comfortable with being held over time with consistent handling and bonding. However, they initially do not like to be grabbed or held due to their prey animal instincts. Socializing and spending quality time with your pig can help build trust and a stronger bond.

How Hard Is It To Take Care Of A Potbelly Pig?

Potbelly pigs can be demanding, but they are clean, hypoallergenic, and easy to train. They are intelligent, playful, and affectionate animals. They may be headstrong but are wonderful companions. They can be house-trained and enjoy clicker training. Potbellied pigs are legal in many areas.

Are Potbelly Pigs Cuddly?

Potbelly pigs can be cuddly and affectionate. They enjoy bonding time and can even climb into your lap for belly rubs. However, they may initially be hesitant to be held due to their prey instincts. With patience and socialization, they can become great companions.

Can Potbelly Pigs Be Housebroken?

Potbelly pigs can be housebroken with patience and consistent training. They are intelligent animals that can learn to use a litter box or designated outdoor space for their bathroom needs.


If you are willing to invest the time and effort into caring for a potbellied pig, they can make wonderful and unique pets. While they require special considerations and proper training, pigs can be affectionate, trainable, and even cuddly companions.

It is important to research your local laws and regulations regarding ownership and ensure you can provide appropriate living conditions. But for the right person, a potbellied pig can be a great addition to the family.

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