A Pig as a Pet? You bet!

Gone are the days when the word “pig” would conjure up a vision of a huge sloppy sow on a farm, rolling in mud. Today, pigs are commonly kept as pets in people’s homes, even in urban areas. Pet pigs and farm pigs are the same species, so, theoretically, they can mate. However, their breeds — and therefore their sizes, temperaments and basic needs — can vary greatly.

Size Matters

Pet pigs are generally divided into different types depending on size. The term “mini pig” is a general description that includes many different sizes of pet pigs — but keep in mind, to some people, the term “mini pig” can still mean a pig that is quite large by household pet standards. Depending on whom you ask, there are a variety of names for different sizes of pigs, but in general, mini pigs commonly kept as pets fall into one of the following groups:

Potbellied pigs (also known as Vietnamese potbelly pigs, Chinese potbellied pigs and potbelly pigs) stand 16 to 26 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh between 125 and 200 pounds. While still quite large, these are much smaller than farm pigs, which can weigh 800 pounds or more.

Miniature potbellied pigs stand 15 to 16 inches tall at the shoulders and may weigh up to 100 pounds.

Teacup potbellied pigs are 14.5 inches tall at the shoulders and are really just smaller potbelly pigs, generally weighing 35 to 45 pounds. Be aware that the “teacup” designation refers to how big they are at birth, not at adulthood.

Toy potbellied pigs are 14 inches tall and weigh 35 to 45 pounds.

Micro mini pigs stand 10 to 12.5 inches tall and weigh 18 to 30 pounds.

Mini Julianas (also called miniature painted pigs or spotted Julianas) are 8 to 12.5 inches tall and weigh 15 to 28 pounds. Julianas are a separate breed from potbellies. They are more delicately structured than the potbelly and have a long nose and a spotted coat.

While these pet pigs are commonly distinguished by size, all pigs, including farm pigs, are very small at birth (generally between 2 and 4 pounds). That’s why it’s essential, if you’re getting a pet pig, to find out how big its full-grown parents are (and perhaps even its grandparents)…

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About Veterinary Centers for Birds and Exotics

If you have been looking for specialized care for your bird or exotic pet, look no further! We have you covered. At our unique animal hospital, we provide care to birds and exotics ONLY—no cats and dogs! We are the only bird and exotic veterinary hospital with a full-time, board certified bird specialist, Dr. Laurie Hess. Dr. Hess, who, with her two associates, Dr. Amanda Marino and Dr. Amanda Dewey, are the only full-time veterinarians in Westchester County who are residency-trained in bird and exotic medicine and surgery. Call to schedule an appointment for your pet!