There are many breeds of miniature (or mini) pigs, including the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. These mini-pigs are pet pigs and are different from those found on farms. Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs (also called Asian or Chinese pot-bellied pigs) were first domesticated as pets in Southeast Asia and became popular in the U.S. in the 1990s. Purebred pot-bellied pigs are typically all black with straight tails and upright ears. In addition to pot-bellied pigs, the term mini-pig includes an additional 14 recognized breeds of small pigs including Julianas, KuneKunes, and several others.
How long do mini-pigs live?
Pot-bellied pigs typically live for 14-21 years, with an average of 15-18 years. To reach maximum lifespan, they must be fed a nutritionally complete diet and receive proper medical care (see handout “Veterinary Care for Mini-Pigs”).
How do mini-pigs communicate?
Mini-pigs communicate both with sounds and with body language. They make at least 20 different calls, including barks, squeals, grunts, and screams. Low-pitched grunts are typically made when pigs are simply contacting each other, while high-pitched squeals and screams indicate more urgency, and barks indicate alarm or play.
Auditory (sound) and olfactory (smells) cues are much more important in pig communication than are visual signals. Aggression in pigs is typically communicated by thrusting the head upward or sideways against another pig and sometimes by biting. Submission is indicated by turning the head away. Young pigs explore their environments by rooting (digging) and mouthing newly encountered objects.
Can mini-pigs live with other pets?
Pigs in the wild are prey species, while dogs and cats are predators. Therefore, while dogs and cats can be trained to live harmoniously with mini-pigs because pigs typically run away when startled, they may cause a predatory response, especially in dogs. Because of this, mini-pigs should never be left alone unsupervised even with the friendliest, potentially predatory, dogs and cats.
Can mini-pigs be trained?
Mini-pigs are very smart and can be trained to walk on a leash/harness and to sit, stay, come, and retrieve objects. They also can be trained to walk up a ramp into a car or a pet carrier for transport and to roll over on to their backs so that their hooves can be trimmed.