Medically Reviewed By: Hannah Varnell, D.V.M.
While pot belly pigs are known as opportunistic feeders with a healthy appetite, they need a well-balanced, nutritious, and controlled diet to maintain their body size, reproductive health, and overall productivity.
The American Mini Pig is a breed standard that encompasses features of size, health, temperament, color, and some conformational traits. Pot Belly, Potbellied, or Pot-belly pigs are included in this breed standard, as are many backyard favorites such as Mulefoot, Ossabaw, Guinea Hog, Kune Kune, Meishan, and Juliana breeds. Many pet pigs are combinations of breeds originating from Europe and Asia over the last century to create more manageable-sized hogs in biomedical research. Pot Belly pigs are one of the most prominent genetic lines in this standard; many American Mini Pig “breeds” have incorporated this lineage, keeping pot belly pigs all in the family with mini pig owners.
Pot belly pigs are a charming, social, and intelligent domesticated dwarf swine breed first introduced to the United States from Southeast Eurasia in the 1980s as exotic pets. Today, pot belly pigs are popular and dependable companion animals and valuable additions to farms nationwide.
Inadequate nutrition can lead to reproductive issues and stunted growth, weakening a pig’s immune system, making them more susceptible to disease and increasing the risk of zoonotic and infectious diseases spreading on the farm. Furthermore, malnourished pot belly pigs may exhibit abnormal behaviors, such as aggression, due to frustration or discomfort caused by hunger or nutrient deficiencies.
Balancing your pot belly pig’s diet, promoting regular exercise, and controlling their portions will keep your animals healthy and ensure they reach their full health potential while reducing human and environmental impacts.
In this guide, we’ll cover pot belly pig dietary requirements, nutritional needs, and best practices for feeding, drawing from evidence-based veterinary research to help farmers make informed decisions.