Merck Manual

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Pet Owner Version

Description and Physical Characteristics of Potbellied Pigs


D. Bruce Lawhorn


Last full review/revision Jul 2020 | Content last modified Jul 2020

Potbellied pigs have a short to medium wrinkled snout, small erect ears, large jowls in proportion to the head, a short neck, a pronounced potbelly, a swayed back, and a straight tail with a switch at the end. Most are black with occasional white on the snout, head, feet, or tail, but some are gray or completely white. Adult potbellied pigs should not exceed 18 inches at the shoulder. Newborns typically weigh from several ounces to a pound or more, and mature animals in trim condition can weigh well over 100 lb (depending on the breed). They may live from 8 to 25 years, with a life span of 10 to 15 years common in healthy pigs. Obese or unusually small pigs may have shortened life spans.

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