Guinea pigs are adorable, easy-to-care-for animals that make great pets for kids and adults alike. As any guinea owner will tell you, these little animals have unique personalities, and despite their small size, they can be wonderful companions. If you want to bring a guinea pig home, it can be confusing to find the right breeder and place to purchase one.
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we look at what to look for when purchasing a guinea pig and the best places to buy one. Let’s get started!
What To Know Before Buying A Guinea Pig
First, it’s important to understand that buying a guinea pig is a long-term commitment. While guineas don’t live as long as cats or dogs, they live far longer than other small pets like rats. On average, they can live for 7 years or even longer. Also, guinea pigs are social animals, and they need to have other guineas around them to be happy — a guinea pig alone in a cage will not be happy.
You also need to get a suitable cage, one that is large enough for multiple guinea pigs to have plenty of space. Many cages sold as guinea cages nowadays are far too small for guineas. You’ll need a cage of 8 square feet as a minimum, but the bigger, the better.
Depending on the breed, guinea pigs cost between $10 and $40, and you’ll need to buy at least two. Factoring in the price of the cage and accessories, it can be a fairly substantial initial cost for such a small pet.
Where To Buy A Guinea Pig
When it comes to bringing home a guinea pig, you can either buy one online or from a pet store. Adoption is also an option if you want to give a guinea pig in need a loving home, and it is usually a bit more affordable.
Guinea Pigs Online
There are several places to buy guinea pigs online, but most still require you to go and pick your guinea up yourself.
Petco is one of the most well-known and popular online stores for buying small pets and supplies, although they require in-store pick-up of their guineas. Petco has great reviews from customers, and the staff will give you a detailed care sheet on how to care for your new pet.
PetSmart is a great online service for buying a guinea pig, although it also requires in-store pickup. There are over a thousand stores around the country to pick up from, though, and all the pets sold through PetSmart are vet assured, meaning that all pets are screened for illnesses and require specific standards for in-store care.
Savvy Pets is an online store that will deliver your guinea to your door safely within 4 weeks of ordering. While this option is expensive, it is convenient, and the company takes great care in making sure your pet is delivered safely and with as little stress as possible. Savvy Pets will only deliver when the weather conditions are perfect, as too cold or too warm conditions are not good for guineas.
Guinea Pigs From Retail Stores
Although there are plenty of reputable pet stores that sell guineas, these stores usually don’t know much about where the guinea pig came from. While many pet stores take guineas from reputable breeders, some may also take guineas from unknown sources. This means you won’t know the personality of the parents, the quality of the breeding facility, or the health record of your guinea. Also, guinea pigs in pet stores may have been moved several times already, and this can cause them a great deal of stress, which can lead to health issues.
The American Cavy Breeders Association offers a list of reputable guinea breeders upon membership and a host of other benefits. If you’re looking for a reputable breeder to ensure that you get the healthiest guineas possible, this is a great place to start and find suitable breeders in your area.
Guinea Pig Adoption
Adoption is a great choice for novice guinea owners because you’ll be giving a guinea in need a loving home. Many people purchase guinea pigs from pet stores on impulse, not realizing the responsibility that comes with owning one of these animals.
Petfinder is one of the best resources for adopting guineas, and it lists almost 10,000 guinea pigs for adoption every year! Petfinder requires that you answer a few quick questions to find the perfect match of guinea pigs in your area, to help make the adoption process as smooth as possible.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is also a great place to adopt guineas. While there are not as many to choose from as Petfinder, it’s still a great resource.
Guinea pigs are wonderful pets! They are easy to care for and don’t require much space, making them ideal if dogs or cats are not an option for you. Guineas are still a big responsibility, though, and require specific care to stay happy and healthy. If you’re looking to bring home a guinea pig, hopefully, we’ve made finding one easier for you.
Featured Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay