Now that you’ve made the excellent choice of raising a guinea pig, the question comes to mind: where do I find guinea pigs for sale? Luckily for you, guinea pigs have become increasingly popular over the last decade. This means that it’s becoming easier finding guinea pigs for sale no matter where you are.
Guinea Pigs For Sale in Pet Stores
The easiest and most convenient way to buy a guinea pig is through your local pet store. If you don’t have a small local pet store around, chances are there is a big commercialized pet store around your area. Such stores include Petsmart and Petco.
The problem with buying from these large corporate pet stores is that you’ll be supporting their method of selling guinea pigs. They are essentially “guinea pig mills,” that breed guinea pigs without the best practices and ship them to their corporate stores.
Often times, purchasing a guinea pig from one of these stores will mean you get a less healthy guinea pig. By simply walking into one of these stores, you can already see that there may be 2 to 3 guinea pigs in a single small guinea pig enclosure. These habitats they keep them in certainly don’t meet the recommended guinea pig cage size requirement.
If there is no other way for you to get a guinea pig, then sometimes you may need to purchase from these stores. These guinea pigs usually run about $34.99, depending on the season and any promotional sales. In addition, most of the guinea pigs from pet stores will be Abyssinian and American Guinea Pigs.
Guinea Pig For Sale at a Rescue (Recommended)
By far my favorite and most recommended way of getting a guinea pig is through your local guinea pig rescue. The problem is that there are not many rescues around and you may have to drive a bit to get to one.
A guinea pig rescue is an adoption center where owners that don’t want to or can’t take of their guinea pigs can resort to. They are usually pro-bono businesses with the goal of saving as many guinea pigs as possible.
However, there are a few clear benefits from attaining your guinea pig through a rescue:
- You will be rescuing a guinea pig that needs a loving owner and family. Knowing that you can save an abandoned guinea pig is something that will make your relationship with that guinea pig a little bit more special.
- A good shelter will usually do a better job taking care of the guinea pigs and providing them proper living environment. In addition, good rescues have dedicated veterinarians checking up on them.
- Guinea pig rescues usually provide a lot of free good advice, even after purchasing the guinea pigs from them. They will usually continue to support caring for your guinea pig. I know of some rescues that even provide free nail clipping, health checks and even mate match-making for lonely guinea pigs.
- There will be more varieties of guinea pig breeds at these rescues. If you want a more unique breed, like a Silkie, Teddy and Texel Guinea Pig, you may find one at a rescue. They certainly won’t have these breeds in most pet stores.
A guinea pig at a breeder will usually run you about the same price as if you were to get one from a pet store. Depending on the rescue and how many you get, this could mean $25 to $35 per cavy. This cost is just to help keep the guinea pig rescue open and not really for profit.
Note: Another great way of rescuing a guinea pig is from third party apps like PetFinder.com. The website connects owners looking to find their pet a new home and people looking to rescue a pet. It’s really a win-win situation.
Guinea Pigs For Sale at a Breeder
The final and last option of getting a guinea pig is through a breeder. The problem with this is that not all guinea pig breeders are reputable. Not all of them have the best practices or living conditions for their guinea pig.
Steps to Buying a Guinea Pig From a Breeder:
- I would suggest that you first google for nearby guinea pig breeders around your area. If there is a specific breed of guinea pig you want, make sure to include that in your search.
- Follow up by actually going to the breeder’s facility to inspect their operations. You want to ask yourself: is this breeder’s facility clean? Are these good living conditions for these guinea pigs?
- Before you get there, come prepared with a ton of questions. A good way of spotting a good breeder from a bad one is by asking them a lot of questions. A good guinea pig breeder will be very knowledgeable and have good answers. It might be a good idea to research a little bit to validate the answers.
- Do your due diligence and look online for references and more information about the breeder that you want to purchase from. A quick search on Google will usually do the trick. Look through blogs and forums for information.
- Research on what it takes to raise a guinea pig and the costs associated with it. Make sure you have enough time and money to raise your guinea pig in a healthy and loving environment. The last thing you want is to have to bring your guinea pig to a rescue. Feel free to look through our care articles section for information.
Although I generally recommend buying guinea pigs from breeders over corporate pet stores, it is not always the case. The breeding conditions of some breeders can be just as bad, if not worst. Always do your research when buying from a guinea pig breeder.
One clear benefit of going to a breeder is that you’ll get to find the exact guinea pig breed that you want. Sometimes, the only way to find rare breeds, like a Skinny Pig or Peruvian Guinea Pig is from a breeder that specializes in the breed.
Steps Before Buying a Guinea Pig
Now that you know the three most popular ways to find guinea pigs for sale, there are things you may want to do. Before going out there, it’s important to do your research on guinea pig care. Failure to do so will be irresponsible and put the new cavy’s health at risk.
Find the right cage for your guinea pig. A guinea pig needs a lot of running room in order to maintain a healthy life. If you have more than one guinea pig, there may be cage dominance and fighting in a small cage. It’s usually a good idea to get a cage before you get a guinea pig.
Make sure you get proper bedding for the cage. I would typically recommend Timothy Hay as the bedding for your guinea pig. However, there are other options you can explore in the cage guide.
Find the proper food for your guinea pig’s diet. This includes:
- Timothy Hay
- Guinea Pig Pellets
- Water (in a bottle attached to the side of cage)
- Vitamin C (if not already in pellets)
Next, it might be a good idea to learn about guinea pig sounds and the meaning behind them. By taking this extra step that most owners don’t do, you’ll be on your way to developing a solid relationship with your guinea pig. Communication is key with your pet.
Remember that raising a guinea pig isn’t rocket science. But it also isn’t a breeze in a park. If you have less time to spend, get a short-haired guinea pig that require minimal grooming. Whatever you do, make sure you can dedicate yourself to raising these wonderful animals. If your cavy is happy, you will be too.