Guinea pigs make great pets, whether you're looking for a first pet for your children or you want a pet for yourself. One way you might consider getting a guinea pig is to buy one or more from a pet shop or perhaps a breeder.
This is an option that allows you to choose any guinea pig that you want and maybe get a specific breed if there is a certain type of guinea pig that you love. When you buy a guinea pig, you want to make sure that you buy one that's in good health and has the right personality for you. So where do you start?
Where to Buy Guinea Pigs
Deciding where to buy guinea pigs from is the first step. Buying from a pet shop might be one option, with both chain and independent pet shops selling small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits.
You will often discover a selection of guinea pigs, which tend to be fairly young although might still be adults. Another option is to choose a guinea pig breeder. This is a good choice if you like the look of a certain type of guinea pig. Whether you're buying from a shop or a breeder, it's important to make sure that they take care of their guinea pigs.
How Much Should You Pay for Guinea Pigs?
The initial cost of a guinea pig itself isn't much. You can expect to pay about £20 if you buy one from a pet shop or more if you're looking for a pedigree guinea pig from a breeder. However, keep in mind that there are other costs involved in buying and caring for a guinea pig (or several guinea pigs). You need to pay for your guinea pig's care costs, from food and bedding to pet insurance and vet fees.
Should You Buy or Adopt?
Before you buy a guinea pig, consider whether you want to adopt or rehome instead. Just like other pets, guinea pigs can be abandoned or may have owners who can no longer care for them. Rehoming a guinea pig helps to reduce the number of guinea pigs that can't find homes and cuts down on unnecessary breeding.
Some rescues don't charge anything for adoption, while others cost around the same as you would pay to buy a guinea pig. If you buy a guinea pig, make sure you check the shop or breeder to ensure they are responsible.
What Else Do You Need for a New Guinea Pig?
Remember that if you buy a guinea pig, there are other costs to consider. You will need to have a hutch or pen that's large enough for the number of guinea pigs that you own.
An outdoor or indoor run will give them more space to move around. It will also be necessary to pay for bedding, food, toys, food bowls and water bottles, pet insurance and vet fees.
Guinea pigs can be wonderful pets. Before you buy one, do your research into their behaviour and how to care for them.