Small (pocket) animals like guinea pigs rank sixth in the list of eight common pets owned by American households as of 2017 . While guinea pigs only represent a portion of all 14 million pet owners, they are often an ideal choice for those who value low-maintenance and inexpensive animals. Unlike chinchillas, guinea pigs do not require maintaining an artificial indoor climate and they are accustomed to the presence of many people in their midst. In fact, one can safely describe guinea pigs as both ‘resilient’ and ‘sociable.’
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) registers up to five diseases that can infect humans when owning rodents like guinea pigs. Proper management only requires a set of healthy habits and steadfast oversight of the pet. Ultimately, caring for guinea pigs is so easy that experts would consider the successful management of these pocket animals as the lowest baseline in terms of the level of difficulty.
Average Cost per Breed
Considering the titular question of the article, how much does a guinea pig cost ? It is important for consumers to take note that, like dogs and cats, guinea pigs are comprised of several breeds. Hence, the sub species category determines the disparity in terms of the average cost if one buys guinea pigs at pet shops. These are the different breeds and their estimated guinea pig price according to Guinea Pigs Planet :
- Abyssinian: $45 to $200
- Alpaca: from $120
- American: $35 to $100
- Coronet: from $100
- Peruvian: from $200
- Sheltie: $120 to $150
- Silkie: from $150
- Teddy: $120 to $350
- White Crested: from $30
Animal Shelter & Adoption Fee
Getting guinea pigs from pet shops is one thing. But how much does a guinea pig cost if a consumer opts for adopting pets from the animal shelters? Guinea pig adoption fees only cost anywhere between $10 and $15 , but it is possible for prospective pet owners to pay up to $125 for full custody in some specialized rescue groups.
One must understand that choosing animal shelters over pet shops is more than a matter of guinea pig price alone. Profit-driven pet shops do not have the best reputation, especially when it comes to the overall welfare of their ‘products.’ Hence, they earn the notorious nickname ‘breeding mills.’
Unlike pet shops, 100% of every penny forfeited in animal shelter goes to the basic needs of the facility. These are the following rescue group directories and the number of guinea pigs available in their nationwide list as of August 14, 2017:
- Pet Finder: 681
- All Paws:262
- Guinea Pig Finder: 347
Cages: Retail v. DIY
Spending does not stop from the exact cost to buy or adopt a guinea pig. In fact, aside from the guinea pig price , one of the most costly portions of the overall budget has to do with the little one’s living space. Like many pet rodents (e.g. chinchillas, hamsters, gerbils, et al), the home interiors are too vast and dangerous for them – especially given their tendency to gnaw at almost anything in sight. It is every pet owner’s duty to provide guinea pigs a suitable home.
Buying cages from retail stores like Walmart would cost anywhere between $12.75 and $259.99. However, one can also customize both the cost and the layout of the guinea pig cage by building it single-handedly. Granted, these are the two types of guinea pig cages and the necessary tools one needs to buy to complete the project:
- Plywood: $5.97 to $35.97
- Flat wire mesh: 25 to 50 cents per square foot
- Latches: $5 to $35
- Staple gun: $17.74
- Hammer: $6.99
- Hand saw: $7.37
- Cordless drill: $29.94
- Waterproof wood stain: $17.97
Cube & Coroplast
- 4-set storage cubes: $25.99
- Corrugated plastic sheet (10 pieces): $14.00
- Box cutter: $10
Considering that guinea pigs live for an average lifespan of 5 years, the total price for keeping them alive throughout their maximum duration is somewhere around $2,375 . However, this crude figure is derived from an equation that values every key item at around $20 to $40. Reducing the price of every item to half (or even less) is a more viable bargain. It is possible for one to buy each of the following pet supplies between $5 and $10:
- Food ( pellets and hay )
- Bottle and feeder
- Carriers or harnesses
- Hygiene and grooming
- Cage cleaning
One of the known advantages of having guinea pigs for pets is that it is relatively easier to feed them compared to other ferrets (e.g. chinchillas). Instead of buying treats from the pet shop, there are a number of easier alternatives to remember. It comes down to knowing which ones are highly recommended (+) and which ones are ought to be avoided (x):
Suggested Treats (+)
- baby carrots
- broccoli leaves
Forbidden Treats (x)
- dairy products
- iceberg lettuce
- raw beans
- sugary foods
- tomato leaves
About Health & Insurance
When it comes to the question, how much does a guinea pig cost ? Most consumers would often overlook the necessary expenses for treating common guinea pig diseases (some of which are recurring periodically). Take note of the following serious complaints that are prevalent among the guinea pig population:
- Lethal gas build-up (ileus)
- Lice, scabies, and demodex
- Respiratory infections
- Uterine and ovarian diseases
- Bladder stones
As mentioned in the earlier part of the article, one of the key disadvantages of acquiring animals from pet shops concerns the poor living conditions not conducive to raising healthy and content animals. Granted, the average cost of diagnostic vet visit is roughly $50 while the price range for major surgeries is anywhere between $400 and $2,400 – depending on the severity of the case.
Acquiring pet insurance is a viable financial safety net for pet owners who have to shoulder the cost of guinea pig treatment. Popular providers in the United States do not often indemnify exotic animals (anything other than cats or dogs). However, Nationwide proves to be the most renowned brand that partially shoulders medical expenses.
People are often unaware that many local shelters have guinea pigs, or that a cavy rescue could be located nearby. In many parts of the country, hundreds of rescued guinea pigs need homes – primarily as a result of caretaker surrenders. Doug Duke, director of the Nevada SPCA in Las Vegas, finds that in his area, half of their adoptable guinea pigs are turned in by owners and the other half are transferred from the county shelter. He notes, “We try to keep the county shelter, which shares the complex with us, from euthanizing any who are healthy.”
A pet store guinea pig purchase is often unplanned and unresearched. Getting information on proper care into the hands of prospective new guardians helps them make better-informed decisions. Since January 1, 2003, California pet stores have been required by law to provide care sheets with the purchase of each animal. Several dedicated guinea pig people were instrumental in getting this legislation passed. Be proactive: encourage your state representatives to address this important issue for all pet-store animals in your state.
Julie Morris, ASPCA senior vice president for National Shelter Outreach, designated March as Adopt-a-Rescued-Guinea Pig celebration month. “The idea behind the celebration month is to encourage future adopters to think of shelters and rescue groups first.” Her promotional team has assembled an online page hosted on www.petfinder.com with fun and educational materials contributed from various sources. Websites like Petfinder are an invaluable resource for people who wish to adopt homeless guinea pigs from shelters and rescue groups. On average, Petfinder alone lists approximately 10,000 adoptable guinea pigs a year.
Guinea pigs are not for everyone. They’re definitely not just for kids! But an informed, committed guardian who is willing to care for them day after day and seek health care when needed will find them charming companions.
Lyn Zantow maintains an informational cavy care website and active message board at www.guinealynx.info. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her two guinea pigs, Nina and Snowflake.
Reprinted from ASPCA Animal Watch, Spring 2004 Vol. 24, No. 1, with permission from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 424 East 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128-6804
Although they’re small, guinea pigs can be a big responsibility. This guide is designed to help you through the process of how to adopt a guinea pig, and will also provide you with some tips and information to consider throughout the process of meeting your new furry family member.
Before Adoption: Considerations
- Spend time with guinea pigs before bringing one home or purchasing any of their necessities. Will they be a good fit for your lifestyle?
- Guinea pig bills can add up. Just like any pet, guinea pigs have necessities. Hay, an age-appropriate food, appropriate veggies, enrichment (treats and chews), bedding, an appropriate habitat and playpen, and regular veterinary care are all essential to keeping your new friend happy and healthy.
- Guinea pigs should be a family commitment, not just a child’s responsibility. Children sometimes do not have the maturity to understand what the 5-8 year commitment of a guinea pig means, and aren’t always perceptive enough to understand when an animal is sick.
- Guinea pigs are prey animals. They will instinctively run from loud sounds and fast movements and will hide when they’re scared. They also mask illness when they’re sick; if you see them acting sick, they have likely been ill for several days. An immediate vet visit is recommended.
- Guinea pigs are social animals and are usually happiest with a friend of the same sex. Regardless of sex, it can take rescues time to pair up guinea pigs. It is not recommended to pair guinea pigs without experience or a rescue’s advice.
- Look up cavy-savvy veterinarians in your area so you know who to go to before problems arise. Guinea pigs need an exotic veterinarian, as they are very different from dogs and cats.
- Have a family member or friend who will take your animal’s needs seriously if you need to go out of town. Speak with them before adopting to ensure they are open to pet-sitting as needed.
- Make sure no plants or electrical cords are ever around enclosures or playpens, as these are dangerous for guinea pigs and other animals who have an instinct to chew.
- Some animals might not be considered “special needs” when you adopt them, but over time they might develop special needs. It’s best to prepare for this reality so your pet can continue living a meaningful, healthy life, regardless of what the future brings.
Where to Start
- Google search “guinea pig rescue near [your town/city]”
- Petfinder is a great resource to find out about rescues in your area and can give you an opportunity to learn about individual animals before contacting the rescue. If there aren’t any guinea pigs up for adoption currently, wait a week and try searching again. According to Petfinder, on average over 10,000 homeless guinea pigs are listed on their website each year.
- Local or regional humane societies often take in surrendered small animals. While some humane societies might not have as many resources to direct toward small animals, they can still help you find a guinea pig who needs a good home.
Questions to Ask the Rescue
Some rescues are run differently than others. Often rescues are run 100% by volunteers who donate their efforts and finances to the organization. Make sure to contact the rescue before visiting, as they possibly have limited hours or might have paperwork you need to fill out before meeting the animals in their care.
- Does this animal have any special needs or particular health issues? What was their life like before coming to the rescue?
- What are this guinea pig’s likes, dislikes, and general personality? Are they shy or outgoing, and do they like being handled?
- What vet does this animal go to for care?
- What cage, food, hay, and other products does the rescue recommend?
- Can you take a handful of pellets and hay from the rescue so you can mix old and new food together to avoid gut upset?*
Beware of animal “flippers.” These are individuals who take in animals, either by stealing them or finding them for free, only to turn around and sell them. “Flippers” will generally not have the animal’s best interest in mind and likely know very little about the animal’s personality, health history, or individual needs; their goal is to make a quick sale. If you ask questions about the animal that they can’t seem to answer, or if you’re feeling pressured into taking a pet home without having time to meet the animal or to think about it, you may want to look for alternatives.
After Adoption: Welcome Home!
- Set up the enclosure before bringing your new family members home. This will allow them to settle in right away.
- Try to avoid touching or picking up your new family member for a few days unless they appear to want attention. Being in a different place with new sounds and smells can be frightening, and the guinea pig will need time to adjust to new surroundings.
- Regularly set aside at least an hour a day to spend time with your furry family member. This can include hand feeding them hay or fortified food, interacting with them through enrichment, or simply sitting by their enclosure while reading or completing a quiet task.
To your new family members, you are the biggest part of the world that they know. Make sure the world they experience is happy and healthy!
Guinea pigs are a popular choice for a household pet, especially among families with children. However, many pet owners are unaware of what’s required to care for these small animals, and they end up giving their pet away or abandoning it. If you’re considering adopting a guinea pig, also known as cavies, do your research first. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about guinea pig adoption, as well as basic care requirements.
Table of Contents
Guinea Pig Rescue and Adoption
How do you go about adopting a guinea pig? Where can you typically find this animal, and what you should look for in a guinea pig before adopting? Before you ask yourself these questions, you should determine if a guinea pig is a good pet for you.
Is a Guinea Pig the Right Pet for You?
Although guinea pigs are small, they come with many responsibilities. First and foremost, make sure you like guinea pigs before adopting one. Try to spend time with guinea pigs, either at a local shelter or with a friend who has one, to see if you enjoy being around guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs also come with financial burdens, including a cage, hay, food, treats, and veterinary care. Don’t adopt a guinea pig if you can’t afford one. These animals could be a 5-8 year commitment, so ensure you and your family members are prepared to invest that kind of time into caring for a guinea pig. Guinea pigs are also happier when they have a friend around, so you should consider adopting more than one. if you want to pair up two guinea pigs, always ask the advice of the shelter you’re adopting from first.
Finally, check for local vets in your area that treat exotic pets, not just cats and dogs. You shouldn’t leave guinea pigs alone for too long either, so if you travel often you’ll have to find a family member or friend to care for your cavy while you’re away.
Where to Find a Guinea Pig
You can find guinea pigs at pet stores or at an animal welfare nonprofit organization. Search online for local guinea pig shelters or use Petfinder to locate rescues. Before you go to a pet store to buy a guinea pig, consider adopting one from a local shelter instead. These guinea pigs were either abandoned or surrendered by their former owners and are badly in need of a home. If you go to a guinea pig rescue center, expect to visit more than once before finalizing the adoption.
Guinea Pig Shelter: Questions to Ask
Not every animal shelter is the same, so you’ll want to ask about a few things before choosing a guinea pig:
- Potential health issues or special needs; how the animal lived before coming to the shelter
- Personality, likes, dislikes
- The vet the animal already sees
- Recommendations for food, cage, and other products
When searching for your new pet, beware of breeders who seem dishonest. Some breeders are actually “flippers” – individuals who steal or find animals and then quickly sell them to make a profit. These people aren’t concerned for the animal’s wellbeing and it’ll show if you ask them questions about caring for a guinea pig. Flippers might also pressure you into taking the animal home without the time to think about the decision. Reputable breeders and animal welfare advocates will be able to answer your questions and won’t be willing to give the animal away so quickly.
How Much Does a Guinea Pig Cost?
The cost of a single guinea pig is between $10 – $40. The average adoption fee for a single guinea pig is $25, which animal shelters use to cover their operating costs. Also, keep in mind that donations to animal welfare organizations are often tax deductible. Pet stores and breeders sell guinea pigs for between $10 – $40. If you’re purchasing a cavy, make sure the pet is from a legitimate breeder and not someone who runs a guinea pig farm, forcing sows (female guinea pigs) to carry litters almost without ceasing.
The cost of the guinea pig is only a portion of your expenses. Remember that guinea pigs are social creatures and prefer to have at least one roommate with them. So you may want to adopt two instead of one. For two guinea pigs, you’ll need equipment like a hutch, food and food bowls, hay and clean bedding, and a water bottle – all of which adds up to about $100. After purchasing all these products, you’ll spend between $3 – $6 on food each week.
What to Look for in a Guinea Pig
When you adopt a guinea pig, you want to make sure the animal is healthy. Check for any swelling or bumps, and that the coat is well-groomed with no bald or red patches. Sores and dry spots could be signs of infection. Other indications of an infection could be discharge from the nose or white streaks around the ears.
The guinea pig should also be active and alert, without labored breathing. When shelter volunteers handle the guinea pig, watch the animal’s response. You should also wait to adopt a guinea pig until it’s at least six weeks old.
Setting Up for Your New Guinea Pig
Once you bring your new friend home, you have to make sure she has everything she needs. Start with the basics; you can acquire more stuff (like fun toys!) over the long-term.
What Do Guinea Pigs Require?
At the very least, guinea pigs require a cage, bedding, hay, food, food bowl, water bottle, treats, and toys.
- Clean cage and bedding – Guinea pigs are small, but they need large cages with enough room to move around. For a single cavy, you need a cage of 7.5 square feet minimum. For two, you need 10.5 square feet. Put down a tray if the cage has a wire bottom, and bedding. Bedding can be hay, paper, aspen, or fleece.
- Roommates – Guinea pigs do better in pairs, but always put two boars (males) or two sows (females) together. Otherwise, you’ll end up with guinea piglets. Also, guinea pigs don’t do well with other animals in their cage, like rabbits.
- Timothy hay – Your new pet needs hay to chew on to keep her front teeth from getting too long. You’ll have to remove soiled hay and put in fresh hay each day.
- Food, water, treats – In addition to hay, guinea pigs need commercial guinea pig food, vegetables, and treats. The best veggies are dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and dark green lettuce. Your guinea pig cage should include a food bowl and a water bottle as well. Keep some treats on hand to supplement your pet’s diet.
- Toys – Cavies love to play! When they’re not in their cage, they’ll want to run around the room and explore. They also love toys like balls, chews, and tunnels.
Adopt Your New Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs make great pets. While they’re relatively easy to care for, they still have needs you must respect if you want to keep them happy and healthy. Consider adopting a guinea pig carefully before doing so. If you’re willing to take responsibility for your new pet, then you’ll have a new best friend!
Guinea pigs are hardy and affectionate, and make great companions. However, people often think of them as “low-maintenance” pets, when in reality, they require a lot of care and attention. In return, they will reward you with years of companionship.
Home Sweet Home
More space is better when it comes to your guinea pig’s cage! For one or two guinea pigs, the cage should be no smaller than 7.5 square feet (30” x 36”); for two cavies, the ideal size is 10.5 square feet (30” x 50”). If you plan to have more than two guinea pigs, add on 1-2 square feet of space for each additional guinea pig. Cages with mesh or wire flooring can be harmful to your guinea pig’s feet. In addition, you’ll want to provide your pig with a wooden “house,” tunnels to crawl through and platforms to climb on.
When choosing floor linings and cage furnishings, keep in mind that guinea pigs will chew on just about anything, so everything placed in the cage must be nontoxic. Use plenty of lining material, such as shredded newspaper, or commercial nesting materials available at pet-supply stores. DO NOT use materials such as sawdust, cedar chips or corn cob as they may cause respiratory, digestive or other serious health problems. For safe bedding options, visit http://www.Guineapigcages.com/bedding.htm.
To provide a clean environment for your guinea pig, be sure to clean its cage at least three to four times a week.
Cavies cannot manufacture their own vitamin C, so using a commercial guinea pig food enriched with vitamin C will provide them with what they need. Do not add vitamin C drops to your pet’s water as this can make the water taste bitter and discourage your cavy from drinking.
Provide plenty of high-quality hay, like timothy or orchard grass, to help keep their digestive tracts running smoothly. Also, you can supplement your guinea pig’s diet with fresh foods like carrots, dark green lettuce, cucumbers, dark green vegetables, sprouts, corn and a variety of
fruit. These items will serve as an additional source of vitamin C and other nutrients. Always introduce new foods slowly and in small amounts to reduce the risk of diarrhea. Use a heavy crockery bowl that can’t be tipped over and is easy to clean. Also keep fresh water available in a suspended “licker” water bottle at all times. For more information on foods that are safe for guinea pigs, we recommend that you talk to your veterinarian.
Many sources will tell you to provide a salt lick for your guinea pig, but unfortunately, there isn’t a consensus on the use of this product. Some say it can help prevent mineral deficiencies, while others state that too much salt can lead to health issues. However, if you are feeding your cavy
a well-balanced diet, this product shouldn’t be necessary. Check with your veterinarian before buying any type of salt or mineral lick.
A well-cared-for guinea pig may live four to eight years. Male guinea pigs can weigh between 1 to 2 ½ pounds, females slightly less. Guinea pigs are sexually mature between 4 and 8 weeks of age.
Guinea pigs groom themselves with their front teeth, tongue and back claws, but they still require frequent brushing and the occasional bath to stay clean and tangle free, particularly the long-haired breeds. Use a soft baby brush or toothbrush for brushing. Because your guinea pig’s
teeth grow continuously, it’s essential that you provide plenty of timothy grass hay at all times in addition to its regular food to provide a chewing medium. Your guinea pig’s nails can also overgrow, causing discomfort and increasing your risk of being scratched. Ask your veterinarian
to show you how to trim its nails.
Handling with Care
Guinea pigs are easily stressed and require careful handling. Always let your guinea pig know you’re there by allowing it to sniff your hand. They are also easily startled, so use a quiet, calm voice and slow movements. To pick up your guinea pig, always use two hands, placing one
hand under its chest just behind the front legs, and gently cup your other hand under its hindquarters. Once you have a firm but gentle grip, lift it up and immediately pull it close to your chest or lap so it doesn’t thrash around. Guinea pigs feel most secure when they’re held close to
your body and when their feet are supported. Since guinea pigs aren’t very agile, a fall could result in serious injury.
Guinea pigs love to have their heads scratched and will frequently make a “chattering” sound similar to a cat’s purr to show their appreciation. Also, when happy they will at times buck and throw themselves in the air, a behavior known as “popcorning.” The more you handle your
guinea pig, the friendlier and tamer it will become. Guinea pigs can be quite vocal and will often greet you with whistles and shrieks.
Guinea pigs are social creatures and enjoy the company of other animals, especially other guinea pigs. It is easiest to pair two babies or one baby and one adult, but pairing two adults can also be done successfully. A good way to go about introducing your guinea pigs is to start on neutral territory and monitor their behavior for at least an hour. If they do well with each other, try placing them in a large freshly cleaned cage (that will be their new home), and monitor them in the cage for at least an hour. If your guinea pigs are not getting along, stay calm and separate them with a towel to avoid being bit. When pairing a male and female, be sure to have the male neutered or you’ll soon have unwanted litters!
Guinea pigs have a keen sense of sight. They also have the ability to recognize all the colors of the spectrum. Their hearing is even better than their vision, and they can quickly learn to respond to a specific sound. Young guinea pigs love to jump, so you might want to build them an obstacle course for exercise.
Here are some of the guinea pigs at the Wheek & Squeak who are looking for their forever homes. If you think you can help these unfortunate guinea pigs and give them a loving home please contact us. We have around 120 guinea pigs here, the elderly and frail ones will stay with us but we have loads of young beautiful pigs that desperately need a home of there own. This page was updated on 20th May 2021 .
If you are interested in any of the guinea pigs please read through our rehoming policies on Adopting a Guinea page and then email or phone us and we will send you a rehoming questionnaire. I look forward to hearing from you.
Adoption fee is a minimum donation of £20 per guinea pig and for a neutered boar a minimum donation of £55.
WE WILL START REHOMING ON MONDAY 7TH JUNE 2021.
PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO COVID THERE WILL BE RESTRICTIONS ON THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WE HAVE HERE AT ONE TIME. ALSO MASKS NEED TO BE WARN AND DISTANCE KEPT AT ALL TIMES.
Adopting and owning a guinea pig can be rewarding but exhausting. Are you prepared?
Here are some things you should know before you consider adoption.
1. Guinea pigs need to be held several times a day. They crave interaction with other guinea pigs and with humans. An ignored guinea pig can become depressed and may stop eating. Even when there is more than one guinea pig in the area, they may still become solemn if they are not getting enough attention from people.
2. They need a well-rounded diet that includes hay, pellets, fresh greens, and fruit (in moderation). If a guinea pig is drinking a ton of water, it means they are not getting enough fresh vegetables and fruits – which contain water. A guinea pig’s diet is roughly 90% hay so make sure they always have plenty in their cage for a bedding additive and also for food. They will often eat their droppings as it doesn’t always digest correctly the first time. By doing this, they are getting the vitamins that went through their system too quickly. Pellets should only be ONCE a day as too many pellets can cause stones. 🙁
3. A guinea pig needs ample space to wander and run around. A cage should be at least 24 x 24 x 14 at the very minimum for an average sized guinea pig. A larger guinea pig will need at least 47 x 24 x 14. Midwest habitats are what we use to house our guinea pigs. A separator can be used to make two smaller cages out of the larger cage or using the ramp in the middle so they can share space if they are females. During the summer, guinea pigs love to play outside in the grass. Using a baby play yard is easy to set up and gives the piggies time to run around in the grass safely. Remember to never leave them alone outside by themselves though.
4. Males and females should always be separated from two-three weeks old and up. All piggies (Males or Females) should be bonded appropriately BEFORE putting them in a shared house – this could result in injuries or even death. When bonding piggies, start off slowly in a large area. Put their cages next to each other so they can talk and always do supervised playtime until you’re sure they are getting along. Babies may be easier to bond but sometimes will not stay bonded as they get older. At three weeks old, males are able to impregnate their sisters, mother, and other females so they should be separated as soon as possible when the three week mark has been hit.
5. In a habitat there should be: a house, bedding, hay, a water bottle, and a food dish. Bedding should never be anything other than a paper form, fleece or towels. Using wood or shavings can cause splinters or make them sick because of the treatment used at the facilities. A home should be preferably include an Edible Logz or Snak Shak
that they can use to sharpen their teeth. Timothy Ultra Hay includes sweet potatoes and should always be fresh. Moldy or wet hay can make the guinea pig sick. Food pellets should always be guinea pig specific. Using other types of food can make them sick. Treats other than those mentioned are a waste of money. Guinea pigs are happier with something to gnaw on (such as a wooden block) than some yogurt mixed treat. For the best treat, cucumbers are the guinea pig’s potato chips but only in moderation as these are water veggies and could cause runny poopies. They love them even though there’s not really any nutritional value. Giving fresh fruit and vegetable treats is much healthier than a store bought gimmick treat. Water should be changed daily and Vitamin C drops added. Always remember to rinse out the water bottle and clean off the ‘ball’ because food remnants can build up on them.
6. Be prepared to spend at least $100 a month on your guinea pig. Cages should be fully cleaned at least two times a week. The other days – old food, pellets, and droppings can be picked out of the cage and new bedding can be added. When cleaning the cage, always wear gloves. Make sure the cage is completely scrubbed down so that no bacteria builds up underneath their hay and bedding. Cage debris can be used in the backyard around bushes and trees for outside wildlife to pick through. We use puppy pads underneath all bedding to help keep the bottom of the cage easier to clean.
Ready to adopt? The process involves spending about 30 minutes with us and the piggies to make sure it’s a good fit. The adoption fee is $30 or two for $50. We do ask for basic information: name, address, and phone number which we keep on file so we know where the guinea pigs are going. We require one picture a week for the first month just so that we know the piggies are happy and healthy. These pictures may be used on our website.
If at any time you feel that you cannot take care of them anymore you can surrender them back to us but we don’t do adoption refunds. If a guinea pig dies within the first 30 days we request to see him to make sure there was no neglect. If it’s natural causes you can pick out another piggy. We do this so that abusers are not able to keep adopting. We do recommend taking the new piggies to a vet for a basic check up. All of these rescues are seemably healthy and extremely happy so we just like to make sure they stay that way.
Still think you’re interested in adopting a guinea pig? Send us a message below. In the comments, let us know the following:
1. Why do you want to adopt a guinea pig?
2. How many other animals do you have?
3. Where will the guinea pig live (where the habitat will be)?
4. Any other information you think we should know.
Our guinea pigs are family no matter where they came from.
We do not allow everyone to adopt guinea pigs.
Our adoption process ensures that the piggies are going to a safe, happy, healthy environment.
Guinea pigs are tail-less rodents with long, short, or sometimes wild hair that ranges in color. When full grown, they weigh around 1-2 pounds and are 8-10 inches long. Guinea pigs typically live for 5-8 years.
Described as cuddly and comical, guinea pigs love to vocalize with squeals, chirps, squeaks, and whistles. They make wonderful pets for children and can be very social animals.
Guinea pigs are hardy little animals, and their easy care makes them especially affordable pets!
While guinea pigs do not require routine vaccinations, an annual exam and parasite check is recommended. Seek out a veterinarian who is experienced in treating guinea pigs and is familiar with medical conditions such as: vitamin C deficiency (scurvy), overgrown teeth, colds and pneumonia, bladder stones, infections, parasites, etc. If a guinea pig seems droopy, has a dull coat and/or is losing hair, eats very little or nothing, has soft droppings or is otherwise acting abnormally, consult a veterinarian immediately. Refrain from using any medications intended for dogs or cats.
Spaying and neutering
Spaying/neutering guinea pigs carries risks and must only be done by a veterinarian with much guinea pig knowledge and experience. If you choose not to sterilize your pet, we discourage pairing male and female guinea pigs together. More information on guinea pig bonding can be found here.
Guinea pig grooming involves regular toenail trimming, ear cleaning, combing, and bathing.
Guinea pigs require unlimited amounts of fresh green grass hay (usually timothy). Alfalfa hay/alfalfa treats are okay for young guinea pigs and pregnant or malnourished adults, but otherwise should not be given on a regular basis. Most guinea pig pellets are alfalfa based, which is fairly high in calcium. Feeding additional alfalfa hay/alfalfa treats may provide too much calcium and lead to bladder stone problems in some guinea pigs.
Feed pellets made specifically for guinea pigs. Use a heavy bowl that cannot be tipped. Feed approximately ¼ – ½ c. of fresh pellets per animal daily. Avoid brands that contain lots of seeds and nuts, because the fat content of these foods is often too high for adult guinea pigs and they make choke on large or whole seeds. Fresh water must always be available, preferably in an easy-to-reach water bottle. Food bowls and water bottles should be cleaned and refilled with fresh food and water daily.
Guinea pigs require vitamin C on a daily basis. Since the vitamin C in pellets can dissipate over time, vitamin C can be supplemented by adding the proper dose of powdered or liquid vitamin C to the guinea pig’s food or water, by giving it orally or by supplementing the diet with high C fruits and veggies (although it is more difficult to supplement the correct amount). The recommended dosage is 30 mg/day per average adult. Liquid C, a human supplement sold at most health/nutrition stores is a pleasant tasting liquid and is easy to administer.
Fresh greens and vegetables can be fed in moderation. Too large a quantity or variety can cause diarrhea or other digestive or nutritional problems. Guinea pigs can be given: parsley, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, live wheat grass (sold at some pet stores), carrot tops, celery leaves, clover, spinach, green alfalfa, chemical-free dandelion leaves and fresh grass, carrots, grapes, apple, cranberry (also dried cranberry), and a little citrus fruit. Vegetables belonging to the cabbage family (kale, broccoli, cauliflower) should also be very limited (or avoided) as they can cause bloat, a serious condition. Fresh foods should always be thoroughly rinsed. Introduce any new food item in small amounts to allow a guinea pig’s system to adjust to it gradually.
The best guinea pig cages are usually wire cages with a solid bottom (metal or plastic) that are easily removed for cleaning. Wire cage bottoms are not recommended as they can easily injure your pet’s toes/feet. A cage for a single guinea pig should be at least 24” wide x 24” long and at minimum 15” high. For two or more guinea pigs, a minimum 24” x 36” floor size is recommended. Add a small house inside the cage so the guinea pig has a private refuge when stressed or tired. This can be a small cardboard box or a commercially produced house available at your local pet store.
Aquariums and plastic tubs are NOT recommended. They are usually not large enough, do not offer proper ventilation, and isolate the guinea pig from its surroundings by inhibiting sight, sound, and smell. If you are not finding suitable cages at your local pet store, Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue* in Stacy, Minnesota can be a good source for more information on where to find an appropriate cage.
To ensure the good health of your guinea pig, bedding must be kept clean. Aspen or kiln-dried pine shavings are good, inexpensive bedding. Hay/straw can be used but is messier to clean and not as absorbent. The recycled pelleted beddings on the market are very nice but more expensive. Cedar bedding and pine bedding NOT kiln-dried is not acceptable, as the oils in the wood pose health risks to guinea pigs.
A guinea pig must be an indoor pet except in tropical climates. When providing housing for guinea pigs, keep the cage clean, keep the area dry and free from drafts, and maintain a temperature between 65-79 degrees. A guinea pig’s cage should be in an environment that is well lit (but not exposed to direct sunlight) and offers the guinea pig access to daily human activities.
We run a community resource, emotional support Guinea Pig Sanctuary for all piggies that can no longer stay with their owners. Our piggies are well kept and have a great time being held and played with.
We are a NO breed,
Males and females are kept separately. Some males have their own area, while others share a habitat. Some also get playtime together depending on their temperament.
We never do anything that would put them in jeopardy. Some piggies are just better off in a habitat by themselves but next to others.
Guinea Pigs take a lot of time and attention. Many families become too busy or life just makes it impossible to care for the piggies as they should. We are just trying to help.
We also work with Mainely Rat Rescue and Live & Let Live Farm to make sure all piggies have the best possible chance of finding a forever home <3
Congratulations and an endless thank you to those who have helped and supported us in our efforts, we could not have done it without you; we hope you will continue to support us in our quest!
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for all the latest updates and information!
If you are interested in moving your Guinea Pig to our sanctuary there are some rules:
1. We do not pay for rehoming Guinea Pigs
2. You must bring the piggy here so that you can see the sanctuary and because we no longer have a pick up service due to COVID rules.
3. If you are surrendering a sick guinea pig, we need to know the history behind illness. Please bring ALL vet history paperwork.
4. We can send picture updates and you’re welcome to come visit them while they are waiting to be adopted.
5. Some Guinea Pigs are adoptable but adoptions require a meeting with the Guinea Pigs and a conversation about what your expectations are and what you can provide for the piggie you choose.
Not all adoptions are approved though. We are very strict when it comes to moving a piggie into a new environment.
We are OFFICIALLY a 501(c)(3) non-profit now! Thank you for all of your help! This means that all of your donations are tax deductible.
If you would like to help us in our rescue efforts we can always use supplies. The main things we accept as donations are:
(*specifically for Guinea Pigs)
Bedding Material (not wood)
We also accept donations for our piggies through PAYPAL .
If you love shopping, we also have a wishlist set up on Amazon
some are needs and some are wants 😉 Feel free to shop for the piggies <3 Just click to see the list and see what the piggies are wishing for :)
If you are an avid Amazon Shopper, please consider using our Amazon Smiles link <3
And be sure to check out Felicie’s
Piggie-aoke videos on YouTube <3
You can now support us through Chewy.com 😀
Love new piggy stuff? Get the Piggy Box! We get a portion of the proceeds and your piggy gets amazing stuff!
We also have a Walmart Wish List!
Please follow us on FaceBook to learn more about the Guinea Pigs that are currently at the sanctuary.
Visit our eBay Shop! <3
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Looking for something to do with the kids?
Grab some greens, celery, or carrots and spend an hour at the sanctuary! Spend some time feeding, petting, holding and taking pictures with the piggies!
There is NO charge to spend time with the piggies. We just ask that you bring some snacks to feed them 😉
Families can visit any day (except Wednesday) without an appointment. Masks are required and the piggies say veggies are a requirement also! 🙂