Buying guinea pigs: you should pay attention to this

Before you buy guinea pigs, you should consider whether you can offer the little animals everything to make them feel comfortable. Despite being so small and cute, guinea pigs still need space, care and attention. Tips on this and other information on buying a guinea pig can be found here.

A guinea pig hates being alone – Shutterstock / photos2013

A guinea pig hates being alone – Shutterstock / photos2013

If you want to buy guinea pigs, you have several options. There are guinea pig breeders, but also private individuals and pet shops that offer guinea pigs. In addition, small animals, not just dogs and cats, are also waiting for a new home in animal shelters. But as easy as it is to buy guinea pigs, you should think twice before making your decision.

Buy guinea pigs? You should consider that beforehand

When you buy a guinea pig, be prepared to take care of the pet for up to ten years. This is how high the life expectancy of a guinea pig is with good care and species-appropriate housing. Speaking of which: guinea pigs are pack animals and should never be kept alone. That would be cruelty to animals, because the piglets need the company of their own kind. The best thing is to buy two or more guinea pigs from the same litter or group at the same time – then the animals will already know each other and there will be fewer problems when getting together.

The cost of the guinea pigs themselves is not high; Private individuals often give away the offspring of their piglets. Otherwise you can get them for less than ten euros in the pet shop and you rarely have to pay more than 40 euros from the breeder. Don’t let that fool you though, there will be additional costs for equipment, food, visits to the vet, castration, vaccination and illnesses. You should schedule these regularly. Furthermore, the Schnuffelschnuten need activity, exercise and enough space (at least half a square meter per guinea pig). Can you give your pets all that and do you have enough time to clean the cage regularly and play with the fur bunnies? Then you are ready to buy a guinea pig.

Guinea pigs need company.  So if you want one, you usually get two – Image: Shutterstock / Miroslav Hlavko
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12/17/2013 – 5:38 p.m

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Buying guinea pigs: Find a reputable dealer

The sale of small animals in pet shops is considered controversial among animal lovers. Still, it’s possible to buy guinea pigs there if you pay attention to a few pointers that make a good pet store. So the males and females should be in two separate enclosures to prevent uncontrolled offspring. The pens are best big enough for the pigs and located in a quiet corner of the store with little through traffic. In addition, the rodents appear lively, have healthy fur, no injuries and look clean and well-groomed. Do the piglets have enough hiding places, toys and clean food? This is also a good sign. If you have a good feeling, you can also pester the pet shop with questions. If they answer your questions competently and are very familiar with keeping guinea pigs, you have found a good pet shop and can buy guinea pigs there without hesitation.

Similar criteria apply to breeders: the guinea pigs need enough space, are undisturbed, have a nice enclosure and appear healthy and lively. If you are interested in a specific breed of guinea pig, reputable guinea pig breeders are a good place to start. You can usually get the piglets cheaper from hobby breeders than from professional breeders, since they do not breed them full-time. It is advisable to conclude a purchase contract with the breeder if it later turns out that something is wrong with the guinea pigs or if your living conditions change so that you can no longer take care of the guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs from private individuals or animal shelters

If you want to buy guinea pigs, it can be worth stopping by the animal shelter or getting the animals privately. So you can do something good and offer small rodents that are looking for a loving new home. You may have to pay a protection fee in the animal shelter, private individuals sometimes give the guinea pigs for free. However, you should not make the decision too quickly.

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