So how much are guinea pigs, anyway?
Do they cost a lot? Does it cost a lot to take care of them?
What can you expect to pay for their daily care?
If you are looking to add a small pet to your home and are interested in the Guinea Pig, you’re in luck!
Today we are covering this small, affectionate, and highly sociable animal!
Hopefully, we can help you better understand the average cost and overall care that will be required.
Let’s investigate the question “How much are guinea pigs?” in a thorough and useful way!
How Much Are Guinea Pigs?
Guinea pigs are pretty cheap to buy, costing anywhere from $10 to $40, with the average price of a guinea pig being around $25. However, they also have setup and ongoing costs. Expect to fork out $200 to begin with, and then up to another $40 a month for a pair of piggies.
Guinea pigs also thrive in groups, so the cost of a guinea pig is rarely related to just one.
So how exactly do these cute pets add up?
Guinea Pigs As Pets
Guinea pigs are known to make docile, sociable, and loving pets.
It is relatively easy to care for Guinea Pigs, making them an ideal choice for first-time pet owners or families with children who are looking to establish some type of responsibility.
I myself had several Guinea Pigs growing up and enjoyed watching them play in homemade mazes and tunnels made from plastic piping my father would buy from the local hardware shop.
These are delightful, intelligent creatures with very active social lives. They come in a variety of hair types and colors and can live up to eight years.
Why Is It Important to Buy More Than One Guinea Pig?
Guinea pigs are incredibly social animals and can become depressed and even fall ill without a companion.
As previously mentioned, Guinea Pigs are natural herd animals and therefore they do much better in pairs or groups.
To keep a social animal such as the Guinea Pig isolated so that it may not interact with other Guinea Pigs can cause serious emotional damage as well as health issues.
Besides, having more than one Guinea Pig is way more fun.
Their personalities really shine when they are around each other, giving you a much more entertaining pet.
If you’re worried about getting more than one Guinea Pig because of cost, rest assured that if you can afford one you can afford two.
So, do not let cost dissuade you from getting more than one Guinea Pig.
Although it may seem like logic that twice the pig means twice the cost, that’s not the case. In fact, most people who have two or more Guinea Pigs will only see a cost increase of 25%.
This is typically because you still have just one enclosure, and the cleaning and care for the Guinea Pigs are the same.
For example, the bedding should be changed every few days regardless of if you have one or two Guinea Pigs.
The amount of food they each consume is so little you will hardly notice a difference between one and two.
So, How Much Do Guinea Pigs Cost?
The cost of the Guinea Pig goes well beyond the initial purchase. When it comes to any animal with a lifespan of up to eight years, you must be prepared for a long-term commitment to guinea pig care costs.
When it comes to the Guinea Pig himself, remember that there are ten types of Guinea Pig breeds.
While pet stores will typically sell their pigs for the same price regardless, breeders may charge more depending on the breed.
The range in cost of a Guinea Pig can be anywhere from $10-$40, with an average cost of $25.
But you obviously can’t stop there.
You will also need your enclosure, your food and water dispensers, hideaway houses, hay, bedding, toys, and more.
Below is a list of everything you will need to care for your Guinea Pigs, along with the average price of each item.
You definitely need to factor all of these things into answering the question, “How much are guinea pigs?”
To start with, you’ll have to consider the cost of guinea pigs themselves.
Guinea Pig: $10-$40 per pig.
Remember, Guinea Pigs are natural herd animals and it is cruel to keep them isolated. For this reason, we recommend purchasing two or more Guinea Pigs.
Guinea Pig Food: A 40-ounce bag is on average $10-$20.
Guinea Pig food is going to consist of primarily Timothy hay, orchard grass, or oat grass. However, Guinea Pigs also enjoy fresh veggies and lettuce.
Your guinea pig will need unlimited access to timothy hay along with their pellet food, so you’ll need to purchase both.
When asking “How much does guinea pig food cost?” factor both types of food into the cost, as well as fresh veggies and treats, and remember you’ll have to stock up whenever you run out.
60 Liter Package of Small Animal Bedding: $22
When put down correctly, a 60-liter package of bedding should last you 3-4 changes depending on cage size.
Keep in mind you must change your Guinea Pigs’ bedding every three to four days at least.
DO NOT BUY CEDAR BEDDING! Cedar is toxic to small animals.
Your guinea pig friends will need to visit an exotic veterinarian yearly for checkups.
Guinea pig vet costs may be based on where you live, but you can probably expect to pay about $50 for a routine visit per pig.
If your guinea pig gets sick, please know that since many vets don’t treat exotics regularly, your medical prices may be higher than you expect for such a small animal.
One Time or Infrequent Expenses
Guinea Pig Enclosure: $50-$80.
Although the minimum size for an enclosure big enough for two Guinea Pigs is 7.5 square feet, we recommend an enclosure that’s around 10.5 square feet.
Guinea pig cage price will vary based on the size and features you want!
These include food dishes, water dispensers, toys, shelters, and more. They may have to be replaced occasionally due to chewing and wear.
- 16-ounce Small Pet Water Bottle: $5-$10
- Small Pet Food Bowl: $6-$10
- Hay Rack: $5-$12
- Hideaway House: $6-$15
- Guinea Pig Chew Toys: $2-$5 each
Considering the average price for each of the above items, the total cost of your Guinea Pig starter package will probably be around $200.00, give or take a few bucks depending on where you go to purchase your items.
Can I afford guinea pigs?
How much are guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs will cost in the region of $200 to set up, and then around $40 a month for food, bedding and vet bills.
These creatures make wonderful pets who are very active and quite entertaining to watch. They enjoy gentle attention and can be affectionate when treated properly.
They make wonderful apartment companions and have even been known to do well in emotional therapy work, especially with children.
Whether you are a first-time pet owner looking to expand your skills or you are simply a small-pet lover looking to add to your family, a pair of Guinea Pigs can be right for you!
References and Further Reading
- Harkness, J. E. et al (2010). Guinea pigs. Harkness and Wagner’s Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents, 5th Edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
- Kunzl, C. & Sachser, N. (1999). The behavioral endocrinology of domestication: A comparison between the domestic guinea pig (Cavia apereaf.porcellus) and its wild ancestor, the cavy (Cavia aperea). Hormones and Behavior, 35(1).
- King, J. A. (1956). Social relations of the domestic guinea pig living under semi-natural conditions. Ecology, 37(2).
- Krskova, L. et al. (2010). Guinea Pigs – The “small great” therapist for autistic children, or: Do guinea pigs have positive effects on autistic child social behavior? Society & Animals, 18(2).
- Sachser, N. & Lick, C. (1991). Social experience, behavior, and stress in guinea pigs. Physiology & Behavior, 50(1).