Guinea Pigs are smaller pets, and many potential pet owners make the mistake of thinking they will be easy and inexpensive to take care of. What they don’t realize is that there’s much more to caring for your small pal than just purchasing the Guinea pig and keeping it fed.
If you’re considering purchasing a Guinea of your very own, you’ll need to make sure you have the time required to own this exotic pet and know what you’re in for financially. Since they’re social creatures, adopting two at a time is best so they won’t be lonely. Adopting a Guinea Pig will generally cost $20-$40 and buying one will cost approximately $25-$50.
From one-time to yearly costs, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how much it costs to own a Guinea Pig.
Bringing Home a New Guinea Pig: One-Time Costs
Before deciding to give a Guinea Pig a forever home, you first need to know that these animals don’t do well alone; they are better kept in pairs so they don’t have to be alone. We’ll give you the one-time costs and annual costs of taking care of one Guinea pig in our guide, but you need to double these costs if you decide to adopt a pair of these furry creatures.
You may be able to find a Guinea Pig or two for free. Some pet owners adopt cavies, realize how expensive they are, or don’t have time for them, and look to rehome the animals.
However, it’s vital that you ask the right questions when it comes to accepting a cavy that is being rehomed. You need to know its health history, if it’s skittish, and whether it bites, especially if you’re looking for a cavy that your children can pet and hold.
It’s also important to remember that many cavies being given away are from accidental litters, which could mean the owners have no idea which ones are males or females. If you decide to accept a free Guinea, make sure that you have the means to get it sexed, or you could end up with quite a few cavies of your own that need to be rehomed.
- $20 to $40
Going to your local rescue shelter to adopt a Guinea will run you anywhere from $20 to $40, according to the area you live in. As with a rehomed Guinea, most of the available cavies are because of an accidental litter. They are also often surrendered because one family member or another discovers they are allergic to the cavy.
Most rescue shelters will do a health check on the Guineas and let you know their gender. The fee to adopt a Guinea usually goes to the cost of vet care, medication, and food.
- $25 to $50
Purchasing a Guinea from a breeder can be a bit more complicated, as they also charge for the type of cavy you choose. You can expect to pay between $25 and $50 for a Guinea from a reputable breeder. We’ll break down the different types below.
- Abyssinian Guinea: $50
- Alpaca Guinea: $45
- Peruvian Guinea: $40
- American Guinea: $25
It’s essential to ensure the breeder you’re purchasing your Guinea from is reputable and considers the health and welfare of its cavies as its priority.
Initial Setup and Supplies
- $100 to $550
The initial setup and supplies for your cavy should cost between $100 and $550. While they may not look like it, Guineas are active animals and need an enclosure that allows them to roam. If you have two Guineas, you should consider an enclosure that is at least 10.5 square feet.
You should also invest in an outdoor enclosure for your pets, so they can run around outside safely and still get the exercise and sun they need to be healthy and happy. Guineas are also quite skittish, so you’ll want to invest in a hideaway so your Guinea can get alone time when needed.
Your little pet will also need food bowls, supplements, hack racks, pellets, grass, hay, and fresh veggies. The costs for these can vary according to your location and your budget.
List of Guinea Pig Care Supplies and Costs
|Vitamin C supplement||$7|
|Guinea Pig cage/hutch/enclosure||$50 to $500|
|Guinea Pig hideaway||$25|
|Guinea Pig pellets||$15|
|Fresh veggies||$5 to $7|
How Much Does a Guinea Pig Cost Per Month?
- $33 to $166 per month
We’ll list the cost per month for your Guinea Pig now. In most cases, you can expect to spend $33 to $166 per month on your Guinea pig. So, now that you know the one-time expenses to set up a nice home for your cavy, we’ll discuss health care, food, pet insurance, and other costs.
- $16 to $83 per month
Health care for any pet is expensive, and the Guinea pig is truly no exception. You can usually keep them in good health on a budget, however. You can expect to pay $10 to $20 monthly for checkups and between $0 and $20 monthly for dental work.
Treating your Guinea for parasites is essential, so expect to spend between $5 to $20 a month on treatments. Emergencies happen, and you may spend up to $45 or more to treat an illness or injury. It’s best to add these expenses to your budget, just in case the worst should happen.
The good news is that your Guinea doesn’t have to have vaccinations, which will save you a bit on monthly and yearly costs.
- $8 to $42 per month
There are quite a few choices regarding food for your Guinea. The food that is needed the most to keep them healthy is Guinea Pig food pellets, grass hay, and fresh veggies. You can expect to spend between $8 and $42 monthly for food, according to your budget and the location you purchase from. While they are not essential, purchasing chew sticks to keep your pet’s teeth healthy is a good idea.
- $5 to $16 per month
While pet insurance isn’t something it is required to have, going to a vet can be quite expensive. If you choose to get pet insurance for your Guinea, and we recommend that you do, it can run you anywhere from $5 to $16 a month, depending on the pet insurance company, location, and the plan you select. It’s always best to do careful research when choosing a pet insurance company since most providers do not cover small pets.
- $5 to $16 per year
While Guineas are low maintenance regarding where they live, keeping their cages clean, well-maintained, and comfortable is still important. You can expect to pay $5 to $16 a month for bedding and up to $8 monthly for toys and chews.
|Chews and toys||$0 to $8 a month|
|Bedding||$5 to $16 a month|
- $0 to $8 a month
Your cavy will love having plenty of toys to play with and plenty of chews in their enclosure, and they also love hideaway spots. However, the best thing you can do is spend time with your cavy and make sure that they have a pal to hang out with. You can expect to spend from $0 to $8 a month on entertaining your cavy, according to your budget and how much you want to spoil your furry friend.
Total Yearly Cost of Owning a Guinea Pig
- $33 to $166 per month
You should expect to spend $33 to $166 a month on caring for your Guinea pig after the one-time costs associated with setting up a home for your cavy. It is possible to keep your pets pampered and happy on a budget, but you can spend up to $166 a month if you go all out.
Additional Costs to Factor In
There are very few additional costs to factor in when caring for a Guinea Pig. However, if you’re going out of town, and your Guinea can’t go with you, you may want to pay someone to come out and take care of your friend while you’re gone.
Owning a Guinea Pig on a Budget
You can keep your Guineas in grand style on a budget. They don’t need the best of everything. You should spend money on high-quality food and a great enclosure, but you can save money on toys, chews, and equipment by shopping for discounts and online coupons.
Saving Money on Guinea Pig Care
No matter what type of pet you have, you can save money in certain areas when you’re on a budget or even if you aren’t. For example, you can find great deals by shopping for food and toys online from retailers like Chewy. You can also save by ordering their hay in bulk instead of buying it in individual packaging. If you have friends with Guinea pigs, they may be willing to part with some of their supplies for free, and you can check social media platforms for deals on Guinea pig products.
If you’ve been looking to adopt a pet but don’t want to have to clean up after a dog or cat, a Guinea pig is a viable option. However, just because they are small doesn’t mean that they can’t be expensive. As you can see, the costs can pile up, not only the one-time costs but the yearly costs of owning a Guinea Pig. It’s best to keep two cavies at a time, so you must double what we’ve listed here regarding your spending.
The good news is that you don’t have to go all out and buy the most expensive things on our list. In fact, your Guinea Pig will be happy with a nice cage, high-quality food, some chews, and time playing with you.