Guinea pig buying guide – You should pay attention to this when buying guinea pigs. Before you buy your first guinea pig, please note some essential tips and general conditions.
Just as with all other pets, there are differences in sources of supply and requirements for the Nager’s respective habitat in his or her own four walls.
A related video about “Guinea pig breeds” here to watch.
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Guinea pig buying guide – How to buy a guinea pig?
Guinea pigs are very sociable animals and wildly popular with children. However, acquiring a new pet should always be well-considered because the small Nager’s responsibility lies finally with the adult animal owners.
Guinea pigs hold an average life expectancy of about six to eight years and represent a long-term commitment. Please also consider the costs you will have to pay for keeping and caring for the little rodents.
However, if you accept these circumstances and still decide to buy a guinea pig, the cheerful squeakers can bring much joy to the whole family.
1. Buy preparation for the guinea pig.
A fully equipped guinea pig cage with bedding, accessories, and enough guinea pig food should be ready before you buy a guinea pig. If children live in your household, explain the most important rules for handling guinea pigs before the new pets move in.
Guinea pigs are sociable small animals, and after a period of acclimatization, they also like to contact humans. But even more important is living together with the conspecifics.
Guinea pigs should never be getting held alone. If you buy guinea pigs, it is advisable to get at least two animals from a guinea pig group because they are already familiar with each other.
Guinea pig groups that consist only of females or males are particularly easy-care. A mixed group with guinea pigs of different sexes comes the natural way of life of the Nager next.
The bucks of the group should be castrated to prevent an undesirable increase. The castration of a male guinea pig is a routine procedure for the veterinarian and is relatively rarely associated with complications.
Contrary to common belief, rabbits are not suitable partners for guinea pigs. The animals tolerate each other, but speak different languages and are therefore no substitute for conspecifics.
2. Buy domestic guinea pigs or racial guinea pigs?
You can buy guinea pigs in pet shops, at the breeder, or in an animal shelter. In pet shops, you can purchase house guinea pigs and rosette guinea pigs in different colors. At the breeder, however, there is a selection of many other guinea pig breeds.
These are usually more expensive than house guinea pigs. Depending on the species, some guinea pigs are more susceptible to diseases.
One distinguishes between longhair and shorthair breeds. Longhair-races like Angora-guinea pigs are rather unsuitable for inexperienced guinea pig-keepers since they require a special fur-care.
Above all, guinea pigs from the animal home look forward to a new home. Let yourselves be getting informed with the assumption about the prehistory and the possible pre-illnesses of the animal.
3. Buy guinea pigs: Find a reputable dealer.
The sale of small animals in pet-shops is considered controversial among animal lovers. Nevertheless, it is possible to buy guinea pigs there.
So the males and females should be in two separate enclosures to prevent uncontrolled offspring. The sections are best large enough for the piglets and are getting located in a quiet corner of the store with little traffic.
Besides, the rodents look lively, have a healthy coat, no injuries, and look clean and well-groomed.
Do the pigs have enough hiding places, toys, and clean food? It is also a good sign. If you have a good sense, you can again ask the pet shop owners questions.
If they answer your questions competently and are well versed in keeping guinea pigs, you have found a good pet shop and can buy guinea pigs there without hesitation.
For breeders, similar criteria apply: The guinea pigs need sufficient space, are undisturbed, have a nice enclosure, and look healthy and lively. If you are interested in a specific guinea pig breed, serious guinea pig breeders are an excellent first contact point.
With hobby breeders, you usually get the pigs cheaper than professional breeders because they do not have a full-time job. It is advisable to sign a sales contract with the breeder if it turns out later that something is wrong with the guinea pigs or your living conditions change in such a way that you can no longer take care of the knobbed noses.
4. Guinea pigs from private or animal shelter
If you want to buy guinea pigs, it can be worthwhile to visit the animal shelter or purchase the animals from private persons.
So you can do something good and offer a loving new home to small Nagern, which look for a loving new family.
You may have to spend a nominal charge; the guinea pigs are sometimes free of charge with private people. Nevertheless, it would help if you did not make the decision too hasty.
5. Check the state of health when buying a guinea pig.
When buying guinea pigs, you should not only pay attention to the animal’s beautiful appearance but also its state of health. Before you determine to buy a guinea pig, take your time to observe the animals for a while.
Healthy guinea pigs have:
- Clear eyes.
- A shiny and smooth coat.
- A clean anus area.
- No deposits on the mouth and nose area.
- No injuries.
- Behave attentively and are not apathetic.
It may help to look at guinea pig groups twice. If you want to be on the safe side after buying guinea pigs, you can also have the animals examined by a veterinarian.
If you add another guinea pig to an already existing group, you should also have the vet check the new resident’s health.
This way, you can prevent any contagious guinea pig diseases from being transmitted to the other species’ other members.
6. Transport after guinea pig purchase
A change of location is always a burden for guinea pigs. Try to make the transport as comfortable as possible for the animals. Do not transport the guinea pigs individually, but together in a sturdy transport box.
This box should be well ventilated and offer enough space for all animals. Ordinary cardboard boxes are rather unsuitable. Transport boxes from the specialized trade can be used later for trips to the vet or only as temporary storage when cleaning the cage.
Include a little bedding from the old cage with the transport box, so that the animals do not feel so strange.
If you travel by car, transport the animals inside the vehicle because there is better ventilation than in the trunk. After arrival at home, carefully put the guinea pigs out of the box into the cage.
If possible, let the animals walk out of the transport box on their own. Then it would support if you gave the newly born guinea pigs’ roommates some time to acclimatize and provide them with the opportunity to explore the surroundings in peace.
7. The right shelters and houses after guinea pig purchase
Guinea pigs are escape animals, so there should be many hiding places and houses in the cage where the pigs can hide. Tunnels and cottages also encourage and offer variety.
It would support if you did not fill up the cell: The animals should still have enough space to run around. For four rodents, there should be at least three cottages.
Please do not buy plastic houses or tunnels. The hiding places should be getting made of wood, cork, or other natural materials.
8. The right food bowls after guinea pig purchase
The Nager’s hay they should give around the clock to available remains dry and clean; hayracks are particularly suitable.
When it comes to feeding bowls, you should be careful not to buy plastic products, but to use clay or ceramic bowls. You will also need water bowls or water dispensers.
If you have four guinea pigs, you need at least two feeding bowls and two water dispensers.
9. Other essential things you should know when buying guinea pigs.
- Guinea pigs get old.
- Guinea pigs can live for 6 to 8, sometimes even up to 12 years. Be aware of this, and ready to care for the animals for such a long time reliably.
- Guinea pigs need time.
- Feeding, mucking out the enclosure, and guinea pig care needs time. And that every day! You should also check the guinea pigs once a week for injuries and diseases.
- Keeping guinea pigs costs money.
- The initial equipment, such as enclosures, feeding bowl, and drinking trough, and guinea pig houses costs a whole lot of money. Running costs such as fodder, bedding, hay, and veterinary surgeon bills quickly exceed the purchase price of guinea pigs by a factor of X.
- Guinea pigs cause work and dirt.
- The guinea pig enclosure or cage must be getting mucked out often and thoroughly. You should have no difficulty with getting your hands dirty and like to clean them.
- Guinea pigs are not toys.
- If the guinea pigs are getting brought for children, one should instruct and support them in handling the animals correctly. Guinea pigs are not cuddly animals and certainly not toys!
- Guinea pigs have allergens.
- Please clarify before purchase whether someone in the family is allergic to guinea pigs or hay.
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