You’re probably sitting there, thinking about how much it would cost you to buy a guinea pig, how much is the cost of keeping one, two or more guinea pigs, etc. If you don’t have the time to read through the whole in-depth analysis, we can assure you that it’s really cheap!
In this article, we’ll explain to you how much does a guinea pig cost but also the cost of having a guinea pig, which is way more important than the actual price of buying a guinea pig in the pet store. Buying a guinea pig is easy but taking proper care of them is something else and in many cases, it doesn’t have to do anything with the money.
Okay, enough chit-chat, let’s delve deeper straight into the numbers.
How Much Does a Guinea Pig Cost?
On average, a guinea pig costs about $20 to $25, depending on the country or the continent. Speaking of geographical location, the guinea pig price isn’t going to differentiate drastically. It’s always going to vary between $10 and $40 in the USA or for example, €8.8 and €45.4 if you’re in Europe. On top of that, there are additional costs of food, cage, bedding, etc. More on that later.
Buying More than One Guinea Pig
Many owners will decide to immediately buy two, three or more guinea pigs, which is a very wise decision and let me tell you why. As we know, guinea pigs are very social animals. They love the company and when they don’t have anyone to hang out, they can easily get depressed, which can then result in a guinea pig becoming ill. As pets, guinea pigs are very pleasant to have around. If you aren’t an experienced pet owner, this is a great first-time pet for you and your family.
Sure, you can be a great companion to your guinea pig but if you have a job, family or both, you won’t have all of the time of this world to play with your guinea pig. On the other hand, if there’s another guinea pig in the cage, they will (in most cases) bond and as such, they will live like they used to live in the past – in a herd. Back in the day when guinea pigs lived in forests, they always moved in herds, which is a deeply rooted characteristic of these animals. For that reason, buying one or more guinea pigs is an excellent idea.
You may ask me if buying more guinea pigs is much more expensive? Not really! Basically, if you can afford one guinea pig, you can afford two of them, and in some cases, even three. More experienced owners will tell you that the cost increase is almost negligible, sitting at around 25%. So, if you have two guinea pigs, it’s not double the cost, as you’ll only have to pay 25% more for the costs, which is really silly. If you really want only one guinea pig, it’s your choice but it’s our job to warn you of potential risks and outcomes.
If we break down the costs, we can see that there is some logic to it. Two guinea pigs can live in the same cage, right? This means that only one cage is enough, whether you have one or two guinea pigs. As for the bedding, the situation is exactly the same. You get to clean the cage and change the beddings every few days, which is the same as with one guinea pig. The amount of food they eat is very modest, so it’ll hardly make a difference.
Guinea Pigs and Additional Costs
The cost of your guinea pig isn’t only $10 to $40 you pay at the shop. Having in mind that guinea pigs live up to 8 years, you’re going to have to prepare for a long-term commitment. Let’s begin with the guinea pig itself. There is a total of 10 guinea pig breeds and all of them will cost you anywhere between $10 to $40. Breeders may charge more but that’s the usual price.
Next, you’ll need a proper guinea pig living habitat – the cage. In the cage, you’ll need hideaway houses, water dispensers, food, hay, toys, bedding, etc. But, don’t you worry. We will list everything you need to buy alongside the cost of every single component, including one alive component – a guinea pig. So, let’s see how much will a guinea pig cost you.
One-Time Guinea Pig Expenses
As mentioned before, $10 to $40 per guinea pig. If you plan on getting one guinea pig, this is the cost you have to expect.
Guinea Pig Enclosure
A decent guinea pig cage will cost you anywhere from $50 to $80. For a single guinea pig, you might even get cheaper cages but for two guinea pigs, you can expect a price of nearly $80. The recommended size for two guinea pigs is 7.5 square feet but we recommend going for a minimum of 10.5 square feet cage. This will ensure that your pigs aren’t confined and that every pig has its own space.
An empty cage serves no purpose, so you’ll have to buy the necessary accessories. This includes a 16-ounce water bottle, costing around $5 to $10, pet food bowl, costing around $6 to $10, hay rack, costing around $5 to $12, hideaway house, costing around $6 to $15, and some chew toys, costing around $2 to $5 each. For these accessories, we’re looking at a total price of $24 to $52, as a rough approximation.
Frequent Guinea Pig Expenses
Guinea Pig Food
Guinea pig food is going to cost you different, depending on the type of food you’re focused on. But, for the sake of the simplicity, let’s approximate the cost at $10 to $20 per 40-ounce bag. The food that you’re going to include is Timothy hay, oat grass, and orchard grass. However, you can also include some fresh vegetables and fruit.
Needless to say, a guinea pig should have unlimited access to Timothy hay and pellet food, so buying both is necessary. If you choose to include some food on your own, you can also count in that, and then you will get the total bill.7
When it comes to bedding, we recommend buying a 60-liter package, which will last 3 to 4 changes, depending on the size of the cage. Change the bedding every 3 to 4 days, and you get to spend around $20 for a 60-liter package of bedding. This means that $20 will be enough for around 15 days for a single pig and $40 for a whole month for two pigs. Just stay away from cedar bedding, as it can be very toxic to guinea pigs and other small animals. Also, there are some other bedding options that are even better and cheaper.
Finally, we have vet visits, which will need to occur every year. The cost of the vet visit can vary depending on your geographical location. On average, we can say that a routine visit can cost around $50 for a single pig. When your pig gets sick, the price will INCREASE, as exotic animals aren’t treated like dogs or cats. How many times your guinea pig will get sick, we can’t tell, so vet visits can be more expensive than $50.
In Summary, Are Guinea Pigs Cheap Pets to Own?
Finally, let’s put all this information into perspective.
If we do the calculations, approximately, it will cost $200 or more to set up your guinea pig habitat and around $40 a month for bedding, food, and potential vet bills.
When compared to bigger pets, guinea pigs are extremely cheap and on top of that, they are equally entertaining and friendly. Some researchers say that guinea pig can help in various mental conditions, especially in kids.
Remember to never be modest when it comes to your guinea pigs. Don’t try to save money on necessities such as bedding, food, and vet bills. If you decide to buy a guinea pig, be sure to provide it a big space to live, a lot of hay, and take it to the vet at least once a year. If you need more info about which food, bedding or enclosure to buy, we have a plethora of articles on these topics, so feel free to look around.
Until then, take care of your guinea pigs. They’re going to make the effort worth it with unconditional love and indefinite source of entertainment.