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Average Cost to maintain Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs Playing
ExpensesCost
Guinea Pig$10 – $50
Food bowls$10
Guinea pig enclosure$50-500
Water bottle$10
Hayrack$20
Guinea pig hideaway$25
Straw or other bedding$10
Grass  hay$10
Guinea pig pellets$15
Fresh vegetables$5
Vitamin C supplement$7
Medical Expenses$100

Guinea Pigs may be cute, tiny pets, but owning them is costly. This is mainly because of the food we have to provide them. Many factors need to be considered before and after getting guinea pigs. Purchasing a guinea pig is not a major task and expense apart from there are many other one-time expenses.

Cost of Guinea Pigs

A guinea pig’s price heavily depends on the breed and where you buy from. Remember, buying only one guinea pig is against the law. Guinea pigs in the wild love to be in groups, so you should at least buy two.

Guinea pigs may be acquired from a pet store, a breeder, or through adoption. Pet stores don’t have a wide variety of breeds; they usually have American and Abyssinian breeds with different colors. They may cost you between $10-40 per guinea pig.

Adoption may be done at the shelter, and they may cost you between $25-40.
Guinea Pigs in shelters would have been spayed or neutered, and they are usually healthy.

Guinea Pigs Wandering 1

The final option is to buy guinea pigs from a breeder. The breeder has a wide variety of guinea pigs. If you want a specific breed of guinea pig, you can always approach the breeder – but the cost will be very high compared to the others, depending on the breed.

You may even acquire a guinea pig for free, but be more careful if anyone is giving away their pet guinea pigs. Some people sell their pets because they move away from their homes. Ask all of the questions you need as to why they are being given away and about the medical history of their guinea pigs, so you know what to expect when caring for them.

As a general rule, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to fully examine the guinea pig; spay or neuter them if necessary.

Hutch for Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are energetic pets, so they are active throughout the day. As such, you have to provide them a large enclosure. The minimum would be 10.5 square feet (30” x 50”) for two Guinea Pigs.

If the enclosure isn’t large, your guinea pig may get easily bored and/or stressed – this affects their well-being and lifespan. The happier they are, the smaller your medical expenses will be.

Guinea pigs may be kept either outdoor or in. Most owners prefer to keep them outside but do keep them in during the winter

The hutch’s cost depends on the size, and it may cost you between $50-500. Provide bedding ($10) and hay ($10). These should be present all the time, along with water in a water bottle ($10, and a separate food bowl ($10) to put pellets ($15).

Other than these, you have to give them separate hides ($25) so that they can hide in that spot when they feel threatened. The hay should not be scattered all the way inside the enclosure, so you should definitely have a hayrack ($20).

Food Cost for Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are herbivores, and they love grass hay. Grass hay should be available all the time in their enclosure. Apart from that, they eat all greens, vegetables, and fruits. You can also provide them pellets, but make sure those pellets are free of animal by-products and low in corn content.

Most of their pellets are rich in alfalfa content. We can give those pellets to young and gravid guinea pigs. Pellets which are rich in timothy are best suitable for adult Guinea pigs because they are low in calcium content. Use pellets only formulated for guinea pigs.

Fresh vegetables and fruits may cost you between $4-10 per week. They also require vitamin c supplements which may cost $7-10. Food alone, the yearly expense may come around $100-500.

Guinea Pig 1

Medical Expenses

To ensure your guinea pigs are healthy, do a full check-up at least once a year. This will also spare you big emergency expenses. I personally recommend a full check-up every six months. On average, check-ups cost $50-100 a year.

Guinea pigs don’t require any specific vaccination to be done every year. The main concern is their teeth. They tend to grow all the yea,r and guinea pigs may suffer from malocclusion.

If their teeth are not aligned, guinea pigs won’t be able to eat properly. Every time you take them to their veterinarian, make sure to get an update about their teeth growth. Treatment for their teeth alone may cost about $100-200 a year.

Apart from these expenses, treatments for your infected guinea pigs may cost up to $50. There might be some emergency expense; in that case, I would recommend you to at least set aside $400 a year.

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is not a necessary cost, but you can cover the medical expenses and any theft situations or death of your pet. This kind of insurance will help you when you have unexpected medical expenses. We can’t determine the cost of it because different insurers offer different amounts. You can expect an average cost of about $200-300.

Final Thoughts

When you calculate all the required items – from the initial cost upon the purchase of the guinea pig to medical expenses – it could cost you around $800 a year.

The food and the bedding take up most of the expenses since they are repetitive ones. There are several ways to cut down on a few costs, and you will develop the knack of saving the maintenance cost after one or two years of petting one.