Guinea Pigs/price


how much does a guinea pig cost at a animal rescue center?

Quite honestly Angie I can't tell you what the cost of a rescue animal is at any shelter. Each rescue center is free to charge whatever they deem appropriate.

If you're wanting to buy a pig at a rescue center you should be very careful about whether or not this 'rescue shelter' is indeed a licensed and controlled shelter that is regulated by the county in which is resides. The majority are not.

There are literally thousands of people who considered themselves a rescue, but who are, in the majority of cases, well meaning people whose hearts are in the right place, but have neither the physical nor financial means to provide what their animals need.  

Some of them are animal hoarders who believe in their hearts they are 'saving' their animals from bad situations, but in reality are putting the animals in worse conditions than they got them from in the first place.

I want to emphasize that these are not folks who are deliberately mistreating or jeopardizing the health and welfare of the animals. They are animal lovers who simply haven't the finances or ability to provide healthy environments for the pets they believe they are saving. The result is an animal that gets adopted by someone who unwittingly takes home a diseased or ill pet that may cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars trying to save its life.

My recommendation is that you spend some time examining and visiting a rescue to see how they care for these pets. There are a few simple rules to follow:

1. When you walk in is there an odor of dirty cages, cat boxes or ammonia? (Q. Why would the smell of a filthy cat box be important if you're wanting a guinea pig? A. If the household doesn't clean or change cat litter that's a good indicator of whether they treat the guinea pigs the same way.)

2. If you ask to see all the animals and where they are housed and you're told no, they will bring out a guinea pig or two for you to look at ---- they are hiding something and it's very likely a sign of overcrowded, filthy conditions. Just say thank you and walk away.

3. Your first impression is usually the best and most accurate. Someone may have two pet pigs that had a litter and simply need good homes. You can tell right away how they care for and love their pets. Those are babies that you can safely take home because you've seen where they were born and how they lived. You can feel safe they are healthy.

If you have a local animal shelter they will often have a few pigs for adoption. They will also be able to tell you on the phone what you can expect to pay for adopting a pig. They are a safer bet than going to a home that calls themselves a "rescue center."  

I don't mean to imply that there are not some wonderful people who are giving excellent care of animals that need homes. But again, use your nose and your eyes as an indication of what you are getting.

If you happen to hear of or know of a rabbit and cavy show that might be in your area there are always people there with young pigs to sell, and they're usually around $10. They are good and healthy babies, but just not show quality so they are sold very reasonably. Even a show quality pig will sell for anywhere between $20 and $40.

Sometimes you can look online for cavy breeders. Many of the exhibitors have web sites and list the stock they wish to sell. They also may have pictures for you to see.

I hope that gives you a bit of help in finding a place to purchase or adopt your pet.  

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Pat VanAllen


As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.


Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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