Finding guinea pigs for sale is a really exciting time no matter if it’s your first or tenth guinea pig! It can be really hard to know how to choose the right guinea pig for you. It’s essential you bring home a healthy guinea pig so knowing what to look for is vital! Follow our helpful guide to ensure you chose a healthy, happy guinea pig that’s best for you!
Find Out More:
- Know Guinea Pig Breeds
- Male VS Female Guinea Pigs
- How To Pick A Healthy Guinea Pig
- The Rule Of At Least Two
- Long Or Short-Haired Guinea Pigs?
Know Guinea Pig Breeds
Before you find some guinea pigs for sale it’s important to educate yourself a little about guinea pig breeds. Guinea pig breeds determine how much grooming your guinea pigs will require. According to The American Cavy Breeders Association, there are 13 official breeds of guinea pig, Here’s a quick round-up:
For more on Guinea Pig Breeds check out What breed is my guinea pig?
- American – Short fur length, smooth coat texture with no whirls or rosettes. Great for children.
- Abyssinian – Long fur length, textured coat with multiple rosettes. Commonly show guinea pigs that require a lot of grooming! A good quality brush set is essential.
- Peruvian – Long fur length, straight fur that is free from twirls and rosettes. The longest-haired of all guinea pigs! Expected to do lots of grooming so invest in a brush set.
- Silkie – long smooth fur that sweeps away from its head, no rosettes or twirls should be present. Another long-haired breed that requires frequent grooming
- Coronet – long smooth fur growing backwards over its body, it will have a crest on its head with a small centre. Another breed that requires a lot of brushing.
- Texel – curly and fluffy fur. Their fur can often get tangled and require brushing at least once a day!
- Teddy – teddy bear-type fur that is short and stands up on end. Requires minimal brushing!
- White-crested – Short, smooth fur, has a white rosette on its head. Requires minimal brushing also.
- Skinny Pig – These guinea pigs have no hair so do not require grooming! They do require additional care in other forms though such as extra protection from the cold.
Male VS Female Guinea Pigs
Another question to ask before you find guinea pigs for sale is gender. It’s completely up to you whether you chose a male (boar) or female (sow) guinea pig. They both make excellent pets however be sure to buy the same gender. Guinea pigs will breed as soon as they are able to and won’t stop even if it’s unhealthy or dangerous to do so.
Male Guinea Pigs As Pets
Boars are more territorial towards each other than females. They occasionally mark their territory which gives off an unpleasant fishy type odour. Removing this scent can often create a hierarchical battle but once a definite boss has been established, the scent can be removed
Male guinea pigs will continue to mark their territory throughout their lives by dragging their little bottoms across the cage! It’s adorable to watch and perfectly normal. It does mean they need their bottoms checked more often as they may pick up debris. Whilst this task isn’t the most pleasant, it can easily be part of your grooming routine and takes just a few minutes.
Boars also have what is known as boar glue (ejaculation) which is a hard and sticky subsistence. It commonly gets on the cage and even on their fur which must be cleaned (usually cut-off fur) regularly as it has an unpleasant odour to it. Purchasing specially designed fur scissors make this job fast and effective.
Boars are also described as cheeky and much more energetic than sows making them very entertaining! The boys also appear to love lap time much more than girls and I’ve known a few to fall asleep on friends’ laps whilst getting patted.
Female Guinea Pigs As Pets
Females (sows) live together happily and seem to have no issue with being introduced to each other even if living together for the first time. Sows are even more likely to continue to get along well into adulthood as well.
Additionally Sows generally smell a little better than boars since they don’t feel the need to mark their territory the way boars do continuously but they still need cleaning out regularly. Sows will still have hierarchy battles but they tend to be less severe and cool off quicker than boars. However, sows are known to squirt urine at each other during battle and even at their owners!
Whether you choose boars or sows they will have their own personalities and be inquisitive, cuddly and great friends to have.
How To Pick A Healthy Guinea Pig
No matter where you are purchasing your guinea pig from, it’s important to ensure you pick a healthy and well-cared-for pet.
The guinea pig should be slim, slender and lean. It shouldn’t have bones sticking out or carrying extra weight.
Watch how it walks! It should balance its weight equally on all four paws and walk easily without pain. Take notice of any limping or leg damage. The leg bone should be straight and free from bleeding or swelling.
The coat should be free of lumps, bumps and mattered fur. It should be shiny and silky with no bald patches. The guinea pig should look well-groomed and clean with no soiling or red skin near its bottom. Any debris near the backside of a guinea pig can be a sign of tummy issues such as diarrhoea or poor hygiene in the place you’re buying your pet from.
Have a good look at the guinea pig’s face, its eyes should be shiny and bright with no discharge or crusting. The eyes should be open and alert. Check over the guinea pig’s nose as it shouldn’t have any discharge or soreness around it. Both the ears and eyes should be clean and dry.
Ask to hold the guinea pig that you are considering buying. The guinea pig should make a quick run for it before being picked up by the storekeeper. This is a good sign and gives you a good chance to observe its breathing. It should be quiet and regular.
Lastly, whilst holding the guinea pig ask to feed it a treat. This is an excellent way of being able to check its teeth. The mouth area should be dry, free from scratches and any dribbling.
The Rule Of At Least Two
When you are purchasing guinea pigs for sale always buy at least two. Guinea pigs are extremely social creatures and require constant companionship. A lonely guinea pig can become lonely and depressed. This can result in illness and even be fatal. Always ensure you have at least two guinea pigs
Long Or Short-Haired Guinea Pigs?
Short-haired guinea pigs are easier to look after since they require minimal grooming (we groom our short-haired piggie a few times a week) and they are less likely to require a bath unless they get exceptionally dirty.
Long-haired guinea pigs need more care with daily grooming and frequent baths. Our long-haired guinea pig usually has a bath once a month unless she gets very dirty but her fur needs combing daily. She also needs the fur around her rear checked to ensure it is free from poo and urine.
Take Care Of Each Other
Remember that your responsibilities as a guinea pig owner don’t just end at picking the right guinea pig for you. There are a few essential items that are required for your guinea pig. Shop our guinea pig essentials!