Guinea pigs are a very popular pet; they’re small, fluffy, cute, and sweet. If you’re interested in getting one, you’re might be wondering – are guinea pigs expensive to take care of?
Despite their size, guinea pigs need a decent amount of care. When you take all of their needs into account, they have an average monthly cost of $40-$60.
Let’s break down exactly what those needs are and how they compare to the costs of owning other pets.
Are Guinea Pigs Expensive To Take Care Of?
Guinea pigs have an average monthly cost of $40-$60 and an average annual cost of roughly $500-$700. They also tend to live for around 4-8 years, adding up to an overall lifetime cost of $2000-$5000.
Of course, this can vary from pig to pig and depends on their individual needs. Some owners are able to spend less, and some like to spend even more!
Let’s take a look at the most common costs guinea pig owners will incur!
The average guinea pig costs between $10-$40 to buy. Of course, they can be more expensive depending on the breeder, but they’re typically pretty cheap pets to purchase.
However, most people will need to buy at least two guinea pigs, as these pets do better in pairs and not alone.
You’ll also need to buy a cage, some bedding, shelter, food, food bowls, a water bottle, an exercise run, tunnels, toys, a brush for grooming, and a carry case for vet visits and travel.
These initial costs can add up to anywhere between $350-600 dollars, depending on the quality of the products you’re willing to buy.
Although not necessary, if you want to get insurance on your guinea pig it’ll cost $20 a month on average.
After these initial costs, you will then need to stock up on bedding, food, and hay on a regular basis.
Owners should change their guinea pig’s bedding and clean out their cage regularly to keep it clean. How often you do it is up to you and may depend on how many pigs you have and how dirty the cage gets.
Most guinea pig owners change their bedding between 1 and 3 times a week. If you have two or more guinea pigs you will need to change the crate bedding more often then if you just have one.
However often you do it, guinea pig bedding is generally pretty inexpensive to buy.
Whether you choose to feed your guinea pig an all-natural diet or a commercial diet, food is another ongoing cost for pig owners. There’s not a massive difference in cost between diets, as they don’t eat huge amounts.
However, owners looking to feed their pigs a natural diet should do their research to ensure that they feed their pigs the right fresh vegetables in the right quantities.
On the flip side, if you choose to feed your pig a commercial diet, make sure you buy high-quality food that provides all of the essential nutrients that they need.
Guinea pigs also need continuous access to hay to help them digest their food and stop their teeth from growing too long. Thankfully, it’s not that expensive, because hay is really, really important aspect of raising a healthy guinea pig.
Like most pets, guinea pigs need to attend annual vet check-ups to monitor their health. The average vet visit costs around $50 for pigs, but medical costs will vary based on their healthcare needs.
Many owners also like to buy/replace enrichment products for their pigs throughout the year, such as toys, tunnels, rocks, and other cage accessories.
How Expensive Are Guinea Pigs In Comparison To Other Pets?
In comparison to other rodents like rabbits and hamsters, there isn’t a significant difference between their average annual costs.
In comparison to dogs, however, guinea pigs are far less expensive, with the average dog costing $1500 – $2,110 per year.
Cats are also more expensive than guinea pigs, costing around $800 per year.
Birds and fish average around $500 per year, and snakes can range from between $400 – $1,500, depending on the species.
Many people see guinea pigs as good starter pets, especially for children. However, they do require a lot of maintenance – and they’re more costly than they look!
That said, they are one of the less expensive pets to own, but as with any pet, you should only commit to owning a guinea pig if you can put in the time, love, and money.
They may be small, but they deserve just as much care as a dog or a cat.