Choosing a guinea pig

When you buy a new guinea pig there are a few factors to consider to ensure that being a guinea pig owner is fun and hassle-free, and that your guinea pig is healthy and happy. This is our guide on choosing a guinea pig to help you along the way.

Which sex guinea pig should I choose?

To ensure that you don't end up with lots of little piggies, be sure that you know the sex of the guinea pig that you are buying. If you are buying more than one guinea pig, you should choose two of the same sex.

We recommend that you choose your new guinea pigs from a well known breeder or keeper who can determine their sex accurately.

How many guinea pigs should I buy?

Guinea pigs are pack animals which means they just love the companionship with each other. For this reason you should not consider choosing just one guinea pig (unless you already have pigs at home!)

Male guinea pigs (or boars) are famous for not getting on too well together if there's too many of them. The most male guinea pigs you should choose to live together is two. However female guinea pigs, or sows, are better at getting along together. So long as you have enough room, sows will get on fine in larger groups.

Which guinea pigs do I choose?!

Unlike bouncy puppies who will come running up to you at the first opportunity, guinea pigs are quite the opposite. Being nervous little creatures, guinea pigs are likely to run away from you at first. Don't worry about this! In fact it's a good sign as it shows they have the lungs and legs are in tip-top condition.

Choose a healthy cavy

A couple of quick checks can be made to ensure any potential new guinea pig is in good general health. Inspect their fur gently with a finger or two. Make sure you can't see or find and excessive dirt, bald spots or problem areas. Also double check that the guinea pig's nose is dry, it's eyes are nice and bright, and that they can scurry around with speed and purpose! These quick tips will help ensure you choose a healthy guinea pig.