You may not have any specific breed in mind when first thinking about owning guinea pigs. On the other hand, you may have your heart set on a super-furry Peruvian, a smooth black and white Teddy, or a hairless Skinny Pig.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a guinea pig, but in terms of breed there's not much difference between the various guinea pigs. Unlike pets such as cats, dogs, finches, and parrots, there’s not much difference in temperament or requirements between the various breeds. So what it usually boils down to is which one you like the look of!
A Pied Abyssinian guinea pig – one of the many varieties available
Where To Buy Your Guinea Pigs
Next up, decide where you’re going to get your guinea pig from. Shelters, breeders, and pet stores come with their own pros and cons. Shelters provide a fantastic service for the thousands of unwanted pets they handle, and you can often find a guinea pig in need and give it a new home. However, if you’ve set your mind on a particular breed you may have to wait for the right guinea pig to come up for adoption.
You’re more likely to find the specific guinea pig breed you're looking for from a breeder, but you’ll need to do some checks beforehand. Make sure you’re purchasing a healthy animal from a breeder who puts the welfare of the animals first. There are a few immoral 'guinea pig farms' operating, and these churn out guinea pigs with no regard for the health and wellbeing of either mother or baby.
Good pet stores are another option. Again, you should make sure the staff know what they're doing, and check on their sources of animals. Those immoral pet farms may lurk in the background.
Make sure your guinea pig comes from a place that has the animals’ interests at heart
So, if you’re looking for a particular guinea pig breed, you can expect to put in a bit of time and money sourcing it. If you just want some guinea pigs, regardless of breed, you don’t have to wait at all. Arrange a visit to the local pet shelter or pet store and you’re likely to find the ideal pet.