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Where to Adopt a Guinea Pig

Updated on September 21, 2010

Where to Adopt a Guinea Pig

Hello and welcome! This lens is all about the adoption process for bringing a new guinea pig into your home, and where you should look to find a guinea pig to adopt. This is just one in a series of lenses about proper guinea pig care, so feel free to check out the other pages and become a cavy expert!

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Adoption is the Option!

Why you should adopt instead of buy.

Finding your furry friend at a local animal shelter is the best way to bring a guinea pig into your life. Depending on where you live, you may not have an animal shelter that houses guinea pigs near you, but if you do, be sure to look there first! Guinea pigs, like bunnies and cats and dogs, are in abundance and there are many homeless guinea pigs just longing for a permanent family.

Shelters will have friendly volunteer staff who will take the time to give you some literature to read, forms to sign to make sure you're able to take care of your pet, and can be a continual resource if you have questions after you've adopted, or if you just want to send in a picture of your piggie in his or her new happy home!

Shelters may ask for verification of your residence by bringing a copy of a bill or credit card statement. They may also ask for the contact information for your landlord if you are renting, to verify that you're allowed to bring a guinea pig into your home without getting in trouble or being forced to give him or her away or move.

Getting a Guinea Pig at a Pet Store

Why Pet Stores can be Iffy

If you don't have any shelters near your home, or you have visited several and haven't found the guinea pig for you, you may want to look at a pet store. I generally would not recommend pet stores, and many other cavy parents would say the same. The reasoning behind this is that if you're 'buying' a guinea pig instead of adopting, you're putting your money toward a business of animal commerce.

Beyond the fact that animals shouldn't be considered as objects to buy and sell, there is also the fact that if you purchase a guinea pig from a store, that guinea pig will be immediately replaced with another guinea pig, and the shelter guinea pigs will still be waiting for homes.

It would be hypocritical of me to say never buy from a pet store, however, because my second guinea pig, Max, came from such a place. I picked him up and he looked at me as if to say, "PLEASE get me out of here!!", and that was the end of that. I suppose the best thing to do is to avoid looking in the first place so you don't get attached, but I like to think that regardless of where a guinea pig is, if you buy or adopt, you are rescuing a guinea pig and taking him or her to a better place.

I've been to pet stores that didn't have hay and didn't even mention that hay was necessary! I was tempted to scoop all the piggies up and yell at the manager! Some pet stores house males and females together, which is a big no-no. So be aware that if you get a female, she may be pregnant, and you will need to know how to prepare and deal with that.

Sometimes the urge to rescue a guinea pig from a bad environment can take over the logic to leave them there, and in my opinion, I think that's okay. I don't like the idea that it's furthering the business and creating bad homes for new guinea pigs, but at the same time, each guinea pig is unique and wonderful and deserves a happy place to call home, just as people do. If you feel a connection with one, no matter where you find it, that's what's important.

Prepare For Your Guinea Pig's Arrival

If you do decide to adopt a guinea pig (or two, or three, or more!), be sure you're prepared to house them. You'll need things like bedding, a hideaway house or nook to seek protected shelter, food bowls, water bottles, and more.

Adopting a Guinea Pig from a Guinea Pig Breeder

Breeders aren't just for dogs anymore!

If you know someone who has guinea pigs that that are breeding, or even if you have a friend who has a pregnant guinea pig, you may want to adopt a guinea piglet this way. As with dogs or cats, be careful to find a breeder that's ethical and that truly cares for their guinea pigs. Some people decide to show their guinea pigs, so they will often choose this option to get a 'purebred'.

This also gives you the chance to get acquainted with the parents of the litter to see what their temperament is like, which will give you an idea of what their babies will be like. Of course, all guinea pigs require extensive 'socialization', meaning interaction and development of trust with humans, so this is no replacement for that, but you may have an easier time with that process if you know your guinea pig has been born from a pair of docile, friendly, healthy piggies.

Online Guinea Pig Adoption Resources

Here are some great places to look when in the process of finding a guinea pig to bring home. Websites like Petfinder make it really easy to see what guinea pigs are available near you and see their pictures and everything!

I have not included area-specific sites, since there are seemingly countless guinea pig rescue sites depending on location. A quick Google search will help you with that.

Other Lenses in the Guinea Pig Care 101 Series

Have a look at the other lenses in this series to help you become an expert on cavy care!

Did you enjoy this lens? Was it helpful for you? Do you have some other feedback you'd like to share? Please do so! Also, please rate this lens on the 'star bar' located under the title to let others know you've found it valuable.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Murphypig: me to

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i was wondering im getting two guinea pigs but there are four where im getting them soon but i can decide see they are in twos i like one from each pair but they have never been together i dont if i should get one from each or just get the two together please help

    • profilesincolor profile image

      profilesincolor 6 years ago

      Nice Lens! Really appreciate the emphasis on adoption! :-)

    • profile image

      philipbonde 6 years ago

      i like the way lens presented ...i understand the instructions how to adopt guinea pig cages..it was helpful for all guinea lovers

    • profile image

      huvalbd 6 years ago

      We were adopted by our first guinea pig instead of the other way around. Someone had dumped her and she decided who she wanted to rescue her from the poison ivy. (Her buddy came from a pet store as a baby--all alone with no hay, no hidey, no water bottle small enough for her to drink from... and lots of lice.) I am very glad to see you advising people about what their guinea pigs need. We didn't have a clue and had to learn in a hurry.

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      Murphypig 6 years ago

      I can only agree, that adoption is much better then a pet store. My sister got a piggie from a pet store and she turned out to be pregnant. The babies in the store are ofen too young to be sold as well. Last month I got a friend for my piggie from a privat rescue. This lady was very knowledable and helpful.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I got my first guinea pig from a pet store when I was 6, it was a really really good one though and they loved animals so I didn't really think anything of it when I decided to get some now that I'm all grown up :/ I would most certainly get a "purebred" or adopt but no one breeds here and the shelter in town that has them leaves them outside, doesn't separate and has none to friendly humans either who charge almost $100. Sadly I will be getting my guineas from Petco on Friday, but to tell you the truth, I agree with that whole "just get them out if you must" thing. :) thank you for your article I found it very useful.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you for taking the time to write this wonderful lens. I live with seven rescue/abandon rabbits and I highly recommend adopting a needy pet. There's so many loving animals out there just needing a forever home.

    • ChemKnitsBlog2 profile image

      ChemKnitsBlog2 6 years ago

      I got a guinea pig a local shelter, and she lived 7 years. I had 3 from pet stores, and the longest any of them lived was 3 years. (one lived 1 year, the other 6 months.)

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      scar4 6 years ago

      Guinea pig is cute and great companion.

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 6 years ago from Chicago area

      I didn't even know there were guinea pig breeders. Cool! Nice work here.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      It's a shame I have to buy my Guinea Pig from a pet store I wanted to adopt one however because of where I live there is no way I'd be able to. However I as well like to think of it as saving a cavy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I LOVE guinea pigs!!! im getting ready to get one!!! :) <3

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: if you really want one. i got 2 FREE ones.

      NO CHARGE AT ALL.

      just email me at xwtfBIMx@hotmail.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: i have 2 FREE guinea pigs if your intrested, email me if you want them.

      xwtfBIMx@hotmail.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: if anyone is intrested in FREE guinea pigs. please email me at xwtfBIMx@hotmail.com

      *NOTE: THIS IS NOT A SCAM. im VERY serious. if you want a guinea pig, i have two of them. or if you have MSN. just add me and talk to me on there. im trying to find the best home for my guinea pigs.

    • profile image

      GuineaPigGuide 7 years ago

      I adore Guinea Pigs. They are so easy to love. This is a super lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i think guinea pigs are so sweet

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i realy want a guinea pig but my mum is alurgic but she said we could get rabbits but when i was watching creature features and heard that only one guinea pig got adopted i felt realy upset and i want to adopt one

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      i think that guinea pigs are the cutest things in the world!But my mom wont let me have one.):

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      go to http://www.petsmart.com/family/index.jsp?categoryI.../Pet Type 1/Guinea Pig&fbc=1&fbn=Pet Type 1|Guinea Pig

      YOU WILL GET EVERY THING YOU NEED AND HOW TO ADOPT A GUINEA PIG

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      aojaswdoiwqjodjwqo

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      AHHHH!!!! i want one more than EVVEERRRR!!!!! sooo cute~!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      To all those in North Carolina looking for a guine pig for a pet...contact Robin Blakely at Robin@buffalocreekfarmNC.com...I just got my four girls from her, and what beautiful, healthy pigs they are! She even has himilayans, which are very hard to find!! I hope this helps you out, NC, it took me forever to find Robin!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      we love our guinea hes beautiful and cute i would never sale him hes furry i want amate

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I dont know were to adopt a guinea pig because they are hard to find on google.ca

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I love my guinea pig but she is soooooooooooo LAZY. If i set her down on the grown to run around all she does is sit there! WHAT DO I DO?

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      do you know where to find an abisinean guineapig

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      hi people i recently had to daygus and my old cat killed them so i always wanted a guinea pig so for about a month now ive been searrching for one and i saw this website and so far nothing how do i get a guinea pig?

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      hi people i recently had to daygus and my old cat killed them so i always wanted a guinea pig so for about a month now ive been searrching for one and i saw this website and so far nothing how do i get a guinea pig?

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i only have one guine pig and he wont eat and is very tempted to run away from my hand and me, he also hates uncoverd open areas what to do?

    • profile image

      brtswim96 8 years ago

      Hi! i'm new to squidoo and i love it! i have two guinea pigs and they are CUTE! my friend has four. i used to have one but one of her's suprisingly became pregnant and had four babies. i decided to have one. they are oh so cute!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Hi from a new piggy owner. I rescued my pet from a shop...someone brought him in, he was $50 for cage and all accessories.POOR BABY! He's very grumpy but we love him and understand him. As a first time owner loved the lens ...it basically repeated other good info i had gotten from books and Vets.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Hi from a new piggy owner. I rescued my pet from a shop...someone brought him in, he was $50 for cage and all accessories.POOR BABY! He's very grumpy but we love him and understand him. As a first time owner loved the lens ...it basically repeated other good info i had gotten from books and Vets.

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 9 years ago from USA

      Hi from a fellow Adopt A Pet group member! It warms my heart to see us band together to earn money for and raise awareness for animals. Nice lens!