Why You Shouldn’t Purchase A Guinea Pig At A Pet Store

guinea pig photo
Photo by petercooperuk

This is a big mistakes and unfortunately happens far too frequently. You visit a pet store and you instantly fall in love with a certain piggy. Then you see there are four more guinea pigs crammed in with him in a small aquarium. Initially you think if you purchase the special guinea pig that you will be rescuing him, and so it is really a good thing to buy your guinea pig from a pet store. However, the best thing that you can actually do is to not support a pet store so it won’t exist some day and other animal will not be treated the same way, especially when thousands of homeless guinea pigs are in shelters who need homes.

Supporting a pet store where the animals are mistreated is the perfect example of a common but easily avoidable mistake that many new pet owners make. The “cages” that are used tend to be aquariums that aren’t even large enough for one guinea pig, but frequently house three or even more at once. Those practices have been a huge problem for many years and is no secret.

If you are potentially interested in having a guinea pig as a pet, the best thing for you to do is adopt one. It is guaranteed that a rescue that specifically handles small pets such as guinea pigs is familiar with how to care for them properly more than pets stores ever will. Guinea pigs coming from pet stores are not as well cared for, and most likely are in a poorer state of health. You can also ask your local rescue any questions you might have about your new pet, whereas the 17-year-old clerk work at a pet store may not have answers to your concerns.

Another benefit to adopting is that it is easy to find cage mates. That eliminates the problem of having to introduce a new pig to the cage. The guinea pigs that I have are brothers. They have always been cage mates their entire lives, and I got a two-for-one special since the woman who had rescued them understood how important it is to keep cage mates together. Also, her husband is a veterinarian, so I knew these two guinea pigs would be very healthy when I adopted them. Over the past three years, we have stayed in touch and every once in a while she asks me how they are doing. This type of care and concern is something you won’t find in a pet store.

However, what if you would like to have a young guinea pig? That isn’t something you need to worry about, since there are thousands of guinea pigs who are waiting for homes at rescues and shelters of all different ages. Until you actually meet them you shouldn’t rule out a mature guinea pig. But also, you are mistaken if you think you can only yet young guineas from a pet store.

2 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Purchase A Guinea Pig At A Pet Store

  1. Lyssa May 25, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Me and my mom bought 2 from a pet store. We had them apart for a week due to cleaning. We put them back together (they were in the some cage at the pet store and at our house) and they fought like enemies and my moms(it is a skinny pig or hairless) got badly hurt. We are afraid to put them together but we would like to. If you have any tips or tricks to keep them not fighting in the same cage that would help a lot . Thanks Lyssa

  2. The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary May 25, 2017 at 7:50 am

    You do not say, but I imagine you are talking about two males. With piggies, their is a pecking order, one has to be the boss. This happens with females, buy they tend to work out who is who more peacefully. One now thinks that the cage is his, and so by placing another in it, this may also be a territory fight.

    The way around this can take anything from a day to a few weeks. First of all, do not put them in the same cage till they are both getting on. Also, do not worry about bites, piggies will get these injuries throughout there lives, as they argue about one thing or another. You need to introduce them slowly.

    First of all, you and mom sit with them on the floor, and put favourites foods in front of each, about 1 foot apart to begin with. Get them used to eating together. Any sign of aggression, keep them from getting to each, and get them back interested in the food. Get them used to each other. As they become more comfortable with each, you can move them together. It may take a few eating sessions.

    However, at some point they will fight to sort out who is boss. So, make sure they have plenty of space to run, but in an environment that you can quickly get them. If they fight, throw a blanket over the aggressor, and pick up the piggy. Let it calm down, then put it back down again. Keep repeating. If they are bitching with each other, but not drawing blood, let them get on with it. But be prepared to jump in.

    Another technique, that can work more quickly, is to still both piggies in water, that means bathing them together. They will forget they hate each other, and group together as the fear of the water is more. Bathe them for 15 minutes together. Then dry them together. Then go for the eating technique mentioned above. It may mean bathing them twice a day, just with water, shampoo is not required, but this method has a high success rate.

    My last pair of fighting piggies took a month to calm down, but then they got on great.

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