|It is possible to get guinea pigs from breeders, rescue centres and pet shops.|
Reputable breeders are the best place to purchase a guinea pig from as they usually show their guinea pigs and aim to produce a good litter of healthy youngsters. A good, healthy boar and sow will have been used and the breeding process carefully planned. Breeders will handle the young guinea pigs regularly so they are confident when being handled and it will be possible to see the parents of the young guinea pigs and how they interact with people and each other.
You can locate a breeder by getting in touch with your local guinea pig club or by finding an advert in a newspaper or guinea pig magazine.
Unfortunately a lot of guinea pigs end up in rescue centres through no fault of their own, so they are a good place to go to find a new guinea pig.
The rescue centre will do an assessment of the guinea pig upon arrival and they will be treated for any illness they may have. They will also be handled by the rescue centre staff to assess their suitability as a pet.
Depending on the rescue centre, you may have to fill in some forms and/or have an interview to assess your suitability as a guinea pig owner because their main interest is in placing a guinea pig with a suitable owner that is going to care for him correctly.
Pet shops often sell guinea pigs and are usually where people go to buy them. Pets shops mainly acquire guinea pigs from commercial breeders and upon arrival at the pet shop the young guinea pigs will have had little handling and nothing will be known about their parents etc.
If you are buying a guinea pig from a pet shop you need to ensure that boars and sows are kept separately, they are kept in clean conditions, they are well fed, their cage is not over crowded and that the guinea pigs look healthy.
If you are in any doubt about the conditions the guinea pigs are kept in or their health, it is best to look elsewhere as you could end up with a guinea pig that has health problems, is pregnant and/or extra vet expenses.