the real and shocking cost of owning guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are often bought as first pets for kids because people think they’re low maintenance and easy to care for, as well as cheap pets. Any piggy parent can tell you otherwise! Guinea pigs need just as much care, if not more, than dogs or cats. They’re not only a personal long-term commitment, but a financial one as well. Guinea pigs can live for 8 years or longer, so it’s important to decide if you can commit to caring for them their entire lives.

To help you make the decision if guinea pigs are, financially, the right pet for you, we’ve put together a breakdown of costs you should plan for when getting two guinea pigs. Remember, piggies are extremely social animals and should never live the single guinea pig life!

Please note that this is a general guide based on an average budget. Some items can vary in price, depending on where you live and shop.

Two guinea pigs sat on a pile of money with money raining down on them

The cost of guinea pigs and their setup: $498 to $826

To start off, you’ll need to get a few things to set up a lovely home for your furry friends. First the piggies, but also their home and a long list of accessories and equipment. All together, the cost of guinea pigs and their first setup sits at around $498 to $826 - a real financial investment! You can save by buying pig-quipment second hand, but be sure to check everything is in good quality and thoroughly cleaned before you take it to your pets.

If you’re adopting your piggies from a rescue (yay - this also saves you money for the cost of each guinea pig!) or going to a reputable breeder, they may ask to see your setup before you can take the floofs home. Just like you, they want to make sure the pigs are going to the best home and that the new piggy parents are ready to deal with the cost of a guinea pig.

The cost of guinea pig and their set up pie chart

How much do guinea pigs usually cost? Between $0 to $100 FOR TWO Floofs

Getting the pigs themselves comes with a cost of a guinea pig (times two for a duo)! The small furries have to live in pairs or herds because they’re social animals, so it’s best to avoid anyone looking to sell just a single pig (unless you’re a piggy bonding expert).

Whether you go through a rescue, shelter, or a breeder, there’s usually a cost involved to make sure the floofers go to a home that’s ready for the financial commitment of the cute companions. From piggies you find online for free to rare breeds of guinea pigs, there’s a huge range in the cost of guinea pigs. It’s up to the piggy parents to decide what they’re after.

Free guinea pigs

The cheapest way to get guineas is by adopting them for free, of course. Sometimes, piggy parents can no longer care for their little critters, so they offer their pets for free to a good home. If you come across some priceless yet free piggies, make sure to ask questions about

  • Why they’re being rehomed
  • Why they’re free
  • If they’re sociable and have been handled
  • If they have a medical history

It’s better to check these things before you fall in love with the piggies’ adorable faces.

Please note: if you need to make the sad decision to rehome your own pigs, it’s always best to ask for an adoption fee. You wouldn’t want the furry friends to end up in the wrong hands just because they were free.

Rescue Guinea Pigs - Adoption fee: $20 to $40 per pig

Have you decided to adopt, instead of shop? Yay - what a lovely decision! Most animal shelters are overrun with small furries, including guinea pigs, so by adopting your floofs, you’re giving piggies in need a good home and making room for more floofers in need. Shelters are also great at bonding piggies, so they can help you

In most cases, the rescue asks for an adoption fee to cover the pigs’ food and care while they are with them. The cost of a guinea pig can be around $20 to $40 per pig - a bargain for a companion, don’t you think?

These pigs come from all backgrounds and circumstances, and you can get to know them at the shelter before taking them home - like a piggy meet and greet! The shelter helps you find your perfect piggy match, so you and your new friends can start your journey together on a high.   

Breeder Guinea Pigs - Fee $25 to $50 for one (or much higher!)

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to the question, ‘How much do guinea pigs usually cost?’. The cost of a guinea pig from a breeder is around $25 to $50 on average. But how much you really pay depends on the breed you select, and sometimes also on your location. If you’re looking for pig breeds that are rare in your local area, the prices go up sky high.

The cost of a guinea pig can vary by breed as you can see here:

  • The long-haired Alpaca guinea pig, a favorite with guinea pig lovers: ~$45
  • The Abyssinian guinea pig with floofy hair and lots of sass: ~$50
  • The American guinea pig, the most common short-haired breed: ~$25
  • The Peruvian guinea pig with long, luscious locks: ~$40
an illustration of an american and peruvian guinea pig next to each over

How much do guinea pig cages cost? $90 to $292

First things first: before you even get your piggies, you’ll need the perfect piggy palace for them. The best option are C&C cages because they offer your pigs the space they need to be happy and healthy..

But not only that - they’re also the best option when it comes to the space-price ratio. Rather than buying a small cage from a pet store and then needing to upgrade when your pigs are bigger, you can opt for the right cage straight away.

If you get a pair of female guinea pigs, a 4x2 C&C cage would be the minimum size recommended, starting at $90 at Kavee. For a pair of male guinea pigs, a 5x2 C&C cage is a better choice, starting at $95. You can then add a loft and ramp, a stand, and lots of lovely accessories to it.

If you’re considering housing your piggies outdoors all year round, you’d be looking at buying a hutch and a safe run. In most areas of the world, it’s not the best idea to keep your pigs outside all the time, because of the temperature and also predators. A cozy C&C indoor cage keeps your pigs snug as a bug in every season.

The cost of a guinea pig cage


The best bedding for your piggies are fleece liners. They’re easy to clean in the washing machine, reusable and eco-friendly, and are soft under piggy paws. Plus, you don’t have to worry about dust causing respiratory problems, like other types of bedding do. An all-round winner for your pigs!

Kavee’s plush and lush fleece liners fit neatly inside our C&C cages, so if you’re starting off with two fleece liners for your 4x2 cage (so you can use one while the other one’s being washed), you’d be looking at $96. This can seem like a big investment at the start, but you’ll actually save lots of money compared to bags of wood shavings and other bedding.

The fleece liners are sturdy and reusable, so as soon as they’re washed and dried, you can pop them straight back into your piggy palace.

an illustration of kavee c cages fleece liners in daisy spots and rainbow designsCOSTS OF GUINEA PIG ACCESSORIES : $323 to $328

If these floofs are your first piggies, you’ll need lots of accessories for their cage. Guinea pigs need space in their cage to run, good bedding, and also lots of entertainment and comfy hiding spots.

As a starter kit, you’ll want to get these essentials before you pick up your pigs:

A list of guinea pig item pricings

These accessories help you make sure your piggies have access to fresh water and food at all times. They’re also important for foraging fun and enrichment to keep your piggies busy, and plenty of grooming tools that keep your pigs looking their best. A weekly health check is key to healthy guinea pigs, so the brush, scales, and nail trimmers are crucial to staying on top of your pets’ wellbeing. And if you want to spend quality time with your special companions without being interrupted by their non-stop bathroom breaks, the Potty-proof Pads are essential.

The initial cost of guinea pigs probably seems pretty high, but by investing in the right equipment from the beginning, you’re saving lots of money in the long run and also kicking off your relationship with your pets with a great start.

How much do guinea pigs cost a year? ~$1,225

Once the floofy friends are set up in a nice cage with everything they need, it’s time for piggy parents to think about the upkeep cost of a guinea pig. The small furries are known for their big appetites, so the food bill - apart from emergency vet bills - is the highest cost of guinea pigs to plan for.

Let’s find out how much the walking stomachs cost their cavy carers in a year!

The yearly cost of owning a guinea pig in a bar chart

How much does a guinea pig’s food cost? ~$840 per year

Yep, the small animals have big appetites. But what does this mean, really? A piggy’s diet should consist of a large pile of hay in their habitat, a small teacup of veggies per pig per day, a portion of pellets, and fresh, clean water. But not all guinea pig food is equal!

The right hay makes a big difference for your guinea pigs’ overall health, including their teeth, and Timothy hay is the best option for piggies. A bit of meadow and oat hay is also good for them. When it comes to veggies, it’s all about variety. The only vegetable that’s good for our floofy friends every day is bell pepper because of its vitamin C. For anything else, it’s best to let them taste the rainbow and change up their diet every day.

Piggy pellets, in particular, vary in their quality. Many brands have artificial coloring and grains or cereal in them that could harm your cute cavies. It’s also a good idea to avoid soy, corn and wheat, and GMO in your pets’ diet. Piggy parents may end up spending a little more on their piggies’ food, but it’ll save them a lot of trouble - and money - with vet bills later on.

Here’s an idea of what a piggy diet could cost for two pigs:

A list containing the price of foods for your guinea pig


Your choice of bedding makes a big difference to the annual cost of guinea pig care. Surprisingly, the higher upfront cost of fleece liners pays off really quickly because you can reuse them as many times as you like. By comparison, the annual cost for guinea pig single-use bedding is much higher. Here’s a breakdown of the cost:

  • Fleece liners - $85 to $106
  • Wood shavings ~$225.34
  • Paper litter ~$557.47
  • Litter pellets ~$1189.52

Even the cheapest type of bedding adds over $100 to the annual cost of guinea pigs - plus, the reusable liners are much better for the environment and oh so soft under your piggies’ paws. Why not try fleece liners for your sweet floofs?

Two guinea pigs on a kavee daisy fleece liner showing the price range


We’d love for guinea pigs to always be happy and healthy. But sometimes, there’s no way around a visit to a cavy-savvy vet, and a routine check-up once a year helps piggy parents prevent very expensive emergency trips. How much veterinary care for your sweet floofs is depends on your location and your piggy’s health problem, so it can be anywhere between $100 to $5,000 (a scary number!).

With an annual check-up at your trusted vet, you can make sure your guinea pigs are keeping well while also making sure your vet knows your precious pets. Our furry friends are prey animals, so they hide illnesses for as long as piggily possible. By the time our untrained eyes spot something’s wrong, the pigs could already be very sick. A regular vet visit to monitor your pets’ wellbeing can help you spot any issues much sooner.

If you’re worried about the cost of guinea pig veterinary care, you can look into insuring your pets for around $10 to $20 a month. There are some good guinea pig insurances out there, though piggy parents should always triple-check the small print to see if common health issues, like dental problems, are covered under the policy. The other option is putting a little money into a piggy healthcare bank every month, so you’re prepared for any surprise vet trips.

The cost of guinea pig health procedures is on average:

  • Check-ups - $50 to $100
  • Insurance - $120 to $240 per year
  • Dental work ~$200+

Emergency treatment - $100 to $5,000

When it comes to your piggies’ health, you won’t want to save on the cost of a guinea pig’s healthcare. It’s best to have a plan in place for any surprise vet visits, especially when it comes to emergency care.

Happy guinea pig at vet

CONCLUSION : Guinea pigs will cost you between $1,700 and $2,000

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that our small pets definitely aren’t cheap. The cost of a guinea pig setup is high at around $500 to $800, and so is the upkeep cost per year at around $1200. Because guinea pigs can live for 5 to 7 years, and even longer, new piggy parents want to consider the financial commitment of these small pets carefully.

If you can commit to giving your pigs all they deserve, they’re adorable and rewarding pets!

an illustration highlighting the cost of owning two guinea pigs

FAKs - Frequently Asked Kavees about the Cost of Guinea Pigs

How much do guinea pigs cages cost?

Choosing the right cage for your furry friends makes all the difference to their quality of life. A good-quality C&C cage costs between $90 and $292 and is worth every penny!

How much do guinea pigs cost a year ?

For bedding, food, and healthcare, the annual cost for guinea pigs is around $1,200. Potential piggy parents should consider carefully whether this is a commitment they can make for their adorable friends.

How much is the guinea pig neuter cost ?

What the guinea pig neuter cost is really varies depending on your location. The average guinea pig neuter cost is between $120 and $200 per pig.

About the author

Fine Mayer

Fine is an ardent animal lover and particularly enjoys the company of her three guinea pigs, Tiberius, Ziri, and Henry. With more than 15 years of pigsperience, she knows the ins and outs of guinea pig care. Today, Fine lives in Glasgow, Scotland, with her three pigs and three noisy birds.

Guinea pig care

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