A Guide to Choosing a Healthy Guinea Pig

Close-Up Of Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are wonderful pets. They're adorable fluffy balls of fur that are entertaining to watch and care for. There are a few things to look for when picking a to adopt in order to establish if the animal is healthy.

Good Physical Attributes

Look at the guinea pig's overall body condition. A guinea pig should be , with no swelling, lumps, or bumps.

The coat of the guinea pig should be well-kept (full, fluffy, and smooth), with no bare areas. Avoid guinea pigs with bald spots or red skin areas. Check for soiling around the behind, which might suggest an issue with diarrhea.

The eyes, nose, and ears should be clean and free from discharge. Check the fur around the eyes and nose for signs of wetness, staining, or crusts.

Try to get a look at the teeth as well. They should not be overgrown and should be well-aligned. Also, check for wet or matted fur on the chin.

Observe the guinea pig's breathing. It should be quiet and not labored, with no wheezing, clicking, or gurgling noises.


Guinea pigs should have a vibrant, inquisitive disposition and should never be sedentary. You want a guinea pig that is active and alert. Take as much time as you need to observe the guinea pig's movements. There should be no evidence of lameness, stiffness, or unwillingness to move.

Examine the guinea pig's reactions to people. Many people are naturally wary of strangers, which is reasonable at a pet store, breeder, or animal shelter. Ideally, choose a guinea pig that is peaceful when approached and doesn't mind being touched.

Take a look around the guinea pig's environment. The cage should be kept clean, with enough of fresh food and water, and it should not be overcrowded. Guinea pigs that are reared in decent circumstances are less stressed and have less illness exposure.

Guinea Pigs to Pass on Bringing Home

If any of the in the same cage, shelter, breeder, or store appear to be sick, avoid adopting from that location. If your guinea pig has a contagious sickness, you might be in for a lot of grief.

Learn how to tell the difference between male and female guinea pigs. Make sure the males and females are kept separate wherever you purchase your guinea pig. If the establishment does not separate them or is dubious about the guinea pigs' gender, leave. It is preferable to avoid a surprise litter when you get home.

Get a piglet that is at least six weeks old. Female piglets should be kept with their mothers until they reach the age of four weeks. To ensure the piglet can flourish on its own, add a few weeks following mother separation.

Where to Get Your Guinea Pig

Look for a or a local guinea pig rescue before going to a retailer or a breeder. Many guinea pigs are looking for a second shot at a permanent home. These dogs are frequently abandoned because their prior owners were unable to care for them or because they did not get along with another pet in the house. When adopting a rescue guinea pig, there are usually few behavioral issues to be concerned about, but you should be vigilant when introducing a new guinea pig to a family with another guinea pig. These pets don't always get along with one another.

If you visit a breeder, be sure they're breeding for certain traits like temperament and health. Also, before purchasing a guinea pig from a retailer, be sure you can handle it. Perform a short physical examination and temperament assessment.

Even if you desperately want a guinea pig, you have the choice to walk away if anything doesn't feel right. There are many wonderful breeders and pet retailers out there, but you may come across others who are untrustworthy or maintain their animals in unsafe conditions.


"Disorders and Diseases of Guinea Pigs. Merck Veterinary Manual." ;