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General Will I be able to care for GPs


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
May 19, 2012
I make $80 a month, is that too little to care for two guinea pigs? :sorry:
Once you get a cage set up, your major expenses will be vegetables and hay. That's IF you have enough money set aside for vet care. If your pigs are healthy, you may not need vet care for a long time. But if you do, it's expensive, because regular vets can't treat them. So you need a few hundred dollars set aside, just in case.

Don't buy a pet store cage -- they're too expensive and aren't large enough. Look at the main page of this site for information on building a C&C cage.

The cost of hay depends on where you are. If you can find a local supplier of long strand grass hay (timothy, brome, orchard, etc., but NOT alfalfa), you can probably get a bale for less than $10, and it will last you for months. If you have to order it online, it may cost you $40 for a short bale, which will also last for months. Buying it in the pet store is absolutely the most expensive way to buy it, and will get you the cheapest quality hay.

Veggies run maybe $5 per week, depending on what your family already eats, whether your family has a garden, etc.
My suggestion have a list of what you need each month to care for them and price it. They are not as inexpensive as I have heard people in my area say. They will need fresh veggies daily bedding hay pellets and also make sure you can manage their health care costs
I think your biggest problems on the budget would be the start-up cost and vet bills. Other than that, you basically only need hay, pellets, and veggies/fruits, which if you are good at looking, can be found cheep. For example, we have a local feed store that sells good quality 50 pound compressed bails for 10 dollars which will last two pigs quite a long time. Pellets can be gotten at KMS, the smallest size, will last my three pigs about 4 or so months with 1/8 a cup each per day. The biggest cost will be the veggies/fruits, though I have found that one daily veggie you can get for free is corn husks and silk, which they really enjoy, but of course you will have to buy some others such a romaine lettuce, yellow bell pepper, etc. But other than that for veggies and fruits you can save some money by just giving them some of what you are eating. Examples: You buy a carrot to eat yourself, give them half with the top, you buy apples to make a pie, give them a slice, you buy strawberries to eat, cut off the tops for them. You get the pigture. lol

For the start up costs, you will need to start saving. It can be very costly when you first start out, grids, coroplast, fleece, towels, toys, adoption fee, ect. You will also have to start a vet bill savings account, as these can get very​ expensive, and you want to make sure that you are able to take them to the vet without worrying if you will end up broke.
It might help to be ahead before you start. Make sure you have your C&C, toys, bedding (fleece is most economic and piggies love it!), good sized vet fund, all before you get piggies. It'd be very easy to pay for food for piggies with $80 a month plus be able to put the rest into your vet or emergency fund, but you need to make sure you're well prepared before you get your piggies.

A lot of people feed their piggies veggies on $5-10 a week. Hay and pellets can be an additional $10-20 a month. As @CavyLover2012 said, set up a budget with every thing you'll need in it and see if you'll be able to afford every thing before you get your piggies! Thank you for taking the time to plan ahead.
Vet bills can be unexpected and significant. Unless you have a vet fund set up, a credit card or someone who will loan you money if your guinea pig gets sick, I wouldn't get one. One of the big reasons people give up their pets or have them euthanized is because they can't or aren't willing to cover large vet bills. I think you're thinking it all out the right way. Once you figure out the vet bills part, you can make a wise decision. (You sound like you'd make a great guinea pig owner.)
Here's an idea that might have you going down the right track and give you a better idea of what you can/can't afford. Once you're set up for piggies, and you have the start of a good vet fund, why don't you try fostering? (If you wait until you're well set up, you won't have to worry about where the money is coming for you to do your part and, if you still want to adopt, you'll have a good start to a vet fund.)

There are a lot of rescues that need foster workers. You pay for food and bedding, they pay for vet bills. You can and should keep record of what bills cost, even those you're not paying, and ask yourself if you'd be able to pay for it without help. If the answer is no, you could continue to foster without adopting and give all you can to those who need some love and one-on-one attention before they find their forever home. If you are, great! Then you've worked through your problems and figured out how to deal with expenses before adopting.

I hope you're able to sort it all out and find ways to be a great piggy parent! :)
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