Pets can be expensive – even small pets like guinea pigs! I have owned anywhere from 2 to 13 at a time, and it is surprising how much these little critters can add up when it comes to expenses. We took on two guinea pigs from a shelter, both who we later found out were pregnant, so when we ended up with 13 total, it was especially important to find ways to save money.
Note – just because you may be trying to save money on things like guinea pig food, don’t go with the cheapest food. A lot of cheap foods and treats are not good for your guinea pig, and you don’t want to end up with a sick or unhealthy pet. For example, do your research to find out which pellets are good quality, and buy that in bulk – don’t just buy the cheapest that is out there.
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Buy in bulk
One of the biggest ways we save on guinea pig supplies is to order in bulk. Guinea pigs require a steady supply of hay, which can become expensive if bought in small quantities. Bulk purchases save money per item and save yourself multiple trips to the store.
Buying hay in bulk can save money in the long run. This also goes for guinea pig pellets. I usually purchase hay bales and 40lb bags of pellets from Chewy.com. You want to make sure that it is Timothy hay, not alfalfa, and is made for small pets.
Be smart about the bulk food you purchase. We store ours in plastic pet food storage bins so that we don’t encounter any pests and so the food doesn’t go stale or get moldy.
In the picture below is our delivery from Chewy! They ship quickly and they have lots of great bulk items. There are also good items on Amazon, from treats and food, and saves the time and money involved with having to run to the store to shop.
Buy online and look for sales
Buying online is a great way to save. For starters, you aren’t driving back and forth to the store, so it saves time and money. It also reduces the hassle of looking for bulk items or lugging things like large bags of pellets home from the store. You may not even be able to find bulk items at the store, so shopping online is your best bet.
Take advantages of any deals you can find, like coupons or discounts for pet food, or use Subscribe & Save features on Chewy or Amazon.
Save with fresh veggies and fruits
Pellets can be expensive, and fruits and veggies can help reduce costs if you are strategic. Feed your piggies fresh foods, but be savvy about it. Save scraps from food prep, such as carrot tops or watermelon rinds.
You can also grow some veggies easily, such as celery or greens. If you are able to do some gardening, growing veggies or sowing some arugula seeds or plants may end up being a good source of cheap greens for your guinea pigs.
We have also grow fresh grass using seed starting trays.
Use fleece instead of bedding
I have found that guinea pig cage liners can take some work, but ultimately saves money and the hassle of using bedding. The initial cost is an investment, but in the long run, means cutting out trips to the store and expenses on bedding.
Keep your guinea pigs healthy
Again, do your research and make sure you choose good quality products for your guinea pigs – don’t compromise with cheap foods that may leave them unhealthy or even sick.
Guinea pigs are prone to health issues from poor nutrition or living conditions, so it is important to make sure that they have good care. Do your research about what foods are best for them, and make sure you provide a balanced diet of hay, pellets, and fresh foods. Something such as not having enough roughage (e.g. hay), can lead to overgrown teeth that require veterinary intervention. Cages should be clean and ventilated, and don’t use pine chips, which can lead to respiratory issues.
Offer your guinea pigs a good diet. I try to read labels and do research on what products we buy for the guinea pigs. For things like treats, I stay away from dairy products or food dyes. These are just a few examples of things that might not be healthy.
Check out our other guinea pig blog posts:
Why Guinea Pigs Make Great Pets for Kids
Basic Supplies for Guinea Pigs
Guinea Pig Food: What We Feed Our Piggies
Guinea Pig Foods to Avoid
Our Guinea Pigs Favorite Treats
Tips for Using Cage Liners for Guinea Pigs
Pros and Cons of Guinea Pig Fleece Cage Liners
How to Grow Grass for Guinea Pigs Using Seed Sprouting Trays
Gift Ideas for Your Guinea Pig
Fun Guinea Pig Toys for All Ages
Fun Things to Do With Your Guinea Pig