Recently, someone asked me how much it cost to have a guinea pig. Well, I’ve had two guinea pigs and costs do vary. Princess Piggy Poo has been a pampered princess while my other guinea pig was a low maintenance boy. Last year, Princess Piggy Poo averaged $200 per month. As of July this year, Princess Piggy Poo has cut her spending to $179 per month — a whopping $21 savings (or four mocha lattes at Starbucks each month).
So, what are the line items in Princess Piggy Poo’s budget? The most expensive item is healthcare. Doctor visits, X-rays and medicines took up half of her guinea pig expenditures. Otherwise, Princess Piggy Poo’s necessities include her super soft bedding, pee-pee pads, two premium brands of hay, the finest cavy pellets, urinary health support supplements, cranberry juice and the fruits and vegetables that we share.
I learned with my first guinea pig that cavies don’t care about toys other than tissue boxes and toilet paper rolls. So no money has been wasted on leashes, plastic balls (that are dangerous for guinea pigs) or those types of items. Princess Piggy Poo has a wooden hidey house that she chews on so wooden chew toys are unnecessary.
You may not need to spend as much on your guinea pig, especially if you can avoid some of the healthcare expenses. I don’t know for sure that these changes would have reversed Princess Piggy Poo’s medical issues; however, if I could go back, I would feed her timothy hay-based food from day one, instead of alfalfa-based, to avoid bladder issues, and given her more exercise to avoid heart disease. Although, I never could figure out how to make Princess Piggy Poo exercise, other than lifting her hiding house and watching her dash around her big cage. If your guinea pig has a buddy, they may get more exercise than a solitary cavy.
As responsible pet owners, we try to do the best for our pets. Whether you have a dog, cat, guinea pig, bird, reptile or other animal to love, you don’t need to spend a lot of money spoiling them but it’s nice if you can. Princess Piggy Poo may have a budget, but she’s glad she doesn’t have to stick to one.