Well it sounds like you've decided that a cavy is the perfect pet for you. Now it's time to find one that is the perfect match for you and your family. There are lots of places where you can them, so let's take a look at some of the more popular options.
Breeders and Caviaries
Do you know what cavy breeding facilities are called? Caviaries! That's right, cavy breeders call their breeding facility a caviary. A caviary is a good place to find a good looking, healthy, purebred cavy, because they are typically operated by professional breeders who know their animals ages, breeding and health records, and their animal's genetics. Breeders will usually have an excellent selection of quality cavies available to choose from.
Almost all pet stores will have guinea pigs for sale because they are such popular pets with young children and adults. However, pet stores may not have baby cavies available if that is what you're looking for. Also, cavies found in pet stores are often mixed-breed, a mixture of different cavy breeds. A mixed-breed cavy is no less of a lovable pet than a pure-breed cavy, they just aren't show animals.
Newspapers, Pet Magazines, and Internet Ads
You can also find cavies for sale in the local newspaper, in pet magazines, and on Internet sites. Local cavy owners might have had a "surprise litter" and will offer the pups for sale in the local paper; pet magazines often have breeders who advertise pets for sale including cavies; there are lots of web sites and Internet forums that are all about guinea pigs and will also be a source for breeders to advertise the sale of guinea pig pups.
Guinea Pig Rescue
A great alternative place to buy a guinea pig is at an animal shelter or at a guinea pig rescue facility. Cavies found in these facilities have been given up by their owners and desperately need and would love to find a new, loving home. If you choose this route to buy a guinea pig be sure to ask the shelter or rescue staff lots of questions about the animal's history, health, etc.
How to Select Your Cavy
This will not be easy! All guinea pigs are cute and cuddly, and it will be difficult to not want to pick the first one you see. But here are some things to keep in mind when looking to buy a guinea pig:
* Look for a pup that is at least 4 weeks old and is therefore a weanling. If it is a girl cavy make sure that she has not been housed with a boar, because there is a good chance she might be pregnant. * Don't feel like you need to buy the skinny, thin, lonely looking pup just because you feel bad for it. These animals are usually sickly and unwell and they may actually cause you some heart-ache sooner than you want. * Don't pick out a cavy that is in the same cage as another cavy that appears to be sick or shows signs of an illness. The sick cavy could be carrying a contagious disease and your cavy could become sick just a few days after you bring him home. Avoid cavies that are listless, quiet, and is avoiding it's cage-mates. * Look for a cavy that is bright-eyed, alert, active, and inquisitive. The ears should be clean and the hair should be shiny (cavies have hair, not fur!)
A Boy or a Girl
Unless you are planning on breeding your cavies it doesn't really matter which gender of cavy you choose. If you are simply looking for an affectionate and loving pet then either one will suit you. The male cavy tend to be a little more active and some people think that female cavies are more affectionate. These differences will be mostly subtle, and most cavies are gentle sweet, docile, social, and affectionate. You'll be happy with either one!
When it comes time to buy a guinea pig for a pet the important thing to keep in mind is that the health, age, and personality of your pet are more important than the color of its hair. Be sure to choose a healthy, happy looking animal. Take good care of your pet cavy. They are totally dependent on you for their health and well being.