Money Saving Tips for Guinea Pig Owners

Updated on July 11, 2019
Julia Flack profile image

Julia is a guinea pig owner who likes to share her thrifty husbandry tips with other guinea pig fans.

Guinea Pigs Aren't Cheap

Anyone who's ever had a guinea pig knows that one of the most difficult things about them is how expensive they can get. Food, bedding, hay, chew toys, and vet trips are just a few of the costs of caring for a guinea pig. For such a small animal, they sure do cost a lot. Fortunately, as someone who's had guinea pigs for years and years, I've learned a few secrets to cutting down on the cost of ownership.

Don't Buy Food From the Pet Store

Food is definitely one of the more expensive aspects of having a guinea pig, especially when you get your food from a pet store. Ten dollars for a bag of pellets that won't even last a month? Twenty dollars for a bag of hay? These things can get pricey.

What if I told you that pet stores aren't the only places to buy guinea pig food? If you go to a local feed store, they should sell huge bags of guinea pig food for 5 to 10 dollars. You should be able to find hay as well. Make sure that you keep these things in large containers so bugs and mice can't get in. These supplies are cheap and come in much larger supply than pet store items.

Use Alternative Bedding

Guinea pigs are messy. They go through a lot of bedding, and the bedding at your local pet store probably isn't cheap. There are multiple types of bedding you can use to reduce the price, however.

  • Fleece: Fleece blankets are a common alternative to standard bedding that people use for their guinea pigs. You don't have to buy the blankets very often, and you can shake it out and wash it in your laundry machine. The only downside is that you have to change out the fleece every few days to avoid odor.

  • Wood shavings: These can also be bought at a feed store instead of a pet store. You can buy huge bags of them for 5 to 10 dollars. One thing is very important: do NOT buy pine, cedar, or sawdust. These can cause respiratory issues in your pig. It's best to go with aspen wood.
  • Pellets: In addition to shavings, you can also buy wood pellets, which are shavings compressed into pellets. These are about the same price as the shavings, and they're very absorbent. Shavings are softer, but pellets are still good.

Buy Treats at the Grocery Store

Dried fruits and vegetables can make great treats for guinea pigs. Although you can buy them from pet stores, you can also get them from your grocery store. Buying them from a grocery store is less expensive, and you can get a larger quantity. Keep in mind that treats should always be fed in very small amounts, and some should be fed less than others.

Some dried fruits and veggies they can safely eat include:

  • carrots
  • banana
  • papaya
  • peas
  • raisins
  • apples

DIY Chew Toys

Unlike human teeth, guinea pigs' teeth are constantly growing, so they need to chew in order to file them down. That's why they chew on everything they can manage to. In order to help them out, it's important to have chews in their cage to help file down their teeth. Fortunately, there are plenty of things around your house that you can give them.

Some things you can give your guinea pig to chew:

  • Toilet paper and paper towel rolls
  • egg cartons
  • paper towels and tissues
  • cardboard boxes (as long as they aren't heavily dyed)
  • Sticks from the trees in your backyard—please keep in mind, you cannot use pine. I usually use maple, apple, or citrus. Before you give them, boil them and let them dry. This is to get rid of harmful pesticides or bacteria.

Cage Cleaning Supplies

Why spend money on expensive cage cleaners when you can just make it yourself?

  • Cleaning Spray: A simple cleaning solution for your piggy's cage is a 50/50 water to vinegar solution. Simply fill a spray bottle halfway up with water and then fill the other half with vinegar. It helps clean the cage and it keeps odors under control. The vinegar is also safe for guinea pigs and will not cause respiratory issues.

  • Bedding scoop: You're going to need something to scoop out the dirty bedding and poop from the cage. You can use a dustpan and brush. This can be purchased from a dollar store.

Grooming and Bathing Materials

If you have a short-haired guinea pig, you will need to brush their hair about once a week. Long-haired guinea pigs require daily grooming. For grooming, you will need brushes and combs.

It's also important to bathe your guinea pigs once every month, and you will need shampoo for this.

  • Brushes: Short-haired guinea pigs need soft bristle brushes. You can use baby brushes or nail brushes for this. Long-haired guinea pigs need a certain type of brush. These brushes are often used for rabbits as well. They help to break up the tangles in their long fur.

  • Combs: Combs help to get out the tangles and keep their fur straight and neat. Combs can be bought cheaply at the dollar or grocery store. You don’t need a comb specifically for pets; any regular comb will do.

  • Shampoo: Although guinea pigs clean themselves, it usually isn't enough as they are very messy animals. Although you can use a shampoo made for guinea pigs or even rabbits and cats, baby shampoo is much cheaper and just as safe.

Guinea pigs will be a pricey pet no matter what, but the expense is totally worth it. However, before you get a guinea pig, please make sure you able to properly provide and care for it.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

  • How can you make guinea pig toys?

    You can use a number of things to make toys for guinea pigs. These include:

    Old paper towel rolls

    Old egg cartons (make sure that no eggs broke on it)

    Tree branches(citrus, maple, and Apple are good). Boil them and dry before you give them.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • S Muddy profile image

      S Muddy 

      19 months ago

      The info was really useful, I'll be sure to use these methods!

    • profile image

      guinea pig lover :-D 

      2 years ago

      thanks for the helpful info!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Cute I love it is it a long haired gp


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)