The Humane Society of the United States

Guinea Pigs

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Personable and communicative, guinea pigs live longer than many other small pets (5 to 7 years is common). Whether you’re thinking about adding a guinea pig to your family or simply want to learn more about this fascinating South American rodent, we’ve got answers.

Thinking About Getting a Guinea Pig?

Guinea pigs are small, gentle, social creatures and can be great pets. Before adopting a guinea pig, make sure you and your family are up for the commitment.

  • Guinea pigs live for about 5 to 7 years and need daily attention and time out of their cage.
  • Guinea pigs need companionship and do best living in pairs. Are you prepared to adopt two guinea pigs?
  • You'll need startup supplies like a large cage and food and water bowls, plus there will be ongoing expenses for high-quality food, bedding material and vet care.
  • If you're ready to get a guinea pig (or two), adopt from a local animal shelter or small breed rescue. Buying from a pet store may support inhumane guinea pig mills.

Browse Guinea Pig Guides on »

Learn more about guinea pigs as pets

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