When you make the decision to buy guinea pigs, you will find that careful planning and research will help to make the transition much smoother. When you buy guinea pigs, you must make certain you are choosing the one that is going to be best for you. Unfortunately, disease can run rampant in pet stores and you will want to make sure when buying guinea pigs, you are choosing one that is healthy and will live a long life.
The first thing you will want to do before buying a guinea pig is to observe the cavy in action. A healthy guinea pig will often run away when it is startled by a noise and will have a shiny coat. If you notice the guinea pig acts sleepy or lethargic and has a dull coat, you may find it has health problems. Even if the guinea pig acts healthy, if another in the cage is sick, the others may be coming down with it, as well and you should buy guinea pigs from another source.
You will also want to observe the cage and surroundings where you may buy guinea pigs. Are there a lot of droppings in the cage and does the cage emit an odor? Look at the droppings in the cage and look for runny droppings as they can indicate sickness. Normal droppings should appear dry and oval in shape. If the cage is dirty and emitting strong odors, you will want to buy guinea pigs from another dealer as these may not be taken care of properly.
Before you buy guinea pigs, you will also want to pick them up and inspect their skin and fur. If they have bald spots, runny eyes, or crusty noses, you may be looking at a sick guinea pig and will want to consider buying guinea pigs from another dealer or pet store. Any bleeding from the mouth or ears can also be a sign on illness and you will need to inspect each one.
Buying guinea pigs will also require you to inspect them to see what sex they are and to determine if one is pregnant. Even if the female is young, you will need to verify that it hasn't been put in with a male as a pregnancy may not show yet. If you buy guinea pigs that are not checked, you may be getting more than you bargained for.