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How Old Are Guinea Pigs At Pet Stores?

With the recent controversy about rodent mills that supply some large pet store chains housing their rodents in small cages in poor conditions, we have noticed more and more people specific questions about the pet store supply chains for their animals.

One thing that we have seen people specifically asking about is how old guinea pigs are at pet stores when you see them for sale.

This seems to be for two main reasons, the first is that we have seen people curious about the minimum age that pet stores will sell their guinea pigs for and the second is due to people trying to work out how long their pet guinea pig will live if they purchase it from a pet store.

With so many people reaching out to ask about this recently, we have decided to publish this article going over some of the more common questions that we see people asking.

How Old Are Guinea Pigs At Pet Stores?

The majority of guinea pigs sold at pet stores are delivered to the store between 8-10 weeks old due to legal legislation prohibiting the sale of guinea pigs younger than this.

The exact legislation will change depending on your location and even individual states within the USA have different laws around the sale of live animals to each other so you should be able to find a specific answer for your area with a quick Google search.

The upper age of the guinea pigs that you see for sale at pet stores will change depending on how long the guinea pig has been in the store so there is no way to know the upper age limit of the guinea pigs.

Thankfully, North America and Europe have regulations to prevent pet stores from selling rodents to cosmetic labs once the reach a certain age or to sell them as live food for reptiles so some of the guinea pigs you see for sale in pet stores may be years old.

How Long Do Store Bought Guinea Pigs Live?

The lifespan of a guinea pig is 5-7 years on average but this number will increase if the guinea pigs are well looked after.

The age that you purchase your guinea pig from a pet store will have an effect on how long it lives as older guinea pigs may already have developed health issues that will shorten their lifespan.

The best way to ensure that your guinea pig lives a long and healthy life is to purchase it from a reputable breeder or rescue rather than a pet store.

Breeders will be able to tell you the exact age of the guinea pigs that they are selling and will have information about the parents so you can get an idea of the health of the guinea pig.

Rescues will often have guinea pigs that have been abandoned or surrendered so they will also have accurate age information for the guinea pigs.

Purchasing a guinea pig from a reputable source will not only mean that you are more likely to get a healthy guinea pig but you will also be supporting breeders and rescues who are working to improve the lives of guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs from some rodent mills that supply popular chain stores can have various problems with them due to a lack of nutrition in the baby guinea pigs in their initial weeks after birth.

Some rodent mills also inbreed their guinea pigs without keeping strict breeding lines causing additional problems with the life expectancy of the baby guinea pigs that they produce too.

How Can I Find Out How Old My Guinea Pig Is?

If you have recently purchased a guinea pig from a pet store, the chances are that you will not be able to find out exactly how old it is.

The best way to find out how old your guinea pig is, is to take it to a vet who will be able to give you an estimate based on the size and condition of the guinea pig.

You can also ask the breeder or rescue that you purchased the guinea pig from for their records on the guinea pig’s age and parents.


We hope that this article has helped to answer some of the questions that you have about store-bought guinea pigs.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us and we will be happy to help.