Guinea pigs are popular across the US and UK. Many people believe that they are easy to care for and low maintenance pets but it would come as a shock for many people when they have to take them to an exotic vet. The bill amount can range anywhere between a 50$ to 500$ per visit, so you might wonder if it is worth getting pet insurance for guinea pigs.
Ideally, it is worth it to get insurance for your guinea pig. The insurance can cost you 20$ to 50$ per month depending upon their age, breed, etc. It can cover a significant portion of your vet bill and other medical costs, which makes it value for money.
Guinea pigs are popular pets for a reason. They’re soft, fluffy, well-tempered though generally quite timid: the ideal companion for anyone looking to learn the responsibility of pet care or teach their kids the same lessons.
Their size, relatively short life spans, and lack of engagement compared to traditional pets like cats and dogs are precisely the reasons why some people don’t feel the need to insure them. That, and the money, of course.
But responsible owners should be keen to provide the best care they can for their pets, even if it means spending a little extra every month.
Read on to learn about how much guinea pig insurance costs, the reality behind paying for a policy, and how important it is to take good care of them.
How much does guinea pig insurance cost?
It’s impossible to give a one-time costing for how much insuring a guinea pig will set you back.
There are so many variables that come into play. Take horses, for example. There’s lineage, breed, age, size, and so much more that factor into having a quote tailored to your animal.
Now, there’s a good chance your new pig isn’t a prized stud, but the same logic applies.
Different breeds are more expensive than others, and how much you paid and the point in its life you choose to take out a policy play considerable roles in determining the overall cost.
Generally speaking, the average price starts anywhere around $20 per month and can grow to be much higher, depending on the level of coverage you want and the factors stated above.
Benefits of having your guinea pigs insured
There are a lot of benefits of getting your guinea pig insured. Some of the major benefits are:
Skip Expensive Vet Costs
Taking out insurance for your guinea pig means you get to avoid the likely exorbitant vet fees of any treatment or surgery it might need.
Of course, there’s a chance it might never have to undergo any severe medical treatment, but if you care enough about your fluffy friend, having a policy in place means you’re prepared should the worst happen.
As all guinea pig owners know, trimming their back teeth is something that needs doing every three to 12 months, and if you’re lucky enough for it to live a long life, you’ll be paying out of your pocket every time.
Peace of Mind
Likely the worst side to owning a pet without insurance is having to weigh up their life against whether or not you can afford to cover care costs.
While you’ll still have to pay an excess, it probably won’t come close to what life-saving surgery will set you back.
A policy for your little pig means you’ll never have that niggle in the back of your mind that you’re not doing enough to take care of it.
Providing the most elaborate enclosure and entertaining toys are essential to your guinea pig’s health.
Still, when it comes to something out of your control, like the need for healthcare, it pays to be prepared.
Choose From Varying Levels of Coverage
Exotic pet insurance, like all other forms, comes with varying degrees of coverage.
Truth be told, while it’s right to have a policy in place and tick off that final box of essential guinea pig care, it shouldn’t impact your way of life.
We can’t all afford the most comprehensive coverage, nor can we predict what’s around the corner, so insurers tend to be somewhat flexible in their policymaking.
If you can’t afford comprehensive, covering the ailments and illnesses that guinea pigs are most prone to, like respiratory infections, it is undoubtedly a good place to start.
All Possibilities Can Be Covered
An essential part of owning a guinea pig is knowing what sort of health issues might be in store.
As mentioned above, they’re prone to respiratory infections, but that’s not all.
A comprehensive policy could see you covered for all these issues and other more severe problems like tumors and abscesses; you can even factor checkups and medication into your plan.
Pre-existing health conditions might be tough to insure, so putting in your policy when you first bring your pig home is the best way to ensure total coverage and at a more reasonable price.
Some downsides of having your guinea pig insured
It Can Be Expensive
The average cost of guinea pig insurance is about $20 a month, or $240 a year.
This might not seem like too much, but it’s money that needs to be spent elsewhere for some of us.
Plus, this is just the average price; the cost can wind up to be much higher, depending on the level of coverage you choose to take out.
Though it might set you back, it’s a commitment that should be understood before picking up your new pig.
If you want to offer your animal the best possible care, you’ll need to take some form of policy.
They Don’t Always Live That Long
The average lifespan of a guinea pig falls somewhere between five and eight years, though they’ve been known to live as long as 12 years, in some cases.
That’s the same as a lot of dogs. In the wild, they don’t live to be anywhere near that, however. Compared to hamsters that can live for around three years, five years isn’t all that long, either.
With decent food and a routinely cleaned enclosure, you can help them avoid many medical conditions.
Still, since they’re predisposed to specific issues, there’s no surefire way of prolonging their lifespan. Some people might find insuring these short-lived creatures, unfortunately, a waste of money.
Many Guinea Pigs Don’t Survive Surgery
Guinea pigs are lovely but little creatures, with tiny legs and small bodies to match.
But veterinarians are somewhat apprehensive about operating on them because the truth is, their dainty bodies aren’t exactly built to endure such stress.
General anesthesia tends to be the riskiest part of putting them under the knife.
According to a 2008 study, guinea pigs’ perioperative mortality rate sits at around 3.80%, a figure which is relatively high compared to cats and dogs; 0.24% and 0.17%, respectively.
Not All Insurers Cover Guinea Pigs
So, no matter the cost or risk, you’re prepared to ensure your little furry pig.
Well, finding a provider that offers policies for these creatures isn’t all that easy.
Guinea pigs and all other rodents fall under the bracket of ‘Exotic Insurance, and not all insurers purvey it.
This restriction on choice leads to fewer options and can result in you paying for more expensive policies than you’d perhaps like to. But, remember, it’s for a good cause!