Are Guinea Pigs Exotic Pets? What You Need to Know!

Are guinea pigs exotic pets? This is a question that many people ask themselves when considering adding one of these adorable little creatures to their family.

Guinea pigs are becoming increasingly popular pets, but are they considered exotic? In this blog post, we will explore the characteristics of guinea pigs, their history, the pros and cons of owning one, how to care for them, and legal considerations.

Definition of an exotic pet

Before we dive into whether guinea pigs are exotic pets, it’s important to define what an exotic pet is. Exotic pets are not your average domesticated animals like dogs, cats, and rabbits.

They are typically animals that are not native to your country and are not commonly kept as pets. Exotic pets can include reptiles, birds, and small mammals such as ferrets and hedgehogs.

Where Guinea Pigs Come From

Their origins

Guinea pigs are native to South America, specifically the Andes Mountains of Peru and Bolivia. They were first domesticated by the Inca people over 3,000 years ago for their meat and fur. Guinea pigs were also used in religious ceremonies by the Inca people.

How they became popular as pets

Guinea pigs were first introduced to Europe in the 16th century by Spanish explorers. They quickly became popular as pets because of their cute and cuddly nature. Guinea pigs were also used in medical research because of their physiological similarities to humans.

Are Guinea Pigs Exotic Pets?

Guinea Pigs are classified as exotic pets because they are not native to the United States. Even though they’re very commonly kept as pets, they’ll always be considered exotic pets due to this simple fact.

The law defines exotic pets as: “[An animal] that is native to a foreign country or of foreign origin or character, is not native to the United States, or was introduced from abroad.”

Since Guinea Pigs are from South America, they are thus considered exotic pets.

The implications of Guinea Pigs Being Exotic Pets

Guinea pigs are exotic pets which means that in order to give them the care they need if they get sick you need to find a veterinarian that specializes in exotic pets. Luckily, since Guinea Pigs are so ubiquitous as pets, there are many veterinarians who know their way around your cavy, so finding a good veterinarian shouldn’t be too challenging.

Legal Considerations

Restrictions on owning a guinea pig

Many countries restrict the ownership of various exotic pets such as monkeys. Luckily, in most countries, including the US, there are no restrictions on owning a guinea pig as a pet and you can often walk into your nearest pet shop and buy them very easily.

However, it is important to check with your local authorities to ensure that there are no specific regulations or restrictions in your area.


So, are guinea pigs exotic pets? Yes, they are. Even though guinea pigs are incredibly common pets, they’re still classified as exotic pets because they are not native to your country. As such, if you’re looking for a veterinarian to treat your guinea pig, you’ll have to look for a veterinarian that treats exotic pets.

They are lovable and easy to care for, making them a great addition to any family. With proper care and attention, guinea pigs can live happy and healthy lives for many years.

ThePetFaq Team