Guinea pig care

(6 Posts)
kathywith10 Mon 31-Dec-12 14:25:58

I know many of you are experienced guinea pig owners. Can you give me some advice? We just acquired two female guinea pigs and are getting to know them. How can we minimize the odor? My husband is already talking about moving them outdoors and it has been less than 24 hours. I would like them to remain indoors confined to just one room at one end of the house which he doesn't need to go into. But, he claims he can smell them and he doesn't want the room to get a permanent odor. He is suggesting a outside hutch. The problem is I live in a subtropical climate and it is warm all year long. I worry about the heat and humidy as piggies don't sweat. Also, I have read that they might not be as sociable outdoors. What do you suggest to minimize the odor or, if I do have to send them out, how can I keep them cool?

Curlybrunette Tue 01-Jan-13 21:53:39

Hi,
I am quite new to piggies, we only got our first pair in November, but they do live indoors so I know what you mean about a smell. It's not the piggies that smell, it's the wee and hay.
We have a litter tray lined with newspaper and a bit of hay, as well as a hay box (again lined with newspaper) which is filled with hay. These both get changed daily as they wee in them both (especially the litter tray). I've also started buying dust free hay which although is more expensive than normal hay, it doesn't smell as strongly. Not sure if you can get anything like that where you live?
Our piggies live on incontinence pads covered with a fleece blanket, I tidy round remove poo at least once a day, and change the fleece and pads every 3 days. This seems to keep the smell at bay.

HTH
x

kathywith10 Tue 01-Jan-13 23:03:30

Thank you for your response...I am using newspaper under the fleece blankets. I do just like you are doing, sweep up the poo several times a day and wash the fleece every couple days. I will look for some hay that has less odor to it. We are really enjoying the little piggies so far. Thanks again. I hope you're enjoying your piggies as well.
Kathy

Tezzismum Tue 26-Feb-13 01:44:12

It's the paper. Having had indoor piggies for 5 yrs I know what he means. I love my piggies but hate that smell!!

I use towels under fleece then take it out and wash it weekly. Do they always use the same corner to wee? If so try getting a guinea pig loo and empty it every few days. One of ours always uses the same corner no matter where she is!! Back left corner! (I swear she's a bit ocd!!) the other one goes where she is unless you're holding her then she climbs of us an goes on the floor!!!

Also what bedding are you using? Do they have a house or do you put stuff in for them to curl up in? That might smell too. Again mine have a towel they curl up under to sleep.

Good luck! Hope you can keep them indoors as you'll miss out on a lot if they're outside. Piggies are real little characters!!!

phdlife Tue 26-Feb-13 02:16:49

Hi Katywith, we became gp parents last April and we also live in a subtropical climate. Ours are in two hutches (twice the stink!) but positioned against a sliding screen door that, when open, gives a good cross-breeze with a window on the other side of the room. They're on newspaper and lucerne, we change it every day and we give them a good clean, out in the sun, once a week.

They also go out as much as possible during the day. Outside they can be either positioned on the grass, with one of those clamshell lids over the pen (and a box or cubby inside it) for shade, or we spread newspaper and lucerne on the patio under a patio cover where they it's a bit cooler, if it's too hot. (Or indeed pissing down, as it has been past few days.)

I'll be honest, I used to fret myself sick if they were outside. You'll see advice that any temp over 24 degrees is too hot for them. But my bf had them outdoors her entire childhood and hers survived, and mine have lived a few days where it gets up towards 30. I wouldn't leave them out above that though - when it gets that hot, I either kept them inside or on the patio until the sun went out of the garden and they got grass time 3pm-10pm.

tbh I can't tell you how much difference it would make to their friendliness. Ours were never friendly - squealy 3yo dd comes on like the Godzilla of Love and just terrifies the poo out of them - ds is calmer, quieter, but gps really didn't want to be held or stroked and after a couple of months of daily trying to make friends the kids got bored. They now say hello occasionally. The gps seem to be getting calmer - will now sometimes let ppl scratch them in pens and maybe not bolt quite so fast when we go to pick them up - and I guess at some point, with dd calming down a little herself, we may try some more taming, but I never did figure out a way to do that that didn't involve a ton of work (rearranging furniture to enclose a room so they couldn't bolt, v close supervision of dcs, cleaning up 100s of poo from the floor) so I'm not rushing anything.

My goodness that turned into an essay didn't it! Sorry, and good luck.

phdlife Tue 26-Feb-13 02:19:16

ooh also I did read advice to put cold water bottle for them to lean against when it's hot, but mine never figured out what that was for.

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