Guinea pig advice sought

(39 Posts)
perceptionreality Fri 15-Feb-13 14:55:38

I have decided to get two guinea pigs (female) - sorry I'm aware there are loads of GP threads but I want to get this right so I was wondering;

what cage do you all use (we will keep them inside)
what food do you buy them?

I know you need hay but not sure what to use for the floor? I have heard wood flakes are not suitable for GPs.

I will make sure we have a run and toys for them - we have lots of space where I will be able to set up an enclosed area for them to get exercise.

TIA...

perceptionreality Sun 24-Feb-13 10:11:36

Oh, one last thing - can guinea pigs catch colds from humans? I have read conflicting ideas on this. I would have thought it unusual for a virus to jump a species gap, but you never know? I am the only person in the house who will be able to clean them out (though luckily I don't get ill too often). But my 3 year old is always bringing colds home from nursery.

perceptionreality Sat 23-Feb-13 21:45:37

Hi 70is, they are lovely - I am amazed at how they interact with each other and also they listen when you talk to them - so sweet! They are 8 weeks old. Thank you, I will get some scales and keep track of their weight. A friend of mine had one that was already pg but I think she just gave them back to the breeder which hopefully I could do too if that happened.

Aaaaaah lovely, they sound adorable.
Lots of cuddles and food and they'll get their paws under the table.

WRT to weight difference. My 2 boars have quite a sizeable difference in weight (and overall bodysize) but one is a smooth the other is Abby type.
The Abby and long haired tend to be smaller.

Get some scales and weigh them weekly to keep tabs on their weight.

How old are your baby girls? (Just that I bought a guinea-pig from a Petshop who was already pg. This was when I was 12yo back in the late 70s. Hopefully they don't keep girls/boys together now)
Not wanting to take the gloss off.
I'm betting one is just a bit chubbier than the other.

perceptionreality Sat 23-Feb-13 14:19:19

We now have the two baby girls. They are lovely pigs and have quite long hair - I have been brushing them daily. Dd is thrilled with them - when we collected them she said it was the happiest day of her life!

One thing I wanted to ask - one pig is much bigger and heavier than the other - is that usual?

Still no luck with the Guinea Pig Forum - does anyone know who I could contact to ask them to validate my account?

perceptionreality Mon 18-Feb-13 21:15:26

Ok thanks. I can read some threads but not others.

perceptionreality have you registered a username? You need one to log in and post a message. Same as Rodents with Attitude forum.

Sometimes i think it goes off line - I would try again later, should work smile

perceptionreality Mon 18-Feb-13 20:53:45

I seem to be having trouble accessing the GP forum - any advice? When I try to send a message it says I don't have permission!

The guinea pig forum has a great list of guinea friendly vets ... have a look on there smile

Re. insurance - I had a horse who I needed to make a claim on - we phoned then said we needed it - then she got better and we no longer needed it so we could never claim for that thing again - she hurt her leg -could never claim on that leg again...

Tbh the amount we paid every month I was very pissed off even if I kind of do understand in a round about way so I cancelled and have been insurance free for animals since.

I have a shetland, the guineas and a hamster - the only thing I would insure for would be third party on the shettie if we took him out often - but we don't, so i have a animal fund grin

perceptionreality Mon 18-Feb-13 13:19:40

When you say you've been stung, how do you mean Bonkey? Yes I've decided that I must put aside some provision for vets bills - I have found a company who does insure GPs which was recommended by the GP forum mentioned by Curly above. I am not sure exactly what it covers though.

Also, how do you find a vet who is good with small animals? Do you register them as soon as you get them? Years ago I had a GP who saw a vet who poked him in the eye and really hurt him sad

TreadOnTheCracks Mon 18-Feb-13 12:41:53

I have an animal emergency fund too.

I had my cat insured and now he has a long term illness. It was covered, for about 50% of the costs, for just a year. So I am going with self insurance in the form of an internet account with £50 a month going into it each month (this is to cover 2 GP and a cat, plus all vaccinations and routine checks). Pets do cost a fair bit when you add it up. Worth it though and I like not having to worry about vet costs as the money is put by.

TreadOnTheCracks Mon 18-Feb-13 12:41:38

I have an animal emergency fund too.

I had my cat insured and now he has a long term illness. It was covered, for about 50% of the costs, for just a year. So I am going with self insurance in the form of an internet account with £50 a month going into it each month (this is to cover 2 GP and a cat, plus all vaccinations and routine checks). Pets do cost a fair bit when you add it up. Worth it though and I like not having to worry about vet costs as the money is put by.

I have a animal emergency fund.

I pop a small amount in every week and itsthere if i need it.

I think its quite hard to find insurance for pigs....but then I have a thing about animal insurance....been stung before which is why i do it this way.

perceptionreality Mon 18-Feb-13 12:23:12

One last question - do you all have pet insurance for your GPs?

perceptionreality Mon 18-Feb-13 11:50:56

Thanks very much - that forum looks very helpful.

Curlybrunette Sun 17-Feb-13 21:37:17

Hi,

I can't add too much to the advice given about but would say the guinea pig forum is definately worth a visit. They've given me so much advice

x

perceptionreality Sun 17-Feb-13 18:36:10

They are lovely indeed - dd is very excited to pick them up. She loves animals smile I have spent lots of time reading up on how best to care for them - I'm sure they will be a welcome addition. Thanks everyone for your advice.

Oh and envy @ baby guineas.
They are lovely wink

perceptionreality Sun 17-Feb-13 17:25:28

Ok, I won't bother with one of those corner toilet things then.

WRT to toilet training- they don't have a set corner like rabbits or rats do. They tend to walk'n'drop so scatter their droppings far and wide. And have a pooh nest in the hay where they sleep.

Mucky little toads grin

perceptionreality Sun 17-Feb-13 13:11:29

I have found someone local to us who breeds animals and who has two baby girl guineas from the same litter that she's going to sell us - so we are going to pick them up on Friday. They are very sweet.

Floralnomad Sat 16-Feb-13 15:28:19

Ginger pig was 5 just before Christmas and earlier in the week looked like she was gasping her last but she climbed out of the sink in the utility room this morning whilst I was trying to cut her toenails , so yes they can definitely climb ! Her favourites are parsley ( curled variety) and shredded curly kale ( green only) . Piggies are lovely .

Astelia Sat 16-Feb-13 15:18:53

My gps tend to use the back of their igloos as a toilet, so I clean them out twice a day (very quick as I just roll up the newspaper and put clean paper down) and I wash the igloos once a week.

If they can clamber in the hay they may well use that as a toilet. I wasted a lot of good hay in this way so I bought some metal balls that you fill with hay and the hay can be pulled out. Keeps it all clean and dry.

perceptionreality Sat 16-Feb-13 14:01:08

Is it possible to train them to use a toilet area? I have bought a very big cage with a seperate area for the hay which is a good idea.

I am happy to see you can buy interactive toys for them. Dd is animal mad - I do think she'll cherish them, whoever we end up having. In any case, I am prepared to take full responsibility for them whatever happens.

It was one of our accidental pigs (when I was 12 yo I bought a black&white sow who turned out to be already pg) She had a single sow piglet (Ginger) who was a complete character, little squared off muzzle and a tail shock. She has a longer than normal spine so at the base of her spine was a short bony tail.

She never got very big (probably because her mum was young) and was always agile- so the stairs were no trouble,

The Resident Boars (my DDs pigs) couldn't climb a stair if their lives depended on it hmm . Lazy toads.

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