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Guinea pig issue....

(28 Posts)
bitzy12 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:03:14

Wasn't sure where to post this really as a strange one but just wanting to know if I'm being a cruel mother/step mother.

I'm really wanting to re home our 2 Guinea pugs.

We have 4 children - 2 are mine and 2 are DH. We are expecting our first child together. I'm finding my pregnancy really tough, constantly sick and worn out.

It's got to the point where I am the one that looks after the guinea pigs. Sometimes dsd will clean them out - she's 12 - the eldest. None of the other kids are bothered about them in the slightest.

We mentioned to dsd before about re homing them but she started crying and said we couldn't. She cleaned them out that weekend but she hasn't done it since. We even pay her to do it when she does. We ask her to do it but she will just go upstairs or leave it right until the last minute before she goes back to her mums. None of the kids ever get them out to cuddle or play with.

Now I am a massive animal lover and I hate to see them not getting any sort of attention. I'm feeling so sickly and I'll I'm struggling to even feed them never mind clean them out. DH has been doing it but he works long hours so it's not exactly what he needs either.

Now I know if we re home them dsd will cry her eyes out - even though she never bothers with them. She will act like it's the end of the world. I'm planning on telling the other 3 dcs that they have gone on guinea pig holiday.... once they find out there's a new baby I'm sure that will take over everything.

AIBU in rehoming them? I know they could have a much better home and I cannot stand the smell from the cage in my hallway any longer

Starlight2345 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:10:31

I think it depends on age of children . It took till my Ds was about 9 to really help.
Also the age of g.pigs if they were 4/5 I wouldn’t rake them on as too short a life span

Jappydooda Mon 22-Jan-18 16:13:32

I think at 12 she is old enough to understand that if she doesn't look after her pets properly, then she doesn't get to have them.

I would quietly rehome them.

My niece and nephew took two weeks to realise the goldfish had been "relocated" to auntie's house!

MargoLovebutter Mon 22-Jan-18 16:16:21

On the one hand, I think it sends a bad message to say to kids that because you don't care for an animal properly, you just give it away, but I hate the thought of your poor pigs being neglected.

If they smell bad, it is probably because their bedding isn't being changed regularly enough.

Given you can't seem to get your DC or step-DC to care for them properly, I think you should re-home them.

bitzy12 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:22:25

Both my dcs have special needs so they couldn't clean them out but they are also young too.

I have said that I love animals and I really do, I do look after them myself really well and make sure they get everything they need. Just now that I'm feeling constantly crap it's so hard.

I wouldn't even consider it if just one of the dcs showed an interest in them, but not one of them does so I just think what's the point? They could go to another family who really will love them. They are lovely little things and I will miss their squeaks but I just want a good home for them x

MargoLovebutter Mon 22-Jan-18 16:27:25

Who were the pigs originally brought into your family for? If your DC are too young and have special needs, then I'm thinking it was for your DH's children? If that's the case, what does your DH think?

fortifiedwithtea Mon 22-Jan-18 16:32:56

I think you need this thread moved to Small Pets. There are some very knowledgeable guinea pig owners who will give you practical advise on best non- smelly bedding.

Glad to read the G. Pigs live indoors. IMO its sad when they are lonely and forgotten at the end of the garden.

Pets should always be the responsibility of the parents so yes you are being unreasonable to consider re-homing them. However, I can remember how awful pregnancy sickness is. Your partner should be doing the guinea care. It literally takes a few minutes.

I have several health issues but I'm still the one that cares for our elderly guinea. And believe me, I am in serious pain kneeling down to clean the hutch. And the poor old girl is having ointment for a watery eye too, again administered by me. Plus I have a DD who is in hospital that needs visiting. So I have a lot on my plate but wouldn't dream of giving up my guinea.

If you do decide to re-home please do contract a rescue. Our local rescue home checks potential guinea pig owners. The guineas who are too old to re-home live out their days in wonderful accommodation in their guinea pig retirement home they provide.

Avoid Gumtree, you don't want your children's pets to become snake food.

bitzy12 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:38:30

My son loves animals. He was never expected to care for them though. They were bought for the family, not just one child. In my head they were for dsd though as she was getting very bored when she came to stay - she wasn't even wanting to come at all so we thought it would be a good way of getting her to enjoy her time here. I'm actually very surprised on how she's lost interest as she loves looking after everyone. She treats everyone as though they are her babies - even us at times - so I never expected an issue

MargoLovebutter Mon 22-Jan-18 16:39:35

How long have you had them bitzy?

BertieBotts Mon 22-Jan-18 16:39:57

How old are the guinea pigs? I don't know whether they'd be very likely to be rehomed, so they might be better off staying with you anyway, unless you know someone who would like them. What about offering them to DSD's mum?

If the smell is bothering you try changing to an easier to cope with cage arrangement. You can make up layers like cloth nappies with old towels/tea towels underneath (anything absorbent) and then fleece on the top to keep the moisture away. Cut up an old blanket or get one from a charity shop. Their poos are little pellets so just brush/shake off outside and throw the whole fleece/towel into a hot wash without fabric conditioner (replace with white vinegar if you have any) - and change them every couple of days. No smells then.

Your new baby will probably love the guinea pigs when he/she is a toddler and I think they are brilliant first pets because they are so easygoing and non-dangerous yet still charming and interactive!

bitzy12 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:40:06

The main point of the post is that I love animals and I know they could go to a better home than what I'm able to give them. And DH is doing his bit to be honest but even the sight of guinea pig poo in the floor is too much for me at the moment

bitzy12 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:40:56

Sorry cross posted - they are just coming up to a year old x

Chocolatecake12 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:43:54

How old are the piggies? Where would you re-home them to?

sirlee66 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:45:04

As a guinea pig lover... The little piggies need cleaning out at least every 4/5 days. My piggies lived to be 9! So don't assume they'll die any time soon!

It sounds like they'd be happier with new owners that can tend to their needs. Guineas aren't as connected to their owners as much as cats/dogs so this shouldn't be a stressful transition for them.

As much as your DC and DSC will want to keep them. You should do what's best for your guineas (and you! You shouldn't be responsible for cleaning them out when preggers!! Put your feet up! You are growing a tiny human!!!)

Good luck

MargoLovebutter Mon 22-Jan-18 16:48:05

So you haven't had them long then. It seems to me that although it sends a bad message to the DC, you should re-home them. Whether you love animals or not is kind of a side issue, you can't deal with them at all at the moment and none of your family seem to be able to, or want to.

As the pigs are so young still, hopefully another family will be able to - so re-home via a reputable rescue centre.

As others have said, don't re-home via small ads, as they'll end up as snake food.

bitzy12 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:50:46

Yeah i had guinea pigs as pets growing up, I loved them :-)

If I wasn't pregnant, I wouldn't be posting this. I didn't really have an issue with being the one that looked after them. But now I just don't think I can do it. The baby will be born by c section so I'll have all that recovery time where I won't be able to do it. I reckon by Christmas time I'll be feeling back to normal but then with a new baby.....I'd just rather not have anything else to look after especially as none of the dcs are I say, if they were then this would be a different story - I wouldn't even think about posting.

I'll make sure they will go to a proper home, I'm responsible in that way. They will not be going to just anyone. I don't want any money for them but I do want whoever buys them to donate money to the rspca. Or they can give me money and I'll donate it myself x

Chocolatecake12 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:54:00

Sorry I cross posted too! If they’re only 1 then I’d re-home them to give them a proper chance of a happy life.
You are putting a lot on your dsd when tbh it’s your responsibility to look after any pets you decide to get.

fortifiedwithtea Mon 22-Jan-18 16:55:18

sirlee66 4/5 days shock My little shit machine never goes more than 2 days without a clean out. She is coming up for 7.

OP you could have many years ahead of you. Now knowing how young the guineas are changes my view. Look to a rescue.

Karigan1 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:57:01

Get a feeding and cleaning rota going now fur all 4 kids.

Make it clear if they want pets they have to do this and advise them that if there are repeated failures to comply with the rota the pigs will be going.

sirlee66 Mon 22-Jan-18 17:09:52

fortifedwithtea opps I ment atleat every 4/5 days!!

Bojangles33 Mon 22-Jan-18 17:12:16

Could you ask dsd's mum if she would like them? Just say dsd is the only one who bothers with them so you thought maybe they would be better with her full time?

bitzy12 Mon 22-Jan-18 17:12:39

@Karigan1 I can't do a rota as 2 of the dcs have special needs and the youngest one is way too young.

It was never an issue about the children cleaning them out. I wouldn't of taken them on without knowing I'd have to do it. The issue is that none of the children even acknowledge them. I feel like I'm looking after them for no reason. I loved having them but after very unexpectedly falling pregnant it's just not as easy now. I'm never one to get a pet and give up on it. Ever. I feel very guilty to be honest but they can go to a better home.

Dsd have been told numerous times that we are only keeping them for her sake as she cries when re homing is mentioned but she still doesn't pay any attention to them. I think she will act very very upset but a few days later she will of completely forgot about them to be honest x

bitzy12 Mon 22-Jan-18 17:14:55

@Bojangles33 unfortunately not. We did try that but her younger sister is allergic to any pets - apparently! She did actually take them home with her for a couple of weeks in the school holidays but her mum got so angry at her for not cleaning them out. She isn't a pet person to be honest. The state of the cage when they came home was absolutely disgusting. They hadn't been cleaned in 2 weeks! No fresh hay or bedding.

So unfortunately that's not an option. I do have a very good friend who would like them though x

Dragongirl10 Mon 22-Jan-18 17:19:52

YANBU to rehome them op.

We have 2 Guinea pigs, they were a 9th birthday present for my DD, she has cleaned them, given them fresh food and water every day before school since, she is now 11.

Kids should learn that pets have to be cared for properly day in/ day out.

I would explain she has a month to prove she wants to keep them by looking after them daily without being told, or they will go to a better home,
she is 12, where is her self discipline?

You do not need the additional strain OP!

Frouby Mon 22-Jan-18 17:22:37

If you have a good home lined up for them I would tell dsd this. I would give her 4 weeks to improve or they go.

Some dcs just aren't that into animals. My dd (13) isn't. Never has been. Ds (4) is.

Ds has 2 piggies. He is always happy to cuddle and play with them. Helps gets in the way when I am cleaning them out, loves feeding them etc. He loves walking the dog and helping with the other animals.

Dd just isn't despite me being very animal orientated. She would be upset at the thought of rehoming any of them. But not upset enough to do anything about it.

Ask your friend is they can wait 4 weeks or so. And see how dsd is. If she has to be prompted then rehome.

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