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Thread: Guinea Pigs
05-25-2014, 04:06 PM #1
We are thinking about adding a new pet to the family. My 5 and a half year old daughter wants a puppy, but she is afraid of most full size dogs and I am not a dog person either. Not a good fit for us. We have 2 cats, but one is older and has always had a lot of health problems so he could go at any time.
We did a lot of reading online about hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, and guinea pigs. It seemed like guinea pigs had the best temperment and would allow her to help with care and handling.
Does anyone here have them? Or any of the others with tales that would make us reconsider them. Thanks.
05-25-2014, 04:33 PM #2
Had them. A pair is easier to keep. Not difficult to be honest. Avoid wood shavings for bedding, decent sized hutch with some outdoor space if at all possible.
Diet needs a bit more attention since they cannot make their own vitamine c.
When buying listen carefully to their breeding, take a look under the tail for any signs of diarrhoea and check for ear mite.
05-25-2014, 04:34 PM #3
I've had them before. They are good pets! Not as delicate to handle as bunnies, and not easy to lose like a hamster. But you have to make sure they get enough vitamin C. The dried pellets are not enough for a balanced diet. Fresh fruits and veggies are necessary or they get sick.
Be careful where you get it from though...they are rodents and will breed like rodents if kept together. My college roommate and I both came home on separate occasions with a pregnant piggie.
Don't know what you read, but they do eat their own poop on occasion. It's natural and healthy for them. Hopefully that doesn't deter you. :)20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!
05-25-2014, 04:43 PM #4
Did not see anywhere that they might eat their own poop.
As for bedding I see that a lot of people use fleece fabric in the bottom of their cages and then shake it out and wash and reuse.
I did see that a pair is preferred. I think we would probably want a pair of short hair females.
We have a few rooms in the house that would be good for free range time (can keep the cats in the other part of the house then).
05-25-2014, 04:59 PM #5
Here's a site with lots of great information on care, housing, feeding, etc.
My son also had two of these when he was younger, but older than your daughter, and should have been able to provide more of the care than he actually did. After feeding a proper diet I think the next main concern should be maintaining a clean cage. And they should get regular attention from family. So despite the extra cleaning I had to do, we found these much easier and better pets than hamsters we had as far as handling goes.
05-25-2014, 06:57 PM #6
Thanks for the link. Read a bunch more stuff. I know I will need a cage with a secure lid to keep them safe from the cats.
But it would give me an excuse to sew a little. I could make them some fleece and flannel pouches to cuddle it.
05-25-2014, 07:12 PM #7
05-26-2014, 04:07 AM #8
If only my dog would obey the no mouth rule!
Post us lots of pics of your new fur-babies. :)20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!
05-26-2014, 03:38 PM #9
Well we have changed our mind on a cage. Was just going to get the biggest pet store cage we could find, not anymore. Read up on c and c cages, going to make one. They will wind up with a bigger home for less money. I think I will make it so it is almost 6 feet long and 2 foot 4 inches wide. That seemed like a good size.
Going to order my metal cubes and zip ties today. And I need to make it to the fabric store to pick out more fleece for them. Hopefully we will have everything ready for them in a couple weeks.
06-10-2014, 01:41 PM #10
...so? How is it going with the GPs?
I did want to add one thing...we also got GPs for the kids to handle when they were young. And...they are great for that. BUT (there's always a but...) the kids often lose interest in them quite quickly...ours did within about 2 years. And our 2 males lived for 6+ years...so they ended up being primarily MY GPs (and I didn't really want my own...lol). If I had to do it again, I would have gotten my kids mice...
Rats are also an excellent choice (better, overall, than GPs in my opinion)...unfortunately I developed allergies to rats...
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