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Thread: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

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    Cavy Slave BrowniesMemory's Avatar
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    Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    After wanting a guinea pig for a while, sense my first guinea pigs died do to a beginner's mistake. (I didn't want to get the wrong food, but I was only 8 at the time.) Anyways, I'm finally getting another chance to have a guinea pig and I'm really excited.

    The lady who currently owns him let's him roam around during the day and puts him up at night. I intend on doing the same, at least until I can get him a proper sized cage (preferably with room for a second guinea pig). Most of the rooms in the house have wood floor, including my room and my room also has a floor vent and the bed is hard for me to get under. I'm intending on blocking of the vent so he wouldn't get a foot stuck or anything. I'm also going to secure cords out of guinea pig reach. Anything else, other than blocking off under the bed, should I be concerned about?

    Also, he'd go back in his cage at night because cats are allowed in my room at night. They aren't during the day because I have a gerbil cage on a shelf (Bungee-strapped to the shelf...for obvious reasons.) and I don't want the cats in my room unsupervised. This will be especially true with my guinea pig once I get him.

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    Cavy Slave sdpiggylvr's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    Personally, I think free-range is a real pain. It isn't easy to have to chew-proof everything in the room. You have to cover baseboards (spraying) and put something over the floor to prevent stains. The mess is more spread out, and that means more work for you. With all this work, I simply prefer to stick with a C&C cage.

    If you were to do free-range, you need to block all spaces under furniture where the guinea pig could possibly get stuck, chewable items (basically anything for a guinea pig), and anything that could be stained or peed on.

    You should definitely adopt a friend for your new boy.
    Last edited by sdpiggylvr; 02-05-11 at 12:18 pm.

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    Cavy Slave kaite13's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    Put towels down in dark corners and under furniture, that's where they will poo and pee the most. Also set up a home base for their food, water and hay! I would also provide a litterbox or access to the cage.

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    Cavy Slave BrowniesMemory's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    Quote Originally Posted by sdpiggylvr View Post
    Personally, I think free-range is a real pain. It isn't easy to have to chew-proof everything in the room. You have to cover baseboards (spraying) and put something over the floor to prevent stains. The mess is more spread out, and that means more work for you. With all this work, I simply prefer to stick with a C&C cage.

    If you were to do free-range, you need to block all spaces under furniture where the guinea pig could possibly get stuck, chewable items (basically anything for a guinea pig), and anything that could be stained or peed on.

    You should definitely adopt a friend for your new boy.
    I do plan on getting a second guinea pig for him. The plan as it stands, is to sell the ridiculously huge tank that I have and use the money from that to get a cage that's big enough for two piggies and a second guinea pig. That and I must find a second guinea pig, but right now I want to get him and get him settled in. If all goes well, he should have a bigger cage and a guinea pig friend by March.
    Last edited by BrowniesMemory; 02-05-11 at 12:27 pm.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    I also find floor time a pain. They are both currently living in a 4ft x 2ft cage, which is supposedly large enough for two female piggies. I let them have some floor time tonight and it took so much time to set up, to lay out the newspapers and to have them pee all over the newspaper! My floor got wet and dirty so as a result, I spent another one hour cleaning up after them >.< They also topple down the grid which I left there with their water bottle hanging up...how to make floor time less painful and stressful for me?

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    Cavy Slave Ibbet's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    Other than the obvious blocking of tight/dangerous furniture and covering any and all cords I'd suggest getting down on your hands, knees and stomach and looking for any items that could pose a chocking or injury risk. Kinda like if you were baby proofing. Also make sure you have no items that could easily fall to the floor and possibly startle/hurt your pig and make absolutely sure no one opens your bedroom door without being super careful or when you're not around as you definitely don't want your cats getting in and/or your piggy getting out.

    As for the mess, I don't free range my pig but when I let my pig, Hippie, out to play he is actually really good about going inside the cage to potty. I've had him for two and a half years and never trained him but I guess he taught himself. Maybe your pig will be the same? Anyway, lots of people free range so I am sure you'll be able to figure out what works for you. Good luck!

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    Cavy Slave Mori106's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    Worldangel, I wanted to address your question about making floor time easier. I'm not sure if you have room with an area you can leave set up up, but what I do is leave my floor time area set up until it needs washing. I use a Uhaul pad for the base, fleece for the top, and gating around the perimieter. Then when floor time is done I just scoop up the poop and leave the pen set up. They don't tend to pee too much when out playing so I wash the setup about once a week. If your piggies do tend to urinate alot when out you could always use puppy pads or the like under the Uhaul pad to make sure nothing gets on your floor. Again, this only helps if you have an area you can leave setup. Hope this helps.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    Unfortunately, I don't really have a room which I can leave the play pen set-up. I am considering putting the grids to the wall to prevent them from running to other area. But the flooring is a problem...my piggies don't seem to like walking and running on newspaper. If I used fleece and they pee on it, it is going to get smelly real fast and I can't afford to wash the fleece everyday.

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    Cavy Slave BrowniesMemory's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    To update, the one guinea pig didn't work out and I ended up adopting two guinea pigs from a shelter. For their floortime, I actually cleaned a rather old area rug (it had been ruined anyway) and put up a make-shift barrier. I've discovered that I have to but stuff behind the barrier otherwise my guys will escape. So far everything is working out well, it's surprising how absorbant an area rug can be though if the weather is good tomorrow I'll take it outside and rinse if off and hang it up. I even just recently came up with a way to hang the water bottle, I'll try and get pictures of the set-up up soon.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Duffinvt's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    I you get the cubes like you use for C&C cage, you can make a nice pen and the water bottle hangs on it. My four girls love floortime and I keep a permanent mat made out of a vinyl floor piece and made into half a box by cutting the corners and taping it up. I put a beach towel on it. It fits under a desk and they have their hideys under there. In another corner I have a shallow pan with a towel over it and a cardboard box hidey. They pee and poop almost 100% of the time in these and I just shake out the towels when floortime is over. They are out most days for several hours. I also have a cat and while she is generally OK with them, I never trust her alone and have a 2 square high C&C gate to keep her out of that room.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    If you have any tiny gaps in between the wood slats, urine can seep in between causing odor and problems with bacteria. My neighbor ended up having to redo her floor due to cat urine that got under it and into the sub floor. I think I'd watch to see if your guinea pig will use a litter box or not and then consider if some sort of liner should go on top of the floor to protect it.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Duffinvt's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    Right, protect your floor ... cheap things to use- Dollar Store plastic table cloths, shower curtain or even large garbage bags cut open and covered with old towels or a light blanket, old tee shirts, etc. I am a firm believer in floor time for exercise and a change of scenery for the pigs.

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    Cavy Slave Cherryblossom's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig-Proofing and Part-time Free Range

    I have a really long hallways connected to the stairways and my guinea pig climbs up and down the stairs so I close all the doors and make her a home base. I put out newspapers (she only pees on these) and poos are easy to clean up. I give her three hidey toys and many other chew toys and such. If you put out hay, they might munch on that instead of your furniture. You could do what I did or buy a play pen. Another idea is just floor time in your room, after you've made it safe. My guinea pig likes doing that too. To get them moving, you could scatter treats.

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