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bpatters
06-16-15, 07:16 pm
Here's a thread with a summary of what you should NOT do for your guinea pigs. Many pet stores and other internet sites have incorrect information about their care, so we decided to pull a summary together that makes it easier to avoid mistakes that can actually harm your guinea pigs. So:

Don't buy:

-- leashes and harnesses
-- exercise balls
-- exercise wheels. None of those are good for GP backs.

-- treats with a lot of sugar, or that have hard nuts and/or seeds
-- salt/mineral licks
-- yogurt drops. Guinea pigs are lactose intolerant

-- pet store cages. They're all too small even for one pig.

Don't use:

-- corncob bedding
-- cedar bedding
-- any pine bedding that has a strong pine odor
-- clay cat litter
-- wire-bottomed cages that have no bedding on top
-- cages with exposed wood where the urine can reach it -- it will smell terrible.

Don't feed: (See http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/22156-READ-ME-Cavy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List for what you can feed, and how often)-- iceberg lettuce. It has no nutritional value whatsoever.

-- fruit, except small bits as occasional treats. Guinea pigs don't process sugar, and it can cause digestive upsets.
-- hard seeds and/or nuts.
-- grass that has been treated with pesticides, recently fertilized, or has been urinated on by wild animals
-- a lot of fresh grass at one time. Start off with small amounts, and increase slowly.

Don't:

-- buy a guinea pig from a pet store. They're bred and raised in horrible conditions, and are often sick, missexed, and/or pregnant.
-- take advice from pet store employees.
-- take your pig to a dog-and-cat vet. They're not qualified to treat them.


-- breed your guinea pigs. Pregnancy is very hard on sows and pups, the death rate is high, and they're prone to genetic diseases.
-- put unaltered males together with unaltered females for floor or play time. It takes 2-3 seconds to impregnate a sow.

-- add vitamin C drops to their water
-- ignore signs of illness or the failure to eat.

-- house your guinea pigs with other animals, especially rabbits. Rabbits carry bordatella, and can easily injure pigs.
-- house your guinea pigs outside or in an out-of-the-way room in the house. They need company.
-- buy a guinea pig as a pet for small children.
-- have just one guinea pig. They're herd animals, and need another guinea pig as a friend.



If you have other suggestions, reply to this post, and I'll incorporate those suggestions up here.

lunarminx
06-16-15, 07:36 pm
I hope when this is done, it becomes a sticky too.

bpatters
06-16-15, 07:39 pm
It is a sticky.

poop_patrol
06-16-15, 08:58 pm
Not sure if it goes in the "Don't Buy" or "Don't Feed", but I frequently read about folks wanting to supplement vitamin C using the water drops. I think that's a common mistake. All pet stores and even some vets advise it. SO I would include "Don't add vitamin C to their water."

Edited by bpatters: Added. Thanks.

Kenna18155
06-16-15, 10:01 pm
- Don't use a wood-bottomed cage without a waterproof layer. Urine will soak into the wood.

- Don't house your guinea pigs with any other species of animal--even rabbits.

Edited by bpatters: Thanks!

joys_cavies
06-18-15, 01:25 am
-- Don't bathe your pigs multiple times a month

--Don't feed grass if it's sprayed or if you aren't sure if it is (better safe then sorry!)

Edited by bpatters: Done.

Fay
06-18-15, 02:03 am
- Don't house your guinea pigs outside or in an out of the way room like a garage, shed, or basement. They're sensitive to temperature changes, drafts, and vulnerable to parasites and predators. You would also be unable to closely monitor their well being for illness which can easily be missed.
- Don't get guinea pigs for your child. Guinea pigs are high maintenance and children are prone to neglect the guinea pigs or accidentally harm them.

Edited by bpatters: Done.

miniver
06-18-15, 04:34 am
Don't have lone pigs. They are herd animals. Get your cavy a friend.

Edited by bpatters: Done.

mdodge
06-18-15, 08:41 am
Don't ignore signs of illness or not eating.

Edited by bpatters: Done.

LoveMyHerd
06-18-15, 11:14 am
Don't take them to a dogs/cats vet. These people generally have no knowledge of guinea pig illness.

Don't take advice from pet store employees.

Edited by bpatters: Done.

KatlynNichole
07-13-15, 08:41 pm
A lot of people groom their guineas without knowing how. Always research, esspecually how to cut their nails. If you cut to close to the wick, they can bleed and it will hurt them.
Always read your pellets bag to make sure that it doesn't contain any more calcium than 4% for adult guineas. (:

wombats
07-14-15, 07:23 am
Don't feed adult guinea pigs alfalfa hay.
Don't give guinea pigs all pellets and no hay. (Basically don't NOT give them hay, but that sounds strange)
Don't put multiple guinea pigs together without being completely certain of their sex.
Don't house two males (unaltered or otherwise) with one or a few females.
Don't introduce guinea pigs, then seperate them, then introduce them again. (Seems like this has happened a decent amount of times recently and causes unneeded stress)



...hmm...that's all I can think of that hasn't been mentioned thusfar.

MetalicPheonix
09-02-15, 08:32 pm
Woombat sorry but I have to disagree guinea pig need hay for there gigestive system to run smoothly and trim down there teeth

Popcorn.piggies
09-02-15, 11:36 pm
Don't bath your piggy in water so deep they are swimming.

lissie
09-03-15, 12:27 am
Woombat sorry but I have to disagree guinea pig need hay for there gigestive system to run smoothly and trim down there teeth

I think that's what he/she meant "Do not not give them hay" = "Give them hay". If that makes sense.

MetalicPheonix
09-03-15, 07:49 am
Oh ok sorry xD lol

nanalynne
11-09-15, 09:04 am
I'm a new mama to 2, so I have to ask, WHY is putting Vit. C a bad idea? Thank you for the help!

Katie Vetter
11-09-15, 09:10 am
Vitamin c ops degrade quickly in water, and the taste may cause them not to drink.

nanalynne
11-09-15, 09:17 am
So how do you give them Vit C? i saw that they shouldn't get the wheels with salt and minerals too

mci1986
11-09-15, 09:17 am
Putting vitamin C. into their water generally changes the taste of the water which may cause your guinea pigs to not drink at all. Also vitamin C drops degrade very very quickly in water so it provides little benefit over feeding good, fresh vegetables or supplementing with a vitamin C tablet.

There is also the fact that unless you are monitoring your pigs 24/7 you can't be sure how much of the water they are drinking. If you are putting vitamin C into the water you can't be sure of how much they are getting.

You really can't go wrong with feeding green or yellow bell peppers. Feeding 1/2 cup of chopped peppers to each pig daily will provide a lot of vitamin C and is generally less expensive than supplements anyways.

bpatters
11-09-15, 11:11 am
Half a cup is really more than you need to give adequate vitamin C for a pig. One-fourth to one-third cup should do it.

Elizabeth Nuss
11-09-15, 11:40 am
I feel the 'no advice from pet store employees' should be taken with a grain of salt. :/
I know a number of employees at my local pet stores that have guineas themselves and give good advice for food and care.

It should be changed to: Don't take advice from someone without researching first!

nanalynne
11-09-15, 11:42 am
You mentioned chopped peppers... should veggies be chopped?

scoottie
11-09-15, 12:06 pm
With their veggies. Peppers contain a good amount of vitamin c in it

lunarminx
11-09-15, 12:20 pm
You mentioned chopped peppers... should veggies be chopped?

I cut most of their veggies into 1-2 inch pieces. I rip the lettuce up as well unless I but it as salad mix.

lissie
11-09-15, 04:54 pm
nanalynne
I never chop the veggies. I give them the whole leaves.

I've read somewhere some pigs choked on chopped carrots. I think if veggies are chopped too small, it becomes harder for them to chew.

TurdineBaby
11-09-15, 05:28 pm
Don't use bowls for water. They get easily contaminated as well as causing mess and possible drowning.
Don't put our guinea pigs in the bath back down...this is a thing that was adverised on pet tv shows in 'how to bathe guinea pigs' -_-

Melodica
11-17-15, 07:36 am
I don't really have any suggestions, but I do have a couple of comments.



Don't buy:

-- exercise balls
-- exercise wheels. None of those are good for GP backs.
-- treats with a lot of sugar, or that have hard nuts and/or seeds
-- yogurt drops. Guinea pigs are lactose intolerant

Don't use:

-- cedar bedding


I was looking on Craigslist and just searched for guinea pig and came across someone selling a pig and cage in my area. The pig was in a store cage in CEDAR shavings and there was a large wheel in the cage.
My husband and I were immediately concerned and ended up purchasing just the pig. When my husband met the lady to pick her up, she was in a HAMSTER ball. She's a small pig (only about 6 months old) so she fit in it, but you know if the owner had the hamster ball, she probably put the poor little thing in it more than once trying to get her to run around. She did bring some of the "treats" for her as well. Yogurt and nuts. SMH.

Anyway, she's doing fine now - runs around her cage a lot, wheeks every time she hears the stairs creak and tortures my husband by pulling on the water bottle while he's trying to work (he works from home). So glad we were able to get her out of that. If more people would do research on animals before buying them, this kind of thing wouldn't happen.




Don't:

-- have just one guinea pig. They're herd animals, and need another guinea pig as a friend.

We actually have one pig that cannot STAND other pigs. If you put another pig in with him, he will throw his head back like he's smelled something vile and get very ticked off. Tried multiple pigs. He just doesn't like them. He appears to be very happy by himself. He likes humans though. He will come to the side of the cage if anyone walks by and let them scratch his nose, cheeks and chin. So, while it might be rare, I guess all pigs don't need a friend!

lissie
11-17-15, 10:20 am
If you put another pig in with him, he will throw his head back like he's smelled something vile and get very ticked off. Tried multiple pigs. He just doesn't like them. He appears to be very happy by himself. He likes humans though. He will come to the side of the cage if anyone walks by and let them scratch his nose, cheeks and chin. So, while it might be rare, I guess all pigs don't need a friend!

Did you do proper introduction in a neutral area, or put another pig into his cage?

Melodica
11-17-15, 10:25 am
Did you do proper introduction in a neutral area, or put another pig into his cage?

Totally neutral area each time, on fleece that had never been used in a cage. Tried this with several other pigs, all with differing personalities. He just couldn't stand any of them.

lissie
11-17-15, 04:04 pm
Totally neutral area each time, on fleece that had never been used in a cage. Tried this with several other pigs, all with differing personalities. He just couldn't stand any of them.

Were there full blown fights? Throwing his head back is just a dominance thing. They try to get their nose higher than the other guy.
Have you read these pages?
http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html
http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=46468

Melodica
11-17-15, 10:34 pm
Were there full blown fights? Throwing his head back is just a dominance thing. They try to get their nose higher than the other guy.
Have you read these pages?
http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html
http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=46468

Yes, there were fights. Fur flying, blood drawing, pig screeching fights. All it did was stress him out, so we just stopped trying. He seems perfectly happy by himself and we make sure to give him a lot of attention (which is easy because he's the pig that will run to the side of the cage and demand it).

nanalynne
11-18-15, 12:03 am
My girls don't like peppers. I have tried to give them to them several times and they won't eat them So far all I can get them to eat is lettuce and apples. Any other suggestions?

DroidGuineaPig
04-06-16, 08:39 pm
An only Cavy is a lonely cavy

librarychick
04-06-16, 10:17 pm
A few suggestions:

-rabbits CAN carry bordatella, buy not all do. Having rabbits in the same household is ok, but they shouldn't have direct access to each other.
-have children as the sole caregiver - some children are responsible owners, but an adult is ultimately responsible for the animals in their home.
-take advice from other guinea pig owners, non-specialist vets, or pet store employees without researching for yourself as well

Pinkandgold
04-12-16, 02:00 pm
It's amazing how at stores there are "guinea pig treats" filled with seeds and nuts, and other things which are not safe for them! I'm wondering why they are out on the market. They are especially targeted for guinea pigs, and yet they are so unhealthy.

PixieTopaz
04-12-16, 02:34 pm
I bought mine form a pet store. They are very happy and healthy. Been with me a month now. Sometimes that is the only choice. Even if I found one/two that were being re homed they still came from the pet store.

bpatters
04-12-16, 02:54 pm
There's always an alternative to a pet store. You want to know what pet store animals lives are like? Read www.petsmartcruelty.com (very graphic images), and remember that Rainbow Exotics is still in business and still supplying PetSmart and Petco.

pigmommy89
04-12-16, 04:17 pm
Also, the pet store doesn't make money off of one you get from another home. Even if that pig did come from a pet store originally , you still aren't supporting the store. And FYI, i have had healthy pet store pigs too, but I've also had sick ones that died days after purchase. That's why I'll adopt from now on. To try to help break the cycle.

PixieTopaz
04-13-16, 02:03 pm
My other option other then pet store was not to get any.

bpatters
04-13-16, 02:44 pm
There are always options other than pet stores. There are rescues and shelters and CraigsList and Kijiji and ads in the newspapers for people looking to rehome them. Anywhere there are pet stores selling guinea pigs there are people wanting to get rid of them.

Most of the major guinea pig sites will help arrange "piggy trains" to get pigs from one area to another when someone wants to adopt them. I personally drove 300+ miles each way to get the first three I had, and the last two came from nearly that far, but someone delivered them to me.

lattiee
06-23-16, 01:47 pm
Edited by bpatters: Paragraph had nothing to do with guinea pig care.

If you did need to rehome your guinea pigs makes sure You Do Not Offer them for Free as most guinea pigs that are offered Free are usually offered as Snake Food for their snakes along with sometimes for people who like to eat guinea pigs . Always request money in rehoming events .

Do not just hand your guinea pig off to a willing adopter who has the money without double checking to make sure they are properly educated about guinea pigs .

sallyvh
06-23-16, 02:10 pm
As I would buy a guniea pig from a pet store as to me that is like rescuing them from a neglecting home enviroment after all most guinea pigs that end up on classified ads , in rescues, or even shelters are from a pet store


There is a HUGE issue with this kind of thinking.

Yes, you will be "saving" that pig and giving it a good home, but what does that action do? Purchasing that guinea pig helps feed the supply and demand for more baby guinea pigs. Everyone buying pet store pigs has now just enabled the store to order another shipment. Which now means more sows are being bred in mills to supply the demand for more baby guinea pigs. In reality you're not helping much, you have saved one guinea pig but now condemned two more; the sow to be bred and the new baby that will take it's place.

Yes, almost all rescue pigs have come from the pet store, but at least if you adopt you are not supporting the store financially or feeding the supply and demand chain. When you adopt a pig from a rescue you are potentially saving two lives; your new pigs life and you have now opened up a space in the rescue for them to save another pig.

Adoption or choosing a pig/s that is being rehomed is always the best option.

bpatters
06-23-16, 02:24 pm
I'm closing this thread. It's degenerated into a discussion about buying pigs, and that wasn't the original intent.