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View Full Version : 1st Time Guinea Pig Owner -- Excited But Clueless!



Arkrein
09-07-15, 07:45 pm
So some weeks ago, my boyfriend and I rescued a wild guinea pig running around our backyard.
Okay lemme put it this way. I never thought about owning a guinea pig. Not once, not ever. But as a family, we have a penchant for taking in hurt animals. One of our cats is a stray, the other was a baby from another cat my boyfriend rescued from a reckless stoner kid. But anyways back to the story, we have a chainlink fence running along the backside of our yard and a row of tall evergeen trees planted deliberately behind it to divide the residential back yards from the school field. So everytime we came out to hang out on the deck, we would see this guinea pig peeking out from the trees and hang out there. We all thought it was strange but we tried multiple times to retrieve it as so did our cats, but she was just so good at hiding in small places. The trees being planted together so closely created a shelter in the middle, and she was a smart cookie. She didn't stray too far out.

We put food out and water for her everyday. One day, we found a long haired chocolate brown guinea pig in our yard, but our cats clearly got a hold of her and dragged her back to our yard, which is probably why the other one stayed so close.

Eventually, she started to trust us, and had found a way to get under our fence and into our yard. We caught her that day, and raced to Petsmart to get her a cage. We're so glad we caught her when we did, because days later, we had the worst windstorm in 10 years that knocked down a lot of trees onto houses in our neighborhood. I don't think she would have lived.

ANYWAYS, we didn't have any plans to keep her at first. None of us thought about wanting a guinea pig, nevertheless know how to take care of one, but we weren't so trusting of people since we suspected someone had irresponsibly dumped both animals. Days passed and we fell in love, and researched all we could to be informed about her needs.

Okay, let me tell you about this magical guinea pig.

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Her name is Gin Gin (strange? yeah we know, but I baby talked this guinea pig to hell and back for like three weeks straight to coax her out)
She is so damn precious. She sits there and lets you pet her as your heart desires and she will purr and purr forever. She happily chatters the entire time she is in your company. She looks at lettuce like gold. She loves baths and hair brushing, she holds still when you clip her nails, and prances excitedly in her cage after you clean it. She is freakishly adorable.

She also does this freakishly cute thing where whenever you whistle at her, she replies back in a loving purr.

So we kept reading articles about how guinea pigs should never be alone. And seeing as how her companion passed away at the hands (or should I say paws lol) of our cats, we decided on taking in another guinea pig so she would be "happier" in her cage. We looked up adoption sites but the only ones around our city were all male. We went into Petsmart to get a new hideaway, and ended up coming out with a new sweetheart. She was so calm and seemed like a perfect fit at home, and we figured we could love her more than pet store employees.

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So this is Peanut.

We introduced Gin Gin and Peanut to eachother yesterday, and Gin Gin was all excitement, chatting and purring as she sniffed up her new friend. Zero signs of aggression, in fact, Gin Gin has already formed a strong attachment to her, and is more social and talkative than ever. Peanut is still processing the change, and we haven't heard her speak or purr so far, but we're sure she will eventually warm up to us lol

I do have some questions as a new guinea pig mama, and throwing it out there, with hopes maybe someone can answer, so here we go:
1.) Because we rescued her, I'm not sure how old Gin Gin is. I think she may be just under a year old but is there a way to tell?
2.) What breed are both guinea pigs? Everyone seems to classify them as just long-haired but are they a specific breed?
3.) Peanut is 5 months old. Will she grow any bigger, and will her hair grow longer?
4.) Will I become a crazy guinea pig lady now?!?!?

jaycriae
09-07-15, 08:58 pm
(sorry for bad grammar im typing with one hand, the other has a baby pig!)

Well thats definitely one of the weirder guinea pig origin stories ive heard! it's too bad what happened to gin gin's old buddy, but it's pretty amazing that gin gin was able to survive and find someone to care for her. wow!

she sounds like a sweetheart. and re: the purring at whistles, sometimes guinea pigs just have noises they like! one of mine makes that noise when she hears doors slam, and another does when she hears marina and the diamonds playing.
one thing you'll want to look at is cage size, two guinea pigs need way more room than most cages sold at pet stores can supply. fortunately this site has a lot of resources on c&c cages, hence the url! i got my pigs' cage from here and its great. you didnt waste your money if you bought a smaller cage, though, because travel or quarantine cages are always good to have.

you should also get gin gin looked at by a good gpig vet asap if you havent yet, because who knows what she couldve caught or eaten out there. she could even be pregnant, you dont really know! it's a good sign that shes friendly and eating well, though. (try giving her bell peppers slices if you have any, piggies love them and they can help replace the vitamin c she likely didnt get enough of out there.)

when you say you havent heard peanut speak, do you mean she hasnt squeaked at all? that plus her calm nature is a little worrying, is she moving around and eating well? if she hasnt adjusted to your pellets, does she at least eat timothy hay?

1. it's hard to tell with adult guinea pigs, though a vet may have some idea
2. peanut looks like some kind of long-haired Abbysinian, not sure about gin gin.
3. she will get bigger, though in my experience pet store pigs usually end up smaller than average. no way of knowing about her hair yet
4. yes, and they will love it

Arkrein
09-08-15, 11:37 am
A baby pig?!?! SO CUTE!

Thanks for your answers! I booked an appointment with a vet for this week :)

Funny enough, I just found out last night that Gin Gin actually responds to the text notifications on my phone lol. But that is so adorable! Props to your guinea pig for her impeccable taste in music :)

You know I'm actually looking into a bigger cage, and pet stores just don't have the size. (Not to mention it's priced up the whats-its) I have a large space on top of my dresser that spans my entire my closet and was thinking about building a pexiglass, topless one.

Since my post, she has been chit chatting to herself, and purred a few times. Now that shes starting to come out of her shell, she's been eating all the hay in the world, and even started eating from my hand, but only pellets because she seems confused when I present her fresh veggies. She's still not as outgoing and vocal as Gin Gin is, but that might be part of her personality?

foggycreekcavy
09-08-15, 03:49 pm
Are you sure that Gin Gin is a female?

You won't be able to get a cage large enough from a pet store. It's best to make your own following the instructions at www.guineapigcages.com (http://www.guineapigcages.com) . Click on the "how to make" button on the left hand side of the front page.

It's pretty impossible to tell how old a guinea pig is. You can get an idea if one is still really young, or really old, but basically once they reach their adult weight it's hard to tell.

Peanut could be a Peruvian, but I think she's just a mix. Gin Gin is definitely a mix.

Are you sure Peanut is 5 months old? She looks pretty small for that. If she is 5 months, then her hair won't get any longer. If she's still a baby, there's a chance.

Edited to add--it's not a good idea to buy a guinea pig from a pet store for a myriad of reasons. Mis-sexed, URI, parasites, and most importantly you are depriving a rescued guinea pig of a home.

jaycriae
09-08-15, 05:35 pm
^ To be entirely fair, they did say that they tried looking at adoption sites and only found males. Some areas just don't have a lot of piggies. It's too bad, but at least Gin Gin has a friend.

And it's great that Peanut's eating now! It means she likely was just settling in, then. If she wasn't eating or squeaking, I'd definitely be worried about upper respiratory infections, but if her appetite is good that's less likely. And yeah, some guinea pigs are just naturally quieter, though likely she will still continue to come out of her shell.

Yup. Pet store cages are a bazillion dollars for a crap product. (It's true for fish stuff too, people think I'm absurd for keeping my bettas in tanks instead of half gallon bowls that cost twice as much. Thanks Petsmart.) Building a C&C cage like this site outlines is definitely your best option (It can also be fun, too, and you can customize it to the area you have!)
She does look pretty small for 5 months, but i find that happens a lot with pet store pigs, since they're often malnourished or sick as babies. It's possible she's just stunted or slow growing because of the conditions she was in, or she could be younger than you were told. And I don't think peanut is a peruvian, unless she's a peruvian/abby mix, because look at those rosette-ish things! It is pretty likely that they're both mixes, though. Gin Gin might even be part sheltie, but I wouldn't bet on it.