View Full Version : Keeping the dogs and cats out of the piggy pen?

07-30-07, 05:13 pm
I have a very big cage, so when I clean the whole thing over the weekend I usually let my 11 piggies play in their floor time pen while I scrub and wash everything. Sometimes I let them stay in there for a few days at a time. The only problem is, I always have to close my dog and three cats in a separate room so they don't jump into the pen and bother the piggies. They do fine for about an hour, after that they get really cranky and loud, and a lot of times they start fighting with each other since they are stuck in a room together. So I'm trying to find ways to let my piggies have floor time while the dog and cats can still roam around. I would NEVER leave them unsupervised though, this is just for when I'm home with them.

Lately I've been using bungee cords to attach a large tarp over the pen, and also using bungee cords to attach the pen to the walls so it can't tip over. The inside of the pen is lined with bricks around the perimeter so my dog can't push it at all. When the cats try to jump into the pen, they land on the tarp instead and have no way to get inside. This has worked pretty well.

Does anyone else have good tips for keeping their dog and cats out?

08-14-07, 05:17 pm
This might be a stupid question, but can't the pen be placed in the room and then your cats and dog could roam everywhere else?

I live in a 2 bedroom, the cavies get a bedroom, the humans get a bedroom, and the cats get the whole place other than the cavy room. When it's time to clean the cavy room, the cavies go into their old 2x4 C&C in the human bedroom, and the cats can go anywhere but the bedrooms. Sometimes they'll meow and knock on the human bedroom door but they're pretty content.

08-14-07, 06:35 pm
The only room that has enough open space for piggy floor time is my studio/living room, and there is no door. There is a 4-foot-wide entrance to the room that is very difficult to block off in order to keep the dogs and cats out while still allowing me to watch and access the piggies. Using the small animal pen with a tarp over the top attached with bungee cords has worked extremely well, and I've been able to keep the piggies in there for a whole weekend while I clean their cage. The dogs and cats love to watch the piggies, but they can't reach inside the pen at all.

I can't keep the dog and cats closed up in a bedroom for the whole time because of them fighting, and because many of the rooms in my house don't have air conditioning and get too hot. My studio is very large and stays empty so I can have space available for photo shoots, and it's perfect for floor time. I don't see any point in giving them floor time unless the space is bigger than their cage. Since their cage is in it's own bedroom and is 79 square feet, that's hard to beat! But the studio is big enough that they can have 150 square feet in their pen while there is still plenty of room around the whole perimeter of the walls so I can access them and keep an eye on them.

08-15-07, 04:27 am
Another idea is to get a baby gate and place it so that it covers like the hallway (for example, you can use it to block off another area), this way your dogs and cats get free roam of the rest of the house, just not the area from the hallway down to the studio. You may not have a section which you can use a baby gate to block off, but it is an idea all the same. When we are out we lock the dogs in the laundry so that they don't set the alarms off (which would be what would happen if they were left to roam the house during the day) and also so that they don't get stuck in the pool or something like that (which could happen if they were left outside whilst we are not home), instead of shutting the door (which makes it really stuffy) we use a baby gate which goes from one side of the door to the other, effectively it means that they can't get out but they get a good airflow. Let me know if you want any pictures, if my explanation doesn't make sence.

When we are home they spend most of their time outside, running through the palms and generally enjoying themselves. It may not work with your cat, but do you have a backyard that your dogs can run around in? At night they can come in, into a designated room.

08-15-07, 10:58 am
My cats can climb over a baby gate in less than a second, no matter how tall it is. My dog, who is a German Shepherd, can jump over a 4 foot fence, so I'm pretty sure she could get over a 2 foot baby gate. Thanks for the idea, but there is no way it work in my situation. Not to mention the fact that the four foot opening wouldn't hold one anyway.

Maybe I should have explained my situation better in the first post, because I've definitely thought of the ideas you guys are mentioning, it just isn't possible with the house I have. I wish I could just close the piggies in a room, or close the cats and dog in a room, or set up a baby gate. But when you have a large dog and three nimble cats, and you are trying to set up floor time for 11 piggies in a large room with no door, it gets a little complicated. I'm going to stick with the small animal pen, tarp, and bungee cords since it's worked really well.

I also have a permanent outdoor pen for the guinea pigs in the front yard, but the weather in my area is usually quite extreme and windy so I can't use it all that often. My dog has a huge fenced backyard, but there is no way I would leave her out there all day. I don't even leave her out there for 10 minutes, she likes to be right next to me at all times. She would bark and be very upset if I left her out there, I think it would be cruel.

08-15-07, 07:52 pm
Our dogs are not quite 1, and have heaps of energy, thus why they love to run around outside, when they get bored they come in and have cuddles with us, and during the night and whilst we are out they go in the laundry, I do not think that it is cruel in the case of our dogs although because we have 2 dogs they tend to want to play with each other rather than have cuddles with us!

I see now that the baby gate idea will not work, I recently made a roof over the top of my play pen, my play pen is like a C&C cage without the coroplast which has been made stable so that it does not fall over, (although it is not as big as yours!) using the instructions on this site:


I would not put them outside either, not only because of the weather as you suggested but because of predators. I can't think of anything else, it is really hard as your cage is soo big it makes me jealous! I will place another post if I can think of anything else.

08-15-07, 11:23 pm
Thanks for trying to help anyway, I appreciate it. I will post a photo of the pen with the tarp over it, it's been a great solution to this problem and I think it might help others in a similar situation.

I don't think it's cruel at all for you to keep your dogs outside, I hope you don't think that I was implying that. With young dogs who have someone to play with that is perfectly understandable. My dog is 9-10 years old (not sure exactly because she was a stray), I've had her for 8 years and she follows me everywhere. When I'm in the shower, she sits in the bathroom on the rug and waits. When I'm on my computer, she lies underneath the desk by my feet. When I'm sleeping, she's either on the bed, or right next to it. She also likes to be inside to monitor the cats and break up any fights, it's like she's on doggy patrol!

08-28-07, 02:19 am
Glad you found a solution! hmmm.... yoou mension your cats and dogs so much but..... WHERE ARE THE PICS? tee he he!.

08-30-07, 09:50 pm
Haha, OK, you caught me on that one... Here's a link to my pet pictures on Myspace, you can see all the piggies plus the cats and dog: MySpace (http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=92540140&albumId=864711). If the link doesn't work, my homepage is MySpace.com - Photography by Michelle - 22 - Female - ROCHESTER, NEW YORK - www.myspace.com/envisionary333 (http://www.myspace.com/envisionary333) and you can just click on "pics." Enjoy!

By the way, this issue has finally been solved! My roommate is moving out, so the piggies are getting her room too! They officially have more space in the house then I do. :eek: