View Full Version : New owner/Impulse buy Suggestions needed!

02-09-08, 02:56 am
Ok we went into Petco looking for advice on our fishes tail growth. We came across a display with a guinea pig noted adoption fee $15. She was cute...just to placate the kid I asked if we could pet "it". We did and went along to find fungus medicine for poor "Angel" the longest living goldfish in town. (We aquired this fish by my lovely daughter managing to land a ball in a too small cup at the fair...2 years ago!) You spend a couple bucks to let your kid have fun but never expect them to win and even if they do carnival fish dont live long right? Ha! Wrong...

To make a long story short our trip to Petco was to figure out what was wrong with the fish not to adopt a cute furry guinea pig....but after asking to pet her we kind of liked her. Then my daughter began the "she looks like she is looking for a good home" etc Mr. Petco was quite informative about guinea pigs telling me how social and lap animals they are so pretty much I fell in love with the guinea pig. And I will be quite honest I went with Mr Petco's suggestion to buy the cage in kit deal. For a first time pet buyer I do think it helpful they provide everything basicaly needed but i know we need more to provide a healthy life for our furry friend

Anyhow we brought her home and she was of course stressed I held her for a bit and she purred but later she did not want to be held and appeared stressed.

I have never owned a guinea pig and would appreciate any suggestions given from bedding food, etc.

Many articles I read suggest having a companion in the cage. My guinea appears around 3 yrs old; should i leave her alone or add a companion? She was an "adoption animal" and was given alone and am not sure if i should add anyone to the mix

I have read a great deal on c aring for guinea pigs and a recurring point I see is feeding them 2nd cut timothy hay. Where and how often do people order this? I am in San Diego. If anyone can offer suggestions or ideas I would apreciate it.

Thank you,


02-09-08, 03:06 am
I would take your new pig to an exotic specialist to have her checked out. This recommended to all as an initial check up but more so to those that brought a pig from a petstore. I would certainly look into adopting a pig for your new little girl. Look through Guinea Pig Home - Home (http://www.guineapighome.com/) for any pigs up for adoption near you. Also do a search to see if you can find any rescues near by. Some other members may be able to help you with this.

I wouldnt listen to what the petstore person told you. Most likely (as you will learn) it was all awful information. For a start, 1 guinea pig requires a 7.5sq ft cage, undoubtedly your cage is alot smaller than that. Check out C&C cages.

Pigs need a wide variety of veggies to prevent them from getting scurvy. Check out the nutrition forum (particular the stickies) for more info on this.

A plain timothy based pellet must be available to you pig - about 1/4 of a cup a day.

Timothy hay is a must and she must have unlimited amounts of it available at all times. It doesnt have to be 2nd cut.

I would also sex her for yourself as petstores are notorious for miss-sexing.

Feel free to ask questions.

02-09-08, 11:10 am
Yes, she (make sure it is actually a female) needs a buddy and a much bigger cage than you have. Take your time to read all the posts (especially the sticky notes) and you will find everything you need to know to take care of your new pigger. Welcome to the wonderful world of cavies!

02-09-08, 04:02 pm
There is a great guinea pig rescue in SD that you could probably contact for help Wee Companions - Small Animal Rescue and Adoption (http://www.weecompanions.com/)

Petco isn't the best place to seek pet care info though.

Wheek Weak
02-11-08, 10:30 am
Make sure to read all of stickies at the top of each forum on this website. You'll get loads of great information.

In my opinion, the best source for hay is Kleenmama's. We order the bluegrass and/or timothy on a regular basis. Kleenmama's Hay (http://www.kmshayloft.com)

Print off a copy of the diet/nutrition guide (located at the top of the nutrition forum). It's a very convenient, color-coded list of what foods to feed, and how often to feed them.

Also, you mentioned her "purring". Sometimes the "brrrr" sound that they make is mistaken for purring. That sound could be a sign of skin pain caused by mites. More often than not, pet store pigs have mites, URIs, UTIs, etc. Check out this information on Ivermectin treatment for mites. You can do it yourself at home. No needles or injections are necessary...just a drop or two behind the ear once a week for about three weeks. Ivermectin Pour-On (http://http://www.guinealynx.com/topical_ivermectin_pour-on.html).

02-11-08, 10:57 am
For a first time pet buyer I do think it helpful they provide everything basicaly needed but i know we need more to provide a healthy life for our furry friend

Too bad they couldn't provide you with the right stuff.

As said by others, read all the stickies at the tops of every forum. Tons of valuable information. If you still have questions try doing a forum search and see if that question has already been asked. A lot of times 3 or 4 people will post almost identical questions, practically at the same time. If you still have questions after that, please ask. We will be glad to help you.

Do get the stuff to make a C&C cage. You are in the States so the materials shouldn't be hard to find. Target is your best bet for the cubes. Try finding a sign shop or sign wholesaler for the coroplast. Zip ties you can get anywhere, even the dollar store and the corner convenience stores. I buy a bag of 1000 from Home Depot for less than $20.

Do get your girl (after you have confirmed she is indeed a girl) a friend. Even if she has been alone all here life she will love having some company. Just get a young one if she is as old as you think.

I personally use fleece as a bedding and I love it. The bigger the cage the better it works, in my opinion. I have a 3x8 cage with a 3x2 loft. This is the number of grids not feet. Each grid is 14 inches without the connectors or 14.5 with the connectors. So my cage is 42x112 inches ( I didn't use the connectors). I can't imagine trying to fill that with shavings or carefresh and then having to replace it every week!

Check out the photo galleries. The pictures will give you tons of ideas. I have a thread that details how I made one of the incarnations of my cage.

Give her some time to get acclimated to you and the new surroundings. Remember that they are prey animals and may never be completely comfortable being held or being out in the open. They may always be scared/skittish and want to hide. Don't take it personally. Love them on their terms and they are great pets. Try to love them on yours and you will get frustrated.

No needles or injections are necessary...

Well you do need the needle to get it out of the bottle.

02-11-08, 11:35 am
I hope you enjoy your new piggie! This info should help out:

Keep in mind that new pigs should be kept in quarantine for three weeks to identify any health problems. Definitely find her a friend, but don't forget that they both need 3 weeks quarantine, even if they seem healthy. Things like mites are often acquired at pet stores, and can take a while to show up. Bacterial infections are contagious, and very serious. Fungal infections are common too. There is a lot to look out for.

Be sure to read up on guinea pig introductions. They are not always as cute and cuddly with each other as they are with humans. My guess is that she would be easier to pair up with a younger female. If she has lived alone her whole life, it may take her a while to get used to another pig. A single "neutered" male might work too if she turns out to be aggressive. As suggested, I would talk to somebody at wee companions.

Make sure she is a "she". At three years, it should be easy to tell, but it is not something you want to take any chances with! Same goes for any cage mate you find for her. Guinea pigs older than 8 months that have never had pups are highly likely to die from pregnancy. Not fun.

Larger cages make a lot more fun for both the piggies and the owners. You and your pig (piggies) will be missing out on a LOT if you stick with the starter cage.

Cages like these would be great for two piggies, and are not expensive to make:

This cage is cool:

But it could really benefit from this guy's removeable second level idea for cleaning: http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/about-cages/33498-newly-renavated-cage-3x3-2x3-loft.html?highlight=seperate+loft

You'll also notice a lot of fleece. It cuts down on bedding costs a lot. There are a lot of good threads here on using fleece. I have a pretty big cage, and there is no way I could manage it using disposable bedding like shavings or carefresh. Some folks mix fleece and disposable bedding, using disposable stuff in litter boxes under the hay, and in corners where they tend to do their business.

Wheek Weak
02-11-08, 02:26 pm
Well you do need the needle to get it out of the bottle.We use the Iver-On Pour-On. It has an open top...no needle necessary to draw it out of the bottle. Just a needle-less 1cc syringe.

02-13-08, 10:23 am
I second getting your piggy to a vet soon (one that knows about guinea pigs). My first pig was rehomed to me, but the first owner bought him from a pet store a month or so previoius- he came with an advanced upper respiratory infection and mites and some serious nutritional deficiencies. I didn't know it at the time, but URIs (the infection) can move very fast by the time the pig is sneezing and can kill an untreated piggy in a few days.

As for food: start offering 1cup of green leafy veggies ( no iceburg, but romaine is great) each day. Your piggy might not know what to do with them, but she'll figure it out after a week or so!

02-13-08, 01:15 pm
If you really want to give your new pig a good life you have come to the right place.
Everyone has already told you the basic's, so I wont repeat them.
I just wanted to welcome you, and hope you find all the information you need.