View Full Version : No Pigs, researching first

04-10-09, 10:59 pm
Hi, I'm Donnetta and I live in the San Antonio, TX area. My son (7) has been asking for a pet. I'm trying to find a good match for our family. I do have two other kids 5 (almost 6) and 4.5 years old.

We went to a pet store today to look at the different types of pets. Came home and found out our neighbor just got a guinea pig last week so we went over to look at him. They have him in a typical pet store cage. Another neighbor told us of a breeder that sells them.

After reading in this forum, I'm hearing that a breeder isn't a good place to buy one from and neither is a pet store (makes sense). Where is the best place? I saw something about a rescue, but haven't looked to find out where to find one.

I want to make sure that whatever pet we choose is one that we will care for for life (wow, didn't know guinea pigs lived up to 10 years!)
I came to this website from about.com where they had an article about making your own cage and saw on a pet store website in product reviews the guinea pigs need a lot more space than the stores lead you to believe.
My plan is to buy what I need to make the cage. I already have some of the cubes new in a box, but then read that they are dangerous (too big of holes). Thankfully all the cubes in the boys closet are older and 9X9 holes. I'll just swap them out!

My next thought was about where to put a cage so big. I figured the best plan was to put the cage in my office here at home (plenty of room). That way I can lock the door to keep visiting children out so I can know the guinea pigs are safe.

I still have a lot more to learn. Please tell me things I'm missing!

04-10-09, 11:31 pm
Petfinder.com would be a good place to start. Local rescues and shelters post available pets on there.

Yeah breeders and pet stores aren't recommended because of the serious overpopulation problem. While unwanted animals are being euthanized everyday, animals are still being bred and most of those will end up being bought by impulse buyers that don't realize that their pet is more work than they thought, so off to a shelter it goes. Breeding contributes to the euthanasia/killing. There are plenty of animals out there worthy of a home. I really recommend rescue.

That's great that your doing your research before getting your pigs. Yeah they can live up to ten years and they require a lot of care and attention. I would strongly suggest getting two if your getting any at all. A solitary pig can be very unhappy and lonely. Plus two is just more fun to watch!=)

Another thing you may want to look into are good quality hay and pellets. Pet store brands can be crappy and expensive. The best ones to get are Oxbow and Kleenmama's hayloft (Kleenmama's Hayloft :: Home (http://www.kmshayloft.com)). Guinea pigs need unlimited amounts of hay at all times and 1/8 cup of good quality pellets per pig per day. They should also get 1 cup of fresh veggies per day. Check out the nutritional charts in the diet and nutrition section, they are awesome. http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/diet-nutrition/22156-everything-you-need-know-about-guinea-pigs-diet-read-me-nutrition-charts-info.html

You might also want to consider using fleece bedding. It's cheaper than buying bedding however many times a month which can become costly. You should also check that thread out called "Fleece project."http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/bedding/21568-fleece-project-study.html

As for location, a place out of direct sunlight, consistent temperature, and a place where the pigs won't be forgotten is good. You want a place with a lot of foot traffic so that they pigs get a lot of attention. Pigs need to be kept at temperatures between 65-75 degrees fahrenheit. Temperatures slightly below or above that can have drastic consequences such as pneumonia or heat stroke. They also shouldn't be kept near or directly in the way of windows because drafts can make them sick easily. Guinea pigs are some what delicate animals that decline quickly if they get sick. They also tend to hide their symptoms because they are prey animals, so when they do show they are pretty sick by then. They need to be consistently monitored.

Hope this helps! Good luck and please remember to adopt and to adopt two!=D

04-10-09, 11:41 pm
Thank you for all that info! I actually meant to mention I was probably going to get two. I saw that they are social and I would hate for one to get lonely while we are gone during the day.

The room my office is in gets quite a bit of traffic. I might try it in here and see how it goes, otherwise move it to the loft area where people are always coming and going. I have friends with very young kids, so I want to make sure that I have a place where I can keep them safe when they are visiting.

I've been looking at all the fleece in the photos, that seems like a better idea. I'll read the link you gave me, too. All the cage photos have been fascinating! I'm afraid I'll go over board...I'm already thinking of a two level. LOL

I'm afraid that when I go an adoption place they will not like me having younger kids...I know many don't when you are wanting to rescue dogs. Is it generally a problem? I'm planning on the guinea pigs being more of a pet for me than them in the long run (you know how kids grow tired of doing the work of a pet).

04-10-09, 11:47 pm
yeah it could be a problem because they are quite young. Some rescues prefer the children in the household to be ten at least. Cavies have quite fragile skeletal systems and a young child could easily injure or drop a cavy. The is a proper lifting technique involved. But if you emphasize that it's going to be your pet and your responsibility, they probably will let you. I'm glad your researching first. People don't realize how much work guinea pigs are, they are much more work than even I imagined before I did all my research before I go my boys=) But I love them! This forum is a great resource for any and all of your questions! Keep reading!

04-11-09, 12:12 am
wow, thanks for all the great information!! I was floating in and out of so many forums reading here and there but this is all the great info condensed in a couple of paragraphs!! though i did find out most of the info that you mentioned, i did find out the essential bit of info i was looking for, the temperature that piggies are kept in should be 65-75 degrees. =D thanks alot!!

04-11-09, 12:52 am
Whew. I just read the entire thread about using fleece. Sounds perfect. I have a lot of friends who use cloth diapers and it makes sense in this instance, too!

Oh my though. I did a search on pet finder and found a guinea pig in San Antonio. I went to the website and they charge $150 for adoption?!?! Sorry, no go for me. They also only want experienced handlers.

04-11-09, 11:43 am
Wow! $150 does seem a bit steep, I think in general most rescues charge roughly the same as a pet store would, so just keep looking around. Craigslist and other sites like that often have guinea pigs for rehoming but it can be a little bit of a minefield as breeders use those sites to sell their 'stock' as well as honest pet owners who can no longer care for their pigs.

04-11-09, 12:29 pm
Craig's list has nothing local, not even breeders! I did find a rescue in North Texas.
However, I think we're not going to get one right now. The more I read, the more I worry that we are not ready and I do not want to get two and then not be able to take full care of them. I do think we will get two at a later date though, I've really fell in love with them already; I think they will make a great pet for us when we are more ready for one.

IF one of my neighbors that has one in a tiny cage wants to get rid of theirs, I will go ahead and rescue them though. I will definitely be telling them what I've learned and the info on how to make the larger cages.

My decision to not get one right now has made me sad, but I do think it's for the best for now.

04-11-09, 01:52 pm
YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW! i have ben researching guinea pigs for four months and i am getting two finally. Your son is too young to be looking after for one. You will end up doing everything for it, they are more hard work than dogs.

04-11-09, 02:28 pm
YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW! i have ben researching guinea pigs for four months and i am getting two finally. Your son is too young to be looking after for one. You will end up doing everything for it, they are more hard work than dogs.

Alley-- while I agree that cavies are not the "perfect starter pet for kids!" that petstores like to say they are, you do not know Donetta's son. At 7, ALL of my children (who are now 17, 15, and 11) were dutiful pet guardians. Only she can really be the judge as to whether or not her son is ready for part or all of the responsibility. It sounded to me like the pig/s Donetta eventually adopts will be a family pet, but her son is the one who has shown the most interest. And while I also agree that cavies take a lot of work-- I have 4 cavies, and 3 dogs, and the dogs are DEFINITELY more work.

04-11-09, 02:35 pm
AllysGuineas, donettacb98 said the plan was for them to be more her pets.

It's a hard decision to not get a pet when you really want one, but guineas do take a lot of care (and expense) so in the short-term it's probably best not to commit just yet. I hope you get some one day soon when you're ready.

04-11-09, 06:58 pm
donnettacb98 and PaperMoon,
You are both quite welcome! Please ask any questions that come to mind! I'd be happy to attempt to answer them! I just want to create a happy healthy home for your future guinea pigs!:)

04-11-09, 10:45 pm
Thank you everyone!! We are definitely waiting. I hope we get one in the future. I just want to make sure we are prepared to care for them for their entire lives.

Someone told me they had several for their kids but after two years their kids got tired of them so they re-homed them. At least they found homes for them, but I do not think it is fair for animals to have to change homes all the time. Hopefully theirs were taken care of by their new owners.

Anyway, I do appreciate everyone's feed back.

04-11-09, 11:38 pm
Hey! San Antonio Texas! Yeeeeeah! :D
Sorry, couldn't help it, its my hometown and I am severely homesick...:crazy:. Oh the things you do to go to a good school....

Its good you are doing research before getting them, they can seem like an easy pet at first but really need the same amount of dedication and attention as a dog or cat would. I got my beautiful Basil from the San Antonio craigslist. I put a post up saying that I was looking for a female guinea pig, and specified that I would not respond to breeders, just people who need to find a new good home for their piggies. It took a few months, but paitence definitely pays off! Good luck!

04-16-09, 08:36 am
Thanks for the Craig's list suggestion...that's a good idea. I'll keep that in mind when we get ready to get a pet.