View Full Version : When is it too much?

03-13-10, 10:25 pm
OK, so in the last week, i've went from the kids nagging "we want a guinea pig, we want a guinea pig, we want a guinea pig..." and so on (don't let me sound like they talked me into one, i've wanted one since I was a kid as well) to adopting a pair that went from living in a rubbermaid tote to a "piggie palace" 3' x 4' x 3' four level mansion thanks to this site.

Anyhow, my question is that my kids - ages 8 and 5 - are so obsessed with thier new pets that they never seem to put them down. The guinea pigs are super tame, and my son who is 5 cryed himself to sleep the other night because he had to put his piggy back in the pen at bedtime.
I really don't want the kids to maul these things to death! I've shown them the correct way to hold and handle the guinea pigs, and i've read that lap and floor time is good for them, but seriously, as the parent how do i know when enough is enough. :confused: The guinea pigs don't seem to be distressed with all the handling, they don't make "upset noises" or anything, they just sit there... in the kids' laps... and watch TV for hours while the kids pet, brush and love them...

03-13-10, 11:12 pm
Lap time is for us humans and most people do it a few minutes at a time up to a few times a day.

It's ok for your kids to hold them (with your supervision of course) but since cavies are constant foragers, they shouldn't be away from food for too long of a period at a time. So maybe set times daily for your kids to hold them and play with them up to say 1/2 an hour at a time with a couple hours of cage time in between so they can eat, nap or do the things that piggies do.

03-13-10, 11:30 pm
Great advice!
I really hadn't thought about the fact that they were being kept away from food for a few hours at a time. I'll have to make a schedule for the kids and see if that works. Maybe I can sneek in some mom-to-pig time as well :)

03-14-10, 04:46 am
I don't think extended cuddling is a problem, with aforementioned snack breaks for a few minutes.
Years ago in our grandmother's time, mothers were told not to pick up am comfort their babies but rather let them 'cry themselves to sleep'. That was flat out wrong advice. Babies and critters thrive on contact, so this cuddling time is good for the piggies, good for the kids.

03-14-10, 08:58 am
A lot of times when we do our lap time we give Gizmo and Pickles cilantro or other greens. My daughter loves to watch our gps eat and feed them. Plus that way they associate our laps with getting good food!