View Full Version : 2nd time guinea pig owner - ready to learn more

07-24-11, 03:37 pm
Hi, I'm leddybug (from ladybug). I have a beautiful white (with black eyes) guinea pig I've named Daisy. A dollop of Daisy, haha. I got her about 4 months ago. She's the second guinea pig I've owned. The first was a black, brown, and white abyssinian, named Hailey. I didn't know much about guinea pig care back then, and I always blamed myself when she got cancer... That was about a year ago. But now I'm ready to learn more and make some changes. Perhaps I could ask advice here?

As far as her cage goes, she's been staying in a store-bought one, as my dad and I work on building her C&C cage. It's going great so far, so I'm really excited! It's a 2x4. Suprisingly, I found all the materials in-town, and cheap. I got pink grids; it's cute. I'll be getting Daisy a little friend near the end of summer, before I head back to college.

I can't tell the difference between purring (happy) and rumbling (unhappy). It sounds like a "burrrr" kind of noise. And she usually makes it when there's a loud noise upstairs. But she makes the same noise while I'm holding and petting her.

I've been feeding her "Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Guinea Pig Food" and Kaytee timothy hay. Is that good? Oh, and vegetables, too, of course. I have some trouble with leaking/dripping water bottles. Any advice and/or recommendations?

By the way, there's a nice pet store here in town. It's locally owned, and they take great care of their pets. They provide plenty of space for their guinea pigs (only about 2 or 3 per pen - 4 pens total - males and females kept separate). They keep them in open play-pens (each is about the size of a 2x3 C&C cage), and give them fresh vegetables and water. The guinea pigs always look healthy, and none are ever pregnant. I know there's a strict no-pet store thing here, but I think it's actually doing a good job. It should be okay to buy from them, right? Shelters first, of course. Although, the other pet store next door is a completely different story... ugh. We never go there.

One last thing, how do you pet an abyssinian guinea pig, anyway? Seems like the swirls would get in the way. Just asking, in case the new piggy is an abyssinian.

07-24-11, 03:59 pm
Couldn't find the edit button. Another thing I forgot to ask about is my cat. She's incredibly fat, and loves to sit on top of Daisy's cage. I'm worried though. Will the C&C cage be able to withstand her weight (it's a 2x4)? I get the feeling that Daisy loves the kitty's company (She just gets so excited and starts popcorning and squeaking. She even stands up against the side of the cage to get closer to the cat). And the kitty baps her softly with her (declawed) paw. Daisy seems to love that, though, cause she does it ALL the time.

08-02-11, 08:42 pm
Well, I finished Daisy's new cage, and she LOVES it. My dad and I went to Lowes and got some 4" pipes. She's currently running laps around the cage, in and out of the tube. And the cat is laying right on top of the cage. We decided to go with linen shelving for the top, and it's safely supporting the weight of our cat. So glad I found this site; Daisy looks quite happy.

08-02-11, 08:59 pm
Hi, welcome to the forum! You are off to a great start :)

I'd ditch the Kaytee food, it's not very healthy for them. Switch to Oxbow, KM'sHayLoft or Sweet Meadow. KM's is the best, but only available online. Oxbow is the second best but is easier to find (they have a store locater on there site too!). They need a plain pellet, no added 'extras'. The Kaytee Hay is okay, though you can find better. KM's has the best hay, but if you look around you might be able to find a farm or feed store that has *bales* of hay for under $20!

To me, there is no difference for a pet store that treats there animals well and sells them to a pet store that treats there animals badly and sells them. They are *still* selling animals and perpetuating the cycle. Rescue first + only for me. Try petfinder.org, craigslist, kijiji and other local classifieds. Even if it takes a bit of patience you should be able to find a homeless pig in need.

Most water bottles leak, as small animal owners we just accept that. I put pavers under the water bottles to keep the bedding under it dry. I also like the 'Sippy' Water Bottles, they don't leak as much as the typical water bottles I've found but aren't common in my country.

08-03-11, 12:50 am
Hello and welcome to the forum! You sound like you are off to a very good start.
I live in AZ and cannot find Oxbow feed. I use a Purina brand call Mazuri, plain pellet. I can get it plus timothy and burmuda hay at my local feeds store. Many on here swear by KM or the Oxbow pellets and hay. If you can get them they really are the best. As for veggies, Ly&pigs, in the diet and nutrition site, has a wonderful list of all fruits and veggies to be eaten and when. A list of posionous foods too. There is great reading here for anything you would need to know about GPs.

As for the pet stores. The reason this site is pro adopt and against petstores is not the cleanliness of a store, how well they are kept or how well they are fed. It is what goes on behind the scenes. It is the breeding mills, backyard breeders, and the females that are kept in cages, bred over and over unitl they die. It is all of the animals that are dying in shelters because there are not enough homes. The saying "don't buy while shelter animals die" is where this comes from.
For every animal sold 2 or more are put out in the store to take their place. It is this cycle this GP site is against.
There are many threads explaining this cycle if you would care to read more. It is thru this education that many of us no longer use petstores or stores that sell live animals and why we believe adoption is the way to go.

So glad you have joined us. Feel free to ask questions. We are here for you and your pigs.

08-06-11, 03:25 am
Ah, yes, I understand what you mean with the pet stores. I'd like to find out for myself where they get their piggies (just for peace of mind, anyway). As for breeding mills and breeders, I bet that's what the pet store next door does (literally, there are two pet stores right next to each other--they face different directions, on different streets, but seriously, you can drive from one parking lot to the other's). Honestly, I really want to do something about that store. And not just for the guinea piggies, but the (always) sickly kittens, the cooped up puppies, and the hermit crabs that are LITERALLY drowning (I found a corpse floating on the water a few days ago). Any advice? I just don't think me boycotting them is enough, you know? But yeah, I'm still looking around for a friend for Daisy, and I'll look into the KM and Oxbow pellets and hay. Thanks for the info. Much appreciated. =)

08-06-11, 03:43 am
You can call your local Humane Society, PETA , ASPCA if you have chapters in your area. Even you local police. You can make a report of cruelty and ask them what to do about. It.

08-07-11, 02:47 pm
Ok, thanks, I'll take some pictures (as evidence), and send them in to those organizations and see if they think it's worth doing something about.

Onto another topic, what would you suggest the best way to hold and pet a guinea pig is, so that they're most comfortable? How would you pet a smooth-coated piggy vs an abyssinian?

08-18-11, 12:04 am
Well, I found a cage mate for Daisy. I've named her Lily. She's quite underweight, and possibly has fleas. I have her quarantined for now. I'm taking her to the vet sometime this week to get her checked out. She's currently running laps around her cage. What's with that anyway? Daisy does the same thing. I'm looking forward to seeing what Lily's personality is going to be like, since Daisy is such a rambunctious one.

Daisy is doing great, as usual. I think she snores. Is that possible? She lays down in her hut and I hear this coo... coo... noise. She's also gotten into the habit of climbing up to my shoulder and into my hair. After I've cleared up the possible flea-infestation, I'll have to try introducing them to each other for the first time.