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QuietWonderLand
12-26-12, 01:37 am
Hello, I have been browsing this site for the past few hours, and decided to finally join, hoping that this site and the people on it would help my knowledge of guinea pigs.
I have actually never owned a piggie before, but I have secretly always wanted one since I was so small (I am currently 15). So before I ask my mom if I could buy one myself, I was hoping to do (a lot of) research about piggies, that would hopefully persuade her into letting me get one.
i have owned many pets thought my life, always loving them and spoiling them rotten. I have owned many fish, 1 hamster (her name was Ziggy), 6 hermit crabs, 1 dog ( we had to sadly give her away -we made sure that she went to a huge farm since she was a pure-bred great pareniess), we have 2 cats right now (one of them is 14 and the other one is 4/5), we use to have a 3rd but we sadly had to get rid of her too because my sister and dad were extremely allergic to her. We rescued all of out cats too. My mother also had 2 bunnies when she was around my age that she used for 4-H.
One thing that I have found out that it is better to adopt piggies then to purchase them from a pet store. I understand that adopting is better, but could someone please tell me if there are other reasons like that pet stores neglect thie poggies? I have gone on all of the humane society websites near me and they sadly don't have any piggies.
I have $200 saved up, and if I convince my mother to let me buy a piggie, she would probably help pitch in a little bit.
Could people please give me any information/advice they have for (hopefully) new piggie owners like me? It would also help a lot if you could give me a list of items to first buy (like need instead of want lists -if that makes any sense-).
Thank you so much! ^-^.

RodentCuddles
12-26-12, 01:56 am
Welcome. (:

Ohh, you're older then me!! I'm 14. (:
I can see you're an animal lover too, though-out my life I've had 8 family cats (have 4 right now), over 50 rescue mice (have 15 girls right now), 6 personal piggies of my own (still have them), 7 guinea pigs though my rescue (have 4 here right now), 4 rabbits (still have one), heaps of fish, heaps of tadpoles who we looked after till they were frogs, 3 ratties (have them right now) and we looked after a sick bird if that counts :P

In easy talk:

Pet shops get their pigs from breeding mills (much like puppy mills but for guinea pigs) so from buying from a pet shop you would be supporting the pet shop's who take bad care of the guinea pigs and only see them as 'stock', which then allows the pet shop to order more stock (supporting the breeding mill) which then means the sows are forced to breed back-to-back (breeding sows has a 1 in 5 chance they will die) risking the lives of the sows and the of the babies.

Also pet shops usually sell sick, mis-sexed or pregnant guinea pigs.

When you adopt you are giving a homeless abandoned guinea pig a loving home, you are supporting a great cause and know that you are part of the solution and not the problem.

You will need to have a lot more then $200 saved up (I'm meaning like $1000) as piggies while they don't need regular vet visits do get sick and it can cost a lot! (I spent over $3000 on my boy last month). Then apart from the money saved up you'll also need money to pay for food, water, veggies, hay (they need it 24/7) and other stuff. (;

But apart from the money saved up, they're not very expensive pets and the vet money shouldn't be an on going thing.

Guinea pigs are herd animals in the wild and they are just as social animals as pet, so at least two is a must.

I'm not sure if I answered everything..

RodentCuddles
12-26-12, 02:21 am
Oh I also didn't mention that it's just a myth males will always fight, so don't let that put you off getting males.

I have 3 males of my own living in their cage together just fine. Females are just as likely to fight as males, it's all to do with personality not gender as each and every pig is different.

A hint for when you do find some piggies for adoption or that someone is re-homing, let the piggies pick you don't pick them and remember they are prey animals so most will hide away for the first few days but they can take months to years to trust you enough to be 'friendly' piggies but saying that some never become people loving piggies. (;

MissJean
12-26-12, 02:35 am
If pet shops sell guinea pigs, there will be guinea at shelters and on craigslist. It's part of a cycle. You might have to wait a little bit, though.

I think 200 dollars is great start for supplies, but you might need a bit more for a vet fund. It depends on the financial situation of your family. How much you would put into a vet fund would depend on the vet you go to. I would locate an exotic vet familiar with guinea pigs and ask the costs for exams and other basic procedures. This should give you a reasonable estimate of how much to save up. It also doesn't need to cover a bill entirely. Once again, that would depend on your financial situation. If your family finds itself on a tight budget often, it might be a good idea to save up more. This is just my opinion. Being prepared is nice! :o

2198lindsey
12-26-12, 04:45 am
To support what RodentCuddles was saying about the myths with males vs females fighting, I have 3 girls in one cage getting together fine and even had to rehome one of my old female pigs because she would fight halfway to the death with the others. Just depends on the pig :)

WheekingPiggies
12-26-12, 07:07 am
Welcome! I am glad you have decided to research before getting your pigs!
Here's just a basic list of suppllies you willl need:
~A cage (2x4 C&C cage is suitable for two pigs)
~Bedding (Either aspen, Carefresh type bedding, or fleece)
~Timothy hay
~Pellets (I reccomend the Oxbow or Kleenmama's brands)
~Lots of vegetables!
~Hidey houses (Such as pigloos, wooden houses, ect.)
~Water/Vinegar solution for cleaning
~Water bottle
~Food dish
~Dustpan and broom
~Small pet nail clippers
~Hay rack (can be made from a bent grid)
~Cavy savy vet
~Time!!!
~Money!!!
Good luck!

CandyApple
12-26-12, 09:54 am
Hey, Welcome to the forum!!!
First off, its great that your researching, but it sounds like you will only be getting one pig. Two or more is generally the best option, as they are very social little creatures.
I really have nothing else to say, as I'd just be repeating what others said to you. But maybe save up a bit more, for an emergency vet fund. Believe me- you'd be shocked as to how much trouble pigs can get into, so you'll need the vet money.
Anyway, any questions you have, we'll be happy to help. and good luck getting your pig(s)!!!

mufasa
12-26-12, 10:28 am
I've noticed a trend lately of people adopting pigs expecting them to be cute, cuddly, and friendly immediately, then being disappointed when they realize they have frightened little prey animals who take time (sometimes months) to adjust and trust. It sounds like you're doing your research, so be prepared to be patient with your new pets (as CandyApple pointed out, it's best to have two since they're social herd critters).

You can also raise the chances of friendly pigs by going through Craigslist or a reputable rescue; just one more reason not to get them at a pet store. I got Amy from Craigslist and met her former family. She was exposed to kids, dogs, and general chaos, so she was already pretty calm and friendly. Quinn, my second pig, was flighty, but Amy was a good influence on her.

Good luck with your efforts, and I hope you find the right piggies.

MissJean
12-26-12, 12:13 pm
I've noticed a trend lately of people adopting pigs expecting them to be cute, cuddly, and friendly immediately, then being disappointed when they realize they have frightened little prey animals who take time (sometimes months) to adjust and trust. It sounds like you're doing your research, so be prepared to be patient with your new pets (as @CandyApple (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=25498) pointed out, it's best to have two since they're social herd critters).

You can also raise the chances of friendly pigs by going through Craigslist or a reputable rescue; just one more reason not to get them at a pet store. I got Amy from Craigslist and met her former family. She was exposed to kids, dogs, and general chaos, so she was already pretty calm and friendly. Quinn, my second pig, was flighty, but Amy was a good influence on her.

Good luck with your efforts, and I hope you find the right piggies.

Great points.

I want to add that I only have one pig out of four that I would deem "cuddly". That's only because he stretches out and relaxes on my lap. Two other pigs tolerate lap time, but they lay there cautiously. My fourth pig hates being held entirely. I have to put him on a pillow or in a shoebox because he freaks out otherwise.

I wouldn't say guinea pigs are loving,cuddly animals. I'm always confused when people label them as such. They mostly tolerate you because you give them food. :p

That being said, the best thing for me about owning them is watching them in their cage/pen. They're very silly and adorable.