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Blackbyrde
07-10-13, 11:20 am
Hello everyone,

I am a graduate student and newly-minted guinea pig enthusiast. I "discovered" GP's a few months ago when a friend of mine asked me to pig-sit for her while she was overseas for a few weeks. I'm very fond of animals - I've had birds and cats since I was a child, and even worked for a while bathing dogs - but it had never even occurred to me to keep rodents, so I was floored by how quickly her little guy took over my heart.* I loved starting every day by making his tiny salad. I kept his grids-and-fleece playpen next to the sofa where I sit and study all day, and every time I needed an emotional boost he was there to oblige, either with meditative hay munching or furious laps and popcorning (which is laugh-out-loud funny, I would never have thought I could get belly laughs from a little furry potato!).

I cried the day before his mom came to pick him up (just a couple weeks ago) and I feel like there's a guinea pig-shaped hole in my life. We are moving to a place with no central AC, so I'm not sure that it would be fair of me to go out and get my own pigs. I am consoling myself for now by reading this forum, which my friend recommended in case I had any pig-related questions and couldn't reach her right away. I've been lurking for a while, but thought I should at least introduce myself, and tell everyone how much joy I get from reading your stories and seeing your "pigtures." I hope it's all right for me to be around even though I'm not a pig-owner right now. My dream is to be able to foster rescue pigs at some point.

Thanks for sharing your piggie expertise with the internet - I am sure that there are many, many cavys out there whose lives are so much richer and more comfortable thanks to the way forums like this one spread awareness and information on proper husbandry!

*My friend knows how important same-species companionship is for piggies. Hers (about six months old) is a single on the recommendation of the shelter she adopted him from, but she may try to introduce him to potential cagemates at some point.

Liviebrew1
07-10-13, 11:35 am
Welcome! If you do not have ac there is a lot of things you can do to keep them cool such as use frozen water bottles and cool tiles in the cage and having a fan in the room(but not directly on them). If you are a comfortable temp in the place you keep them, then they are probably fine.

cavykaitlyn
07-10-13, 11:41 am
Welcome! :D

Depending on where you live (assuming you have seasons) there are many ways to keep piggies cool, because you said you don't have central. You can freeze water bottles for them to lay near, feed wet cucumber (full of water), refrigerate bricks or tiles for them to lay on, and all kinds of things!
And just the opposite, fleece in the winter is a lifesaver :)
I really hope you can get some piggies! My sow is my everything. And my newest addition, a neglected piggy, is so super sweet it's heartwarming. I love them SO much.

I used to keep pets at different times, like a mouse (my first in 2008), a Roborovski hamster, a shorthair hamster, a gerbil, two mice, and finally, two gerbils, who were brothers of the first gerbil that had a seizure and died on Christmas Eve. My sister had been keeping them.

Go after those piggies! You'll never love anything the same :)

agirlwithink
07-10-13, 11:57 am
I'm not sure how hot it gets in Baltimore, but I would assume you could keep them regulated enough temperature wise to not need AC :]
Good luck!

Starthecavy123
07-10-13, 01:06 pm
Fostering I think is a great way to find out if a guinea pig is right for you. And its a great learning experience. Oh and welcome to the forum there are many kind and helpful people here. As far as not having AC there are other ways to keep them cool your only limit is your imagination. Having guinea pigs is very rewarding after they get used to you and their surrounding they are very loving.

Here are some pointers:
1. guinea pigs do better in pairs and it is best to keep them in same sex pairs.
2. Guinea pigs can live to like 8 years, possibly more if taken realy good care of.
3. They can produce there own vitamin C so their diet should consist of that.
4. They need hay available all the time.
5. In the wild they are pray animals.
6. And whatever you do don't get them from a pet store cause all they want is to make money.
7. They will need to go to a vet but make sure its an exotic vet.
8. And because they are pray animals they are good at hiding illnesses so they can go down hill fast.
9. They will also need fruits and veggies but only as a treat, but will need a pellet diet to.
10. You will also need to give them a bath but not that often maybe like 3 times a year, but make sure if you use human shampoo its tear free or they also make is specificaly for small animals that you can find in pet stores. But stay away from dog shampoo.

aurikan
07-12-13, 10:26 am
OP
"I loved starting every day by making his tiny salad. I kept his grids-and-fleece playpen next to the sofa where I sit and study all day, and every time I needed an emotional boost he was there to oblige, either with meditative hay munching or furious laps and popcorning (which is laugh-out-loud funny, I would never have thought I could get belly laughs from a little furry potato!)."

This made me laugh. I know how you feel. I have my cages sitting by my computer desk and no matter how stressed or grumpy the day has me, the guinea pig therapy has always been a sure-fire way to cheer me up. Their silly little shenanigans make it hard not to laugh, it's impossible not to love them. 100% worth all the time on cage maintenance, their living expenses, and every penny spent on spoiling their cute little butts. Love the furry potato comment, haha.