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Thread: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

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    Cavy Slave
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    Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    Hello everyone, My name is Nena, and I got my first ever guinea pig today(I've waited for nine years) and I have a few question, I have researched quite a bit, but I also was unable to find some information. (I've had him about 8 hours now)
    First of introductions, as you know my name is Nena, Im 19 and my Guinea pigs name is Sir Mashed Potato the Third, he is a boy, this is him
    Click image for larger version. 

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    he is under 6 months(I'm not sure the real date, since its something I forgot to ask)

    anyway's here are my questions,

    1. how do I show him his water bottle?
    2. how long does it take them to start eating?
    3. when can I start to handle him?
    4. how often do i change the hay,

    If anyone has any tips, could you let me know? my entire life my family has had dogs and cats so i am not 100% sure what to do with my piggy.

    thank you,
    Nena, and Sir mashed potato the third

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave BaconAndEggs's Avatar
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    Hello, and welcome to the forum! It is so wonderful that you decided to get a piggy, though, if I understand correctly, you are a bit deprived of advice. Now, on to your questions:
    1. Was he drinking from a water bowl before? If so, give him a water bowl for now, and keep it there until he weans himself off of it and onto the water bottle. Maybe touch the ball and let the water drip out onto your hand, show him the water, and repeat until you think he understands.

    2. Most guinea pigs tend to start eating as soon as they are offered food-have you done that yet? If you have given him food, and he won't eat, it might indicate a health problem or he may be too scared to eat it. If he has a hidey house, allow him to eat veggies and hay in there-he shouldn't starve himself. Give him some veggies(bell pepper or romaine lettuce are your best options)and some hay to eat.

    3.Allow him a day or two to get used to you surroundings. I would suggest first attempting to feed him out of your hand, and then try to slowly, gently, pet him. I'd say to please not get him out of the cage for at least three days, or until he is comfortable enough with your hands to the extent that you believe you can pick him up. Slide a hand gently under his belly, and one over his back, and pick him up that way. Set him on your lap in a towel or blanket, and speak softly while feeding veggies and petting or grooming.

    4. Guinea pigs need hay 24/7! A great hay and pellet provider is KMS Hayloft. You will have to order it online and get it shipped to you, but it's worth it-believe me. I'd say to top it off whenever it looks old, and throw out hay when/if it gets dirty with poo or urine.

    Tips:
    • What size cage do you have? One guinea pig needs at least eight square feet of cage space-not including second levels-and two need about ten. See the main page for information on C&C cages.


    • Guinea pigs are very social animals, so, if you haven't already, consider getting your piggy a friend. He may become depressed or lonely.


    • If you got him from a pet store, or anywhere besides a rescue, you may want to check that he is actually a boy-people can make those mistakes.
    • Look up an exotics vet that is experienced with guinea pigs and add that to a contact list. You never know when you might need a vet. Also, set some money aside for any surprise emergency vet bills.
    Last edited by BaconAndEggs; 05-30-15 at 07:01 pm. Reason: Had to add something

  3. "Thank you, BaconAndEggs, for this useful post," says:


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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    Also, read http://www.guinealynx.info/healthycavy.html about general cavy care, and http://www.guinealynx.info/emergency.html for medical issues.

    Take out the hay that gets peed on, but keep fresh hay in the cage at all times. Cavies are wired to eat continuously, and can develop very serious digestive problems if they don't.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    Thank you!! and yes he did have a bottle in the pet store, and his cage is not 8ft, but i do plan on letting him run around a lot, so it mostly for when I'm not home, or I'm asleep for the cage, since i hacen'tgot a job yet( i start my job monday) I don't plan on immediately getting him a friend, but I am hopping to get him one after I upgrade his cage to something different, larger (hopefully within the next 6 months).
    I have kept him on the food and hay he had in the store,(oxbow) but I do plan on switching it to something else if needed.
    Both my parents had guinea pigs when they were little, and they think I just might be overly paranoid about everything, since this is my first animal that is my own and not a family pet.

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    Cavy Slave BaconAndEggs's Avatar
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    Oxbow is an okay brand, though it has a bit more calcium than needed. While your pig is young, that will be fine, but when he is over six months it might be time to wean him off of that, and onto another pellet, like the kms pellets. Here's a link to the website(don't freak out about the cost, it will be just about as much as oxbow, if you don't count the shipping):
    http://www.kmshayloft.com/hay/

    Also, what kind of hay do you have? Make sure that any hay is dust-free timothy, orchard, or bluegrass hay. Alfalfa is only okay as a 1/2 timothy 1/2 alfalfa mixture, while your pig is under six months, as it has a lot of calcium. However, extra calcium for young piggies under six months can also come from carefully selected veggies and pellets, so if you're sure he is under six months, you might want to do some research on that.

    He should know automatically how to use a water bottle then, make sure that you do not put vitamin C supplements in the water or alter it in any way, as he may stop drinking because it tastes funny. Monitor his appetite and fluid consumption moderately, and if anything seems off(he is lethargic, appetite is odd, not drinking enough water drinking too much) it is most likely a cause for concern and he should be taken to the vet ASAP. Guinea pigs are prey animals, and in the wild they can not show their symptoms, or else they could be kicked from the herd, or predators could go after them, so they hide symptoms very well. By the time you can clearly tell your piggy is sick, it may be too late.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    Quote Originally Posted by BaconAndEggs View Post
    He should know automatically how to use a water bottle
    Drinking from a water bottle is a learned behavior. Young cavies usually mimic their mother or other older cavies in the cage.

    When I first brought 3 m.o. Maya home, she wouldn't go near a water bottle even though I'm sure that is what was previously provided. So, I put a small crock bowl filled with water in the cage. Voila.........she began drinking from it. Chester would walk by the bowl, sniff at it, and walk away. After about a month, Maya suddenly began drinking out of the bottle and I was able to do away with the bowl.

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    Cavy Slave BaconAndEggs's Avatar
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    Drinking from a water bottle is a learned behavior. Young cavies usually mimic their mother or other older cavies in the cage.

    When I first brought 3 m.o. Maya home, she wouldn't go near a water bottle even though I'm sure that is what was previously provided. So, I put a small crock bowl filled with water in the cage. Voila.........she began drinking from it. Chester would walk by the bowl, sniff at it, and walk away. After about a month, Maya suddenly began drinking out of the bottle and I was able to do away with the bowl.
    I meant that since he was drinking from one in the pet store, he should know how to use it already. Did I word that the wrong way?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    I have provided him with a water bowl as well now, and it seams that he doesn't care for it, how ever, I awoke this morning with 1/5th of his water bottle emptied, so I assume he started to drink it, Im going to be keeping the bowl in there until he is more comfortable thank you :-)
    He has also begun to play, when he thinks no one is round, I already have a few toys for him to play with his his cage, as well as a wheel for him to run on, he is also more willing to let me put my hand near him, he is still frightened, but not as much, he will also run around in the cage while I clean it up in the morning(or at least he did this morning) and he is eating his hay, food, and the fruit i put in every second day.

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    Cavy Slave Dashmo's Avatar
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    No exercise wheels please!!! These can bend guinea pigs spines unnaturally and severely injure or kill them. You seem to be doing great with him but please remove the wheel immediately, cavies should never have these. Exercise balls pose the same danger, so don't use those either.

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    Cavy Slave CobaltClover's Avatar
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    Welcome! Your pig is adorable! The only advice I can give you is to remove the wheel as Dashmo said and also to not give him too much fruit. Guinea pigs can't digest sugar very well and it's recommended to only give it once a week.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    Take the wheel out ASAP! And take it back to the pet store and get your money back if you can. Guinea pigs have very fragile backs, and can be injured in a fall of just a few inches. They also don't run on wheels or in balls like some other pets do. They need a flat cage surface to zoom around on.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    ohmyhod tank you so much would it be okay to put him in one of those balls to run around it then?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    NO. NO balls, no wheels. Their backs do NOT bend in that direction. Get a pen for him if you want him to run loose. Look at the photo galleries for ideas for floor time enclosures.

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    Cavy Slave Dashmo's Avatar
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    No balls either, for the same reasons. Many piggies have met an untimely end due to them, and you don't want yours to be one of them! Better to let him run around supervised in a guinea pig-proof room.

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    Cavy Slave poop_patrol's Avatar
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    I see that your parents owned guinea pigs when they were little. Back then, very little was known about how to properly take care of guinea pigs. Most well-meaning folks, vets included, just assumed that they needed similar food, housing, and care as other small animals like gerbils and hamsters. If you browse around this forum you will soon find that is NOT the case! Much has been learned in the last decade or so about how to best care for guinea pigs. So, if your parents are remembering how they took care of their guinea pigs when they were young, please let them know that you are NOT paranoid and that many of the well-meaning things they did as guinea pig owners are now known to be either needlessly expensive (treats/toys) or downright harmful (wheels/balls).

    With proper care and a same-sex companion to keep him company, your little friend may live to be 8, 9, or even 10 years old. Enjoy the journey!

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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	77061 my new piggy, I havent chosen a name yet. ive had him for a few days.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Nena and Sir Mashed Potato the Third+ important questions

    Is your new pig on quarantine? Since you got the other one from a petstore, I'd assume you got this one there as well. Correct me if I'm wrong. You should quarantine the new one in a different room for at least 3 weeks to discard any hidden illness and then do proper introduction on a neutral territory. Don't put it in the cage with the other one right away. Also if you're gonna house them together please check they're both the same sex and that you will provide them with a cage big enough for both of them.

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