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Thread: Pros and cons?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Pros and cons?

    You guys probably get asked this a lot on here, but pros and cons of owning these critters? Mostly interested in the bad stuff. Piggies are great and all, but there's always a downside...

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pros and cons?

    Why have I not heard of this site! You have just made me a very happy teacher. Next time I get, "I googled it and couldn't find anything can you just send me the information" I'm going to use this. :-)

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Pros and cons?

    I love it, and use it often. I can't believe you haven't seen it before on here.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pros and cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClemmyOddieIndy View Post
    Why have I not heard of this site! You have just made me a very happy teacher. Next time I get, "I googled it and couldn't find anything can you just send me the information" I'm going to use this. :-)
    You need to tell them to change their wording. You can find anything and everything on google.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Pros and cons?

    Pros-
    -They don't really need much attention from you to be happy, just food, a large cage, water and a friend of their own kind, so they can fit people who have fluctuating schedules.
    -They are a joy to watch.
    -They often don't cause allergies (if they do it is likely the hay not them)
    -They sleep when they feel like it, so you don't really have to worry about disturbing their sleep.
    -They often don't smell very much (if they do it is likely your fault as their cage needs to be cleaned).
    -They are *sometimes* allowed, if you ask, in no-pets rental properties so long as they are kept in their cage.


    Cons? (question mark because some people might not consider some of these points cons)

    -They need hay 24/7, lots of hay. As such you are likely going to end up with hay outside of the cage. Buying hay in little bags from pet stores costs an arm and a leg so if you can buy in bulk online or better yet find a local farmer it is much cheaper.
    -They poop, lots of poop (it's where all that hay goes). The poop should ideally be removed from the cage twice a day.
    -They need 1 cup of vegetables per pig per day, in this there needs to be a source of vitamin C (most people use capsicums as they are not likely to cause gas and are high in vitamin C) as they need it in their diet to prevent scurvy (like humans).
    -They will get very demanding with their food (Week! Week!), if you feed them as soon as you get up and have their cage in your bedroom you will end up with guinea pig alarm clocks.
    -You need to be careful of the pellets you feed, no nuts, seeds, coloured bits or dried fruit. The brands most recommended are KMS and Oxbow (adults only need 1/8 cup of pellets per pig per day). Of those KMS is regarded as better, but is only available for purchase online in the US. If you get a guinea pig prone to bladder stones often you will need to stop giving pellets entirely.
    -They need to be housed inside
    -They need large cages (much bigger then anything you can find in a petstore)
    -They need to be kept in pairs as they are herd animals (normally - there are some exceptions to this rule, normally traumatized and very aggressive individuals) and these pairs should either be the same gender or one/both need to be de-sexed (breeding carries high risks).
    -They need exotic specialising vets as small animal vets are not trained in the medical care of guinea pigs.
    -Medical care is often very expensive so you need to save up for this ahead of time.
    -As prey animals they hide symptoms of illness very well so if you notice something wrong you often need to get them to the vet immediately.
    -If they get sick and stop eating you will need to force feed them as they need food constantly moving through their systems to prevent GI stasis and bloat.
    -Guinea pigs purchased from pet stores are often sick, mis-sexed, pregnant, mistreated and/or very skittish. It is better to adopt from a shelter or rescue.
    -They will never like being picked up.
    -They are somewhat addictive - you have been warned .
    Last edited by Soecara; 06-12-15 at 09:50 pm.

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    Cavy Slave Dashmo's Avatar
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    Re: Pros and cons?

    Have to respectfully disagree with the "They will never like being picked up" point. My guy Dash will climb up my arm and wait for me to secure him with the other hand for pets. Mo doesn't go that far, but will slightly lift his midsection up so I can scoop him up. Though, it did take weeks of consistent handling to get them to that point. I think each pig is different when it comes to this.

    Don't expect to bring a guinea pig home and have it comfortably snuggling with you the same day, or even within a couple weeks. It definitely takes time.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pros and cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dashmo View Post
    Have to respectfully disagree with the "They will never like being picked up" point. My guy Dash will climb up my arm and wait for me to secure him with the other hand for pets. Mo doesn't go that far, but will slightly lift his midsection up so I can scoop him up. Though, it did take weeks of consistent handling to get them to that point. I think each pig is different when it comes to this.

    Don't expect to bring a guinea pig home and have it comfortably snuggling with you the same day, or even within a couple weeks. It definitely takes time.
    You are very lucky!

  9. #9
    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Pros and cons?

    @Dashmo You are very lucky, yours are the exception to the rule. I also have one boy who will climb into my hands but only when he wants to be returned to his cage from floor/lap/cage cleaning time, never when he is in his cage. In my experience generally most guinea pigs will never like being picked up (ie. they will run away from your hands) so people should have a realistic expectation about that. I have seen many people come to the misunderstanding that they are doing something wrong, or that their guinea pigs hate them, because the guinea pigs always run away when they go to pick them up.

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    Cavy Slave PandaPiggle's Avatar
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    Re: Pros and cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    @Dashmo You are very lucky, yours are the exception to the rule. I also have one boy who will climb into my hands but only when he wants to be returned to his cage from floor/lap/cage cleaning time, never when he is in his cage. In my experience generally most guinea pigs will never like being picked up (ie. they will run away from your hands) so people should have a realistic expectation about that. I have seen many people come to the misunderstanding that they are doing something wrong, or that their guinea pigs hate them, because the guinea pigs always run away when they go to pick them up.
    I don't think lucky even begins to cover it. I've only got one that doesn't run zippity quick from the big scary hands and that's just because she's infinitely lazy. The worst is Bridget, who I've had for 2.5 months and she is still a nightmare to take in/out of the cage. She gets so worked up that after I caught her yesterday, to remove her for cage cleaning, she bit me while I was lifting her... Not hard enough to break the skin, but it hurt. And trying to put her back in is more like trying to make sure she doesn't jump and break her neck because that seems to be what she wants to do. Once she's out of the cage, she's an absolute love, but she just hates being picked up. I just got fleece to make some tunnels and cuddle sacks, so we can try all the tricks to get the pig in and out of the cage with no scary hands.

  11. #11
    Cavy Slave Dashmo's Avatar
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    Re: Pros and cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    @Dashmo You are very lucky, yours are the exception to the rule. I also have one boy who will climb into my hands but only when he wants to be returned to his cage from floor/lap/cage cleaning time, never when he is in his cage. In my experience generally most guinea pigs will never like being picked up (ie. they will run away from your hands) so people should have a realistic expectation about that. I have seen many people come to the misunderstanding that they are doing something wrong, or that their guinea pigs hate them, because the guinea pigs always run away when they go to pick them up.
    Yes, very true. My guys are definitely more receptive to it than most. They act more like puppies than guinea pigs sometimes! Interestingly, they like being picked up out of their cage, but not so much when they are out for floor time. I guess that means they just really like their floor time, since being picked up off the floor generally means they're going back to their cage. And just like any pigs (or any animal at all, including humans), they do have times when they'd rather be left alone, so I respect their wishes.

    Totally agree with setting realistic expectations, I know a lot of people end up thinking their pigs "hate" them when in reality, it's just their prey animal nature.

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