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Thread: I just have one...

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Unhappy I just have one...

    I have had a female guinea pig for a couple of years. I got her from a pet store and have had many happy years with her, she seems happy, healthy loves to wheek, chirp, explore and popcorn!

    Tonight I saw a post about how owning one guinea pig is illegal in once country and I am wracked with guilt.

    I never thought she would need a cage mate, in fact I didn't think she would like one at all and she always seemed happy and curious...


    But...what are your thoughts? Do I have to give her away? I cannot take on another guinea pig I don't have space or money for it. I am crying writing this because she is my world...

    I can't sleep because I am so upset...meanwhile she is chewing away on her hay and making her little content noises...

    So upset.

  2. #2
    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: I just have one...

    I think she would be happy with a guinea pig companion. How old is she?

    Why can't you take on another guinea pig? Two guinea pigs can live quite comfortably in a 2x4 C&C Cage, just a little larger than the size recommended for a single guinea pig.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I just have one...

    Quote Originally Posted by foggycreekcavy View Post
    I think she would be happy with a guinea pig companion. How old is she?

    Why can't you take on another guinea pig? Two guinea pigs can live quite comfortably in a 2x4 C&C Cage, just a little larger than the size recommended for a single guinea pig.

    She is about 4. I can't afford it/ don't have space for a larger cage at all. Just fit her cage in where I have it and that is the only space I can fit it. Having another one is just not an option for me

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: I just have one...

    That is sad. Guinea pigs are happier (there are always exceptions) when with another of their own species. What type of cage do you have her in right now? It's most likely too small, unfortunately.

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    Cavy Slave Omgitspink's Avatar
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    Re: I just have one...

    If you have had her for years and she is healthy and happy with you, and you are taking proper care of her, I don't see any reason why you should be forced to give up your beloved pet. Just my opinion.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I just have one...

    You don't need to give her away just because she doesn't have a friend that is ludicrous. She is happy with you and you seem like a good owner caring for her the best you can. She would be happier with a friend though, and perhaps a bigger cage if the one you have is too small. So try to work on those things one step at a time. Is there any other space in the house where you can have a bigger cage? Is there any way you can save money to expand? Just take it slow and try to think of ways to find a solution. But don't give her away, she needs you.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I just have one...

    I don't think you should give her away if she's happy and healthy. If you couldn't take care of her right THATS when people should give a pet away. I think the very few information we have on pigs is an issue because then it's used by crazy pet supporters in crazy ways that take it to a crazy level that's not even healthy for humans. If one country sets a law forth that pigs need a buddy than great, but I don't think all pigs need buddies. Getting a buddy for a pig is a failsafe where if an owner doesn't have 100% free time to nurture their pigs, they have each other to full-fill the roll. Could a 2nd pig bring out some things the first doesn't do? Maybe, maybe not. But an owner who is 100% into taking care of a lone pig, shouldn't be an issue. There's a lot of owners who have two pigs and post on here all the time wondering why their pigs aren't friendly after years of ownership and it's not because of the amount of pigs, it's the time they put into it. There's a youtuber who has a huge 7 pig or more herd and each pig is more trained, happy and trust their owner than a lot of owners with two pigs who care less. So don't give your pig up, because you shouldn't have too.

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    Cavy Star Fay's Avatar
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    Re: I just have one...

    Quote Originally Posted by Capricex View Post
    I don't think you should give her away if she's happy and healthy. If you couldn't take care of her right THATS when people should give a pet away. I think the very few information we have on pigs is an issue because then it's used by crazy pet supporters in crazy ways that take it to a crazy level that's not even healthy for humans. If one country sets a law forth that pigs need a buddy than great, but I don't think all pigs need buddies. Getting a buddy for a pig is a failsafe where if an owner doesn't have 100% free time to nurture their pigs, they have each other to full-fill the roll. Could a 2nd pig bring out some things the first doesn't do? Maybe, maybe not. But an owner who is 100% into taking care of a lone pig, shouldn't be an issue. There's a lot of owners who have two pigs and post on here all the time wondering why their pigs aren't friendly after years of ownership and it's not because of the amount of pigs, it's the time they put into it. There's a youtuber who has a huge 7 pig or more herd and each pig is more trained, happy and trust their owner than a lot of owners with two pigs who care less. So don't give your pig up, because you shouldn't have too.
    The reason for having two+ guinea pigs rather than one is not because of it being a fail safe if the owner can't look after it enough but rather that the companionship between pigs is vastly different than with a human. The bond between pigs is really important for the guinea pigs emotional well being which in turn is better for their physical health. Stress, depression, and boredom can cause physical conditions to present themselves long term. Guinea pigs are social herd animals, their companionship with others of their kind cannot be replaced by human attention and keeping them on their own should only be considered if repeated attempts to introduce them (correctly) to other pigs in various ways has failed. Not providing that companionship is not in the best interest of the guinea pig.

    @briocht I'm sorry if this comes across as really harsh but I'm just going to be honest. Providing guinea pigs with companionship of their own species is what I personally consider a mandatory requirement for adequate care, there are only rare exceptions where certain pigs just cannot get along with others but you wouldn't know that until you've tried extensively. An appropriately sized cage is also required for adequate care, most pet store cages are too small and unhealthy for the guinea pigs emotional and physical well being (see the video I added at the bottom of this post for further explanation). I'm also concerned that if you can't afford getting another guinea pig that you won't be able to provide medical care for your current pig, an exotic vet can charge upwards of $1k in emergency vet care. If you are unable to provide some basic requirements for good care (space, companionship, and medical care) then that's a huge problem and that's putting your pets well being at risk. I know you love your pet so you have to think of what is best for her well being but....

    That said, you don't necessarily have to give her up right away. There might be ways to fix these problems. I don't know how old you are but you might be able to get a part-time job for a while to save up money for emergency medical funds and to be able to adopt another pig from a rescue. If you can try to save up about $2k-3k you should be able to afford two pigs. As for the cage space, are you sure there is no space? Could you remove some furniture that isn't 'vital'? For example, if you have some drawers or a wardrobe you might be able to sell it and instead create storage underneath your new, bigger, C&C cage you could also hang up a book shelf above the cage for additional storage. Instead of focusing on the problems, try to focus on how you can solve the issues. Best of luck and I hope you can figure something out!

    I saw this video in another thread earlier and thought it would be relevant in regards to the cage size subject:

    Last edited by Fay; 03-21-16 at 10:48 pm.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I just have one...

    I honestly think that there are so so many guinea pigs out there whos owners don't know this site exists, and who barely care for them. They only provide them the absolute minimal care. Most people don't have huge cages, don't feed them 100% correctly and don't give them much attention or whatever. That's why I think that saying this person should give their pig away just because they only have one, even though they might give the pig much more care than most other owners in the world is overreacting. At least this person is (example) providing their pig with enough veggies and hay and love each day. At least they're trying their best. Most people shove pigs in a tiny cage with a bowl of mixed muesli and that's it. Having just one pig and looking after it well is far better than not looking after 2 pigs properly at all.

    So in my opinion don't criticize every small error and say they should give it away and instead be grateful this pig is not in the backyard in a dirty hutch.

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