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Thread: Lonely guineapig?

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    Cavy Slave Emmmn's Avatar
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    Lonely guineapig?

    Hi, so I just joined this site as I have recently bought my first guineapig earlier this week, I have wanted one for years so I've been pretty excited but what I wanted to ask is about the health of my piggie as he is going to be on his own. I've been reading a lot about how you should have at least two guineapigs, I understand that they are social creatures but my mum won't let me get another saying my boy (Percy) is happy and healthy, I guess she doesn't really understand. I've been seeing people saying that you're pretty much a terrible owner if you only have one piggie while others are saying it's fine as long as you spend up to two hours with them everyday. I'm in the middle of school break at the moment so I've been spending as much time as possible with Percy but I haven't been wanting to smother him to much so I leave him in his cage for a while. I'm worried about when I get back to school, I usually space out the time I spend with him throughout the day (usually around morning, afternoons and night) so I don't want to be leaving him to go almost the whole day without any attention except for about a ten minute cuddle in the morning due to the time I have to get to school. I've been reduced to tears knowing I won't be able to get him a cage mate and that he will be lonely whenever I'm not with him, are there any alternatives? I have considered putting him up for adoption so that he can go somewhere where he will have friends but I love him too much. All and any help is more than welcome.

    Note: About the tears part, I'm not too young to be on the internet just a very emotional 17 year old girl ahah

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    Cavy Slave kimclifford10's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Have you tried showing your mom some of the information you have found? That's something you could definitely try, it may help her understand the importance of Percy getting a friend.

    If she does wind up changing her mind and allows you to get another pig, just make sure you have a large enough cage. I'm not sure what size your current cage is, but I have yet to see a store bought cage that is the appropriate size for 2 pigs. So you may need to end up building a new cage or ordering one online if you get a second pig. Don't give up just yet!

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    Cavy Slave Emmmn's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Thank you so much for the advice, I've spoken to my mum about it and I asked her to look up this stuff letting her know that Percy is very scared of just about everything which I have learnt comes with being a lone guineapig and although she is slightly annoyed she said I need to find out if I should be putting two males together so I do have some research ahead of me what with buying a new hutch and finding out who is the better cage mate is for Percy but it will all be best for him in the end.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    You can put two males together that's fine, they just need to be introduced properly following this link : http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html. I don't recommend buying a hutch at all, they are usually too small even if you get a big one. Hutches also tend to get ruined with urine, and the wood is a great place for mites and other bugs to live. (I used to have mine in a hutch). Also having guinea pigs outside is not recommended as they need a lot of attention. There's also predators, bugs and weather. Guinea pigs do much better in pairs or more and it's really not much more expensive than just one. I highly recommend you look into building or buying a C&C cage they are an absolutely fantastic cage. The size for two males you will need a 2x5 grid or larger.

    When you go to get your new guinea pig, do NOT buy from a pet store. When you give pet stores money, you are supporting the large greedy businesses who mass breed animals in tiny cages and minimal care for maximum profit. They don't care about the guinea pigs. Just the money. Most are sick, pregnant or otherwise. There are a lot of guinea pigs waiting in shelters for their forever home, so please adopt. Make sure you ask the shelter if they have any lone males, they are usually not listed on the website. Also, try to get the introductions done at the shelter or ask if you can trial the new pig in case they don''t get along. Keeping guinea pigs and pets in general, is a hobby, it's a continuous learning experience. We must try to find out every bit of information we possibly can to improve their lives for not only them, but also our for our own enjoyment. The more we give, the more we get out of them.

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    Cavy Slave Emmmn's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    The hutch I've been looking doesn't have a floor so I don't think it would get ruined, plus my brother is picking me up some sort of cover (I can't remember what it's called) from his work that deters bugs and other pests. I was also planning on bringing them inside of an evening and they would spend the night in the cage I already have. Outside i have a large undercover patio I was planning on keeping them under, my boy also usually spends all morning with me and a lot of the afternoon, plus I spend most of my day outside his cage when he's in it and just talk to him. I have been looking at C&C cages and think they are amazing but I don't have the time, skill or equipment to make one and all the ones I've looked at for purchase are pricey with a roof (I'm talking in the hundreds) which is needed as I have two cats unless you have a cheap and affective alternative for a roof?

    Id also like to add that I bought my first Guinea pig from my local pet store which don't take animals from breeders, the only animals they have available are fish and small pets. They usually come from people who have just had litters and have nowhere for them. My boy is also quite young and although I dot have an approximate age he is definitely a baby and does not show any signs of sickness at all. There is also only one shelter in my district and I've inquired already and they don't have any Guinea pigs available.

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    Cavy Slave Omgitspink's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmmn View Post
    The hutch I've been looking doesn't have a floor so I don't think it would get ruined, plus my brother is picking me up some sort of cover (I can't remember what it's called) from his work that deters bugs and other pests. I was also planning on bringing them inside of an evening and they would spend the night in the cage I already have. Outside i have a large undercover patio I was planning on keeping them under, my boy also usually spends all morning with me and a lot of the afternoon, plus I spend most of my day outside his cage when he's in it and just talk to him. I have been looking at C&C cages and think they are amazing but I don't have the time, skill or equipment to make one and all the ones I've looked at for purchase are pricey with a roof (I'm talking in the hundreds) which is needed as I have two cats unless you have a cheap and affective alternative for a roof?

    Id also like to add that I bought my first Guinea pig from my local pet store which don't take animals from breeders, the only animals they have available are fish and small pets. They usually come from people who have just had litters and have nowhere for them. My boy is also quite young and although I dot have an approximate age he is definitely a baby and does not show any signs of sickness at all. There is also only one shelter in my district and I've inquired already and they don't have any Guinea pigs available.
    All I'm going to comment on is the 'I don't have the time, skill or equipment to build a cc cage'

    It takes about twenty minutes to build a 2x4 cc cage. You clip grids together and zip tie them if you want more support. Then toss down a peice of coroplast. No serious time or skill required. It's also fairly cheap to buy a small pack of grids and a little coroplast. Much cheaper than your hutch. To build a lid just zip tie grids together. Easy.

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    Cavy Slave Omgitspink's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Also - have you searched for specific guinea pig rescues? Not just your local shelter?

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    Cavy Slave Emmmn's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omgitspink View Post
    Also - have you searched for specific guinea pig rescues? Not just your local shelter?
    My nearest shelter is about 30 minutes from me and looking online the closest Guinea pig rescue is about five hours away, so with my mum as annoyed as she is about the situation there is definitely no way she is driving me for ten hours and I don't have my provisional licence yet so that's not really an option. I'll look into the cc cage thing but I've heard the grids can be really hard to find so I'll ask my brother to look into his work place for it.

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    Cavy Slave magicpiggie's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    What about Craigslist? Petfinder? Where guinea pigs are being sold, there will be guinea pigs that need homes.

    If you feel comfortable, you can post your location (city, state not address) and we can help you find a pig.

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    Cavy Slave Omgitspink's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Quote Originally Posted by magicpiggie View Post
    What about Craigslist? Petfinder? Where guinea pigs are being sold, there will be guinea pigs that need homes.

    If you feel comfortable, you can post your location (city, state not address) and we can help you find a pig.
    Second this. I got my guy on kijiji and I literally scroll by dozens for sale every day. Most of the time actually ppl are giving them away for free cause they just want to get rid of them.

    If you feel comfortable letting us know what city or state you are in then we could maybe help you find not only a rescue, but also where to locate the cc materials.

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    Cavy Slave Emmmn's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omgitspink View Post
    Second this. I got my guy on kijiji and I literally scroll by dozens for sale every day. Most of the time actually ppl are giving them away for free cause they just want to get rid of them.

    If you feel comfortable letting us know what city or state you are in then we could maybe help you find not only a rescue, but also where to locate the cc materials.
    I'm from Australia so Craigslist isn't really a thing people use, and I just bought my little fella from someone who's Guinea pig had just had a litter and was looking to get rid of him on a website called Gumtree (it's basically the same as Craigslist. And as for the cc cage my brother has told me he has the materials at his work so I'm set for that, thank you guys for your help though

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    Cavy Star Fay's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Hey! Welcome to the forums I just wanted to respond because I'm really concerned about you intending to leave guinea pigs outdoors. The fact that you're living in Australia has gotten warning bells ringing all over in my head about the idea of keeping them outside. Australia is notorious for having many, MANY, dangerous animals, reptiles, and insects etc. who can and WILL target your guinea pig. Australia also gets very hot as far as I'm aware and guinea pigs are very sensitive to overheating, you cannot keep them outside in hot weather or they will die very quickly. Obviously I'm not aware enough about Australia's climates by region but it's something to heavily consider. Either way even if overheating is not an issue, the exposure to so many dangerous creatures is enough to warrant not keeping him outdoors. That's not even taking into account that humans could steal your pig also.

    While not having a friend for your pig and possibly not having a big enough cage is a big concern. I'm FAR more concerned that you might keep him outside. This will endanger his life and health quite significantly and I would really not recommend doing so. If you can convince your mother of anything, convince her of that. The pig needs to be inside where he's safe and at a reasonable temperature first and foremost. THEN worry about his cage size and companionship. Don't get me wrong, those two things are very important also for his health and well being but improving his well being and happiness in those areas won't make a difference if he's dead from a heat stroke, predator attack, or parasites. Please move your pig indoors. Being in Australia makes this especially vital as far as I'm concerned.

    As for your mom, she's being irresponsible by not researching the care for the guinea pigs and relying on you for information and then subsequently brushing that information off. That is wrong on so many levels. Try to sit her down and go over the following guides with her, thoroughly. Tell her it's very important and you've worked hard to find the best possible information that you could find and that you would really appreciate it if she would sit down with you to read this information so you're both aware of adequate care for guinea pigs. The guides I'm about to link you are from one of the top/best guinea pig care and medical websites on the internet. This website is very well respected and you will find it comes up as one of the first set of results when you search for information on guinea pigs, in case you don't believe me.

    http://www.guinealynx.info/healthycavy.html
    http://www.guinealynx.info/medical_guide.html

    If she still refuses to accept your information as important and she says she would only trust an older person. Please feel free to tell her to post on these forums with her questions or even PM a moderator or a long term forum user like myself about any concerns or for confirmation on this information. I'm sure most of us would be happy to verify this stuff.

    Anyway, Good luck and let us know how you get on with moving your pigs indoors, the larger cage, and getting him a buddy!

  13. #13
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    I'm from Australia too. Where in Australia are you? Maybe I can help you find some shelters or rescues. Also getting them from Gumtree is still better than from a pet store. Building a CC is actually very easy and cheap compared to most other smaller cages. In Australia we call 'coroplast' corflute. You can buy a big sheet of corflute at Bunnings for around $14 (Cheaper probably I can't remember). The best and cheapest place to buy grids would be from this website: http://shop.guineapigsaustralia.com....for-c-c-cages/ Then you will just need scissors and some duct tape, to build it. Here are the instructions: https://www.guineapigcages.com/howto.htm

    So, so far that is only $50 for the base of the cage which would be much bigger and better quality than most hutches and pet store cages. It's not a couple of hundred dollars if you build it yourself. You might need two packs of grids for a lid but still, the cage would be huge. It's totally worth it.

    Fay is correct about the climate, keeping guinea pigs outside in the summer in Australia is definitely not an option as they will die so quickly of heatstroke. However the only predators we have are hawks and maybe owls for birds and then snakes which can only get in if there's a gap. I agree though, it's best to keep them inside.

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    Cavy Slave Emmmn's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fay View Post
    Hey! Welcome to the forums I just wanted to respond because I'm really concerned about you intending to leave guinea pigs outdoors. The fact that you're living in Australia has gotten warning bells ringing all over in my head about the idea of keeping them outside. Australia is notorious for having many, MANY, dangerous animals, reptiles, and insects etc. who can and WILL target your guinea pig. Australia also gets very hot as far as I'm aware and guinea pigs are very sensitive to overheating, you cannot keep them outside in hot weather or they will die very quickly. Obviously I'm not aware enough about Australia's climates by region but it's something to heavily consider. Either way even if overheating is not an issue, the exposure to so many dangerous creatures is enough to warrant not keeping him outdoors. That's not even taking into account that humans could steal your pig also.

    While not having a friend for your pig and possibly not having a big enough cage is a big concern. I'm FAR more concerned that you might keep him outside. This will endanger his life and health quite significantly and I would really not recommend doing so. If you can convince your mother of anything, convince her of that. The pig needs to be inside where he's safe and at a reasonable temperature first and foremost. THEN worry about his cage size and companionship. Don't get me wrong, those two things are very important also for his health and well being but improving his well being and happiness in those areas won't make a difference if he's dead from a heat stroke, predator attack, or parasites. Please move your pig indoors. Being in Australia makes this especially vital as far as I'm concerned.

    As for your mom, she's being irresponsible by not researching the care for the guinea pigs and relying on you for information and then subsequently brushing that information off. That is wrong on so many levels. Try to sit her down and go over the following guides with her, thoroughly. Tell her it's very important and you've worked hard to find the best possible information that you could find and that you would really appreciate it if she would sit down with you to read this information so you're both aware of adequate care for guinea pigs. The guides I'm about to link you are from one of the top/best guinea pig care and medical websites on the internet. This website is very well respected and you will find it comes up as one of the first set of results when you search for information on guinea pigs, in case you don't believe me.

    http://www.guinealynx.info/healthycavy.html
    http://www.guinealynx.info/medical_guide.html

    If she still refuses to accept your information as important and she says she would only trust an older person. Please feel free to tell her to post on these forums with her questions or even PM a moderator or a long term forum user like myself about any concerns or for confirmation on this information. I'm sure most of us would be happy to verify this stuff.

    Anyway, Good luck and let us know how you get on with moving your pigs indoors, the larger cage, and getting him a buddy!

    Hi, I don't know if you read the rest of the replies but I just got my boy a cage mate
    I also just wanted to ask if you have ever been to Australia because it sounds like you are going off of stereotypes. The only time you would face these 'dangerous reptiles' is if you live more in the bush, not everyone in Australia lives in the bush, I live on the coast the only time I have ever come across any snakes or crocodiles would be at a reptile park for a school excursion. And also about the climate it does get its hot days throughout the year but the only real concern is summertime when not all days are awful (sometimes it's like autumn in summer) but I'll know when to bring them inside thanks for your concern though.

    And I would also like to kindly ask you to not call my mother 'irresponsible,' if anything I'm the irresponsible one for not looking into cage mates before my boy was brought home. I'm the one that made the decision to get a Guinea Pig, not my mum, it was all up to me. But today before picking up the new addition she did her research, she even said 'I'm so glad he's not alone anymore.' So I'm glad she has taken initiative, she is of no concern when it comes to boys health as she has now educated herself and is as we speak spoiling them cutting up lovely vegies for them.

    So thanks for all the links and advice I'll be sure to look into them.

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    Cavy Slave Emmmn's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Quote Originally Posted by Comely Guineas View Post
    I'm from Australia too. Where in Australia are you? Maybe I can help you find some shelters or rescues. Also getting them from Gumtree is still better than from a pet store. Building a CC is actually very easy and cheap compared to most other smaller cages. In Australia we call 'coroplast' corflute. You can buy a big sheet of corflute at Bunnings for around $14 (Cheaper probably I can't remember). The best and cheapest place to buy grids would be from this website: http://shop.guineapigsaustralia.com....for-c-c-cages/ Then you will just need scissors and some duct tape, to build it. Here are the instructions: https://www.guineapigcages.com/howto.htm

    So, so far that is only $50 for the base of the cage which would be much bigger and better quality than most hutches and pet store cages. It's not a couple of hundred dollars if you build it yourself. You might need two packs of grids for a lid but still, the cage would be huge. It's totally worth it.

    Fay is correct about the climate, keeping guinea pigs outside in the summer in Australia is definitely not an option as they will die so quickly of heatstroke. However the only predators we have are hawks and maybe owls for birds and then snakes which can only get in if there's a gap. I agree though, it's best to keep them inside.

    I just bought the new addition (Perry) home from someone on Gumtree, and I'm on the coastal side of NSW. My brother works at Bunnings so he will be picking up the materials for me with his employee discount.
    I'm not planning on leaving them out in the summer unless the weather is pretty decent as you know how bipolar our summers can get. And because I'm on the coast we don't actually get snakes, plus they would be undercover under the pergola that takes up most of my backyard, the cage will also be covered in a fly screen type material.

    Just wanted to clarify they wont be outside when I'm not home and when I am home they will be spending probably half their day inside with me (added all up) for some floor time and cuddles, I think I already stated it but if I didn't they will be brought inside at around 3-4pm of an evening as I wouldn't dare let them spend the night outside.
    So just to summarise they wont be outside when it's too cold or too hot (when it's warm I'll be covering the cage with cold towels and giving them frozen bottles of water to lay on), adding it up now they will probably be only spending about 3-4 hours outside a day (where I will be continuously checking up on them).

    Thanks for your help.

  16. #16
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    No worries, how did the introductions go? are your boys getting along okay?

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    Cavy Slave Emmmn's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Quote Originally Posted by Comely Guineas View Post
    No worries, how did the introductions go? are your boys getting along okay?
    They absolutely love each other, they were ignoring each other at first but were soon climbing, cuddling and chasing each other everywhere. It even got to the point were Percy was ignoring his favourite treats so he could eat the same thing Perry (the new addition) was eating. There were only a few hisses coming from Perry when Percy decided to show his dominance by humping him, but they're all good now.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    That's adorable so good to hear

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmmn View Post
    I also just wanted to ask if you have ever been to Australia because it sounds like you are going off of stereotypes. The only time you would face these 'dangerous reptiles' is if you live more in the bush, not everyone in Australia lives in the bush, I live on the coast the only time I have ever come across any snakes or crocodiles would be at a reptile park for a school excursion. And also about the climate it does get its hot days throughout the year but the only real concern is summertime when not all days are awful (sometimes it's like autumn in summer) but I'll know when to bring them inside thanks for your concern though.
    Members from Australia want to chime in with their experiences?

    Don't forget that it's more than just four-legged predators to be aware of. Humans have been known to steal guinea pigs right out of hutches or even take the pigs out and harm or even kill them. Local dogs or cats can also be drawn to hutches. Don't forget about cold snaps or heat spikes. Spiders, flies (fly strike is no joke!).

    Also, in many cases, although not intentional, many guinea pigs left outside are out of sight, out of mind. The intention is to go out and check on them, to feed them, etc but without the visual inside, sometimes it can get forgotten. Also, with them outside, you can miss signs of illness that you would notice if you were walking by them while inside. Guinea pigs are prey animals so they instinctually will hide their symptoms until it's almost too late. Guinea pigs can go from seeming perfectly healthy to dead in 24 hours. So time is of the essence when it comes to noticing symptoms.

  20. #20
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Lonely guineapig?

    I've already been commenting on this thread but I'll just add that we really do not have as many predators as America for instance. Foxes, coyotes, raccoons are not an issue. I also don't think spiders pose a threat either, as we all know that they don't intentionally come after us humans, unless they feel threatened which i'm sure a guinea pig won't be to them. However yes, flystrike is definitely a real thing. A long time ago I went to get my guinea pig from outside and found a heap of maggots inside his bottom. (They didn't hurt him and he was fine once cleaned up).

  21. "Thank you, Comely Guineas, for this useful post," says:


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