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Thread: Guinea Pigs and University?

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    Guinea Pigs and University?

    Hi, I haven't been very active on the forum and certainly haven't participated in the community in quite a while. Good to be back!
    My boys are doing great and we are perfectly happy; however, I need to start thinking about the future.
    I am currently in grade 11, and I'm one of those students that likes to have everything planned out. The only thing that is REALLY stressing me out to think about is what am I going to do with the guinea pigs?
    I originally decided I would just take them with me and live off-campus, which I am totally fine with! (I don't like people and am very private) However I am concerned about what I'd do during the holidays if I wanted to go back home, how I will handle the cost, stress, timing and increased responsibility, etc.
    My only other options are to leave them at home with my parents (which both I and them are not really okay with for many reasons)
    Or I give them up. Which is heartbreaking. Who knows what kind of life they'd get? Besides, they are my babies and I like to think they need me as much as I need them.
    HELP?!
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs and University?

    In your position (granted I know nothing about it) but given the options you've presented:

    I couldn't bear to give mine up, and would only do it if I seriously could not afford to give them the care they required.
    I would never leave my pigs with someone else, especially if they weren't all that happy about it.

    So in your position I would keep them. Take them with me to school. I would have a cage set up back at home, and if I were to travel home for the holidays, they would travel with me. Their cage at home would be identical to the cage they have at my residence.

    That said, that's just what I would do. Again, I know nothing of your situation, but if I were in it, that would be my plan.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pigs and University?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    In your position (granted I know nothing about it) but given the options you've presented:

    I couldn't bear to give mine up, and would only do it if I seriously could not afford to give them the care they required.
    I would never leave my pigs with someone else, especially if they weren't all that happy about it.

    So in your position I would keep them. Take them with me to school. I would have a cage set up back at home, and if I were to travel home for the holidays, they would travel with me. Their cage at home would be identical to the cage they have at my residence.

    That said, that's just what I would do. Again, I know nothing of your situation, but if I were in it, that would be my plan.
    Thank you for the reply!
    I'm not sure why or how I didn't think about that before but that sounds like a good solution to that problem. Obviously I haven't gone to university, so I'm not sure how I'll handle the new responsibilities and having much less time for certain things I suspect, but honestly having my boys with me would make me feel that much better

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs and University?

    I managed perfectly well with guinea pigs throughout my undergraduate degree. I actually started with my first pair as pets specifically to keep while I was away at school.

    I didn't have my girls during my first year and I lived in residence. I made great friends and we all loved animals and decided to get a house off campus for 2nd year onwards.

    One of the things I loved about having them is the fact that they do not always require tons of hands on interaction. Yes, there were sometimes where I was extremely busy and didn't have time to do much with them and they didn't care. As long as they were fed and spot cleaned, they were happy! They don't have the attention demands of a dog or cat.

    Not sure where you're located in Canada, but I have several friends who went to different Universities throughout Ontario and none of us had any difficulty finding pet friendly housing.

    How you commute back and forth with them will depend on how far your home is from your school house. You have to think of your transportation methods if you don't have your own car. I'm pretty sure that you can bring pets in carriers on the GO bus, but not on VIA rail.

    My parents house was about an hour and half away from my university house and I always drove back and forth or my parents picked me up. I had cat carriers for my girls that they went in during the drives and I had cages already set up at my student house and my parents house. I bought double of everything so I didn't need to worry about taking hides, waterbottles, food dishes, ect. Back and forth. All I had to do was cart pigs around!

    My ladies went back and forth at least once a month for 4 years and all became really well adjusted to travelling. They weren't uneasy or afraid about going back and forth.

    One thing to note is your ability to get to a vet if needed. Your should make sure you have access to a vet your trust when you're away at university.

    I never found their care unmanageable, i always made time to make sure their needs were met. They never really hindered my social life either. If I knew I was going out in the evenings I would make sure they were cared for before I left and I always cut up veggies for in the morning during the night before.

    I really enjoyed having them during school. They make great study buddies!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. "Thank you, sallyvh, for this useful post," say these 2 members:


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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pigs and University?

    Quote Originally Posted by sallyvh View Post
    I managed perfectly well with guinea pigs throughout my undergraduate degree. I actually started with my first pair as pets specifically to keep while I was away at school.

    I didn't have my girls during my first year and I lived in residence. I made great friends and we all loved animals and decided to get a house off campus for 2nd year onwards.

    One of the things I loved about having them is the fact that they do not always require tons of hands on interaction. Yes, there were sometimes where I was extremely busy and didn't have time to do much with them and they didn't care. As long as they were fed and spot cleaned, they were happy! They don't have the attention demands of a dog or cat.

    Not sure where you're located in Canada, but I have several friends who went to different Universities throughout Ontario and none of us had any difficulty finding pet friendly housing.

    How you commute back and forth with them will depend on how far your home is from your school house. You have to think of your transportation methods if you don't have your own car. I'm pretty sure that you can bring pets in carriers on the GO bus, but not on VIA rail.

    My parents house was about an hour and half away from my university house and I always drove back and forth or my parents picked me up. I had cat carriers for my girls that they went in during the drives and I had cages already set up at my student house and my parents house. I bought double of everything so I didn't need to worry about taking hides, waterbottles, food dishes, ect. Back and forth. All I had to do was cart pigs around!

    My ladies went back and forth at least once a month for 4 years and all became really well adjusted to travelling. They weren't uneasy or afraid about going back and forth.

    One thing to note is your ability to get to a vet if needed. Your should make sure you have access to a vet your trust when you're away at university.

    I never found their care unmanageable, i always made time to make sure their needs were met. They never really hindered my social life either. If I knew I was going out in the evenings I would make sure they were cared for before I left and I always cut up veggies for in the morning during the night before.

    I really enjoyed having them during school. They make great study buddies!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20160415_183504.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	124.9 KB 
ID:	84273
    I will be going to Guelph (hopefully). I actually want to be a vet! My family lives about an hour, 2 max away from there. I checked and from what I saw, on campus doesnt allow pets but im alright living off. Me and my pigs enjoy our alone time and quiet

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs and University?

    I actually went to Guelph! It's an awesome school. My original plan was OVC as well, but it ended up not working out for me and am now in teachers college. I did my undergrad in Biological Science.

    You're correct that no on campus housing allows pets but there is a fair amount of pet friendly housing in Guelph. My roommates and I had no issues finding a house. My landlord was a property manager who owns dozens of houses/apartments which are all pet friendly. I would be happy to pass on her info to you in the future. She was an awesome landlord that I would recommend.

    I personally prefered living off campus, I liked having my own room and getting to school is really easy, they have a pretty decent bus system. I lived downtown. It was about a 5 minute bus ride or a 20 minute walk to campus.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pigs and University?

    Quote Originally Posted by sallyvh View Post
    I actually went to Guelph! It's an awesome school. My original plan was OVC as well, but it ended up not working out for me and am now in teachers college. I did my undergrad in Biological Science.

    You're correct that no on campus housing allows pets but there is a fair amount of pet friendly housing in Guelph. My roommates and I had no issues finding a house. My landlord was a property manager who owns dozens of houses/apartments which are all pet friendly. I would be happy to pass on her info to you in the future. She was an awesome landlord that I would recommend.

    I personally prefered living off campus, I liked having my own room and getting to school is really easy, they have a pretty decent bus system. I lived downtown. It was about a 5 minute bus ride or a 20 minute walk to campus.
    It'll be tough and it may not work out for me either, but ill give it my best! Ive been dreaming of going to that school and becoming a vet (after like 8 years of post secondary) for so long. Thank you guys, I feel better now. There is still a lot to work out, but i definitely think ill be bringing them. Glad some other people had similar experiences to what ill be going through

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs and University?

    I was hoping you would chime in, @sallyvh . I knew you took your girls to school, so if anyone could give a detailed, well thought out answer I knew it would be you.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs and University?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    I was hoping you would chime in, @sallyvh . I knew you took your girls to school, so if anyone could give a detailed, well thought out answer I knew it would be you.
    Thank! I really had a routine down pat with their care and moving them back and forth. During my final year at Guelph I managed to take care of 6 guinea pigs on top of full time studies and working part time. LOL my love of guinea pigs really improved my time management skills!

    Honestly though, if someone can afford guinea pig care, I think they make great pets to have in university. When you're crazy busy they are happy to be left to their own devices, but they are also easy to scoop up for bits of attention. I had a set up on my desk where I would plop one down while studying and would just rotate through them. This way all of the ladies got individual attention!

    The only real downside of having them was that a couple of my pigs were riddled with health issues that always made me crazy stressed. Dealing with malocclusion surgeries with one pig, plus bladder stones with another, on top of multiple midterms in a short period of time definitely was challenging. It was worth it though, my girls are my babies!

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    Re: Guinea Pigs and University?

    Quote Originally Posted by sallyvh View Post
    Thank! I really had a routine down pat with their care and moving them back and forth. During my final year at Guelph I managed to take care of 6 guinea pigs on top of full time studies and working part time. LOL my love of guinea pigs really improved my time management skills!

    Honestly though, if someone can afford guinea pig care, I think they make great pets to have in university. When you're crazy busy they are happy to be left to their own devices, but they are also easy to scoop up for bits of attention. I had a set up on my desk where I would plop one down while studying and would just rotate through them. This way all of the ladies got individual attention!

    The only real downside of having them was that a couple of my pigs were riddled with health issues that always made me crazy stressed. Dealing with malocclusion surgeries with one pig, plus bladder stones with another, on top of multiple midterms in a short period of time definitely was challenging. It was worth it though, my girls are my babies!
    I couldnt imagine the stress of one of my boys getting sick. I nearly lost my mind when i thought i might have to split them up because the fighting was getting bad (they are fine now)
    Honestly having my own place with them sounds really nice! I would never be able to handle more than just the two of them they have already made me a much more efficient productive and responsible person. When im pulling off 6 hours of studying during exams they just politely sit on my lap the money and time management will be hard but itll be worth it

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    Re: Guinea Pigs and University?

    Hi there!

    I'm currently in grad school in New York and I've had my two boys with me for 3 years. We travel for 6 hours to go home for vacations and they have been fine with it since day one! What I found the most helpful was having one cage at school and one at home. Having to break apart and re-build my c&c cage every time I traveled was stressful for me and the boys! Only traveling one- two hours should be easy. I live off campus in an apartment and finding pet friendly (especially 'small pet' friendly) should not be too hard if you start your search early. Just a reminder that the amount of bags you'll be packing will most likely double, my boys normally have more bags than I do! But having supplies (especially bedding) at home will help tons. I use fleece and that took up so much room packing wise.

    Also, make sure you have a safe pet carrier for the pigs to travel in. I use cat carriers, my two boys travel separately for their own safety (to avoid any fighting). Because of the length of my travel I pack the boys a backpack with their medical equipment, vegggies, treats, and compressed hey bales. I keep the backpack accessible in case of emergencies and so i can feed them during gas stops. Cucumber is a great veggie to use to keep them hydrated during the trip!

    I hope you are able to find a home for both you and your pigs as you seek higher education!

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    Re: Guinea Pigs and University?

    Quote Originally Posted by tpage001 View Post
    Hi there!

    I'm currently in grad school in New York and I've had my two boys with me for 3 years. We travel for 6 hours to go home for vacations and they have been fine with it since day one! What I found the most helpful was having one cage at school and one at home. Having to break apart and re-build my c&c cage every time I traveled was stressful for me and the boys! Only traveling one- two hours should be easy. I live off campus in an apartment and finding pet friendly (especially 'small pet' friendly) should not be too hard if you start your search early. Just a reminder that the amount of bags you'll be packing will most likely double, my boys normally have more bags than I do! But having supplies (especially bedding) at home will help tons. I use fleece and that took up so much room packing wise.

    Also, make sure you have a safe pet carrier for the pigs to travel in. I use cat carriers, my two boys travel separately for their own safety (to avoid any fighting). Because of the length of my travel I pack the boys a backpack with their medical equipment, vegggies, treats, and compressed hey bales. I keep the backpack accessible in case of emergencies and so i can feed them during gas stops. Cucumber is a great veggie to use to keep them hydrated during the trip!

    I hope you are able to find a home for both you and your pigs as you seek higher education!
    Thank you so much! This was very helpful. I cant imagine travelling with my boys that long, mostly because im actually the one who hates travelling in a car! I have sooo much pig supplies, itll take a few trips to move them out haha ill have to start early. Ive already looked into housing just to see average prices and commodities and youre right, tons are totally okay with all sorts of pets. The boys should be no problem. I already have carriers ready, i got them forever ago in case of vet trips and now moving! Im definitely gonna have seperate cages. Mainly because i have no clue how id pack away the actual coroplast in the cage as its fully formed! Its more money id like to not spend but thats guinea pigs for you

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