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Thread: Maybe Iím not a good piggy parent after all...

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    Cavy Slave
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    Question Maybe Iím not a good piggy parent after all...

    Ive had 5 piggies in the past. 4 store bought (yeah sorry didnít KNOW then), the last one was an adopted male needing a single piggy home. He truly was the best piggy Iíve ever had! Fast forward 5 years since his passing, Iím ready (at least I thought so) to give new piggy(ies) a forever home. I always thought I was a good piggy parent, following recommend care guides out there, but I guess I wasnít according to this site. Itís a lot to take in. You all some crazy good piggy owners! But what are todayís good care standards, and what is considered ípampering or Ďspoilingí (We all do it I know!) By reading these forums Iím reconsidering adopting now, fearing I donít add up.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe Iím not a good piggy parent after all...

    Good care is following cage size standards on the main for the site, go up one size when it is boars (ie. a 2x4 c&c or equivalently size alternative cage is good for two sows, but a 2x5 c&c or equivalent is better for a boar pair).

    Daily vegetables (1 cup per guinea pig per day), 1/8 cup of high quailty pellets (per guinea pig per day, Oxbow or KMS are good brands), unlimited grass hay (unlimited in the sense it is always topped up before it runs out, timothy, bluegrass, orchardgrass, etc are all good grass hays).

    Poop scoop daily, full clean as needed (once a week is good for fleece). At least 1 hidey per guinea pig with 2 entrances/exits so no one gets trapped. Water bottles emptied and refreshed daily, but don't ever put vitamin C in the water. If long haired then brushed at least weekly and hair cuts as needed, if a skinny (no hair) then the area heated as needed. Room kept below 85 Fahrenheit/29 Celsius to avoid heat stroke. Weigh weekly, trim nails as needed, check boars anal sack and penis and clean as needed. Take to a vet when needed.

    Pampering would be things like a cage even larger than the size standards, extra treats (not the majority of bad store bought treat but stuff like fruit), having 101 hideys to cycle through the cage, having 101 different prints of fleece to cycle through the cage. Floor time isn't strictly necessary if the cage meets the size standards and not all guinea pigs enjoy floor time, so floor time in a very large area could be seen as spoiling/pampering them.

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    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe Iím not a good piggy parent after all...

    Welcome to the forum!

    If you are ready to adopt, congratulations! Proper care is really quite simple. I guess I am confused on where you feel inadequate. You've had guinea pigs before, so you have the experience, just provide the following basics and everything will go very well.

    1. Proper housing- provide indoor housing that is a minimum of 7.5 square feet. (Reason: you don't want your guinea pig unable to run laps and having to sit in their waste all day). Pet shop cages are too small and too expensive, so it is easy and inexpensive to build a large c&c cage as most on this forum have done. Proper cage size is mandatory and not pampering or spoiling. Bigger is always better because they can move, excercise, explore...you wouldn't want to live life in a bathroom stall. Also you should have room for a minimum of 2 since they are social animals. Bedding is up to you, I personally use fleece liners that I make myself (also a $ saver!). Here's info on suggested material and what not to use for the safety of your pig. https://www.guineapigcages.com/bedding.htm


    2. Proper food- provide them with unlimited quality hay such as Timothy hay (avoid alfalfa for adults), quality pellets (Oxbow or KMS), fresh water, and daily veggies (green leaf lettuce, bell pepper, ect.). Avoid junk food pellets and treats with colored bits and nuts.

    3. $ for an exotics vet- it's not if they get sick, but when, and you should have the means to provide them proper care for regular checkups and unforseen illnesses.

    4. Time- you should realistically have the time to care for them daily. You know how much waste these little guys make. So time for their daily care (cleaning to avoid unsanitary conditions, feeding, clipping nails, weighing regularly, play & snuggle time). This is also how you can detect issues when they are small and hopefully deal with them before they become huge problems.

    All the good intentions and love in the world does not make up for the loss of the basic necessities that keep your guinea pig healthy.

    You will do a great job! After all you are ready and willing to learn for the health and well-being of your guinea pigs. Don't be overwhelmed, we are here for you when you are ready to take on the responsibility of adopting again.

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    Cavy Slave MaiaBex's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe Iím not a good piggy parent after all...

    Don't be so hard on yourself, petluv! I'm sure you were following the info you had at the time; it's just that the info has updated since then. To me, it sounds like you gave your piggies a good life according to care standards then, and you're willing to learn what the current care standards are so you can give your next piggy an even better life. You add up in my eyes!

    Soecara and Smileandnod have good advice, and it sounds like you're doing your research, so I won't add any more on that front. (Plus they've been piggy parents longer than I have; I'm still learning myself!) I just want to say that your heart's in the right place, you're looking for advice in the right place, and you can be confident that you have been and will be a good piggy parent. Deep breath and chin up... you can do it!

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe Iím not a good piggy parent after all...

    My previous three piggies were never taken care of properly but knowing that encouraged me to be the best piggy mom possible for my two now! Six years between the last one and my two now made all the difference. don't be hard on yourself, just do better.

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    Cavy Newbie myhappypiggies's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe Iím not a good piggy parent after all...

    Hi there! You didn't know and now you do so that is already progress and being willing to change your habits and adjust is being a good piggie parent! We all start somewhere and we learn as we go along. Don't be so hard on yourself!

  7. #7
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Maybe Iím not a good piggy parent after all...

    Thank you all for making me so welcome here. I will consider these things as I continue to think about when might be the right time for me. Sadly, I don’t think it is now. The ongoing costs of raising GPs are just too much (especially the veterinary care) if I want to take proper care of them, and I do. They are better off at the shelter than with me right now. ☹️ Admitting that is so hard, but it is necessary I come to terms with it. I cannot adopt just because I want to, I have to be able to provide as good or better care than the local shelter, and they are able to provide all necessary veterinary care. I will continue to read these forums and hopefully one day we will have enough money again, until then I will watch your sweet babies eat and play and give you all so many cuddles and snuggles. ����

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