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Thread: Potty training / Spilling food / Shedding / Behavior

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    Potty training / Spilling food / Shedding / Behavior

    About two months ago I adopted an 8 month old pig. Someone was giving her away in a group and I decided to take her in. Ive been trying to potty train her but it seems that she likes to poop right next to the place where shes supposed. Also, she likes to spill her food. I recently bought a ceramic bowl and it works better than the gravity feeder she used to have but she still likes to spill. Lastly, Ive noticed that shes been shedding a lot more hair than usual. I give her carrots everyday but she still always seem scared; making sounds everytime shes on my lap. Im a new owner and I was looking for guidance. Thanks!
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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Potty training / Spilling food / Shedding / Behavior

    You can't potty train a guinea pig. If you've got a cooperative pig, it may decide on a favorite place to go and you can put something there to catch the output. But if the pig isn't cooperative, you're just out of luck.

    They also poop the most where they eat and sleep. A "kitchen" might help you, with hay at one end and lots of litter in the rest of it. Another thing to try is to give her a private area , like fleece clipped across the corner of the cage. She may like that.

    You've got a round bottom bowl that's flared up and out. It isn't that she "likes" to spill her food, it's that she can't help it if she puts her feet on that bowl. You need something that's flared the other way -- wider at the bottom than at the top. I used flared soap dishes, and in many years of having pigs, never had them flip them once or spill any food out of them.

    Here's some recommended reading material for new pig owners: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...nea-pig-owners

  3. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
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    Re: Potty training / Spilling food / Shedding / Behavior

    That's awesome you rescued her...ditto everything bpatters said!
    I see her food bowl right now has very thin edges, too... piggies nearly always stand ( or try to ) on the edge of their bowl every time they eat, so you need one that's nice and heavy with a little more rounded edge to stop spilling. Soap dishes are a great idea! There's also shallow, heavy bottomed ceramic pet bowls you can get.
    As long as you don't see any skin issues/bald spots/lots of dandruff, I doubt her extra shedding is anything to worry about.
    Guinea pigs are instinctively shy little prey animals, so they take time to come around. There's lots of help and info to find here on taming--- here's a recent thread that may help you: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...rtable-with-me
    This link along with bpatters' also helped me as a new piggy owner: www.guineapigmanual.com
    P.S. I would highly recommend buying her different pellets... pellets with added things like colored pieces and dried corn are never good. Dried corn can be a big choking hazard and is hard to digest; and many pellet brands lack the nutrients guinea pigs need ( like vitamin c ) , or are too high in fillers and calcium. Oxbow and KMS are both an excellent choice instead!

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    Re: Potty training / Spilling food / Shedding / Behavior

    Welcome to the forum! I ditto everything that bpatters and MerryFriarTuck said; just adding my own experience/comments.

    I lucked out with my Tannim (he prefers to pee and poop in either his kitchen or his hidey) but my son's gp Ralphy would go anywhere in his cage. The concept of "potty area" just isn't in a gp's vocabulary.

    A more solid bowl will probably help with the spilling. Tannim routinely stands on the side of his pellet bowl... his veggie bowl not so much, but it's shallow ceramic so he can reach better. His pellet bowl is a regular plastic pet bowl, wider at the bottom than at the top. (I'd not thought of soap dishes... thanks @bpatters!)

    The shedding is probably what my son calls "fear shedding". I can brush Tannim until he shines, but the minute I startle him I'm covered in fur. Definitely keep an eye out for skin problems, but it's probably just nerves on her part.

    Give your piggy some time... some take longer than others to get used to their people. It sounds like you're doing your best for her. (And speaking of sounds... the link to GuineaPigManual that MerryFriarTuck posted has a section on piggy sounds -- that can help you interpret what your baby is saying when you hold her. Or check YouTube -- Little Adventures has at least one vlog on gp sounds and what they mean.) Keep up the good work!

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    Re: Potty training / Spilling food / Shedding / Behavior

    I can think of two changes I would make. First is to check out a bowl that has worked quite well for me and isn't expensive. You can buy it at Target or online in different sizes:

    https://www.target.com/p/platinum-pe...p/-/A-14986240

    I had a cavy who would pick up the side of a heavy ceramic bowl and drag it across the cage....spilling whatever was inside. This bowl from Target has a rubber rim around the base which keeps it from sliding, even on fleece, and the fact that it is metal and slippery deters them from moving it with the mouth as well.

    I'm presuming that the triangular pan is a litter dish? First of all, cavies are shy and probably wouldn't use a litter box that is that exposed. They like a bit of privacy. Instead, buy a kitten litter pan that is large enough for an adult cavy to stretch out. Put a layer of litter in the bottom with a layer of hay on top. My cavies always love to be able to do two or three things at once. They will poop and pee, eat hay, and then possibly fall asleep there. My dearly departed Sparky just loved sleeping in the litter box.

    Here are a couple of sources for a litter pan:

    https://www.amazon.com/Van-Ness-Small-Cat-Litter/dp/B01KV8AHNK/ref=sr_1_8_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1519082659&sr=8-8&keywords=kitten+litter+box

    https://www.chewy.com/van-ness-cat-litter-pan-blue-small/dp/55352

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    Re: Potty training / Spilling food / Shedding / Behavior

    Another idea for food is a shallow coffee cup. Hang it on the side of the cage by the handle using a bent piece of wire or paper clip. I bought 2 at a thrift store and they work great. My guinea pig can reach in and take what she wants, she can’t tip it over, and it frees up valuable floor space.
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