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Thread: Opinions on Keeping Pig Solo After Loss

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    Cavy Slave Sabrina Clayton's Avatar
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    Question Opinions on Keeping Pig Solo After Loss

    Hi all,

    About a week and a half ago, my husband and I had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye to one of our two pigs, Max, who had been battling severe respiratory issues since just before Thanksgiving 2019. We've talked for awhile about "getting out of the piggy business" mostly due to the extreme stress I've experienced with ill pigs over the last few years.

    Unfortunately, because they should be kept in pairs, this likely means having to rehome a solo pig. But this is what I wanted to get some advice/opinions on - our remaining pig, Salem, will be 5 years old in late November. He's a healthy pig and has never had to be treated for any illnesses, but really that's no indication of how much longer he will be on this earth. We love him dearly and want to keep him, but I'm worried about his happiness as a solo pig. So far I haven't noticed a change in his activity level, he is maintaining a healthy weight, and still wheeks for dinner and shows interest in what's happening beyond his cage. But can he be happy potentially spending another few years without another of his species to talk to and be with? If all things continue to seem normal, how can we tell whether he's truly fulfilled and happy or not?

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Artista's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on Keeping Pig Solo After Loss

    I have always had single pigs until 2 weeks ago. I used to get flack. However Mooshy and then Bella literally had every waking minute of my attention on them. I'm home, rarely go out even before covid. The pen is literally inches from me at eye level. The kitchen end is by me. I'd get a visit chit chattering or pet me when they like. So a lot is situational. For those who work or go to school, definitely a buddy. In fact my baby bianka is still in quarantine after 2 weeks and will be for another 2 weeks until after her well pet appt on 8/20. Bella who is 3 yrs and has been here alone with me since 3 weeks couldn't care less. She hears the wheeks, sees her, but is uninterested. In fact she seeks me out more now so that's interesting. I'd say if you're done with gps, don't get a buddy. The cycle will continue when one passes. That's one reason I held off on having 2 bond. One dies and who knows how the other will react, like stop eating and such. He's 5. Doesn't sound depressed. Give him a great life. There is nothing wrong with having 1 if you are basically in my situation. Humans thrive in groups too. I live alone am alone and I'm fine. Don't worry about what others say. It's obvious to me that you take good care of gps and that's the important thing or you wouldn't be posting this question.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Artista's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on Keeping Pig Solo After Loss

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsie View Post
    To start, please let me say how sorry I am for your loss. It's so difficult to have to say good-bye to our beloved pets. I'm sure Max was very well loved and enjoyed every minute of his life with you. May he Rest In Peace.

    To answer your question about Salem. I understand that piggies really need to have the companionship of another piggie but it's obvious that you really want to keep Salem. You might get differing opinions than mine but I feel that you are not doing wrong by keeping him even though he will be alone. He's 5 years old and I assume he has always been with you. He loves you, he trusts you, and you know that you are giving him a great home. If you rehome him, you really can't be sure of what kind of a life he will have with a new owner.

    Although it's certainly an ideal situation to have more than one piggie, I'm not of the believe that a solo pig cannot enjoy a good life and be perfectly happy as long as his/her needs are being met. If I were in your shoes, I would definitely keep Salem and make his remaining years happy. A few of our members here have solo pigs. Some are in the same situation as you are. Others have pigs who just cannot be placed with another pig due to behavioral issues.

    I wish you the best of luck on whatever you decide. I know you have Salem's best interest in mind.
    Exactly. You are one who supported me. For 7 years I had Mooshy and then Bella, alone. I got hammered but they had and have the best lives! I forego on myself to do for them, always.

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on Keeping Pig Solo After Loss

    My condolences on losing Max. He obviously had a wonderful home with you and was very loved.

    It's obvious you love Salem and I think you should keep him as a solo pig. It would be stressful for him to lose his home now after he just lost his cage mate. Solo pigs can have very good lives if they have activities, attention and are located close to the busy areas of the house.

    I've had a solo pig for 3 years now. She was single at the Humane Society when I adopted her. She is active, healthy, and very social with me and my husband. We're home during the day and she knows our routine and get lots of attention.

    Some things I'd recommend to keep Salem active and keep his life interesting is rearranging the cage and hideys. Guinea pigs memorize pathways to safety, so this would get him to move around and explore new surroundings. Maybe try treat dispenser toys. I have cat treat balls that I use with pellets and veggies so Lacey has to roll them around for the treats. I also have a homemade snuffle mat to hide food so Lacey has to forage.

    Best of luck to you and to Salem.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Opinions on Keeping Pig Solo After Loss

    Iím so sorry for your loss I canít imagine how it feels.
    Iím sure that sometimes itís okay to have only one guinea pig but my friend had two and shortly after one died second died of sadness and loneliness so you should consider having her a friend if they were close


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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