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Thread: New owner *pls help*

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    Cavy Slave
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    New owner *pls help*

    I purchesd 2 guinea pigs from petsmart yesterday (no pigs in my areas adoption center) since I am new I have tons of questions I have been researching about guinea pigs for 3 months now but it's a differnt thing to watch and acctuly do so My questions are

    How could I reduce smell?(I am using carefresh currently should i swtich to fleece)

    THEY ARE REALLY SKIDISH (pleasse help what could I do to tame them faster )

    If anyone could leave tips on this and more it would be really helpfull thaxks

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    Cavy Slave Traysea's Avatar
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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    I think aspen shavings keeps the smell down the most and also covers up the smell with a wood scent. Switching to fleece is probably about equal or a little better than carefresh depending on what you use. Also it depends a lot on the size of the cage too, if it's small or they are making in a certain areas (which would be ideal since then you can spot clean easier). What size is your cage?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    My cage is a 2x4 and thanks and what could i do to make them less skidish

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    Cavy Slave YourSoJelly's Avatar
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    Instead of rushing into buying a guinea pig, wait and check local animal shelters for pigs, or try to search for rescues. Some rabbit, rat, mice. and chinchilla rescues have guinea pigs.

    As for smell, I suggest switching to fleece. When I had care fresh, my room constantly smelled like something died. Fleece is a cheaper (in the long run) alternative that is easier to clean than loose bedding.

    Taming them is different with each piggy. For Nala, it was through food and snuggles. With Pumpkin it was with snuggles and grooming. When I got Sarabi, it took lots and lots of lap time. I also like to watch different TV shows with my pigs. Nala likes to watch Grey's Anatomy, Pumpkin likes The Walking Dead, and Sarabi loves to watch any super hero movies: Captain America, The Avengers, Thor. I also read aloud to the girls, or sit in their cage and talk to them. I also give them a little something(a piece of veggie or fruit) every time I walk into the room.

    I hope I managed to help, and I pat you on the back for getting two guinea pigs. Just make sure you check the genders because pet stores often mess them up (Sarabi is an example. I didn't get her from a pet store, it's a long story). Its also an unspoken rule you post pictures of your piggies!

    @sunrise2031

    Best of luck!

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    Cavy Slave LexiandLily's Avatar
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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    We've only had ours for a few weeks and I honestly can't say I notice a smell at all. They are relatively clean animals, as long as you keep on top of the cleaning out, We have a section with carefresh in but we use Fleece cage liners for the whole bottom. It's lovely and soft for them. As for the skittish side, we have a routine of getting the girls out for lap time for as long as possible after we've had our tea every night, then we put them in the indoor run, they are skittish when we try to get them out, or if we make any sudden noise or movement when they are in the run, but they are fine once they are on our laps. If you've only had them since yesterday then they will still be very skittish, they have been taken out of their environment and are probably pretty scared at the minute, don't worry though if you put in the effort they'll get used to you. We have one that's worse than the other, Lily just sits and eats regardless what we are doing, but Lexi spies from her bed to make sure the coast is clear before she comes out for food.
    Sometimes I reach into the cage just to stroke them, they go mad and race around at first but once they realise I'm not about to attack them, they sit still. It's all about you getting them used to you. :-) It's a million percent worth the effort.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    ^Thanks a million I should have lined some fleec under the care fresh I was trying to set up the cage and put the fleec and my mom said thats not how you do it thats proably why it smells I will but liner right now thanks

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    Cavy Slave LexiandLily's Avatar
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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    we have a plastic tray on top of the fleece that we keep the carefresh in and put the food bowls on top of it, they tend to wee/poo more where they eat. :-)

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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    Thats really smart thx for everything ;D

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    Cavy Slave LexiandLily's Avatar
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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    your welcome. I'm new to this too so I'm maybe learning from mistakes that I can probably prevent you from making haha. We've just ordered some fleece lined beds, also known as cuddle cups, they absolutely love them, I built a house type shelter with a ramp for them and put the cuddle cups underneath it and they really sprawl out in them. lush!

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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    OMG your guinea pigs are living a luxery life i saw the cuddle cups i will proably get it next time I go to the pet store

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    Cavy Slave LexiandLily's Avatar
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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    I know, I've never had guinea pigs before and they truly melted my heart from day one. They are cheeky little things once they settle in. Good luck getting yours relaxed and used to you - stick with a routine though. It's the best thing we done.

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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    Thats amazing my guinea pig is haing lap time right now it is finnaly eating its timothy hay but I havent seen it eat fruits or pellets or vegies yet or even drink its water but hays a good step

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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    Well it took Lexi almost a week before she drank anything, she still doesn't drink much at all, I'm luckily if I see her use the bottle once every few days, but Lily drinks all the time. Lexi eats cucumber and melon so I'm happy she's getting water that way. I read online that drinking isn't as important aslong as theirs water based food in their diet so I'm not too concerned.
    Our 2 LOVE curly Kale, they even wheek for it on a morning and when we get in from work if their bowl is empty, it's their favourite, oh and carrot, but I don't give them that often as it's high in sugar apparently. We hand fed them the first few days just to make sure they were getting some. It took Lexi a while to take it off me but she got there in the end.

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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    Oh and as far as taming, it takes a while to do.

    Let them just get settled and used to your house for a few days then start working on taming. Move slowly and quietly around the cage for a while. It is also nice if you put the hut opening very close to the water bottle and food dish the first week or two so they don't have to go far for nourishment. My first goal with any new pet is that you don't stress it so it doesn't get sick. They are fragile animals and if they get sick sometimes you don't know until it is very far along. So for now just keep their stress down and consider the next 2 weeks or so "heath quarantine". Don't try to do much with them except clean the cage and move/speak quietly. Then start offering small bits of veggies by hand in their cage for them to sample. That way they know what they are and every time you go in their cage something tasty is coming. Put it close to their hut/pigloo so they don't have to venture far to get it. Romaine is especially good if they are super scared and won't go to the water bottle because it keeps them hydrated. If they reach for it out of your hand that is awesome. Keep offering them. Smaller bits mean more opportunities :O)

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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    Welcome Sunrise 2031! You have come to the right place for lots of good advice. Do check out the big daddy of websites for excellent information about Guinea Pigs called Guinea Lynx. It is slam packed with valuable information.
    Piggies need time to adjust. They say to leave them along for the first 24 hours including not trying to pick them up...but of course, tend to their nutrition etc...slow and consistent attention like others have suggested work best...they are prey animals so they are born to be skittish so don't take it personally.
    I do not like Carefresh myself...I prefer the paper pellets which tend to be less dusty and more compact. I have fleece in their cages with a litter pan of the paper pellets that includes their feeding bowls, hay, and water bottle. This helps keep the mess contained and the litter pan can be changed out as often as you need to do so, but I usually do it twice a week.
    As for fleece, you need to prepare it before you put it in so it wicks...pulls the pee away from the top...then be sure you have a thick towel under it and some other barrier to catch the wee wee like a puppy pad. I honestly have not had a wet puppy pad in forever because they just wee in their litter pan. So I only have to change out their fleece top. Fleece can be bought now at extremely cheap prices since it is a seasonal cloth (fall/winter) Hancock Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, and Walmart carry some at great prices. I bought an adorable yards worth of a remaining piece with colorful peace signs for just $4. They last forever if you get them wicked....which means wash then dry, wash then dry, wash then dry...it is a 3 step process. Do not use fabric softeners or fabric sheets in the dryer. Add a splash of white vinegar in one of the loads too. I also use a splash each time I wash them to help steralize any oders. Be sure to give a good shake before you put in washer to get the excess bedding and hay off too!
    Cuddle cups, fleece pockets, tunnels etc... are wonderful! You can find them at pet stores but the really cute ones are one line at places like Guinea Market or I like to buy mine on ebay from small independent folks. Buy at least 4 for two pigs so you don't have to skip a beat when it is time to wash them and you can pop the new ones into the cage while the others are washing.
    Do monitor their water intake and consider getting a small pet scale to weigh them weekly to be sure they are eating well. Be sure you are providing them with Vit C...it comes in liquid form that you can put into their pellet food (great too in case you need to orally give them during stress/illness)...or oxbow carries small vit c tablets for them.
    Have fun and enjoy your new babies!!! Do post pigtures!!!!!

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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    One more thing about smell...it might be worthwhile for you to give them a bath to help remove some of that pet store odor from them....but not for at least a couple of weeks...no need to stress them out further....get a quality guinea pig safe shampoo like something from Gorgeous Guineas. Its from the UK so buy the time you order it online it should arrive when you are ready to bathe them. Or Petco sells a safe effective one call Earthbath Tea Tree Oil & Aloe. Lots of good YouTube videos on fleece and bathing pigs.

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    Re: New owner *pls help*

    I actually find Carefresh and Clean and Cozy with lavender to be the best at ordor control- I abhor wood shavings, makes my apt smell like a petting zoo. Just make sure to change the bedding frequently.

    For taming my best advice is sit and talk to them every day. Go slowly, let them get used to your voice before you start picking them up much, and once you get to that point do it daily. It can take months for piggies to be fully tame and trusting of you. Go slowly and take your cues from them and their comfort level- some of them adapt more quickly than others.

    Good luck and enjoy your new pets!

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