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General 10 yr old, allergies and veggies

MercyMom

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Hi all! I'm new here and don't yet have any pigs. Despite the fact that I've been reading for hours and hours I've still got some questions :)

This started out for my daughter, she's 10, we got her a hamster, it died 3 weeks later. We talked about getting another, but she is afraid it will die right away too, plus it bit her a lot.

So we know a few people who have guinea pigs and say their great.
So I started reading.......

We plan on making our cage, I told her we'll take a month or so to get the supplies and get one all set up before we get any pigs. And we are going to try and get our from a rescue place (it's kind of far though)

But I've read you shouldn't have the cage in the kids room....so I thought about it and while I'd love to have it in our living room, well I have an 18 month old and a dog who loves to chase rodents or at least scare them. So that leaves my room or her room. I really don't want them in my room (and the dog sleeps in my room, but is rarely in hers), but I'm wondering what ya'll think?

Also she's allergic to cats and somewhat to dogs, so does that mean she'll be allergic to guinea pigs too? Do they shed much? I do plan on using fleece bedding.

On to veggies....do ya'll use a ton of different veggies? I checked out the chart and everything, but I'm just thinking I can pick 5 or so and mix them up appropriately right(some every day and alternate with the others)? And can I get all of them ready at once, and put the rest in the fridge for later. It's not the issue of feeding them twice a day, but actually making the food twice a day :eek:ptimist:

One more thing.... do you have to bathe them? Kind of worried about that one, if so do they like it?

Hope this was okay to post here, didn't want to do the intro since we don't have pigs to intro and I realize my questions probably fall into several categories.


~Erica ~
 

Ly&Pigs

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Hi and welcome to GPC!

But I've read you shouldn't have the cage in the kids room....so I thought about it and while I'd love to have it in our living room, well I have an 18 month old and a dog who loves to chase rodents or at least scare them. So that leaves my room or her room. I really don't want them in my room (and the dog sleeps in my room, but is rarely in hers), but I'm wondering what ya'll think?
You could get a table, put the cage on it and make a lid to dog proof it. A living room or other high traffic area of the house encourages socialization with the pigs and helps them get used to you easier.

On to veggies....do ya'll use a ton of different veggies? I checked out the chart and everything, but I'm just thinking I can pick 5 or so and mix them up appropriately right(some every day and alternate with the others)? And can I get all of them ready at once, and put the rest in the fridge for later. It's not the issue of feeding them twice a day, but actually making the food twice a day
Variety is the key to a good, well rounded veggie diet. You need at least 3-5 daily staples then another 5 or more rotating veggies. You can prepare them ahead. I'm sure you've read to feed unlimited grass hay and a high quality plain pellet as well.

One more thing.... do you have to bathe them? Kind of worried about that one, if so do they like it?
Bathing is something cavies rarely need. Only if it's absolutely necessary and no more than about every 4 months if needed. If you do need to bathe, you need cavy appropriate shampoo and no human shampoo's or medicated/insecticidal shampoos.

I can't really answer on the allergy question as I don't know how your daughter will react. If she's allergic to cat/dog dander then there may be a good chance she'd be allergic to pigs.
 

rabbitsncavyluv

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If they have allergies, the bedroom usually isn't the best place for the cage / guinea pigs.

Often people have allergies to the timothy hay than the pigs themselves so you may want to test that out beforehand.
 

luvmycavies

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Just to chime in on the allergy thing....my husband is deathly allergic to cats and some to dog dander but has NOT had an issue with the pigs and they are in the front room. I use fleece and I am the one to handle the hay. He hasn't had an issue at all.
 

PiggieMamaKelly

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In my own opinion, I think 10 years old is plenty old enough to have the cages in her room (provided there are no allergy issues with them). My husband is allergic to dogs and cats and has no problems with the pigs. He is allergic to some kinds of hay so we have to stick with a certain type.

The veggie thing isn't as complicated as it seems. There are only a few things I keep on hand at all times, everything else I choose based on what's on sale or what I will be using for myself.

I bathe my pigs a few times a year and they don't enjoy it but they have learned to tolerate it very well. It's a very quick and easy process.
 

akstrohm

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She may not be allergic to pigs at the moment, but there is a significant chance that she could develop allergies to them later. This chance increases if the cage is in her room. Unlimited hay is a requirement, and this is a common source of allergies as well. I would build a secure cage with a stand and put it in the living room if you do choose to get pigs. Also keep in mind that pigs should not be kept alone (two or more is fine), and definitely adopt instead of buying! Finally I just want to mention that guinea pigs require a lot of time, money, and effort, so definitely spend some time on this forum reading stickies to make sure they are for you.
 

MercyMom

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Thank you everyone for your responses. I really love to see so many people dedicated to their pets and excited to inform others about their needs!

If we a put a cage in her room and the allergies end up being a problem, is it traumatic for the pigs to move the cage?

Somewhere I have a page w/what grasses she is allergic to so maybe that will help w/what hay to use.

Thinking about a table in our living room, I guess the dog would get used to them being around, I'll have to see if my husband would mind this.
I'm going to search now, but wondering do you secure the cages to the table somehow?
 

SushiBonzai

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I have allergic reactions to my pigs. They do shed (some more than others) and here's some steps I do when planning to hold my piggers:

1. Wear a long sleeved shirt
2. Take an allergy pill before hand (if applicable)
3. Avoid touch eyes or nose when handling them
4. When done, wash hands (and arms, if applicable) and remove shirt.

It's not very likely that she'll be allergic (I would think) because I'm not allergic to dogs or cats, but I do have a reaction to my pigs. Most people are allergic to bedding or the hay (which I haven't found a problem with, besides then fact it get's ALL OVER MY ROOM)
 

Peggysu

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As a person with really bad allergies, I would suggest not keeping a guinea pig in a room where your daughter sleeps. Plus it's better to have them in a high traffic area where everyone can enjoy. The hay can be dusty. I use fleece which cuts down on a ton.
 

music91

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I also have extreme guinea pig allergies, never had to go to the hospital tho. But first off I got a strong prescription antihistamine, and I got nasel spray and an inhaler. Second when I hold my guinea pigs I have a "piggy bathrobe" that i only wear when holding the pigs, it covers all my skin so I don't get itch. I also wear a dust mask when I hold them, at first I had to wear two but I now only wear one because I've kind of started to build up an immunity to the piggies (i've always been alergic to them) I now use fleece bedding too because I think the bedding somewhat adgitated my allergies because it was dusty. I fill up the hay outside now too using a rubber glove (the hay makes my hand itch) and wearing two masks too because the hay makes me wheeze terribly. Wash your hands alot. I've found that bathing the piggies dosen't help with allergies either tho. There is also Allerpet-C solution that you can order on line that is supposed to help with allergies but I didn't find it to help much...

GOOD LUCK!!!
 

livandlovit

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Hi,

I've been investigating ways to reduce my allergies without having to take too many drugs. The company Allerpet makes an interesting product that helps reduce allergies (to animals and to dust mites). It's a liquid that you wipe onto the animal (non-toxic and safe).

The information on the webiste is very interesting. It could be helpful to use it on your dog and cat, too. Here's a link: Allerpet | DeMite Home Page
 

pigsforlife

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I am not allergic to the pigs but to the hay. I can handle the pigs and be fine but as soon as I refill their hay racks I end up in sneezing fit and all the good stuff that comes with hayfever.

I have 2 curious dogs. They are not big (just under knee height) but are very curious. I have the cage up on a table. The table is tall enough that they can only just rest their paws on the edge (when standing on their hind legs). Because they can't push it off or anything, I do not secure the cage to the table. The cage simply sits on top.
 

GizzyandMe

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I am not allergic to dogs or cats but I am to my guinea pig. Bathing her once a month does make her less potent to my skin any my eyes do not swell close as much.
 

Buddy4

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My daughter is 10, and we had the cage in her room for a few months. When we used the bedding instead of fleece, she had big allergy flare ups. When we moved to the fleece, they went away. I think it is an individual thing, though, and everyone is different. We moved the cage from the bedroom to the open playroom area upstairs, and they did fine. Even changed the cage layout. Now they get to be a part of the craziness of our house and we get to enjoy them much more.
 

1frankie7

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well you could get skinny pigs if you can find some to rescue?
 

JD In Van

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Skiny pigs are rarely at rescues.

Also it's nine times out of ten the hay not the pig that the allergy is too.

I would highly recommend not putting it in her room. You increase her chances of developing dust/fur allergies in the future that will impact her for the rest of her life.

It would be wiser to put the cage in a high traffic / public part of the house. And the rest of the family will enjoy them more too.
 
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