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Level of Effort? Is it worth it?

dakotaw

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
May 19, 2012
Messages
119
I know that piggies are not TONS of trouble, but they do cost time and money... I was wondering if you guys could share some sweet (but not sad! :) ) piggy stories and say how much they mean to you and how much they are worth the effort! I want to make sure my heart is in it wholly before I make a commitment if you know what I mean! :)
 
I taught two of my guinea pigs to do tricks for snacks. I say "do your trick" and they walk in counter clockwise circles and then come to the side of the cage for their reward. Sometimes, if I'm doing something else, I glance over and I can see them looking at me, doing circles and looking at me again. They're asking for a treat without me even telling them to do their trick..... Very cute.
 
I bought my two girls, Prim and Rue, from a breeder (before I knew enough to look for shelters or rescues). But the breeder wanted to get rid of these beautiful girls because they were 1 year old and still hadn't fallen pregnant, despite his best efforts. Well low and behold a month and a half after bringing them home, Rue gave birth to a healthy baby pup. Prim was also pregnant and just gave birth to her two pups two days ago. All of the pups are healthy and both moms are doing well, thank goodness! Before coming to my home Prim and Rue had never seen veggies before and it took me a week, with a little "trickery", to get them to eat their veggies. But now they wheek happily in the morning and when I come home from work because they know it's "veggie" time! They run around their cage (with the babies now too) and come right up to me when I bring their veggies to their "kitchen" area. They squeak and wheek their way into your heart, and I don't know what I would do without all my fur babies!❤️
 
i can only imagine that this thread is going to be long, with tons of wonderful stories. so let me weigh in early and say that guinea pigs are NOT for everyone. for some of us, they are the love of our lives, our passion, and there's nothing we wouldn't do for them. they are interesting, unique creatures. but it's all about the right time right place, right relationship. the first time you see and hold and care for these helpless sweet critters, you will either fall in love or you won't. and if you do fall in love, no numbers on charts, no warnings about the trouble or the cost will stop you from bringing one home. if guinea pigs are not really for you, you'll sweat all the details - the time, the smell, the cost of shipping pellets, the vet bills, the inconvenience of floor time, etc. but, isn't life just like that - either you fall in love or you don't. only you and the pigs will know.....
 
In my opinion, if you need cute stories to motivate you to go through the work of taking care of a guinea pig, I would suggest not getting any. Again, this is my opinion, others may very well disagree with me, and they have a right to their opinion also. Guinea pigs do a lot of cute things, however some are just plain shy and never come out of their shells, however you still have to take care of them. My piggy Phoenix was like that, she really never created any "Sweet piggy stories" My goal for her was to just take the best care of her I could, and to try to get her to come out of her shell, however that never really happened to much in the more than a year she was here, your going to have to be prepared that some guinea pigs will be like this, not all of them like my Nova will stand at the side of the cage waiting to be pet. There also will be a lot of sad times, such as when pigs get sick.

In the end I'm just trying to say that if you need sweet stories to assure you that they are worth the effort, then I wouldn't get a pig, they do require a ton of effort, and sometime the only reward you get is knowing that you gave the pig a great life.

Didn't mean to be a downer, just thought I would let you know my opinion on it, so that you can be sure you're ready to get pigs.
 
My girls....... Well, my Lil' Babe loves lap time.

In her own way......... She loves to get off of my lap and explore the room. At first I was hesitant as I hadn't blocked off any areas I didn't want her to go. But the next time I did lap time, I made sure all of those areas were blocked off. And sure enough she did it again. I think today me and my best friend watched her run the perimeter of the back wall of the room for 15 minutes straight!

Big Sis' is also funny. She will rumblestrut at the walls of her cage it seems. Google "Guinea Pig rumblestrut" and watch some videos. Usually rumblestrutting happens when the Piggies are establishing dominance, which is the case here I am assuming. But lately she has been doing it nonstop, and seeing her alternate lifting her legs as she sways her bum back and forth, makes me laugh so hard I have to bite my lip not crack out laughing and scare them!

And Veggie time ALWAYS get's the girls wheeking. I pound on their pellet container which echoes through the room, and they love it.

Spot cleaning is a game, too. My girls popcorn now at the sound of the vacuum-- No joke! But if there is one thing I can tell you about spot cleaning-- Don't leave a dustpan or dustpan brush sitting in the cage while you are cleaning. I have lost a fair amount of bristles to Piggy teeth. :D

I really am enjoying this thread-- It is unfortunate that a lot of what we read about here is sad and down in the dumps-- So I am glad to be able to share happy times of my Piggy house. :)

Thank you for posting this thread!
 
I decided to get a guinea pig to try out small animal products for my pet products review column. I figured they were pretty much like giant hamsters, without a lot of personality. Boy, was I wrong! Mufasa was only a baby, but he was packed with personality and even won over my husband, who never much liked rodents. He was only with us for 15 days before he died, but he'd still snuck into our hearts enough to have us both crying like babies when we buried him. From his sweet little baby growl when something startled him to his love of playing in hay piles to the way he'd do zoomies on carpeting to the snuggle time we shared every night, I still miss him today.

Thankfully we learned about adoption in the meantime, and I also learned about proper piggy care, so now we're blessed with Amy and Borat. They're as different as night and day, which I find to be great fun. Borat is laid back, gentle, mellow, and sweet. Amy is a loud-wheeking drama queen who might even chomp you if she's in the mood. I can't believe I didn't think piggies would have any personality. They're bursting with it.

But don't just go by sweet stories. Remember, piggies are a huge commitment in both time and money. I won't even go into how much in vet bills my $20 shelter pig Borat has cost me already. I pay it willingly because I love him, but I'd never get an animal if I weren't prepared for unexpected expenses as well as plenty of work.
 
I have just gotten my first two cavies just 9 days ago, so I'm not really sure how much my opinion is worth in this matter.

First of all, yes, compared to hamsters, RES turtles, and fish (the only types of animals I've ever owned), guinea pigs are more time-consuming and troublesome.

Con 1) food
They don't only require one bottle or bag of food, unlike RES turtles, fish, and hamsters. They need an unlimited supply of hay, a variety of vegetables, and pellets. That means more expenses. Young guinea pigs and pregnant guinea pigs also require a different diet compared to the other guinea pigs.

Con 2) cage
Being larger animals, they need more room. Unlike hamsters, they can't use exercise wheels, so they need a large cage to run around in, or have floor-time if you don't have a large C&C cage. Also, they can't use exercise balls, so you can't just leave them running around the floor. You need to section off an area for them to play in.

Con 3) bedding
Having a larger cage, require more bedding. If you use regular bedding, it would cost you a lot more of money for guinea pigs than hamsters. If you use fleece bedding, it's cheaper, but you'd have to get rid of as much hay and poop as you can before you put it into the washing machine. That takes time, especially if your guinea pigs are messy eaters. (Mines are.)

Of course, you can choose to use both regular bedding and fleece bedding if you wish to.

Con 4) cleaning
Some people prefer cleaning their cage once a week, but I prefer to clean it once every three days. That goes for my hamster as well. That's time-consuming, but since they live in my bedroom, I'm not taking any chances for a strong odour to appear.

Unlike RES turtles and fish, you should spot clean their cage at least once a day. That also takes time.

Con 5) bathing and grooming
Unlike hamsters, RES turtles and fish, you should bathe your guinea pig once in a while. (Hamsters only require chinchilla sand, which is very easy to use.) Guinea pigs also require nail clipping. And if you're not careful, you might cut their quick and make them bleed.

Con 6) companion
Guinea pigs need companions. You can get away with getting one hamster, one RES turtle, or one fish, but you really should get at least two guinea pigs. That's more mouths to feed, more space to be needed, and more time and money to be spent.

Con 7) others
And there are probably many other disadvantages I hadn't mentioned yet, such as potential development of allergies, etc.

But I think getting my cavies is worth all the trouble they give me.

1) They keep me company in this near empty house. (Most of my housemates are gone for the summer.)
2) I find myself looking forward to bonding with them.
3) They offer me a break from reality. Unlike with books, this break is a part of my reality.
4) I find there antics really charming and cute.
5) Having guinea pigs don't require as much as having dogs, cats, ferrets, etc.
6) They are more sociable to humans than RES turtles, fish, and hamsters. (Only talking about my experience with the mentioned animals.)
7) And lots more

It's the same with other animals really. No one can really tell you if it's worth taking care of any types of animals.

Some love cats or dogs and find it worth to have one, despite the time and money consumed. But I personally don't want any cats or dogs.

You could even say that about humans. Is it worth having children? Is it worth marrying him/her? Is it worth befriending him/her?

I don't know if having guinea pigs is worth the time and money for you, but Rhode and Robin is definitely worth it to me.
 
My boars are amazing!! They are funny, cuddly, hyper, and loving. The moment I knew they both loved me was during their first floor time as friends (boned pair).

I had a big blanket down, and they were running everywhere playing!! Hiding behind me trying to sneek up on the other. They did this for a solid half hour. But in a middle of a popcorn, they both stoped a staired at me. Then they started talking.

When they started talking, they were climbing up on my lap. 2 minutes later, I had two wiped out sleeping piggies on my lap. It was adorable but so sad at the same time. Knowing how breeder pigs and petstore pigs might not ever get to experiance the love of a owner:weepy:.

You said not to make it sad so I wont go into details :)

I am so happy that I have my boys. If you are willing to make the comitment, guinea pigs are amazing pets. I will never regret getting my guinea pigs. It is 110% worth it!! All the work, shopping, cleaning, bonding, feeding, is all 110% worth itlol
 
In my opinion, if you need cute stories to motivate you to go through the work of taking care of a guinea pig, I would suggest not getting any. Again, this is my opinion, others may very well disagree with me, and they have a right to their opinion also. Guinea pigs do a lot of cute things, however some are just plain shy and never come out of their shells, however you still have to take care of them. My piggy Phoenix was like that, she really never created any "Sweet piggy stories" My goal for her was to just take the best care of her I could, and to try to get her to come out of her shell, however that never really happened to much in the more than a year she was here, your going to have to be prepared that some guinea pigs will be like this, not all of them like my Nova will stand at the side of the cage waiting to be pet. There also will be a lot of sad times, such as when pigs get sick.

In the end I'm just trying to say that if you need sweet stories to assure you that they are worth the effort, then I wouldn't get a pig, they do require a ton of effort, and sometime the only reward you get is knowing that you gave the pig a great life.

Didn't mean to be a downer, just thought I would let you know my opinion on it, so that you can be sure you're ready to get pigs.

Don't worry! It's not the stories! I TOTALLY understand what I am 'getting myself into'. XD! I know that they need space, food, time, money, vet bills, floor time, you get the picture! :) I understand! Thanks for pointing that out!


( I couldn't get this into quotes, sorry!) jacqueline said, "i can only imagine that this thread is going to be long, with tons of wonderful stories. so let me weigh in early and say that guinea pigs are NOT for everyone. for some of us, they are the love of our lives, our passion, and there's nothing we wouldn't do for them. they are interesting, unique creatures. but it's all about the right time right place, right relationship. the first time you see and hold and care for these helpless sweet critters, you will either fall in love or you won't. and if you do fall in love, no numbers on charts, no warnings about the trouble or the cost will stop you from bringing one home. if guinea pigs are not really for you, you'll sweat all the details - the time, the smell, the cost of shipping pellets, the vet bills, the inconvenience of floor time, etc. but, isn't life just like that - either you fall in love or you don't. only you and the pigs will know....."


Don't worry! I know that piggies can be like that! My friends piggy is very shy and hardly ever emerge when humans are around unless they have food. Yes, I do understand! :)
 
I agree with what PigPandemonium and Jacqueline mentioned above. Asking for cute anecdotes is not exactly an objective way of going about deciding if you should get a guinea pig.

Personally, if I have a big decision like this to make, I tend to prefer to look at the cons rather than the pros and decide if the cons are ones I can live with. I want to enter into the decision knowing what I am getting myself into.

Some cons to guinea pig ownership:
-Expense: Between supplies, food and vet visits, the money can add up...fast! Like Mufasa said, we willingly spend the money because we love our pigs and it's worth it to us.

-Effort: Cleaning cages, cleaning boar butt, cleaning grease glands, clipping nails, washing fleece, cutting veggies, filling & refilling water bottles. Such is the life of a guinea pig owner. Yes, it's a lot of work but we wouldn't have it any other way.

-Bedding: Depending on which kind you use, the work is different. Loose bedding can be dusty, messy, and it creates a lot of garbage. Fleece, while not creating garbage, does create a lot of laundry.

Some pros to guinea pig ownership:
-Company: when I lived alone, the guinea pigs made the house feel less empty. They definitely help cheer me up when Im angry or sad about something.

-Instant joy: any guinea pig owner knows how watching a pig popcorn can instantly make you smile or even giggle. You could be in the foulest mood but one sure fire way to get yourself out of that funk is to watch guinea pigs interact. Just holding or petting a pig in your lap is enough to relax you when you are stressed or tense.

-Their piggy noises: I love their gentle chut-chut as they explore their cage. The noises they make when communicating with each other...even the high-pitched, migraine-enducing wheek when you come in the front door becomes a proverbial "Welcome Home! Now bring our dinner!"

-Their piggy personalities: You wouldn't think it was true if you didn't own pigs but guinea pigs all have distinct personalities. Almost every piggy owner can tell you which of their pigs is "the bossy one", "the clown", "the brave one", "the instigator", "the follower" and on and on.
 
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