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New to guinea pigs and would like some advice!

AmandaEib

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Hey everyone! I am adopting 2 female guinea pigs, Margalo and Snickers, from my sister in about 2 weeks and I really want to make sure I care for them correctly. I've been searching like a crazy lady trying to learn as much as I can about them and I think I have learned a lot, but I want to clarify some things with experienced owners first!

1. The girls have been together since they were born so they get along very well and snuggle a lot so I was wondering if a 2x3 c&c cage would be okay for them instead of a 2x4? We have a table for the cage but it can only hold up to a 2x3 and once we move next year I will probably upgrade the size a little.

2. I want to put them on good food since they're on that Katyee stuff and I've heard bad things about that brand. I've heard Oxbow is good, but I found a brand called Small Pet Select on Amazon that sounds good too so i'm wondering which to go with?

3. I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old, they wont have access to the pigs without me around, and the girls are very skiddish since they've never really been handled so how do I acclimate them to my kids without terrifying the poor things?

4. I found a vet for them and they told me that for both pigs to get an exam and their nails clipped it would be about 170$. Is this a good price for both of those things?

5. Finally, how much upkeep does fleece bedding require? I've read that it can a pain and then others say it's the best thing ever so I'm not really sure what to think at this point!

Thanks in advance for the help guys! I'm really excited to help these pigs be happy. My sister doesn't know how to care for them the right way and they've been cooped up in one of those pet store cages with just an igloo their whole lives and only taken out occasionally. I feel so sad that they don't get the attention they need and deserve. Hopefully they will enjoy their new home!

Oh and also are there any must haves that your pigs can't go without? I've read a lot about hideaways and tents and whatnot but I don't want to overcrowd them with a bunch of stuff haha!
 

Fay

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Welcome to the forums! :)

1. The reason for the cage size recommendations isn't just to help guinea pigs get along but it also to give them the space they need to run around. With another pig there you'd need another hidey (have a search for 'fleece forest' they tend to be a big hit) and they might get in each others way more, that is why the recommended size is a 2x4 and not 2x3. Generally, the more space you can give them the better! Maybe you could consider adding an extension to the table somehow? If you really don't have the space and as you said planning to expand in a year, it 'could' work if they get along but I'd recommend giving them a lot more floor time if so.

2. The pellet most people have or recommend here is KMS Hayloft, they have the best pellet on the market. Oxbow is recommended as an alternative but it's higher in calcium so you have to be more careful with it, most other pellets are junk and have too much unhealthy stuff in them, you can learn to read ingredients here:

http://www.guinealynx.info/pellets.html
http://www.kmshayloft.com/hay/

3. I don't have kids so it's hard to say but this page has some suggestions:

http://www.cavyspirit.com/kidsandguineapigs.htm

4. You can learn to clip their own nails, it's not too difficult once you get the hang of it and if you have someone who can hold the pig carefully it can be even easier:

http://www.guinealynx.info/nails.html

Just a note about vets, make sure that your vet is an exotic vet with experience with guinea pigs. Most normal cat and dog vets do not have the knowledge required to safely treat a guinea pig, but yes exotic vets will generally be more expensive because of their specialized training. Here's some information on how to find an exotic vet:

http://www.guinealynx.info/vet.html

In general I would just recommend reading the entire Guinea Lynx website it's got a wealth of information both for care and medical topics. Aside from that just check out the sticky posts on this forum. I'd especially recommend printing out the vegetable chart in the diet section, it's so useful! Anyway, welcome again and I hope you will find these forums as useful as I did, you can use the search function to find an answer to just about any question you might have but if you can't find the answer you can just post and someone tends to respond pretty quickly.
 
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AmandaEib

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Thank you so much! You were so helpful! I'm looking into the pellets and planning to build a table to accommodate a 2x4 cage (hopefully with a loft) so that they will have plenty of room to roam and play :)
 

BaconAndEggs

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Welcome to the forum!

Your questions have already been answered, so I would just like to say I applaud you for doing your research before you get the piggies. I wish I would've done that. Please keep us updated, and, when you get your girls, post pictures! :) Hope your piggy journey is wonderful, and good luck.
 
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