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Towel in Metal Cage During the Winter, Dangerous?

CatzSpirit

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Grant it I never had a guinea pig in my life. I got him cause I had to leave 2 dogs in NC when we moved down here and so my fiancee at the time bought me a "replacement". So I am trying to learn as much as I can about them.

I am on limited income and I bought a cage that is wire that is for Small Animals at Wal-Mart, it said its safe for Guinea Pigs or else I wouldnt gotten it.

I learned alot so far as you shouldnt change thier diets, you need to trim thier nails and give them something to trim thier teeth. All goes well, no harm yet! Thank god! Doing good to be my first ever Guinea Pig.

Well its getting cold and while dad and I trying to save money to build him a little doghouse thing I was wondering if a towel will do good for now, he seems to like it cause while I am holding him that is where he is at, right now as we speak he is flipping it around in his cage, was resting on it earlier, but will it cause him harm?

Someone told me Sugar would kill him but since I had him he ate cereal that I eat. Someone else also told me lettuce will kill him but since I had him (he was just a baby) he ate on it. He loves carrots and preferes them not cut up! He also loves Cabbage leaves. He has tried to eat my spider plant but I moved it away from his cage!

He is a handfull but I love him just as I do my other babies! But can you help me with better care on a limited budget and let me know if a towel in the cage can cause harm to him.

Thank You

CatzSpirit
 

homeschoolmama

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Welcome to the boards CatzSpirit! First of all, everyone here is going to tell you that your metal cage is WAY too small for a piggie to run around in properly. I know you were told that it's okay... but the company that said that was trying to sell their product. NEVER trust a salesman. Also, you'll want to seriously consider getting him a friend. Guinea pigs are social animals & thrive on each others' company.

I know that you said you're on a limited budget, and trust me... so am I. But these two things will end up saving you money in the long run as you will have a happier & healthier piggie. Here are some other things that we have done - that not only keep our boys happy, but save money too :)

~ We made a C&C cage. There are tons of pictures & instructions on this website. Look around & see what you like & decide how much room you have, then have fun! You can make anything up to a 2x5 for less than $40.
~ We use fleece instead of standard bedding. This costs more to begin with, but after the 1st 2 months, you'll be saving money. The other benefits are a lack of dust, it's softer on your piggies' feet, and there aren't little shavings to track all over your house & clothes during floor time.
~ Don't bother buying toys. Our boys' favorite toys are: a brown paper lunchbag stuffed with fresh hay, an empty toilet paper tube cut lengthwise, (to prevent accidents) and a big pile of hay... which you need to be providing anyway.
~ Buy food & hay in bulk. Again, the inital cost is more, but you save money in the long run.

You asked about towels... no, they are perfectly safe. Many of us have towels in our cages as bedding, playthings & makeshift "tents."

Now his diet is going to need a little help too. Yes, sugar is bad for piggies. While it might not cause any immediate problems, it will over time. He needs to have:

~ Hay... LOTS of it, and ALL the time. Timothy, Orchard or Bluegrass are the best.
~ Pellets... JUST pellets, not something labelled "guinea pig food" that has seeds, colored thingies & other doodads, just pellets. And they need to be timothy based, not alfalfa pellets.
~ and fresh veggies. Not just carrots. Cabbage is okay, but only occasionally. He needs a variety of veggies every day... one cup full per day. Here are some that are safe: all lettuces EXCEPT iceberg, (that has no nutritional content & can make them ill) bell or sweet peppers, carrots, celery, (this must be cut into small pieces & the strings taken out so they don't choke) cherry tomatoes, cilantro, cucumber, squash, yam, and Zucchini.
~ and fresh fruits a couple times a week... Here are a few that are safe: any kind of berry, apples & crabapples, apricots, cantaloupe, cherries, honeydew, mango, orange, peach, pear, and plums.

What I do is check the sunday ads each week & get the fruits & veggies that are on sale. That way they are guaranteed to get a varied diet, and I don't have to spend a fortune.

That's about all I can think of at the moment. Please check out the site & ask TONS of questions!!!
 

Fluffball

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Hello and welome to the forums!!

I would also like to add on to what homeschoolmama said and provide you with some links. Guinealynx is the foremost website on guinea pig care, and provides everything you need to know.

Here is a link on diet, Please read it and you will learn alot on what to feed and what not to feed.
http://www.guinealynx.info/diet.html

Here is a link on choosing quality pellets:
http://www.guinealynx.info/pellets.html

Here is a link on the overall care of your guinea pig everything you need to know:
http://www.guinealynx.info/healthycavy.html


Lettuce is safe for your guinea pig as long as it is not iceburg, Romaine is an exellent source. Cabbage is not the best vegetable to feed as it can result in an excess amount of gas in your piggies stomah and may cause bloat. It should only be fed occasionally.

Daily you may feed:

Bell pepper (green, red and yellow) - 1/4 of whole pepper per pig
Romaine lettuce - 2 leaves or more per pig
One small baby carrot per pig
Endive and other lettuces may be fed daily a few leaves per pig,
Cilantro- few sprigs per pig

Occasional vegetables:

Broccoli leaves ----(tiny) and peeled broccoli stem
Chinese Cabbage (pak-choi)---- one leaf
Corn silks and husks
Parsley, one or more sprigs
Forages like chickweed, dandelions, and young clover

Fruits may be fed once or twice per week, only a few from this list:
Cherry tomatoes--- one per pig
Apple--- one thin slice no needs
Apricot--- dried small pieces
Banana--- 1/4'' round slice only
Blueberries--- may be fed every second day up to several per pig
Cantaloupe--- 1"X 2"piece with washed rind
Grapes or Raisins (not both)---- one or two
Orange---- one small slice
Watermelon--- 1" X 2" piece with washed rind

Quality hay must be available at all times. Timothy hay is the best, as a guinea pigs digestive system is so fast, hay must be available for them to live a healthy happy life.

For help on introducing a new cavy click here:

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

Any other questions dont hesitate to ask.
 

CatzSpirit

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Thank you so much for you alls help! I knew there was alot I was missing cause there are things about him that are totally different than your normal cat, dog and hampster! That is basically the only animals I was raised with, oh yea fish too!

Oh he eats alot of fruits and veggies, he eats basically whatever veggies and fruits momma (me) eats. He is basically as spoiled as my cat though Storm eats meat where DooLittle I know wont. I believe that any mom should share thier food with thier babies and when I know it will hurt them I wont do it hence why I came here!

He will be 2 next year and already 2 inches shy of a foot long! I had him in a fish tank when I first got him cause he was so small. The bigger he got the bigger the fishtank! LOL then I got tired of the fishtank cause for one, he wasnt a fish and two, it was so hard for me to get him out. So when I went to the store and looked for a cage I saw one that had rabbits and Guinea pigs on the box and it was about 40 something dollars and got it last christmas. Saving up for a standing ferret cage so he will have the room to run around but its 100 dollars. If I lived in a house where he could have his own space I would make him a room but I live in a small apartment. I do let him have as yall call "Floor Time" in the kitchen, I just put up a wooden baby gate mom had, yea he eats on it but the bars are so thick it pretty much lasts, he doesnt do much biting on it though cause he is knocking around my dog's tennis ball. Dont worry dont have the dog anymore. He loves it in the kitchen. I am getting him used to letting me hold him which at first he couldnt stand it and scream like he was being murdered, now he lets me pick him up and stroke him while I watch TV, that is how the towel came in, it was easier to pick him up and carry him places with it than just going straight for him and holding him bare.

But yea he gets good food trust me! LOL He eats just about any veggies and fruits I eat, he loves Cherie O's and Frosted Mini Wheats. I am what most call a health nut! You know I think I got you guys confused! LOL my lettuce is the Spincach lettuce, to me it takes better and plus more vitimins and flavor than plain lettuce! I am going to see this week if he likes Greens cause mom and I are going to go get some and bathe them and cook them, I brought the stems for him to eat on last year and he was in "Piggy" heaven! Wonder if he would like the leaves!

I want to get him a friend but the space is an issue, when I move into a house which isnt long from now but its not until May, I will try and find him one, they arent popular around here that I know of, I never see them in stores or Humane Societies. I got him in NC a day before I moved down here to FL. But I plan to look for him a playmate, I dont want to sound picky but I prefere them the same age that way its the same for the both of them on maturity level.

Well let me shut up now! LOL I didnt mean to talk your ears off! LOL

Thanks again and if I need help again I shall holler and between now and then I can do research from the posts before I got here!

CatzSpirit
 

cavy-cool-crazy

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Welcome to Cavy Cages!

I want to get him a friend but the space is an issue, when I move into a house which isnt long from now but its not until May, I will try and find him one, they arent popular around here that I know of, I never see them in stores or Humane Societies. I got him in NC a day before I moved down here to FL. But I plan to look for him a playmate, I dont want to sound picky but I prefere them the same age that way its the same for the both of them on maturity level.
As your pig is over 1 year old, your best chance at another pig getting along with him would be to adopt a younger boar from a rescue. It is possible for 2 older pigs to get along, but it tends to work better with boards when one is around 4 months (or more) younger than the other. Pet stores are not the best place to buy pigs from - too much is wrong with them: http://cavyspirit.com/petstores.htm

Before you adopt yur pig a buddy I would highly advise you to look into building a C&C cage. You only need to spend $30 for one pack of cubes and 1-2 sheets of coroplast and you've built a real palace for your pig. Space is extremely important for pigs, especially when you have 2 boars living together.
Small cages = depressed, bored, lonely, lethargic pigs.
Large cages = happy, friendly, vocal, content, active, brave, playful and healthy pigs.
www.guineapigcages.com

Here are a few more sites to refer to for more detailed information:

http://guinealynx.com
http://cavyspirit.com
http://caviesunited.bravehost.com

And for rescues and shelters:
http://petfinder.com
http://cavy-rescue.com
 

Percy's Mom

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Even in a small apartment, a Cubes&Coroplast cage can be fit in, and would be much better for your piggy than a ferret cage since they need a wider space to run about in instead of more vertical for climbing like a ferret cage would provide. Plus it's a ton cheaper. If you scroll up to the top of the page under where it says Cavy Cages and click on HOME, you'll get to the main page where there are links on how to make C&C cages and where to find the materials. It's pretty simple.

Also, please stop feeding cereal to your guinea pig. They are strict vegans, and most cereals (especially frosted ones) have milk or milk byproducts in them as well as a lot of other sugars that they just don't need. HSM and Fluffball gave you some excellent links to help you learn everything you need to know about your piggy, but I also want to add a couple more sources for excellent foods and hay.
http://www.kmshayloft.com - Fabulous food and hay. Get the timothy based pellets and any of her timothy or bluegrass hay. Price for shipping to the east coast can be a little high though since Kleenmama is in Washington state.
http://www.oxbowhay.com - Also excellent food and hay choice. You can buy direct from them, or they have a store locator to find local sources as well as a link to places you can find Oxbow products online. Get the Oxbow Cavy Cuisine. It's timothy based. If you use the store locator, make sure youc all ahead, so you know if they have the product you want.
http://www.critterstore.com - My personal favorite place to find toys and accessories. They're also one of the online sources for Oxbow food and hay.
 

aqh88

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Aside from sugar or possible milk products guinea pigs don't digest grains very well. Pellets should not contain things like corn and oats for that reason. Despite seeming healthy cheerios are quite unhealthy and grains can even be dangerous. Since all cereals contain grain there aren't any that should be fed to a guinea pig.
They are not humans and just like there are somethings a cat can eat that a guinea pig can't there are something great for humans but dangerous for guinea pigs. While it's great to share guinea pig healthy foods with your guinea pig you can't feed them like a human baby. They need guinea pig foods. Hay, high quality guinea pig pellets, and certain veggies. Iceburg lettuce is used alot in human salads but can cause severe life risking diarhea. You also have to watch out for high calcium veggies. Spinach has always been considered healthy for people but the calcium and oxalic acid can cause bladder stones for piggies. Another potentially dangerous problem that can require surgery to remove the stones. Things like mustard greens and kale are also high in calcium. There are lots more vegetables great for humans but very bad for guinea pigs in large amounts. Cabbage, broccoli, and carrots are some. They can have small amounts but large amounts will cause one problem or another.

You should double check all veggies with the charts on guinealynx.info in the diet section. Make sure you aren't feeding anything with a really high calcium ratio too often. Things around about 2:1 or above should be fed in lesser amounts or even not at all depending on what it is.
 

x0PiggyPerson0x

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The information on the site I made doesn't really contain as much as the links others gave you, but I figured I might as well offer it anyway. If you click on the 'Information' page, it has a list of foods guinea pigs may enjoy and are good for them, as well as those that aren't. It also has housing info, toys etc. Also, anyone else who wants to take a peek at it and offer up suggestions on how to make it better is welcome to.

http://www.freewebs.com/baby_pig/

This is actually a little blog I made for my own guinea pig.
 

aqh88

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There's one thing I think that's missing from your site. I didn't notice you mention anywhere how much veggies or fruits to give. The vitamin c in pellets is pretty unimportant. The amount is just barely enough to prevent scurvy if the pellets are fresh. Most pellets do not preserve vit c well and the vit c is already partially gone by the time you get them. Notice that high quality pellets like oxbow have a second different way of preserving the vit c and much higher amounts than the other guinea pig pellets. I see no problem feeding oxbow rabbit pellets because they contain the exact same ingrediants in the same amounts minus that second form of vit c. If your feeding veggies they are getting more than enough vit c and way more than the pellets contain. Feeding at least 1 cup of veggies is required to get vit c. On your site it sounds like pellets contain all the vit c that is needed and veggies are listed under treats. With the fruits there is nothing saying to restrict these to a fairly small amount a few times a week mostly because of the sugar content. Fruits could truly be called treats but veggies are actually needed in higher amounts than pellets.
Also somewhat minor since it's a matter of opinion I highly recommend pelleted beddings but you list wood pellets as something not to use. There are also several safe cat litters you could list. I think carefresh is pretty worthless and not at all absorbent but like I said it's a matter of opinion not fact.
 

x0PiggyPerson0x

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Okay, thanks for contributing!
 

CatzSpirit

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Thank you for your help! I hope he doesnt think I being mean to him by not feeding him his cereal! He loves it! He sqweals at the bag moving then runs around the cage like he knows its comming! Its a site to see, but I might end up taking something healthy that is dry and put it in a cereal bag so he can recongize the noise as getting something different and healthy for him.

Like I said he is my first Guinea Pig, everything I am learning with him is until now hands on! LOL Dont get me wrong I been reading at sites but most the sites I been to tell you mostly on his bedding and breeding, not so much diet and habitate. So this finding this site has been life saving to him and god sent to me! LOL

He is loving that towel in his cage, everyday I find it in a new possition! LOL But I came to realized I am going to have to take it out and shack it outside and then wash it so I am thinking of asking mom for old towels she has that way the new ones wont get damaged but he will still have a towel when I have to take one out and clean it.

I also learned they arent much for bladder control. They go whenever they have to. He knows when I have him out not to pee or at least he doesnt have to when I have him out but he does leave presents sometimes.

I am learning with him and with him almost 2 I am learning a little late but better late than never.

It at one point got too hard I was trying to find him a home. A better one! My cat doesnt understand that he isnt a playtoy you can be rough with and they "Locked Up" on each other and had to spray them with water cause afraid if I pulled them apart they would tear each others neck and really didnt need that! But after that I learned to take him out only when I have time to sit and watch and if things get out of control put the cat in line. Now Storm gets along with him, they havent locked up but still there are times when Storm gets rough and I have to skold him and is kewl cause I am there to watch and not too late when DooLittle goes to screaming which means the harm is already been done.

Yes dad and I after Thanksgiving are going out to look for those linkable metal boxes as you guys call C&C and we figured that the my closet space I have in the livingroom is big enough. Its right there at the front door and being that I have a cat I am going to have to make a top to it so Storm doesnt think he can jump in and harrase DooLittle. But I already have what you guys are talking about, just its used for storage right now but we are going to get more and link them together and have part of it storage and the other side a home for DooLittle. The doors are sliding and can come off and we are going to take them off.

If all that cant be done before my lease is up we are doing that in my new place. But all and all its going to be done.

The food thing is on its way to working. We arent going to change his diet on the dry food but the snacks we feed him will change.

But thanks again for all your help! My head has soaked it in, I even made a document with notes of what was important so if ever I need to get to it I can!

Its a windy cold night tonight, glad he is his towel or else I would fear his paws would freeze. He seems to like it cold though, he sits right there in the spot that where the wind would hit him instead of in the corner where it wont.

Will give you an update after thanksgiving! Been way busy getting ready and not much time online. I have even thought about taking my cat to my moms. He can handle it, Just havent thought it would be comfortable for DooLittle. I mean her dogs are Huge and dont think he would like it. Storm on the other hand gets along well with them! He beats them up as if he is thier size! LOL

Well talk at you later! Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings!

Till Then!
 
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skirbo

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Hi. I have checked out petfinder.com for Florida and there are shelters/rescues around you that you can adopt from, just so you know. It's about six hours away from me in Crestview.

There are lots of horses in and around the Jacksonville area, so you should be able to find good hay from a feed store without too much trouble. A big bale of bermuda horse quality hay, and you may find good quality timothy or orchard grass hay as well, is not expensive.

Sarah
 

CatzSpirit

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Thank you for taking your time for the look up, I havent yet reached to where I will get anouther Guinea Pig, I plan to get this one at a normal guinea pig living first, I have been reading that his life has been not a normal safe Guinea Pig life so when I can get the right food and bed and the right stuff for him and comfortable of the living he has then I will invest in anouther. Right now got to invest of giving the one I have the life he needs.

No need to have 2 Guinea Pigs in a half safe setting is there? I am too much an animal lover to think that I could raise up two Guinea Pigs in this manor! I know they arent abused and they have a good life but not the normal life of Guinea Pigs. He deserves that and not going to bring in anouther without having this one where he needs to be!

But thank you for researching! I will do so myself when I can get things in better order and I am glad to hear there are places where I can find anouther!

CatzSpirit
 

x0PiggyPerson0x

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Just in case the piggies are still around when you're ready, I'd just like to offer a place in Florida. It is on the Space Coast area, but they have six piggies, four in one storebought cage and two in the other, different sexes would be my guess as to why they're seperated. Anyway, they also have a bunch of bunnies and cats and dogs. It broke my heart to see how full they are.
 

jdomans

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Catz,
I am in an apartment also. I went to Wal-Mart and bought a folding table size 24 x 48 and built my C and C cage on it. Underneath is storage. The girls are in my bedroom.
 
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