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General What to when I'm gone???

Pretty Piggies

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Sep 13, 2011
For Thanksgiving break I am going to be gone for 5-7 days. There is no one to take care of them, and I can't take them with me. How much pellets should I leave them with? Three cups? I will give them all the hay I can. Leaving them with a bunch of veggies isn't an option since they'll just eat them in 5 minutes. Any ideas?
To leave them alone for such a long period time is not recommended at all. Aside from the possibility of running out of food, there are many things that could go wrong with injuries that then will be left untreated, build up of urine & poop possibly causing disease, UTI & bumble foot, pigs not drinking enough because of of stale water leading to constipation, dehydration & bloat.

I'm sorry you are in this situation, something everyone need to sort out before getting animals. Try calling out to members here who might be in your area, I'm sure there are many willing pigsitters.

Is there any way you could bring enough grids & put up a temporary cage at your new location?
Call your vet and ask if they board pets. Mine do. If they don't, ask them if they know of any other vets in the area that do. If that won't work, ask a close friend or family member to come in and feed them, clean the cage, etc. You can have them send photos so you can see how they're doing. 5 days is way too long for them to be unattended to. Any more time than an overnight trip without someone looking in on them could result in a disaster.
I am thinking about putting litter in a pet store cage for when I'm gone. No one will be around to take care of them. Right now I'm trying to look for a no-money option. I am going to a place where animals are not welcome. I'll see what I can do though. My cousin is probably bringing her dog, so maybe two little pigs in a small cage won't do any trouble...
A pet store cage isn't really an adequate solution -- you need a larger pen and a lid to keep any curious kids and animals out.

This is the kind of thing you need to think about before you get a pet. Leaving guinea pigs alone for 5-7 days is animal cruelty. Please arrange for someone to come in and feed them and check on them while you're gone.
You should have considered situations like this before you even considered getting a pet. Check to see if there's anyone in the area that you are visiting who are willing to take care of them. If you refuse to pay a sitter fee and you'll be stayin in a hotel, sneak them in and just leave the "DO NOT DISTURB" door handler sign thingy up.

You should also consider, which would you rather pay: a boarding fee or sitter fee for a few days to ensure the health and safety of your cavies, or (a) potentially more expensive vet bill(s) due to sickness/injury after leaving them alone for five days?
There are a lot of places that you can board at, just google it! I don't think it is safe to leave any animal alone for 5 days, it's not fair to them. Also there are pet sitting services that are licensed so they are safe to come to your house. I found a girl who actually worked at an exotic pet vet clinic and worked with guinea pigs so I know that if something is wrong she'll see the signs.
Thank you everybody. You have all been really helpful, but I considered it a bit rude when you said I should have thought about this all before getting a pet. I have always (except for once, but they were checked on) left them with someone, and this is a very rare event that there is nobody around. I am trying to figure things out, maybe I can have a neighbor check on them. If not, I will try as hard as I can to take them with me. ArabianMagicat, that is so funny that you thought I should sneak a pet into a hotel, I actually have done that before with my cat! lol
Are you going to leave your cat alone too? Poor kitty. I'd hate to see that litter box with 5-7 days of feces in it.

I agree that someone really needs to watch them. Could you put an ad on Craigslist and find a reputable pet sitter, someone with good recommendations? Do you know anyone that has guinea pigs that could watch them, or go by your house and check? I would imagine it would not cost much to ask your vet to board them considering their size.

I had baby chickens this past March and I had to arrange for my neighbor to come and open my garage once a day and check on them. Sure they had food and water but all animals need to be tended to, you never know what could happen.

Good Luck
I gave my kitty away last year because I was moving. :( I have a neighbor across the street who LOVES animals, I may ask her. If I can, I would like to take them with me. They would ahve to be brung in a pet store cage, but they would get lots of floor time.
There are pet friendly hotels. Why don't you try and find one where you can bring them along if you plan to stay in a hotel? You can make a temporary cage out of grids and a shower curtain. Or you can call your local animal rescues to see if they can board them for you. Paying to board them is better than having them sit in their own waste and not have enough to eat or drink. They need fresh water and vegetables daily. Can you imagine having to drink out of a dirty bottle for 5 to 7 days?
Cupcakesmom, I wouldn't recommend advertising on craigslist for someone to come into my home and feed my animals. She's better off finding someone she knows and trusts than to give the keys to her house to a perfect stranger, or to let her pigs go to that person's house.
You could check with a local rescue as well. The lady that runs the rescue around me said she will pigsit for $5/day for 1 guinea pig or 2 in one cage and $5 for every additional.
Good news! I'm able to take them with me!! I talked to my Mom about how leaving them home is bad, and she showed more concern than I thought she would. I am going to have to take them in the pet store cage, but they are going to get TONS of floor time. They may be spending more time out of the cage than in. lol

P.S. Can I take them outside and let them eat the grass straight from the ground?
I'm glad you can take them. How long is the trip? You may need to do some planning for how to get them there safely.

Be very careful with floor time if there are small children or other animals around. If there's a spare room, you might put an old blanket down and let them have floor time on that -- you can make a temporary pen out of extra grids or even cardboard boxes shoved together. You could use a corner of the room for two of the walls, but watch them with chewing the baseboards.

Grass -- it depends on the grass. If it's been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides or has been recently fertilized or there are other animal droppings on it, then no.
I will be aware of my cousin's dog, she likes the guinea pigs (probably thinks they're puppies) but still, she is a dog. My little sister is pretty good about the guinea pigs. Thank you for the info on pens. :)
The trip is pretty long. We are going to Arkansas (I live near Dallas) any ideas?
Yes, definite ideas.

First, take plenty of extra wet veggies -- wash them good, don't drain them, and put them in a plastic bag. Offer them some frequently. Don't hang a water bottle in the car, it will just leak. But take one with you and offer it to them every couple of hours.

I don't know what kind of bedding you're using, but I'd get some carefresh or some shredded aspen and put in their carrier. Put enough so that any urine and spilled water will be absorbed without making their beds wet.

Take a towel to drape over the carrier so that they aren't in the sun. Pigs can't tolerate heat well, and the sun shining through a car window can overheat them in a hurry.

Take some hideys so they'll have some protection from the flying eagles when you get there. They'll probably be more skittish than usual. I definitely wouldn't let anyone bother them, and if someone wants to hold one, you make sure the person is sitting down, you catch the pig, and put it in their lap. Don't let them walk around with it -- pigs can move very quickly very unexpectedly, and more than one person has had a pig leap out of their arms.

Do make sure the dog(s) can't get to them. The dog's instinct will be to grab the pig and shake it. It's not the dog's fault, it's just the way they are. I'd keep them as far apart as possible.
Thank you!! Once I held my guinea pig by the dog and the dog just stared at it.lol (Sorry, I just love that smiley!) I have a bag of shredded aspen. Do you mean to fill a plastic baggy with water and put the vegetables in the bag?
The dog's not likely to bother a guinea pig that's sitting still in your lap. It's when the guinea pig makes a quick move on the floor that they dog's prey drive kicks in, and it's all over for the pig.

No, don't fill a baggie with water. Just wash the veggies before you go, and don't shake the water off of them before you put them in the bag. The extra water will help keep them hydrated on the trip.

Shredded aspen will be very good for bedding for the trip.
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