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  1. #1
    trcy is offline Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    Default Any guinea pig owners?

    DD really wants one. I thought it was a phase and she would get over it, but she keeps bringing it up. She has a fish that she is fully responsible for (though I help with the tank cleaning) and she has been in charge of feeding the dog since she was about 2. She has done well with all of her pet chores. But, a guinea pig seems like a lot of work. I had one when I was about her age and I remember it being a lot, we actually re homed it because I didn't want to take care of it and my mom didn't want to. If I let her get one, I would take over if she didn't fulfill her end of the deal. But how much work would I be taking on? Any other thoughts?


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    DD 12/10
    DS 10/15

  2. #2
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    Smillow is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Just yesterday we re-homed a Guinea pig we were only supposed to have for the summer (of 2016). It wasn't so much work as much as DS wasn't very keen on it and I do not like rodents (although Guinea pigs would by far be my favorite). Feeding is easy, pellets in the am, hay available always and veggies at night was our routine. As far as cleaning the cage, I used the fleece method with haul recycled denim blankets (2 layers) as a liner. Neither DS nor DH helped at all, so I was over it! They are cute...
    DS 2/09

  3. #3
    hbridge is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    We have two GP that we got about a year ago as babies. DC LOVES them. We also have a hamster, a dog and a few fish tanks. I am NOT a pet person AT ALL (just so you have perspective). The GP's are more work than the hamster. They live in a large C&C cage with fleece. I vacuum the fleece daily (takes about 5 minutes) and DC takes care of the food, hay and water. Once a week (ish) we take the fleece out and I wash it. We have two sets so it's easy to switch out. Takes about 20 minutes (mostly because we have a two level cage, it would be super simple if it was one). The initial expense was high with the purchasing of the cage and fleece, but after that it's just food, hay, toys and bedding (we have a small area with paper bedding).

    The GP are cute and loveable. They have definite personalities. One of ours is super chill, the other much less so. DC loves to snuggle with them and they often join in during homework time. They have definitely been worth the time and expense.

    However, they do poop A LOT. I never realized how much GP pooped. I use a small pet vac on the fleece daily and I just about fill it every day. Also, they are not silent pets; they wheek and purr.

    They are excellent pets, but are more work than a hamster (less than a dog). They are very cute and ours love to be handled. We have not had any luck litter training.

    When we go them, I lobbied for a rabbit, but have become attached to the GP's .

  4. #4
    trcy is offline Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbridge View Post
    They live in a large C&C cage with fleece. I vacuum the fleece daily (takes about 5 minutes) and DC takes care of the food, hay and water. Once a week (ish) we take the fleece out and I wash it.
    What is a C&C cage?
    When you say fleece, do you mean like fleece blankets?
    Do they stink like urine with only washing them weekly?


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    DD 12/10
    DS 10/15

  5. #5
    hbridge is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    We bought our cage from the Guinea Pig Store (https://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/) and purchased their fleece liners (there are a few different options). We also have a "kitchen" area where we use paper bedding. One of our pigs pees almost exclusively in the paper bedding, the other not so much. I don't really notice an odor if we wash weekly. When we first got them, I was completely overwhelmed and disgusted. We had them in a standard 18" X 24" cage with paper bedding...I hated it! However, once my child (who had done extensive research) told me about the "perfect cage for the pigs" (DC's words) and we worked out the kinks, they are fairly easy.

    Unless you are really good at sewing and creating, definitely purchase the fleece pre-made. We tried to create our own and it was a disaster. The liners we use are four layers (I think). Most of our pets are over-researched, however, I did not get too involved in the GP plan until we already had them and it was too late. DH was going to be DC's helper and that just didn't happen, so DC and I created a system to work for us. It took a few months of me wondering what I had gotten myself into!!! I know some people who have used cages with all bedding material (paper, wood shavings, ect) who hated having GP because cleaning the cage was so hard. The fleece is easily vacuumed and thrown in the wash. The key for us was to have two sets so one is always clean and ready to go. The cages and fleece are expensive, but once you have it all, the cost is food, hay, bedding (if you use it) and misc. (toys, replacing broken water bottles, treats).

    Enjoy!

  6. #6
    California is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Your DD sounds very responsible! She sounds like a great potential guinea owner. DS volunteers with a small animal rescue, and we've adopted two guinea pigs. I've been surprised at how much I love them, and how much work they are. They are little poop machines! DC do almost all of the work. The piggies have added so much love to our family they are worth it.

    Some other random notes:
    -The C&C cages (which are BIG) are basically wire grid shelving modified to make a cage. The base is corrugated plastic. We got ours through a small animal rescue. The online ones are great too. If you DIY look online to make sure the square openings are small enough to be safe. We also use the fleece bedding.
    -Most guinea pigs do better in pairs (obviously NOT a male and a female, unless the male is neutered.)
    - Guinea pigs love routines. They will make this cute "wheek! Wheek!" sound when they know it's food time. We have an outdoor cage for ours for short outdoor play breaks, and they get regular cuddling from my kids. And from me too.
    - They need a regulated temperature- they can get overheated if it gets over 80.
    - For morning cleanup, I bought the kids a handvac that they use exclusively for the guinea pig cage. They also use a water/vinegar mix in a spray bottle as needed for the food bowls and "kitchen."
    - If you can, go with a rescue that specializes in small animals. The staff at Big Box pet stores just aren't all that trained. Like, they get the gender wrong a lot of times, and then... oops! Pregnant piggy. And those "guinea pig cages" at regular pet stores are way too small.

    We've fostered over a dozen guinea pigs, and every one of them, with regular loving handling, has been sweet and had a distinct personality.

    If you do decide to adopt, check out bonded pairs. Having cared for both, singles and pairs are all wonderful. The bonded ones though seem happier and they make a lot of cute noises together.

  7. #7
    trcy is offline Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    Default Any guinea pig owners?

    Thank you everyone!
    So an update...
    A local pet store had a mother daughter pair that were free to a good home. The previous owner's DC wasn't taking care of them. So now we have them. DD is in love. Hopefully she keeps up with her end of the deal. They are sweet!


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    DD 12/10
    DS 10/15

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by trcy View Post
    Thank you everyone!
    So an update...
    A local pet store had a mother daughter pair that were free to a good home. The previous owner's DC wasn't taking care of them. So now we have them. DD is in love. Hopefully she keeps up with her end of the deal. They are sweet!


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    How very cute! They are a little bit of work! Have fun!

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