The Website all about Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pig FAQ's


I am sent a lot of email and felt it would be helpful to put some of the questions I am asked on the website for others to read.

 


Choosing the right Guinea Pig

31/07/04

Hi!

I'm getting a guinea pig at the end of the Summer and I checked out your website. I've found out so much about care and I've made my own website about guineas and a computer game about them. I'm basically a blonde girly-girl who\'s a boffin basically and I\'m obsessed with guineas.

My friend bought her guineas from a pet store in out local town centre. It absolutely sucked and I hated it, the conditions, the staff, the cage was tiny, just a glass box with some hay and a food bowl in it and a water bottle which looked like it hadn't been cleaned for days!

The staff was grumpy old lady in a green apron and children were poking in at the guineas and hamsters and they didn't like it. She couldn't care less! It was so tiny they could hardly move and the males stored with the females.

My friend bought one from there and it gave birth about a month after she bought it. The mother was only about 11 weeks old and she gave birth the 3 baby boys, Squeak, Basil and Hector. Squeak is half the size of the other two and not as healthy because not only did Rusty mate but she mated with her own brother for crying out loud. They are about four weeks today and I feel very sorry for them.

I am all prepared with a shopping list. There's an EXCELLENT pet shop near my house called Pets At Home. It is a huge store filled with good staff who know loads about pets, sell loads and the conditions are great, they store guineas and rabbits together but only the males fight occasionally so they get put on a cage on their own attached to the side. The males and females are stored separately and in a huge pen filled with treats and toys. I go there often and it's really great watching them, they all look very healthy. I'm buying mine from there.

I have a shopping list of EVERYTHING I need and they have it, flea and mite away shampoo, grooming stuff, treats, toys, food, good bedding, tubes and pigloos galore! Not very expensive either. The staff are friendly and informative and they give out care leaflets for all the pets they sell from chinchillas to tropical fish this place is excellent, they provide so much! As soon as I get my piggy I'm going to do a page about it and my brothe\'s future one.

Please give me choosing advice and tips on which one is best to buy, I'm thinking of getting one of those fluffy small ones like Holly's daughter Poppy on your friend's guinea pigs page. I love that kind and will definately get one. I really need to know what personality to go for, spunky and right out there, friendly and running around, playing, happy and content or a shy one that hides in a pigloo all day and comes out every couple of hours for a nibble on the broccoli. And don't worry about grooming, as she's long-haired I love combing and brushing hair, I'll find it fun and with my shampoo and insecticidal shampoo she'll stay healthy. I also need to know how long to wait until I handle her and what things to say to her (I'm getting two females)

thanks

Victoria

Reply:

Hiya Victoria!

Thank you for contacting me about my website! It’s nice when I get feedback from happy viewers

Choosing a Guinea Pig .. When I picked either of mine I just looked for one that I really liked .. Kornage was very timid and stood motionless on my hand when I Held him, Millie Moo frantically tried to jump out of my arms when I held her, Nudgie buried her head in my arm and Squirrel was very alert and full of life, even now they hold the same kind of personality apart from Millie has stopped trying making death jumps from me.

I personally just recommend getting one that you instantly fall in love with and who is not showing any signs of illness, have a healthy coat, clean eyes and ears, clean rear end.

When you get your Guinea Pigs home they will be very freaked out by the journey so best to quickly prepare the cage and put them in a quiet place where they can recover from the trauma!

I picked mine up straight away in the first day and just sat with them on a towel stroking them gently and talking to them about random stuff. I recommend a towel because it is likely at first they may pee on you, also give them the option to hide in the towel as this will make them feel a bit more secure.

Offering them food will help as this will soon build their confidence up with you and realise you are a source of food which will gain the trust from the Guinea Pig quickly. In my experience it takes around 6 months for a Guinea Pig to be at the point of trust with you where they will come over to you when on the floor, or feel free to fall asleep on you when you cuddle them.

I have never been bitten by any of my Guinea Pigs other than Millie, however Millie has never sunk her teeth in to me in a violent manor, I just think her personality is quite unique amongst Guinea Pigs so do not let that put you off.

Just one last thing do not bath your Guinea Pigs too often, as a rule I bath mine when the fur looks dull or there are some kind of mites.

Also check your local pet rescue centre for somebody who breeds Guinea Pigs or even a rescued one

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Guinea Pigs and Rabbits

20/08/04

Is it possible to keep a baby, female rabbit and baby, female guinea pig in the same hutch???
If so do i buy guinea pig food or rabbit food? Please help!

Fiona

Reply:

Dear Fiona,

It is not recommended that you keep rabbits and Guinea Pigs together as Rabbits will try and mate the Guinea Pig and also can kick the Guinea Pig causing harm to her.

My recommendation would be to get another  female Guinea Pig to live with her and keep the rabbits with just rabbits.

Guinea Pigs should not be fed Rabbit food as it is designed for Rabbits, what ever pet you have you must buy specific food for that animal and not compensate with anything else. The foods are balanced for the nutrients that the animal needs.

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Pre-buying advice

20/08/04

Hi. I\'m 13 and currently own a hamster and fish, and recently I asked my dad if I could have guinea pigs. I have done lots of research and know that our usual pet store, Pets at Home would be a great place to buy all the stuff we need. However, my dad said no because he thinks I won\'t have enough time to look after them, as I\'ll be starting High School next month. He also says that it wouldn\'t be fair because it would be too wet most of the time to let them live outdoors and other stuff like that. Personally, I think he\'s just making up excuses, but I was wondering if you could clarify anything he said? Do you think that guinea pigs are as hard to look after as my dad makes out? Your opinion would be helpful to me, and I wouldn\'t use it to persuade my dad. I just want to know if maybe they are too much to handle,
Jenny

Reply:

Hello and thank-you for contacting me,

With regards to your email, Guinea Pigs take up a lot of my time, I have made real pets of them and give them all at least half an hour cuddles each a day, so that’s just 2 of my hours sucked up without cleaning them out, feeding them etc.

Guinea Pigs shouldn't be kept in damp areas, so if it’s wet where you are outside a lot of the time they would need to be kept in an outer house. However, I tend to feel a lot of Guinea Pigs get forgotten about outside in an outhouse and feel if you are going to have them as pets they should be very much a part of the family in doors with you as you would miss out on a lot of their personalities if they were in an out house.

With regards to how easy they are to care for, as long as they get exercise, attention, fresh food daily and cleaned out often they are not hard to look after.

Hope this answers your questions

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Bathing, Nails, Vitamin C

20/08/04

Hi,
I really like your site but i noticed something..

Well you see I am interested in buying a guinea pig BUT i am not exactly sure what to buy.
I know that you have to get a cage, food and etc...but what I don't know is the little details like what toys are suitable for guinea pigs or how much in total a bill would cost for buying a guinea pig and everything with it.

I would like to know if you can feed guinea pigs 100mg vitamin C pills I read that on the internet and that someone does and their guinea pigs likes it but I don't want to take a chance!

Also when giving a guinea pig a bath is baby shampoo OK to use, and should their nails be trimmed/clipped after a bath?

I would like it very much if you could answer those questions and Thank You for your wonderful guinea pig site its helped me very much for deciding if i SHOULD get a guinea pig or NOT...and you\'ll be glad to know that since I saw your site i have decided to get one:)!

Reply:

I have bought my Guinea Pigs various treats and toys and have found what they like best is Hay to hide in, or a shoe box, tea towel to hide under or a house to stand on. You can buy plastic tubing and let them have that to lay in but I found one of my Guinea Pigs like to pee in this and then lay in it! You can buy drain pipe and use half of it just as a shelter they would love this.

Treats - My Guinea Pigs hate all treats, so I have given up buying them and just buy fresh vegetables, parsley and cucumber are the biggest hits. Although cucumber has no goodness it is far better than the cardboard looking treats they sell in pet stores.

Bathing a Guinea Pig - Use baby shampoo or specially made shampoo for small pets. If they get bugs use Neem shampoo.

I have never thought about clipping the nails after a bath, but in all fairness they don't hang around in the water long enough for the nails to become softer.

With regards to vitamin c tablets I have also read about people giving them to Guinea Pigs, however too much Vitamin C can be as bad as not enough so I recommend giving fresh vegetables as a means of vitamin C rather than anything synthetic.

Any further questions please contact me.

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Guinea Pig Sounds

01/09/04

my brand new guinea pig that i just bought who's six weeks old is always making the mweeping sound im wondering if u no why guinea pigs make that sound

p.s love ur website i named my guinea pig millie cuz i love ur website sooooooo much

vanessa

Reply:

Hiya

Millie Moo really is the cutest Guinea Pig! I call her my little Teddy Bear as she loves to have a cuddle, when I cuddle her she makes noises like a pigeon.

Right, Mweeping .. In my experience my Guinea Pigs Mweep for one or two reasons. Firstly they do it when I go to the kitchen, it’s their way of saying “Hey don’t forget us, get us some cucumber please!”

Or they mweep when separated and scared, don’t quote me on this though, Nudgie for example when taken outside and put in the Guinea Pig run first she mweeps and I put this down to her being frightened and calling for the others.

When I had just Kornage he used to mweep at me when he was in his cage, when I spoke or walked past him he would mweep, I put this down to he wanted company. Again don’t quote me on this .. I just thought maybe this was the reason because when I picked him up after and cuddled him he would settle down.

I hope this answers your question .. When its quiet I mweep at my Guinea Pigs and they mweep back .. try it !! eventually when you say mweeep like they do they will respond to you ..

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Guinea Pig Sleeping Habits

04/01/05

i just got a little pig of my own today, however i failed to ask the pet store about the sleeping habits of the little guys. i looked on you site and i couldnt find any info about this. if you have any suggestions or anything you think i should know, it would be greatly appriciated. thanks!

Christina

Reply:

Guinea Pigs are not like Hamsters that sleep all day, then stay awake all night, they are more like dogs, they sleep at various times of the day. When I get up in the morning so do my Guinea Pigs they always come out their houses and mweep at me to get them some food. During the day as I am pottering around they try and get my attention for cucumber! Sometimes when I cuddle Kornage or Millie they have a little kip on me.

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Toilet Training a Guinea Pig

04/01/05

First I would like to say your web site has been very helpful in finding ways to care for your guinea pig. My ten year old son got his first guinea pig (Twinkles) for Christmas this year. Can you give us some tips on how to potty train her. To keep her from useing the bathroom while she is out side her cage. Any tips would be helpful.

Reply:

As your Guinea Pig grows to know and trust you, he will give you signs that he wants to go back in his cage, how he does this depends greatly. One of my Guinea Pigs licks me, another 2 nibble at me and the other one will do everything in her power to get off me, as soon as she's off she pee's. So I have learnt if she starts wriggling then she wants to go back. All the time a Guinea Pig is sitting happy on you and not making any fuss he is ok, you will notice the difference in his behaviour the longer you have had him. If he is allowed to run around on the floor leave him access to his cage and lay down some newspaper. He should go back in to his cage when he needs a pee as all my Guinea Pigs do when they are on the floor with their cages.

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Cost of buying a Guinea Pig

05/01/05

i\'m 12 and i want to get a guinea pig in order to do that i need to save up. so please could you reply and tell me the approximate cost of everything needed and two guineas. i would love to know. love ur site.

Reply:

It cost me £45 to get Kornage and everything I needed initially. This was a cage, hay, sawdust, feeding bowl, water bottle and food. I used a cardboard box as his house until I found a suitable one for him.

I hope this helps, if you buy your Guinea Pigs from a rescue home or breeder it is generally cheaper than buying from a pet store. You should be looking at around £6 from a breeder where as Pets at Home charge £18.. However no matter how much you pay, they are worth every penny.

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Guinea Pig exercise

05/01/05

hi, I bought a guinea pig about a week ago. I love her dearly, she is so cute!!

However, I know exercise is important to guinea pigs....when I take \"Jingles\" out of her cage, she won\'t do anything. It seems like she\'s really nervous. I bought her a grass hut to go in her cage and she spends almost all her time in it, when I take the grass hut out she runs around her cage scared....what can I do to try and make her feel more comfortable and want to have playtime????

Reply:

When you first have a Guinea Pig they are petrified and need to learn to trust you. Invest in some fresh vegetables and other food that Guinea Pigs can eat and when you cuddle her offer her the food, she will soon realise that you are friendly. With regards to exercise as she gets to know the area she is allowed to run around in and has a place to hide (access to her cage would be best) she will start to bomb around like a mad little thing .. When she is on the floor lay on the floor and talk to her offering her food to encourage her to walk about and explore .. My Guinea Pigs come over to me and sniff me and sometimes lay down by my side .. I hope this helps any further questions do not hesitate to contact me.

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Guinea Pig sounds

06/01/05

I bought a Guinea pig at a pet shop the 3rd of Dec. He must have been about 6 to 8 weeks old . He never makes a sound. He jumps around but never makes no noise . I had a pig 10 years ago and it made a lot of sounds . Have you got some feed back for me on this.

Reply:

It does take some time for a Guinea Pig to build his trust up in you, once he feels secure he 'should' start to become vocal. I say should with caution because I have a Guinea Pig who never makes a sound after 2 years, she is very vocal with the other Guinea Pigs, mainly to warn them that if they go any closer to her she will turn around and pee on them! .. (I don't know if you are familiar with my Guinea Pigs but the one I mention here is Nudgie aka Gerty

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Guinea Pig parasites

20/01/05

I think my new and first guinea pig might have parasites!!! He is itching a lot and itches more everyday... Its weird, he didn't\'t itch when I bought him at pet smart. If he does have any parasites, is it contagious to humans? His ears are now red too, i suppose from scratching! I have a vet for my horse, dogs, and cat, but I don't think he does guinea pigs

Reply:

From what I have read on the internet parasites that live on Guinea Pigs are not contagious to humans, however some humans can have an allergic reaction to them, causing itching, red raised skin.

With regards to your Guinea Pigs scratching it is a good idea to go to your local pet store and ask for some shampoo for small animals to get rid of small bugs, you are not looking to buy flea shampoo as Guinea Pigs tend not to be infested with them.

Look through your Guinea Pigs fur and look for anything in the fur, also check the skin, if the skin appears flaky or patches of red broken skin then you should take them to the vet so he can check they do not have mange, which if untreated can kill a Guinea Pig.

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Dry Guinea Pig Food

27/01/05

My guinea pigs are quite happy in their eating habits and will more than willingly chomp through the fresh food but I am finding it difficult to get them to eat their dry food - they are just not interested!!! I did not want to take away the fresh food altogether as when I do this all they do is not eat the dry stuuf. I have also noticed they are drinking about 2 bottles of water between them both a day. Any suggestions as to what to do?

Reply:

With regards to them not eating their dry food, mine are exactly the same. They hate most of the dry food, my vet suggested I just left the food down so they eat it because they have no choice or to buy an all in one food. Each bit of food has different nutrients so it is important they eat all the bits. However I know its impossible because they wont eat it no matter what I try!! Lets face it I don't feel I'd fancy it either !!

Anyway I guess just make sure they have hay, its spring now so when the temperature is over 16c then you can put them out on the grass to graze, and keep offering the dry food to fill up on along with a mixture of vegetable containing vitamin c but not too much calcium .. Remember though when you first put them out this spring if you haven't already to get them in before it cools down as the ground becomes damp and cold, and also to not let them eat too much fresh grass on the first day! Put them out for 30 mins then build the time up over the coming weeks until they can pretty much stay out there most the day (with shade and water).

The amount of water a Guinea Pig drinks varies from pig to pig, Millie Moo drinks so much water its unreal, she easily drinks a bottle full a day where as Kornage hardly seems to drink.

However do check that the water bottle isn't leaking an indication would be a very wet cage, however if the piggies are drinking lots this would also cause a wetter than normal cage. I have to clean out Millie's cage more frequently than I do the other girls.

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Bathing a Guinea Pig

01/02/05

hi i have two guinea pigs i would really like to bath but im afraid of the risks i would really like to know how to bath them please e-mail me!

Reply:

It is ok to bath them, just make sure they are not put back in their cage still wet as they will remain damp for a long time, they are sensitive to dampness so avoid this. You can buy shampoo for small animals from any pet store or you can use a mild baby shampoo. Make sure you rinse any shampoo off the Guinea Pig completely and avoid getting it in their eyes and ears, you do not need to wash the piggies face.

Guinea Pigs can swim so they wont drown, however avoid filling up the bath or bowl too deep, note they will try and jump out if they can, make the water luke warm and avoid any drafts when they are out the bath and still wet.

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Guinea Pigs and Chiwawa's

10/02/05

IM interested of knowing the posobilities of bonding a chiwawa and a guinea pig and how should i introduce them to each other.

Reply:

I have never owned one of them dogs and have no idea of their nature, however I would be very cautious about leaving it alone with the Guinea Pig, it may think you have bought it a new toy and end up harming the Guinea Pig. Again I really have no idea, you could try speaking to your vet for their opinion.

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Nervous Guinea Pig

13/02/05

I recently (after lots of research) braught 2 male guinea pigs Philip and Jay zee. I braught them from pets at home and chose them because they were really adoreable and stood out to me. I know its very early days because I only purchased them thursday but do you know why Jay zee is so layed back and relaxed and loves being picked wear us Philip is petrified and quite difficult to catch and handle and seems like he hates to be picked?. Will he calm down? What can I do to help him settle in?

Also philip is much smaller than jay zee is this a reason for his nervousness? Thanks luv your site its great!

Reply:

When you first own a Guinea Pig they will be very nervous of you, you have to build up trust over time, even my girls will try and get away when I go in to pick them up after owning them 2 years, Kornage my boy is different he isn't scared when I pick him up. I talk to them as I approach the cage so I don't scare them. Offer him food when you are holding him, have a towel he can hide under, talk to him and stroke him gently and avoid any loud noise that could startle him. He should come round!

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Convincing your Mum to let you get a Guinea Pig!

21/02/05

hi! my mom won\'t let me get a guiena pig but i really want one and i keep on giving her books and pictures nothing works Help please

Reply:

Due to possible heath risks, www.kornage.co.uk do not mess with any mums and if Mum say's No to getting a Guinea Pig then MUM SAYS NO! .. hehe ..

*Please note This is directed to ALL the people who email asking me to get their mums to say yes!!

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