Boars and holidays?

CV26

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Hello. I'm the proud owner of 2 x 7 week old boars. They're litter mates (not that it will make any difference to whether they get on of course) but it does mean they look near identical and I'm still trying to figure out how to tell them apart!

I've had Guinea pigs as a child and in my early 20s (30s now) and on both occasions they were random boars selected in a pet shop. So I know they can get on if the match ends up being right. But I've been doing lots of reading up recently and I think I've scared myself!

My main worry is holidays. We're thinking of having a couple of days away...the boys will be about 12 weeks then so on the cusp of starting teenage tantrums. And there could be another year of that coming. How do people manage this?

I really dont feel comfortable with a pet sitter coming in whilst we are away. Our neighbours have never looked after Guinea pigs so that doesn't feel right. We have a friend who loves piggies but has only ever had sows (didnt even know you could have a boars together) and she's always had them outside - mine are indoor and she hasn't got a particular great space for them - let along extra space if separation was needed. There is a small pet boarding place locally which I can research and speak to.

Am I just really over thinking it or does anyone have any advice?
 

Piggies&buns

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It sounds as if a boarding facility would be best in your situation.
Whether they are or aren’t compatible, changing their location is likely to cause some dominance, coupled with them going into their teens anyway. If they are compatible, then it won’t affect their long term prospects. What you can do is take some of their used bedding as it can help any move easier for them as the new cage will smell of them (at least for a short while until a clean is needed).

Ensure they have a big enough cage (180cm x 60cm), two of every item and no enclosed hideys and otherwise keep an eye on them. Hopefully they are compatible and will be happily together for many years to come!

A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
 

CV26

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Thank you. The closest boarding place say on their website that you can take your own cage...although I imagine they'll have size limits.

Right now they're in a Ferplast 120, but I'm already looking at other options. They have fleece so taking some used bedding wouldn't be a problem if we used a pen supplied by the boarding place.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you. The closest boarding place say on their website that you can take your own cage...although I imagine they'll have size limits.

Right now they're in a Ferplast 120, but I'm already looking at other options. They have fleece so taking some used bedding wouldn't be a problem if we used a pen supplied by the boarding place.
You will need to have to speak to your boarding place and work out with them what they can do. I wouldn't really think that space/capacity is really an issue this year!

Most places that take guinea pigs in their own cages tend to have a shelved area to accommodate small furries cages; small groups of 4-5 piggies are not all that rare.

The change to new surroundings can still trigger another hierarchy sort-out.

Beyond that size, pet sitting is generally the far easier and cheaper option. Finding somebody realiable and somebody you trust can sometimes be a bit of a trial and error but a licensed service is generally a good place to start.

Tips For Organising Your Holiday Absence
 

Swissgreys

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I would consider find a proper pet sitter as opposed to a neighbor or friend.
It may cost a bit more, but long term having a pet sitter on call can be really handy, and they do other things around the house like open and close curtains, check the post, water house plants, etc.
For 1 night away I do have a mutual exchange with a neighbour (I do her cats sometimes, so it works out to be a fair exchange) but for anything longer we use a pet sitter.
 

Bill & Ted

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I would ask if you can take their cage along. When Bill and Ted were moved into a lovely huge double storey rabbit cage I was given, the moment we put them in there was problems. Dominance behaviour reared it’s ugly head in those boys full on and we had to remove them and give them a break from each other overnight. They were fine again the following morning, but it was a real eye opener as they had always got on so well.
 

CV26

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Thanks everyone. :)

I'll contact the local pet boarding place and see what their policies are. A lot aren't doing visits at the moment only video calls to see facilities. I've also seen ads for various sitters so will ponder on that one. I'm a bit anxious with things like that and am always checking I've locked doors and whatnot so a stranger having a key makes me feel a bit funny.

We do have a cat and use a cattery for him...he's 'free range' and has proven on a couple of occasions that he can't be trusted not to get up to mischief so we'd only ever leave him at home with someone calling in if it was an emergency. We also have fish but our neighbour calls in on them as they only need checking every other day. The piggies are rather different!
 
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