How Can I Make Sure My single Pig gets Enough Attention

PiperandHazel

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Hi. This is my first post on the forum (though I’ve tried posting the same thing on a different forum, but it got archived in less than a day and my question still wasn't answered. I'm hopeful that this one might be a bit more professional)

A few days ago, Piper, one of my two pigs, passed away. Hazel seems like she's doing okay for the moment, but I want to do my best in making sure that she doesn’t get lonely. At first, I was worried that it would be cruel to keep her as a single pig, but since getting a friend for her is out of the question (I'm going to college in a few years and wont be able to take her with me, also my Mum DEFINITELY wouldn't let me get another one so close to me leaving), it’s either keeping her as a single pig or giving her up to a shelter (and I don’t think I could bear losing both my pigs in such a short amount of time). When I did a bit of research online and came to the consensus that it’s okay to have a single pig as long as she gets a LOT of human interaction. Before Piper passed, we kept them both in a two-story C&C cage in a low-ish traffic room(I don’t have access to photos right now, but I can add some later if needed). It’s not like they were shut away in a spare bedroom or anything, (they were in a less used family roof off the kitchen), but now that Hazel’s on her own, I want to have her be a bit more present with my family. We can’t actually put her cage anywhere other than where it is (mainly because if she’s in a more high traffic area, it would be harder to keep her away from the vacuum, which is very loud) so I guess I just want to throw up some ideas and see if anyone has anyone to say.

Most sources said that two hours a day is a good amount of human interaction which to me seems like a lot, but compared to the 24 she spent with Piper, I guess it’s not that much. My first thought was to make sure she gets more lap time, but it’s not really realistic to say I could give up two hours each day to do so. I also considered setting up for floor time in the living room, but I wouldn’t want to frighten her. My last, and kind of “out there” solution would be getting a *shudder* pet store cage (Obviously not full time) and letting her chill in the living or dining room with the rest of the family. It seems like a win-win; minimal mess for us and a sense of shelter and security for her. Obviously, I’d get the cage used so that I’m not giving pet stores any ideas that what they advertise those cages for is okay.

Lastly, even though I really don't want to let her go, I know of a really great pig rescue in my area, and if you guys really think it's best find her a new and loving home with a pig friend, I would. As the quote goes "If you love someone, let them go,"

tldr; I lost a pig and am unsure how to make sure my other one gets the attention she needs. The amount of lap time and floor time recommended seem like a lot of work (but I would if I needed to) and I was wondering if i could have her in a store bought cage for a few hours a day so she can be in a more high traffic part of the house.

I wouldn’t want to try that store bought cage idea unless someone who knows pigs better than me says it would be okay, hence why I’m posting it here. If anyone has any other solutions or tips for easing my mourning pig’s stress, I’d be happy to hear them.
 

Qualcast&Flymo

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Hallo and welcome to the forum. Sorry for the loss of Piper!

It's good that Hazel is coping ok with the loss of her companion, as it gives you a breathing space in which to decide what to do. However I would say that as guineas are social animals, although many would be okay on their own, they really do need the companionship of their own kind.
You mentioned that you know of a good rescue; might it be possible for you to long-term foster a single piggy for them, on the understanding that when you lose Hazel, the foster piggy goes back to the rescue (or if you go to uni first, the rescue takes both of them)? This is often suggested here as a solution when owners lose one of a pair but don't want to carry on keeping guineas long term.
 

Abbie Brooks

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First of all I am so sorry for your loss and welcome to the forum.

I completely understand where you are coming from, I lost one of my two guinea pig last summer. I held/played with my guinea pig for about 2 hours a day which was not very practical and was quite time consuming.

I moved her into my bedroom into a c and c. She definitely seemed happier in my room - and it took the pressure off holding her the whole time because I spend quite a bit of time in my room so she always had me for company.

After a while Acorn got so used to being on my lap in the living room for two hours a day that she was happy to sleep with her eyes closed even while my dad was walking around and the TV was on. I did end up getting another guinea pig though (whose name just so happens to be Hazel) so I can't offer much advise in the way of long term living as a single pig.

If you dont mind me asking how old is Hazel? and where abouts in the world you are based?
 

cavylover2002

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Hello. I am very sorry for your loss of Piper. This happens to everyone sooner or later...
You may want to read this guide: Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig
Your right, guinea pigs really NEED another guinea pig in order to be happy. I have two closely bonded boys and I can't even imagine one losing the other. It's very hard. Have you considered adopting a guinea pig the same age as Piper? Maybe a bit older?
With half of the day being human interaction, piper would be okay but since understandingly you can't do that, the rescue may be another option.
Do you know someone with guinea pigs? Weekly playdates may also help.
I hope you find what's best for Piper
 

Lady Kelly

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Unfortunately this forum is one of the places that you will not find anyone saying its ok to keep a single pig. They are herd animals and no amount of human interaction will make up for the loss of interaction with their own species. Cavylover2002 has linked you to an excellent thread above.

You could of course talk to your local rescue about long term fosters too. Where you take in a piggy to be pals with yours on the understanding that you take the piggy back to them when yours passes or take both of them there when you go off to college.
 

PiperandHazel

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Thank you everyone for your support. For now, I’m gonna try to give her plenty of lap and floor time, but after talking to my mum about possibly fostering, I’m also going to reach out to the local pig rescue’s Facebook page. If people are still wondering, I live in the Rochester area in New York State and we figure Hazel is just over 4 years old
 

Abbie Brooks

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Thank you everyone for your support. For now, I’m gonna try to give her plenty of lap and floor time, but after talking to my mum about possibly fostering, I’m also going to reach out to the local pig rescue’s Facebook page. If people are still wondering, I live in the Rochester area in New York State and we figure Hazel is just over 4 years old
Its good to hear you have managed to find a solution, good luck with the possible fostering!
 
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