Is A Guniea Pig Right For Me?

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Miracle

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Hi all!

I'm currently coming to the end of my fist year at university in North Wales, and whilst sorting out accommodation for next year the landlord has said that he will allow us to have pets. This is brilliant news for me and I'm very excited! I come from Kent and at my family home we have two gorgeous much loved rabbits but I know they certainly wouldn't appreciate coming out of their home of the last 8 years and moving to Wales so that's not an option.

After a fair amount of research on small animals I've decided that Guinea pigs are the most suited to my situation but I still have a few concerns questions.

Biggest concern is traveling with them. I'm in Wales for most of the year but I go home for 3 weeks at Christmas and Easter and then 3 months at summer. The train journey is roughly 5 hours although can sometimes be upto 6 or 7 with lots of changes or delays. I understand Guinea pigs can be nervous so would this regular, long distance traveling stress them out too much? If I was to get Guinea pigs I'd be looking for an already bonded pair from a rescue, and hopefully a pair with slightly more outgoing personalities (assuming this will help them deal with new situations better than a very nervous pair?) How will guinea pigs cope with a change of home? Obviously I couldn't take their home on the train too so they'd have to have two homes.

I've read a lot of conflicting information on selecting a gender for a pair of Guniea pigs, some say Boars are more confident. Is this true? Others say they smell a lot more. Is that true?

If I was to get Guniea pigs then is get them over the summer holiday so that they have at least two months to settle in and get used to me. It would hopefully also give them time to get acquainted with the carry box that they would travel in so that they are more comfortable when in it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please answer honestly as I don't want to get Guniea pigs if my lifestyle will stress them out and make them unhappy. Also is their anything else I need to consider?
 

sport_billy

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Hello, welcome to the forum :)

Very responsible of you to ask these questions and do some research first.

Here is a thread that goes through if piggies will fit into your lifestyle https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/are-guineas-pigs-for-me.36801/

Traveling with piggies is discussed here https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/travelling-with-guinea-pigs.109071/ and I know @Wiebke is a old hat at taking piggies on the train

Here are some general links that will help give an idea of what piggies need, diet, housing etc.....

Settling Piggies http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/faq-how-do-i-settle-shy-new-guinea-pigs.36239/
Things piggies need http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/getting-a-guinea-pig-items-youll-need-to-buy.112288/
Food List http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/...veg-and-fruit-list-with-vitamin-c-grading.42/
General Food Overview - http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk...or-a-balanced-general-guinea-pig-diet.116460/
Piggy Body Language http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/...stincts-and-speak-piggy-body-language.117031/

My only concern is that Uni gets really crazy in years 2 and 3 and your time my be less than you think you can devote to them, so well worth having a think.

Welcome again

Lee
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

I guess you are in Bangor? Would you consider adopting from the RSPCA Bryn-y-Maen in Colwyn Bay? One of our members, @AuntyC, is fostering for them and may be able to help you where you currently are. She may also know which vets are best in your area. Otherwise, there are several good rescues in Kent. A good standard rescue with mandatory quarantine, pregnancy watch and careful bonding is by far the safest way of getting guinea pigs; they will also support you throughout the whole life of their piggies. A good rescue will also not match you up with piggies that are unsuitable for a new owner.
https://www.rspca.org.uk/local/bryn-y-maen-animal-centre/ or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rspca-Animal-Centre-Bryn-y-Maen/216782175009145
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-rescue-locator/

You can travel several hours by car or on the train. I have travelled with piggies as far as 6 hours one way without any major problems; you just need to give the piggies time to settle in into their new place.

Please be aware that the biggest cost with any pet comes from vet cost. As you are on a rather tight budget, you will have to think this aspect through first so you don't end up in major distress during an emergency or serious illness.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/veterinary-fees-some-important-information.91847/

Full boars can smell quite bit, especially hormonal boys, and sows are often not quite as snuggly; but that doesn't say anything about the individual personalities. That is where a good rescue can really help you, as they know their piggies' characters.
Here are the pros and cons for each possible pairing: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/boars-sows-or-mixed-pairs-babies-or-adults.108944/
 

Miracle

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Thank you so much for all the information! I have looked after Guniea Pigs before when I worked on a farm however now I'm reading all of this information I can see loads of things we could have done better!

I'm going to have a read through all of your links now and I'll let you know if I have a ny questions. Thanks again
 

Flutterby

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Hello and welcome to the forum! I hope you find the answers that you need here :)
 

AuntyC

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Hi Miracle, there is another forum member near Bangor, @Humfred ,who will know vets in the area! Do pop over to RSPCA Bryn y Maen ( near Colwyn Bay) if you want to see our current piggies, or I believe Humfred has adopted from another rescue too so may have info on them as well? I am currently fostering two 5 week old boys who are very lively and enjoy running about in a secure area when not in their cage, they are mostly black and white with bits of ginger. I also have on foster their mum, Beatrix and her daughter Harriet. Beatrix is attractively marked in black white and ginger and Harriet is ginger and white. They are a much quieter and sedate pairing but Bea does enjoy sitting on your knee for a cuddle. I have them indoors so they are used to the hubbub of a household. Do see if you can get hold of Humfred on the forum to ask his advice too. Good luck and keep doing that piggy research:nod:.
 

Miracle

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They sound adorable AuntyC however unfortunately I'm no where near ready to be thinking about getting the piggies just yet! Need to make sure this is the right decision first!

I might have a trip out to the rescue anyway because who doesn't like paying a visit to the animals!
 

AuntyC

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They sound adorable AuntyC however unfortunately I'm no where near ready to be thinking about getting the piggies just yet! Need to make sure this is the right decision first!

I might have a trip out to the rescue anyway because who doesn't like paying a visit to the animals!
No, I appreciate you might not be ready to go ahead straight away! Just letting you know what was around at present. We go through phases with the guinea pigs of having lots in, then none for a while. You are more than welcome to visit the centre( closed Wednesdays) between 11am and 4pm. x
 

Humfred

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Welcome to the forum! :wel: You've picked the best place to come for information. This forum is full of lovely and knowledgeable people.
Are you in Bangor uni? I live in Bangor so feel free to message me if you need to know anything else piggy related or if you just want to chat. Or you can come and meet my trio if you want :nod: One of my pigs has come from Bryn Y Maen and more recently I adopted from Capricorn rescue near Mold.
 

Freela

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I tote my pigs back and forth to the cottage with me all summer. It's about a three hour drive. They've done fine with it. They don't love the car, but they haven't been unduly stressed about it either. I would think that they would adapt and do just fine. My experience is that the pigs adapt to the environment that they are in pretty well. I was anxious getting my first pair a bit because I read so much about how they couldn't handle loud noises, startled easily, etc. I have three kids and was worried that the kids would be too stressed out by the hustle and bustle of the household. They actually adapted quite well and completely ignore all manner of kid noise, TV noise, and the fact that they live in the family room of a busy five-person household. It doesn't even take that long... our baby, Hadley, we just got in mid-January and she has gone from terrified of us to totally nonplussed by all the commotion in about two months.

As for boars versus sows, I've actually only ever had sows. I have had male rats/mice and did find that they smelled more than females of the same species, but I can't vouch for guinea pigs. My girls are plenty affectionate and outgoing (and I've had five over the years- all different personalities, but all nice pets) so I don't think you'll lack for personality or assertiveness if you get sows.

Hope this helps a bit!
 
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