Looking for advice and opinions - companionship for bereaved sow without rescue access

Pipsypip

New Born Pup
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
11
Reaction score
3
Points
45
Location
Dunfermline
So it's been several weeks now since I was left with just one Lone girl, Doreen. Although she seems OK, I know it's best to have two. I have scoured every rescue within 3 hours distance, nobody has any sows. My options are to wait it out, or go for a baby and I just don't know what to do.
I was hoping for bonding help but only one rescue can offer this.
Any advice from anyone whose been in a similar situation much appreciated! Feeling really anxious about whats the right course of action!
Thanks!
 

Piggies&buns

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
9,532
Reaction score
11,528
Points
1,925
Location
Cambridgeshire
There will come a point when waiting won’t be an option as your girl will simply be desperate for company.
Yes, rescuing and using a bonding service are preferable but your piggy’s social needs will become more important.

As character compatibility is key, if you do go and buy a baby, then you will just need to be prepared for the possibility of incompatibility and have a spare cage but hopefully you won’t need it and any bonding will go well.
You need to go about doing the introductions the right way (neutral territory etc) as explained in the bonding guides. Babies need bonding straight away when they are brought home so if you are told by shop staff to let piggy settle in before bonding, then don’t listen to that! For Babies, social contact is essential and you have to forego all the quarantine and settling in that you would do with older piggies.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
74,173
Reaction score
49,062
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
So it's been several weeks now since I was left with just one Lone girl, Doreen. Although she seems OK, I know it's best to have two. I have scoured every rescue within 3 hours distance, nobody has any sows. My options are to wait it out, or go for a baby and I just don't know what to do.
I was hoping for bonding help but only one rescue can offer this.
Any advice from anyone whose been in a similar situation much appreciated! Feeling really anxious about whats the right course of action!
Thanks!
Unfortunately Scotland is a desert when it comes to guinea pigs. The only rescue we can recommend is in Ayr although the SSPCA branches do sometimes have guinea pigs but not always. While Gertie's and Northeast Guinea Pig Rescues will rehome as far as the Borders, the other side of Edinburgh may be a bit far; especially this year in the middle of a pandemic! :(
It is great that you have made the effort to look; but when that is not successful/possible then you have to go for practicalities and - if you cannot date - best opt for a girl baby or two.

If you have the space, I would recommend to opt for two girls. Ideally you look for two that are hanging out with each other - they are likely best friends and will form a happier bond in the long term rather than opting for cuteness. Acceptance as the leader of a group is often a bit better in older sows than with a single baby, and if acceptance doesn't happen, the babies can live as a bonded pair next to Doreen with interaction and stimulation through the bars.
Be aware that Doreen will be most dominant with the leader of the two to ensure her own ranking. Dominance travels down the hierarchy ladder from rung to the next.

Please double check the gender upon arrival. Our comprehensive bonding guide will take you through all aspects and stages of the complex bonding process which takes about 2 weeks on average with the attendant behaviours and dynamics for every stages, and with plenty of pictures and videos. Please be aware that youngsters below teenage are highly dependent on the company and guardianship of an older piggy to protect them and teach them to master their environment and the intricacies of social interaction; they cannot wait. If problems arise, you have to treat Doreen as well. You find it all explained in the first chapter of the bonding guide.

You may find the information in these guides here helpful:
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites (the most common problems that can come with bought piggies and your customer rights. Ringworm and pet shop pregnancies are the biggest issues with p@h piggies we get contacted over on a regular basis; parasites and URI aren't).
As much as it pains me, but your legal position is stronger with a chain shop than with a private backyard breeder (especially since anybody in this country can call themselves a breeder or a rescue without licensing or control). Sadly the quality of pet shop branches can vary a lot but Scotland has some of p@h flagship branches.

Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities (includes chapters on the specific challenges with bereaved piggies, companionship and how to spot whether your piggy is understimulated/transferring the social needs/expectations onto you)
Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?
Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs

Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics (contains a very detailed and practical illustrated step-by-step bonding guide)
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts) (includes a chapter on sow specific post-bonding dominance)

Take the time to read the information so you can make the best decisions for your own specific situation (it is always a weighing up between conflicting practicalities).

All the best!
 
Top