New guinea pig - I don’t want him anymore.

apertxre

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I’m new here and I don’t know if this would be the right section, but i got my first guinea pig two weeks ago. I went in Petco in hope of a small companion to maybe help with my mental health, mostly anxiety. I asked the workers about getting a pig and was told all this misinformation.

He didn’t tell me about its need for a companion or that guinea pig cages are too small. He’s been adjusting well. I was going to get him a bigger cage and a friend. But I’m not even sure I want to keep him anymore. He’s adorable and has a lot of personality, but I’m thinking maybe small animals aren’t for me? If I give it more time will I like them more? I grew up with big animals so maybe that’s why it’s off for me? And I think a big thing is that I was going to get a cat in the fall, but told myself it’s too much responsibility.

I’m also not sure if it fits with my lifestyle, as I’m a college student who works and lives in a small apartment. And I have to move twice in the next few months (which is a new thing- i just found out). What’s everyone’s opinion? I feel really guilty about the whole thing, but it’s been making me so anxious for him. I’m able to take him back anytime according to Petco.
 

Lorcan

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Guinea pigs adjust well to a lot more than we realise. Several hour long journeys, meeting new people, meeting new guinea pigs.

I want to tell you to rehome him. You're admitting you bought him on a whim and that's okay. Please don't let anyone have a go at you for it. You're not sure if you can keep him, you're not sure if you're mentally able to keep him, and again that's also okay. But, and it is a big but, I don't know if taking him back to Petco would be a good idea. A lot of pet stores, when brought back a single boar, label the boar as unadoptable and they get sent out to animal shelters. If he's been on his own even just for a while, then they get labeled as "unfriendly" and "unable to mix with other guinea pigs". They end up at shelters, a lot of the time they end up being PTS because they're "unadoptable".

I don't actually know what to tell you. You could get him a bigger cage and a friend and honestly you'll possibly fall in love with them both and wonder why you wanted to give them up. You could also end up overwhelmed, nobody can predict the future. But honestly unless you've got some guinea pig rescues nearby that he could go to instead I would be very, very wary about taking him to a general animal shelter or back to the pet shop.
 

apertxre

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Thank you for the kind response. Apparently Petco has this policy where it takes their animals back and try to rehome them and I hope that's the case. I wouldn't want him to be PTS. :(
 

Lorcan

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Sometimes it's not just about rehoming them. Boars get a really bad rep compared to sows and sometimes people still think that if they've been on their own, even just for a few weeks, they'll never go back with another guinea pig. Which is very, very wrong, but it's also an older style of thought towards keeping guinea pigs in general.

Moving won't cause him any difficulty - as far as he's concerned, his home will be the same cage. Yes, he might have different places to explore, but his home is his home. As for being a college student, I'm guessing you're out a lot? Having a buddy would help him with that enormously. As long as you are there to feed him, make sure he has fresh water, clean bedding, and interaction (like guinea pig proofing a part of the apartment or putting up a collapsible, portable run so that they have some time out of the cage regularly), then a buddy is the only other thing he needs on a day to day basis.

Vet treatment would be expensive, so you'd need to factor that in (putting aside money for a vet fund on a regular basis is a great idea). They'd need at least 2'x5' of space. If you have the space for that, even in a small apartment, then the space isn't an issue.

I'm not saying this because I don't think you've now down your homework. But it's easier to break it down into the individual issues when you're making a decision like this. Do I have the space? If no, then there's your answer. If yes, move on to the other options - an hour or two a day, regular water changes and food changes and bedding changes and so on. If any one of your answers to any of those questions is no...then you have your answer.

Good luck with it. I know it's not going to be an easy decision.
 

Lady Kelly

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Hi and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear that you are struggling at the moment and I think you are right to be asking these questions before you commit to taking on a friend and a bigger cage etc. Unfortunately no one on here is going to be able to give you a definitive answer as to whether you should keep your little guy or not, we can't predict the future or how you are going to feel. There is no guarantee that with getting a friend etc that you will come round to loving them as much as you have with your previous bigger animals. However, their personalities do really shine through with a companion and that might change your thoughts at least a little. Please be aware too that guinea pigs are not children's pets, they are a big responsibility in themselves, perhaps as much as a cat is.

I would start off by having a read through some of our guides in terms of care, diet, housing, bonding etc Guinea Pig Care & Information Guides

In particular, start with these threads:
Are Guinea Pigs For Me? - A Guide
Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides

They will give you a good overview of the work involved in keeping piggies and will help you to identify if this is something you are in a position to commit to or not. Bear in mind that piggies live on average 5-7 years but some live to 10 years (and on occasion longer!) so it really is a long term commitment.
 

artcasper

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If it isn't for you then it isn't for you.... don't feel guilty - it's better to return him now. X
 

Wiebke

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I’m new here and I don’t know if this would be the right section, but i got my first guinea pig two weeks ago. I went in Petco in hope of a small companion to maybe help with my mental health, mostly anxiety. I asked the workers about getting a pig and was told all this misinformation.

He didn’t tell me about its need for a companion or that guinea pig cages are too small. He’s been adjusting well. I was going to get him a bigger cage and a friend. But I’m not even sure I want to keep him anymore. He’s adorable and has a lot of personality, but I’m thinking maybe small animals aren’t for me? If I give it more time will I like them more? I grew up with big animals so maybe that’s why it’s off for me? And I think a big thing is that I was going to get a cat in the fall, but told myself it’s too much responsibility.

I’m also not sure if it fits with my lifestyle, as I’m a college student who works and lives in a small apartment. And I have to move twice in the next few months (which is a new thing- i just found out). What’s everyone’s opinion? I feel really guilty about the whole thing, but it’s been making me so anxious for him. I’m able to take him back anytime according to Petco.
Hi!

I am very sorry if guinea pigs are not for you, but you are right in asking yourself the honest question whether you are able to commit to keep him (and a companion as guinea pigs are social animals) in a large enough cage for the next 5-7 years of a healthy life span.
You do not have to feel guilty if the answer is no; it is better to be honest than letting a pet in your care down and getting rid of it halfway through - then you have reason to feel guilty!

Are you anywhere within reach of one of these good standard rescues where he will be guaranteed to find a good welfare compatible home with a carefully bonded companion and have a safe future ensured? Guinea Lynx :: US Guinea Pig Rescue and Shelter Organizations
 
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