New Guinea Pig OWNER🤍

Mai

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Heyy! This is my first time ever owning a guinea pig. I’ve been planning on adopting one this summer but my internship got canceled this summer because of covid so my sister surprised me with one from the pet store! ( she didn’t know any better). I’ve had her for about a month now and I have some beginner questions! First off, i only have one! I’ve send TONS Of videos claiming that that need to come in pairs. But I’m just nervous about the cost of adopting another and the need for my space! Do I have to get another guinea pig? Because she seems quite fine on her own. ( no signs of depression) also doesn’t really want to bond during floor time. She likes to do her own thing and only comes to me when I have food. I just really want her to bond with me and have a good relationship like the ones I see on YouTube. Also tips and tricks are WELCOMED!
 

Piggies&buns

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:wel:

Yes get another piggy - They absolutely must never be kept alone, they are highly social herd animals. No amount of human contact will ever make up for not having a friend . She may appear fine now but survival mode kicks in rather than thriving. And to spend the next up to 8 years alone would be awful for her. She absolutely will be 100% happier to have a friend.

The difference in cost of owning two rather than one is negligible - you will need a large cage (a minimum of 120cm x 60cm for two females, but the bigger the cage the happier the piggies are!) but the cost of hay and other veg isn’t going to dramatically increase. The only real financial difference is requiring enough in a vet fund for two piggies.

Please do not go by what you see on YouTube for how your bond with her will be - it’s just not reality of how piggies are. They are prey animals, most don’t like being picked up and cuddled. For me, the joy in owning them actually comes from watching them socialise with their own kind, not through interaction with me. But keeping her alone will not make you bond with her any better, it won’t make her friendlier, she may even become much more withdrawn and loneliness will eventually kick in for her.

When you get her a friend, you must do it the right way. Character compatibility and mutual liking is absolutely key, so daring at a rescue centre (when that is possible again) is the safest thing to do. Your piggy will choose her own friend which will result in a good bond, piggies health checked and sexed correctly. If you were to just go out and buy another one, then you have on no idea if the two piggies will be compatible, bondings can fail (and then youve got two single piggies in two separate cages), health issues can be brought in the missexing is common.

This collection of guides is great for new owners. Give them a read!

New Owners' Most Helpful How-To Guides and Information
 

Siikibam

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:agr: Keeping her on her own would be like you being locked in a room by yourself for 12 hours of the day. And when you do come out, you’re confronted with some large animal wanting to play with you - it doesn’t speak your language or understand you.

She will really come out of her shell when she has a friend to live with, and will be happier. Space is important to piggies. A pair of sows, or a sow and boar pairing (boar must be neutered and 6 weeks post surgery) or a single piggy need a 120x60cm enclosure as a minimum.

Put in two hides for her, and lots of hay. Go slowly with trying to bond with her, they are prey animals and take time to build that trust in you.

Wholeheartedly agree re what you see on YouTube. Not all piggies will ever like being handled or touched or taken out their cage. They’re not cuddly pets and I think that ‘myth’ needs to be gotten rid of.

Otherwise have a read of the many links in the link above, especially food, companionship and also the one about pet shop piggies.

We’d LOVE to see photos of your girl. You’re more than welcome to start a thread in the guinea pig chat forum, where you can put all her photos.
 

Mai

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Thank you guys! When should I adopt? Should I wait until the shelters open up, ( whenever they do) ? I know it’s pet stores are not ideal but if it’s really urgent that she get one ASAP should I get one from there? Because I’m not sure the local rescues will open back up. 😞
 

Mai

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:wel:

Yes get another piggy - They absolutely must never be kept alone, they are highly social herd animals. No amount of human contact will ever make up for not having a friend . She may appear fine now but survival mode kicks in rather than thriving. And to spend the next up to 8 years alone would be awful for her. She absolutely will be 100% happier to have a friend.

The difference in cost of owning two rather than one is negligible - you will need a large cage (a minimum of 120cm x 60cm for two females, but the bigger the cage the happier the piggies are!) but the cost of hay and other veg isn’t going to dramatically increase. The only real financial difference is requiring enough in a vet fund for two piggies.

Please do not go by what you see on YouTube for how your bond with her will be - it’s just not reality of how piggies are. They are prey animals, most don’t like being picked up and cuddled. For me, the joy in owning them actually comes from watching them socialise with their own kind, not through interaction with me. But keeping her alone will not make you bond with her any better, it won’t make her friendlier, she may even become much more withdrawn and loneliness will eventually kick in for her.

When you get her a friend, you must do it the right way. Character compatibility and mutual liking is absolutely key, so daring at a rescue centre (when that is possible again) is the safest thing to do. Your piggy will choose her own friend which will result in a good bond, piggies health checked and sexed correctly. If you were to just go out and buy another one, then you have on no idea if the two piggies will be compatible, bondings can fail (and then youve got two single piggies in two separate cages), health issues can be brought in the missexing is common.

This collection of guides is great for new owners. Give them a read!

New Owners' Most Helpful How-To Guides and Information
Thank you guys! When should I adopt? Should I wait until the shelters open up, ( whenever they do) ? I know it’s pet stores are not ideal but if it’s really urgent that she get one ASAP should I get one from there? Because I’m not sure the local rescues will open back up. 😞
 

Piggies&buns

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Ideally you’d wait for a rescue shelter. Perhaps you could call round and speak to some.
The issue here is that if she is young, then being alone really won’t be good for her.
If you decide to go to a pet shop, then you do need to be aware that there is a risk of a failed bonding, now sows are wired to live in groups so hopefully it will all be fine, but it is something you must bear in mind going forward. You must also be 100% sure that she is indeed female and that the piggy you get is also female - we see missexed pet shop piggies and accidental pregnancies a lot. You would also ideally quarantine any pet shop piggy to ensure no illnesses can be transferred but again if your piggy is young, then you should forego that as company for her is essential.
Ensure your cage is at least 120cm x 60cm and that you have two of every item.

I will add in the bonding guides below on how to do a bonding should you get a pet shop piggy. It isn’t as simple as putting two piggies together - it must be done on neutral territory. Don’t put a new piggy directly into your current piggy’s cage as it will be seen as a territory invasion

Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
 

Mai

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Alrighty! I think I’ll wait till the end of may before I decide where I get another piggy from? Hopefully this covid-19 stuff will die down a little and I can ideally go to a shelter. Hopefully if I can get one from there I will bring along maxi and allow her to choose her cage mate! If that doesn’t work out I want to attempt to find her pet store cage mate first though to see if I can adopt her but if not then I’ll have to figure something else out!

THIS IS MAXI! I was cleaning out her cage when I took this picture! So excuse the mess! 😁
When I greet her sometimes she gets the zoomies and her favorite veggie is bell peppers!
 

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Siikibam

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:wub: In the meantime you can email some rescues so they know you’re interested - there may be a waiting list.

I'm not sure what that thing in the corner is, it looks like a carrot. Be careful with shop bought chews - some aren’t suitable for piggies even if they say they are. Does she have hides in her cage?
 

Merab's Slave

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Welcome to the forum.
Hope you are able to find a suitable com for your piggy soon. It is more difficult at present.
Hope you enjoy the forum as well as find it helpful
 
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Mai

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:wub: In the meantime you can email some rescues so they know you’re interested - there may be a waiting list.

I'm not sure what that thing in the corner is, it looks like a carrot. Be careful with shop bought chews - some aren’t suitable for piggies even if they say they are. Does she have hides in her cage?
She does! I emptied her cage when I was cleaning it in the photo!
 

Dempiggies

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Please don’t get a cage mate from a pet store. I made that newbie mistake and was sold a pregnant piggie and now I have 5. I hope a rescue center can help soon. Your piggy does need a friend! Good luck!
 

Cs071085

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Alrighty! I think I’ll wait till the end of may before I decide where I get another piggy from? Hopefully this covid-19 stuff will die down a little and I can ideally go to a shelter. Hopefully if I can get one from there I will bring along maxi and allow her to choose her cage mate! If that doesn’t work out I want to attempt to find her pet store cage mate first though to see if I can adopt her but if not then I’ll have to figure something else out!

THIS IS MAXI! I was cleaning out her cage when I took this picture! So excuse the mess! 😁
When I greet her sometimes she gets the zoomies and her favorite veggie is bell peppers!
She’s gorgeous, she will love a friend it sounds wonderful to take her along to pick a piggy buddy. She will be so happy with a friend, keep us posted she’s a cutie x
 

Zanzan

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If she seems ok now just wait until you see what she's like with a friend! You will be able to hear them talk to each other and watch the silly things they do. I could watch mine interacting all day, I love seeing their relationship
 

Piggylove82

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Please don’t get a cage mate from a pet store. I made that newbie mistake and was sold a pregnant piggie and now I have 5. I hope a rescue center can help soon. Your piggy does need a friend! Good luck!
I wouldn't buy from a pet shop again having now used a rescue. But not all pet shops mis sex guinea pigs. Not all pet shops have hugs amounts of stock. Not all pet shops have unknowledgeable staff.

Sorry to hear you had more than you'd bargained for when you bought yours though.

Just saying 😊
 
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