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new guinea pigs: how am i doing? anything i should know?

ourpiggypalace

New Born Pup
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sydney, australia
hi all :)
i bought my 6 week old guinea pigs yesterday from a pet store (i couldn't find a rescue near me). one is crested (crystal) and the other is an american (lulu), i was told they are girls. they're currently living in a 2x5 c&c cage with a corflute liner. i've also lined the corflute with puppy pads under pine wood shavings, they have a water bottle and a ceramic bowl filled with lucerne hay and a mineral chew. they've got a snuggle pack and night hut which they've taken a liking too. they've also got a mini air conditioner since it is a little hot in australia. they are okay with being stroked/touched but not very comfortable. lulu has mostly been spending time in her night hut whilst crystal likes to run around the cage quite a bit. i have noticed that the pet store had a water bowl instead of a water bottle, is this something i should look into getting? is there anything else that i should know or look into getting?
thanks so much in advance x
 
You should get both because the it depends on what your piggy likes :wel::nod:
 
A water bottle instead of a bowl is absolutely fine. The water in bowls can get dirty and needs replacing very frequently throughout the day to keep it fresh and clean. If your piggies can use a bottle, than stick with that.
It’s best to have multiple items so have two food bowls, two or three huts, two bottles etc. This just helps stop any hogging of any item.
A bowl of hay won’t be enough hay. Hay needs to make up the largest part of their diet. They need to have access to it constantly and never run out, so a large hay pile is best to ensure there is always some available to them.
Do check the sex of the piggies yourself. Pet shop missexing is common and has led to many an unplanned pregnancy so please do check you have two girls.
The mineral chew isn’t necessary for them to have

I’ve added a link below with a collection of most useful new owner guides, including feeding, sexing and general care. Please give them all a read.

New Owners' Most Helpful How-To Guides and Information
 
A water bottle instead of a bowl is absolutely fine. The water in bowls can get dirty and needs replacing very frequently throughout the day to keep it fresh and clean. If your piggies can use a bottle, than stick with that.
It’s best to have multiple items so have two food bowls, two or three huts, two bottles etc. This just helps stop any hogging of any item.
A bowl of hay won’t be enough hay. Hay needs to make up the largest part of their diet. They need to have access to it constantly and never run out, so a large hay pile is best to ensure there is always some available to them.
Do check the sex of the piggies yourself. Pet shop missexing is common and has led to many an unplanned pregnancy so please do check you have two girls.
The mineral chew isn’t necessary for them to have

I’ve added a link below with a collection of most useful new owner guides, including feeding, sexing and general care. Please give them all a read.

New Owners' Most Helpful How-To Guides and Information
thank you so much for your help ! i really appreciate it and i'll definitely make sure to give the guide a read:nod:
 
Hi and welcome! I’m also from Australia (Victoria) :wel:

hope you’re no where near the major fires?

2 of my pigs never learnt how to use a water bottle so I have a bowl for them and a bottle for the others. If they didn’t have a bottle in the petshop they may not understand the bottle at first so might be a good idea to have a bowl for a while too :)

They need lots of hay, Oaten hay is lovely for them. I suggest getting a cat little tray and filling it with the hay, that way they can sit and sift through it :D

Are you feeding pellets or muesli mix? If you’re feeding muesli we recommend you switch to pellets as the muesli mixes contain lots of bad stuff and seeds which can harm and cause a guinea pig to develop health problems. I buy Origins guinea pig pellets which you can get from most pet stocks or petbarn. It’s a little more pricey than muesli but they only need a tablespoon each per day which means a bag lasts ages!

Hope that is some help to you, feel free to ask anymore questions.

p.s we LOVE photos..
 
Hello there & welcome!

The guides on here will provide you with everything you need but also have a read through various threads as there are always new piggie owners with lots of questions particularly about the home, food & settling in. Your pigs will be getting used to their new environment, and you, and it takes a little time to get to know their personalities. Each one can be vastly different but all piggies benefit from regular human contact, they will make all sorts of noises to let you know when they are happy, leaping about (popcorning) and squeaking like crazy at feeding time...there's even a guide on the different noises they make. Its a very friendly site & the help I've had has been invaluable. We also love lots of pics too!

Enjoy your first days with your piggies x
 
To add to what’s been said, I strongly suggest not using pine for bedding—kiln-dried or not, it’s a debatable subject and not worth the risk of URIs and kidney failure. Instead, here are some options for safe bedding:
Bedding For Guinea Pigs - Overview

I’m not sure about this as I’ve never used puppy pads before, but be sure you cover them up—if they become ingested that can wreak havoc on their digestive system.

Mineral chews can also cause issues. If they contain calcium that can cause cloudy urine or worse kidney stones, and chewing stone-like objects isn’t great for their teeth. Their teeth should be fine with just eating the hay, but throwing in a few wooden/cardboard chews would be much safer and better on their teeth.
 
Just to echo other people:
Provide a bottle and bowl for now until you grasp which one they’re using as you don’t want them to dehydrate if they’re unable to use a bottle.
Get rid of the mineral chew, it’ll do more harm than good. It’s pretty pointless as pigs will get all the minerals they need from their food
Unlimited hay is a requirement. It makes up 90% of the diet. Guinea pigs do three things in their life: eat, sleep and poop. Meaning that when they aren’t sleeping, they’ll be eating hay, so make sure there’s a lot of it accessible at all times.

We’d love to see some pigtures of them when you have some to share :)
 
Just thought I’d provide some pictures of the popular ways to give hay:

BD4661AE-7AAE-4652-87B7-AC8E7F5732BF.jpeg
Here you can see two kitten litter trays used, they have a water proof layer underneath and then just piled with hay.

24D206D4-1A66-47BD-9608-C30B5D316ED0.jpeg
Then, as you can see behind the lovely Peanut, there is a hay bag. These can easily be made if you search for a tutorial, or can be bought too from somewhere like Etsy I imagine. I managed to make mine with hemming web instead of sewing it, every so many months I do need to go back in just to re-hem some of the sides but it’s no issue. I also have two of these, right now the hay bag is at a point where I’d top it back up so that it was even more full.

Or even you can just place a mountain of hay straight into the cage as pigs love to dive inside of it, just watch for any pokes to the eye though as then this will need treatment.

Hope that helps you out a bit! :)
 
Just thought I’d provide some pictures of the popular ways to give hay:

View attachment 130435
Here you can see two kitten litter trays used, they have a water proof layer underneath and then just piled with hay.

View attachment 130436
Then, as you can see behind the lovely Peanut, there is a hay bag. These can easily be made if you search for a tutorial, or can be bought too from somewhere like Etsy I imagine. I managed to make mine with hemming web instead of sewing it, every so many months I do need to go back in just to re-hem some of the sides but it’s no issue. I also have two of these, right now the hay bag is at a point where I’d top it back up so that it was even more full.

Or even you can just place a mountain of hay straight into the cage as pigs love to dive inside of it, just watch for any pokes to the eye though as then this will need treatment.

Hope that helps you out a bit! :)
thanks so much :) i've actually got a litter tray and find that the hay needs to be topped up twice daily haha. i'll definitely share pictures of my gorgeous piggies as soon as i'm happy with their cage. again, thanks so much & your piggies are so beautiful
 
Welcome to the forum.
You’ve had plenty of advice to get you started.
Hope you are all safe from the fires.
Looking forward to pictures
 
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