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New pups- Salt lick wheels and chew toys, necessary?

Ryan.w

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I just picked up two baby pigs today, and whilst i was in the store the assistant kept trying to make me buy all of these health products as part of their "health insurance deal". They told me to buy a salt lick wheel, a "Pet One Lava Crunchy Snack" and the strange one: "Sulphadim for ornamental birds" which i'll explain in a bit.

I'd like to say first that i've owned guinea pigs before that lived to eight years, they passed away a few months ago. We never gave them salt lick wheels or anything like that and they were healthy and happy all their lives. I tried the chew toys as i know rodents need to keep their teeth healthy, however they never really used them and we just gave them ample amounts of grass and hay instead.

So, are these two products necessary? are there any harmful substances or dangers to using them? Are they complete BS?

Now for that third product, which surprised me. The woman picked up the bottle and told me despite the fact that it says it's for birds, guinea pigs can steal consume it. Apparently it is some kind of medicine i should put in their water that'll relax their stomachs in the first few weeks of owning them. I thought it could be a complete bs money grab, is this safe for guinea pigs? It says it's for birds!

I bought these 3 products as i just wanted the health insurance, however i'm reluctant to try any of these methods as my first piggies never had these things and they were fine!
Thanks in advance.
 

Hank288

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Hello, welcome to the forum.

Please do not give your pigs any of these products under any circumstances.

Salt licks are unnecessary and quite frankly dangerous to the pigs. They cause dehydration and have been known to kill in the past so please avoid.

The lava stones just look unnecessary as well. They don't really need to chew on things like this to keep their teeth down. Teeth are kept at the correct length by eating plenty of hay.

Also I certainly wouldn't be giving them anything that is meant for birds, that just sounds dangerous. They shouldn't need anything to protect their stomach's. It is also not advisable to add anything to their water as this could make them drink less. Just introduce new foods slowly and gradually.

Seems very strange that to get insurance that you need to buy products that are dangerous to their health.
 

PigglePuggle

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Uh.. I think all those things are unnecessary and possibly very dangerous...
The best things you can buy for piggies are some destructable woven grass or cardboard hideys that they can safely chew on and sit in, and a good water bottle containing nothing but water, and a huge bag of hay!
 

Ryan.w

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Hello, welcome to the forum.

Please do not give your pigs any of these products under any circumstances.

Salt licks are unnecessary and quite frankly dangerous to the pigs. They cause dehydration and have been known to kill in the past so please avoid.

The lava stones just look unnecessary as well. They don't really need to chew on things like this to keep their teeth down. Teeth are kept at the correct length by eating plenty of hay.

Also I certainly wouldn't be giving them anything that is meant for birds, that just sounds dangerous. They shouldn't need anything to protect their stomach's. It is also not advisable to add anything to their water as this could make them drink less. Just introduce new foods slowly and gradually.

Seems very strange that to get insurance that you need to buy products that are dangerous to their health.
yeah it all seemed very unnusual to me... thankyou for letting me know.
 

Ryan.w

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Uh.. I think all those things are unnecessary and possibly very dangerous...
The best things you can buy for piggies are some destructable woven grass or cardboard hideys that they can safely chew on and sit in, and a good water bottle containing nothing but water, and a huge bag of hay!
I've currently got a few cardboard boxes with doorways cut out as a hidey for them. My old pigs loved them and chewed the doorways, this is definitely ok?
Thanks for the response
 

PigglePuggle

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I've currently got a few cardboard boxes with doorways cut out as a hidey for them. My old pigs loved them and chewed the doorways, this is definitely ok?
Thanks for the response
Cardboard boxes are very safe for piggies as long as there isnt any plastic tape to chew :)
 

Sophie B

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Great advice above, the cardboard box will definitely be more appreciated than any of those other products!
 

Ryan.w

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Cardboard boxes are very safe for piggies as long as there isnt any plastic tape to chew :)
One other thing i remembered about my old piggies, i did an experiment where i put a medium sized stick in their cage and let them gnaw it, which they did occasionally. Is this at all a safety risk? Thought it could be a little thing they could play with every now and then.
 

PigglePuggle

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If the wood is safe to eat and not splintery and not treated in any way that should be fine. I think apple tree branches are quite popular with some forum members? Or you could buy a wooden play sticks hidey bridge that is safe to chew and a house at the same time!
Here is Lady Piggle modelling a wooden play sticks hidey right now :)
2019-07-17 12.04.14.jpg
 

Lorcan

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If the wood is safe to eat and not splintery and not treated in any way that should be fine. I think apple tree branches are quite popular with some forum members? Or you could buy a wooden play sticks hidey bridge that is safe to chew and a house at the same time!
Here is Lady Piggle modelling a wooden play sticks hidey right now :)
View attachment 118201
This. I swear Blitzen ate more of one of those log bridges than he did of his actual food.

If you get any paper bags you can stuff them with hay. A toy, somewhere to hide, and somewhere to make an awful lot of noise all rolled into one! Just be wary to cut off any handles to stop them getting themselves stuck.
 

PigglePuggle

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This. I swear Blitzen ate more of one of those log bridges than he did of his actual food.

If you get any paper bags you can stuff them with hay. A toy, somewhere to hide, and somewhere to make an awful lot of noise all rolled into one! Just be wary to cut off any handles to stop them getting themselves stuck.
Ollie and Tallullah have had brown paper bags this afternoon in the playpen, full of readigrass and hay and babycorn, now they are both asleep in the bags :) great afternoon's entertainment!
 
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