Quick Information Bundle For Wannabe Owners

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Wiebke

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Here is a collection of threads that deal with the most important aspects a future owner will usually want to know or should be made aware of:

Guinea pigs as a species
Guinea Pig Facts - An Overview

Family and classroom pets
Children And Guinea Pigs - A Guide For Parents
Children And Guinea Pigs - Age Appropriate Interaction And Responsibilities.
Guinea Pigs as Classroom Pets - Why Not
Guinea Pig Names: considerations, solutions, inspiration and resources

Choosing the right guinea pigs for you
Rescues, shops, breeders or online? - What to consider when getting guinea pigs
Companionship
Boars, sows or mixed pairs; babies or adults?
Guinea Pigs And Rabbits - Why Not
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites

Housing and enrichment
Getting Guinea Pigs? Items You'll Need To Buy?
Cage Size Guide
All About C & C Grid Cages
Sourcing Conventional Cages And Hutches
Bedding For Guinea Pigs - Overview
Bedding For Guinea Pigs - Overview

Potentially Dangerous Cage Accessories And Toys
Irritants to Avoid Around Guinea Pigs

Hot Weather Management, Heat Strokes and Fly Strike
Cold Weather Care For Guinea Pigs

Diet
Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet (one stop guide for all food groups)

Behaviour and interaction
Please be aware that guinea pigs are social prey animals and not animated cuddly toys!
Most shop and breeder bought piggies have had no friendly human interaction when they are uprooted and thrust into a home as pets. It takes time and patience to bring out piggies.
Have you and especially your children got that patience without losing interest?

Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs (sadly goes for most breeder piggies, too)
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips

Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)

Vet cost and access
Vet fees can quickly mount into the hundreds of pounds and dollars if you run into serious illness or require an operation. You need to factor this into your weekly or month budget, whether you get an exotics insurance (not available in many countries) or save up for a vet fund, so you can afford emergency care. Please be aware that it is one of the basic animal welfare rights to have access to medical care and be free from any pain and suffering.

A guide to vets fees, insurance and payment support.
Recommended piggy savvy UK vets: Guinea Pig Vet Locator
Recommended vets in other countries (in cooperation and with permission of Guinea Lynx website): Veterinarians - The GLX-Files

Recommended guinea pig rescues
These carefully vetted good welfare standard rescues are by far the safest place for getting guinea pigs that do not come with nasty surprises (mis-sexing, pregnancy, parasites, ringworm or respiratory infection). We can guarantee that all listed rescues provide a mandatory quarantine with any necessary vet care, a pregnancy watch for incoming sows and careful bonding for character compatibility. Only healthy piggies and stably bonded pairs or groups will be put up for adoption; single piggies are available for bonding with a bereaved or single piggy of yours. It is a bit more effort but you will get a lot more service and peace of mind in return.
PS: Some rescues will not rehome to families with small children or into outdoors set-ups after bad (i.e. usually fatal) experiences with adopted piggies of theirs.
UK: Guinea Pig Rescue Centre Locator
Other countries: Guinea Lynx :: Rescue Organizations

Please note that in English speaking countries anybody can call themselves a rescue or a breeder without licence or control of conditions ad practices. We can only guarantee for the listed thoroughly vetted and approved rescues but not any others; and not at all for breeders where rules only cover shows, but not home care; and especially not at all for guinea pigs being sold online by backyard or farm breeders.
Here is a guide to the most common pitfalls that can await the unwary buyer: New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites


For more detailed information on the kind of questions and issues you may come across as a new owner, why not look at our comprehensive new owners guide collection, which addresses specifically all the most often asked questions and problem areas that new owners come across. We have also included information how to learn what is normal and not and some useful habits that should help avoiding trouble down the line on issues that new owners are often not aware of.
Here is the link: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 
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