View Full Version : Guinea pig info and pics

Blue Dragonfly
07-03-2007, 07:51 AM
I am looking for people who have actually owned a guinea pig. I was wondering if you could post any hints about looking after them, problems you have encountered, and any solutions you have found. Also if you have any pics, please post them too.

I am making a website to help people with their pet problems. i will use your posts as an article and post it on my website. along with any pics. This website is solely to help other animal lovers. If you have your own site, i will put up the link next to your article. If not, i will put your pet talk user name, and/or real first name.

If you want any other info included, or have any other questions please post on this thread.

07-04-2007, 03:51 PM
Guinea pigs start to smell really bad after about a month. To fix this, I give them a bath. I couldn't find any guinea pig shampoo anywhere, but I found out that you can use baby shampoo instead. So I fill up the bathtub a little bit with warmish water, and in go the stinky pigs. After their bath, to help them calm down and dry off, I take them outside and let them eat some grass :] But be careful, not all guinea pigs like water (pepsi and buddy dont!) and they might go crazy in the water. Which can hurt you. Especially if their nails are long. Ouch.

I don't currently have any pictures of pepsi and buddy on the laptop, but I will definitely put them on later :]

Blue Dragonfly
07-04-2007, 10:32 PM
thanks so much for that. great tip. baby shampoo. i have just been using cat/dog shampoo.

07-04-2007, 11:41 PM
I owned 3 guinea pigs;
Piggy (boar)- Solid Black American (aka English)
Sam (boar)- Dilute Agouti
Cinnamon (boar)- Tri-color American (aka English) *Cinamon's coat pattern was non-standard.

Guinea pigs are really sensitive to drafts and can catch pneumonia very easily. Any illness a guinea pig gets must be treated within 24 hours or they could die. I NEVER bathed my guinea pigs, and all 3 were boars (unneutered males). They only stank if the litter wasn't scooped frequently with a cat litter scoop and the cage bottom washed out once a week with a full change of litter.

I had cages exatly like THIS. (http://www.dkimages.com/discover/Home/Animals/Pets-and-Pet-Care/Guinea-Pigs/Guinea-Pigs-057.html) My understanding is that aquariums don't have adaquate ventalation and will smell much sooner than an open wire type cage. Each guinea pig had it's own cage, no sharing and a new guinea pig got a brand new cage, no re using them because of the plastic deteriating from the urine and holding smells.

Guinea pig nails can be trimmed but they are notorious for not liking their feet touched and may bite. This was the one area I left for the poor vet to do for me! lol I'm told that long curling nails in guinea pigs come from having a wire bottom cage, allowing them to get too long, or always being in litter so they can't wear them down. I tried with Sam to have his nails trimmed every couple weeks but his still curled, although mine had their litter in the cage, and ran around on the carpet a bit each day (all soft stuff).

Guinea pig front teeth grow throughout their lifetime, so they have to have things to chew on to keep them worn down. If they don't wear their teeth down, they may interfere with their ability to eat, curl up in their mouths, or even keep their mouths from closing all the way. Sometimes a guinea pig may break off part of a tooth, it will grow back. I used to actually floss between my guinea pigs teeth so the lettuce or hay wouldn't look funny stuck there. LOL Guinea pigs will eat what they chew on, not spit it out like gerbils/hampsters. You shouldn't give them colored cardboard or stuff with print/dyes on it. I used to use an extra large lizard house like THIS (http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=13993) for them to chew the bark off of. They could climb on and jump up on it, and hide inside it. Sometimes I'd have to replace it when they chewed all the bark off and it would be more fragile and break in two if dropped.

Celery LEAVES are ok to feed but celery stalks are a no no, they can choke to death on the 'strings'. I have a friend that lost her guinea pig of 9 years old this way.

I had a soft bristled cat brush for combing them out, even though they were shorthaired they enjoyed being brushed and would 'churrr' in happiness and 'hug' the brush by throwing their forehead up against it. Even short haired guinea pigs do shed, so brushing helps. When they are nervous they shed more.

Guinea pigs are the fastest back-er-uppers in the West! Reverse is a quick gear for them which makes them harder to catch. Guinea pigs usually need to be 'tamed' when you get them, and younger pigs are easier than older ones. I got two of mine at 4 weeks old and one at 9 weeks old.

Guinea pigs are born 'ready to go' with their eyes open, claws, and fur. Basically mini copies of an adult.

I owned guinea pigs for 10 years (my oldest being Sam who lived to be 7 with cataracts and arthritis towards the end). I don't have any pictures of them on my computer, all my pix of them were taken with film cameras. I should load them up and put them on here though.

Sorry I made this post so long. I miss my guinea pigs and could go on and on and on about them all day. Sorry again. I'll shut up now. lol

Blue Dragonfly
07-05-2007, 01:18 AM
it is fine. i love hearing about other peoples animals. long posts are good. lol.

Blue Dragonfly
07-05-2007, 01:39 AM
Hey, i am only just starting the site, this is where you can find your letters. I will be sorting out all the comments into individual topics later to help users to find info on a specific topic. thanks again.


07-05-2007, 09:34 AM
I've actually been told that baby shampoo isn't very good for guinea pigs, it dries out there skin, rabbit shampoo however is just fine for them.

07-05-2007, 10:51 AM
(haha dont put anything but the pictures on your website from this post please)I read somewhere that you were supposed to bathe your piggies about once a month and that baby shampoo works okay because it was really gentle or something. Then, recently I heard that kitten/puppy shampoo is okay, but not adult cat/dog shampoo because it isn't gentle enough? idk if thats true. But here are the pictures for your website:

Pepsi and buddy outside:

Buddy (girl):

Pepsi (our neutered man):

I don't know what breed they are, but they're CUTE! aha

You can put just the first pic with the caption of Pepsi is the one on the left, Buddy is on the right...if you don't want to take up a lot of room with all 3 pictures :]

07-05-2007, 10:57 PM
Pepsi and buddy outside:

Buddy (girl):

Pepsi (our neutered man):

I don't know what breed they are, but they're CUTE! aha

From what little I can see in the pictures:
Buddy is either a Crested or a Bi-color American (English)
Pepsi appears to be a Bi-Color (or tri-color can't tell from pix) American (English)


07-06-2007, 11:05 AM
wow thanks catlady711!

haha i always thought they were brother and sister...haha we got them from meijers!

we were going to get these 2 piggies from the shelter, but i think they got adopted or something. but yeah they are meijer piggies.

and thanks for the tip about celery! I never knew that!!

07-08-2007, 11:05 PM
we had two piggies. I have to find pictures of their cage. anyhow this is my contribution. use what photos you'd like. If you need ferret info, just let me know! ;)

These are the Guinea pigs we had. the puruvian is named Toupe`(like the hair piece) and Finnigin the smooth coat. Toupe` was a rescue, adopted from Petco. He was timid, and a severe neglect case. with time he warmed up and was always the tolerant calm one. Finnigin was bought just for Toupe. He was a wild thing.


A guinea pig needs a good and well balanced diet. too much of some things, such as Vitamin C, are harmful. Never house a rabbit and pig together. it is not only physicaly dangerous, but if you are feeding a proper diet to both they shouldn't ever share. Rabbit pellets don't contain vitamin C and may contain ingrediants harmful to your Cavy.

Read before you buy:
Cavies are strict vegitarions. No "yogies", or commercial "guinea pig treats" with sugar, nuts, seeds, dried fruits or veggies, mineral wheels, meat (duh!), dairy products, and as mentioned rabbit pellets. Chew sticks(thicker ones) come in handy for their teeth, but not all will use them.
Fresh hay (along with pellets) should be available at all times. It is said to be the foundation of every cavy's diet. Feed young or pregnant guinea pigs Alfalfa hay, as its much higher in protein and calcium. trash any brown, hard and dry hay- it can easily cause a cut inside the mouth or poke an eye out. I recommend a good Timothy hay for healthy adult guinea pigs. The best hay and pelleted food can be found at www.oxbowhay.com
A variety of fresh vegetables supplement their requirements for vitamin C and other nutrients. Feed Mainly green leaf veggies, give carrots sparingly, avoid gassy veggies like broccoli and cabbage. Do not give your pigs whole veggies or fruits. the tomato, green pepper, romain lettuce, and carrots should be cut or in small wedges. Fruits are okay as long as it is small amounts, and not quite daily. slices of seedless apple, watermelon and orange are great. Cantaloupe, berries, and slices of bananna are good too. Remember to clean all food prior to feeding. Our pigs liked the fresh feel of water on the vegtables.

Guinea pigs need semi-large cages, I recommend long C&C cages with coroplast floors. We did not use the typical aspen shavings, but fleece blankets with puppy pads underneath. We had a puruvian guinea pig who was abused in its previous home- had scaring on his feet. The fleece was soft and we had no worries of it hurting or getting stuck in his long hair. another plus is the cage looks much nicer, especially if you keep your guinea pig out in the living area. I recommend adding a top to the cage as In my experience, they do jump. A happy guinea pig will "pop corn" or flip and hop and you don't want an escapee. It also protects them from other pets or small children.

Make sure there are multiple hidey boxes or igloos in multi-pig families. Hanging bird toys work well for entertainment. either buy or make a hay feeder to keep the hay readily available and the cage less messy. Your cavy may or may not like hammocks.

Cleaning & grooming:
For the cage, If you Shake or sweep poops out each night, change or wash bedding twice a week it will Cut down smell considerably. If you go with shavings the minimum you should clean the cage out completely and wipe it down is once a weekly. Clean out the water bottle every other day, and refresh food and hay daily.

Get your pig used to nail clipping as it is a must. It was a two person job but it makes them much happier. I learned to cut our Toupe's out of desperation. We could only 'tip' his, as his previous owners had let them curl into what looked like a C. His quick had to slowly retract. He could not happily run about the room.

Exercise & Travel:
Guinea pigs do not use wheels, or those clear balls. A piggie just needs a bit of romping time daily. If you miss a day or two its not harmful. Play pens, or closed off rooms work best. collars are not a good idea. I also don't recommend harnesses- a guinea pig may freak out or "pop corn" and strangle himself.

If you need to travel with your guinea pig get a small, plastic cat carrier.
the nice thing about them is they have plunty of ventilation but keep the cavy cozy and for the most part "hidden". I recommend adding a blanket or two to cushion the pigs. I set the carrier on a pillow during long trips to soften vibrations. for a long trips fit the carrier with a bit of hay, food and a small water bottle. We frequently took 4 hour round trips with the pigs, and they did great.

Author~ Velvet

Blue Dragonfly
07-09-2007, 01:07 AM
wow, a whole essay. lol. i will be sure to add it to the site info. i will be going away for about 5 days, so i will put it up when i get back.