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Talk to me about guinea pigs

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 09:40 pm
OK, so many of you know that both sozlet and I are pining for a pet but E.G. (husband/ father) is highly allergic to cats, somewhat allergic to dogs (this part isn't clear) and doesn't like anything due to the fact that he's always been allergic.

I've always had dogs and cats and think of them as "real" pets while everything else is kind of eh.

Today sozlet went to play at a friend's house. Her friend has a guinea pig. Sozlet wanted to show me the guinea pig, friend obliged, guinea pig came out of cage and snuggled in my lap.

And it seemed to LIKE it!

And it PURRED!

I had no idea guinea pigs purred.

This was the sweetest, calmest, nicest, most personality-packed guinea pig I've ever seen. I had no idea. I am suddenly very, very positive about the idea of getting a guinea pig for sozlet.

So, anyone who has one or knows about them, lay it on me. Good pets? Bad pets? Why and in what way?

Thanks!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 5,956 • Replies: 52
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 09:41 pm
Oh and friend got the guinea pig because her aunt (who lives with them) is allergic to cats. Aunt has no problem with guinea pig.
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Green Witch
 
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Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 09:47 pm
Guinea pigs are good pets, but they don't seem to last very long. My brother and I went through a few of them as kids. One day they are up and running around in their wheels and the next day they are as dead as a rock with their little feet sticking up in the air. Overall, I'd say go for it.
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 09:49 pm
They are delicious with eggs.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
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Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 09:50 pm
they reproduce like well.... guinea pigs. Unfortunately they eat their own often. My cubs raised them for awhile as they are not a lot of trouble unless you put two males together with a female and then one of them dies end of story. The pet shops around here will give 4 or 5 dollars apiece for them.
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caribou
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 09:51 pm
I had a guinea pig one summer as a child. It was one of those elementary school pets and needed a place to stay for the summer. Her name was Peppermint Patty. She was a funny thing. And strangely smart. Her cage was near the kitchen, but she could not see the fridge. Our fridge had three drawers. If someone opened the vegatable drawer, she would squeak loudly for treats, like carrots. Only when that drawer was opened not the other two.

T
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 09:51 pm
Hmmm, I may have gotten my first allergies from a guinea pig in a lab coat pocket... but I'm not sure of that, there were rabbits in the room too.

Look up their allergen history, if you can.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 10:03 pm
Guinea pigs are low allergy pets.

Guinea pigs have joyous squeals. The guinea pigs I knew had to be kept in the kitchen (never mind why) and they were overcome with happiness every time someone entered or left the room.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 10:03 pm
Well, should they pass your inspection for allergens, you might check the immunology labs. We used animals only for making, say, IgG antisera, and they lived full if odd lives with us, thus the coatpocket... I suppose that is way out of line by now. I've told a story here about finding a home for a giant rabbit, who ended up in Malibu..

At least back then we'd prefer finding homes for the animals. Don't know about procedures now.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 10:10 pm
they are cute... cuddly almost seem dog like very clean. I liked them.

After they die hollow them out and they make fantastic houseslippers.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 10:12 pm
Shocked
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 10:12 pm
Or their feet make great lucky keychains.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 10:37 pm
Handier than human feet.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 11:03 pm
They are great, but they DO only live a relatively short time.
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 11:15 pm
Guinea pigs are great food. Seriusly lots of south american countries eat guinea pigs
They're a waste of time as pets all they do is **** and go woop woop woop. Then die.

Get a couple of bantams chooks, keep the insects and snails down in the garden and collect eggs.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 05:18 am
I'll steer RP here, I think he had 'em as a kid.
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squinney
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 06:50 am
"Jenny" lived for almost seven years.

Kylie came home all excited one day from 2nd grade, asking if she could put her name in the hat for one of the babies that had appeared after the 2 second grade classes had "combined" their guinea pigs for a few days.

Between the two classes there were approximately 40 kids putting their names in, so I said sure. What's the chances?

She won. Jenny became part of our family.

When we decided we may get a second one to keep her happy, we took her to the pet store... Jenny was a Jimmy! Shocked But, we couldn't change his name. I could call to him ("Jenny, Jenny, Jenny" like the song) and he would answer from the other room. If I called him "Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy" he did not respond. I couldn't believe he could hear the difference.

Anyway, he would cuddle, purr, loved being petted, even loved getting a bath in the sink. He liked to stand under the faucet with the water pressure low, like he was taking a shower.

I cried like the biggest baby when he died. He was a wonderful pet.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 08:04 am
Pigs are fabulous...I had some in college. They do stink though if you don't clean the cage out frequently (a few times a week or every day even).

And yes, they purr...or rumble, whichever you'd like to call it. It's great. Laughing

They can get pretty big. I've seen them almost as big as a small rabbit.

You can buy a big "hamster ball" for them but you shouldn't because their backs are designed for that kind of bending. It can hurt them. Instead, get a playpen, something like this:
http://www.petsmart.com/media/ps/images/products/detail/standard/June05/53337_47ff3.jpg

Put some newspaper down (the pig will chew it but as long as it's black and white they'll be fine) on a hard surface and let them run around like nuts, wheeting and squealing like little pigs. The sounds they make are great too.

They are also prone to upper respiratory infections. Whch is what one of mine died from. The other, I honestly think, died of lonliness. She missed Juliette terribly.

Other than that, the tend to not bite much but will if they get really scared. They don't like to be held while you are standing for some reason...fear of heights I guess. They like to be cradled in your lap.


Peruvian guinea pigs are the long haired ones...so cute but you have to bath them more often as they pee on themselves and their hair gets icky. Pigs can swim, did you know that? Laughing One of mine loved it and I'd fill the tub up just enough so she could swim if she wanted and there'd be a rock on the other end for her climb on if when she was done. Funniest thing ever.

Their food can get expensive since you need to provide roughage (timothy hay is an absolute favorite) plus the pellets and then some fresh veggies now and then. But if you buy in bulk, it saves you money.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 08:48 am
The whole cuddly thing is the biggest eye-opener for me. I thought all of these kinds of creatures -- rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs -- tolerated being touched but didn't LIKE it. The sounds are appealing too, sozlet liked that (she kept describing the guinea pig's "talking" for me).

Thanks so much for all the tips, I'm definitely investigating this further.

Any recommendations for where to get one that's sweet? In doing online research I'm seeing that they vary. (I asked sozlet's friend's mom where she got the guinea pig but it came from Santa -- I'll email her.)

What age guinea pig should we get?

Better to get one or two? (Would rather not breed them, more a companionship thing.)

How long can they be left alone? (We're just starting to travel more, but could probably get people to come over and feed the guinea pig, not sure about cleaning its cage.)

Why did it need to be kept in the kitchen, Noddy? (Not sure where we'd keep it.)

Any ballpark figures on cost per month, say?

Thanks again!!
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 08:49 am
you can't put them in the same cage generally unless you want more pigs or bloody death.
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