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|Do's and Dont's from Eteretcetera Caviary
Congratulations on your new Guinea Pig! Sometimes called a cavy.
We have listed a few do's and don'ts so you can get started off together in a fun and healthy
Do put your friend in a cage inside your home out of drafts and away from loud noises. Make
sure you use a wire sided cage and not an aquarium. And make sure the bottom is thick with
shavings and not a wire bottom since that can hurt feet.
Do always supply a hut made from either a box, paper bag, or a PVC pipe.
Do use shavings from kiln dried pine or Aspen.
Do give fresh water everyday from a ball tipped dispenser, not a bowl.
Do feed as much Timothy hay as your piggie will eat. Alfalfa is OK up to 4 months old but not
Do make sure your new friend has vitamin C everyday in pellets and in fresh vegetables and
some fruits. They will die without vitamin C everyday.
Do feed fresh veggies every day. Piggies love a leaf of Kale, Romaine lettuce, a slice of
cucumber, tomato slices, a quarter orange, a small cube of apple, a little bit of parsley, cilantro
or basil leafs are good. A quarter bell pepper, one small baby carrot, a tiny slice of banana,
maybe a grape or a slice of cantaloupe is also OK in small and not as often.
Do feed fresh grass as much as possible. They love dandelion leaves and plantain leaves but
make sure they do not have pesticides on them or animal droppings.
Do clean the cage once a week and clean out the water bottle with some long cooking rice
kernels or a bottle brush.
Do take your new friend out at least once a day for a few minutes to let him/her know how much
you love him/her.
Do watch your piggie very carefully - if you put him/her on the floor, they can run fast and will
look for a place to hide.
Don't put your piggie's cage in a place where a dog or cat will knock it over or reach into it.
Don't let your piggie run loose in the house or outside. Piggies chew on everything and can get
into all kinds of trouble. Electrical wires, wood and materials can be hazardous.
Don't put you piggie in a dark or airless room. They need plenty of air circulation but do not
tolerate hot or extreme cold very well.
Don't use corn cob bedding or pine that isn't kiln dried. It is not safe for them and may cause
death. Do NOT use cedar shavings.
Don't forget piggies need fresh hay at all times. Make sure it does not smell or look moldy.
Don't feed Alfalfa after 4 months old.
Don't feed an excess of fruits. They do love them but it can cause tummy upset the same as
yours and it contains too much sugar for every day feeding.
Don't forget to feed fresh veggies every day. Good nutrition plays just as an important part in
their life as it does yours. Pellets only would be like you eating cereal at every meal.
Don't feed bird seed or nuts. Celery can be bad as it is very stringy. No beans or potatoes, no
milk products or iceberg lettuce. Dark greens are best but limit spinach.
Don't forget to clean the cage, food bowl and water bowl every week. Piggies do not have
much odor unless you forget to clean their cage or it is too small.
Don't forget to play with your piggie every day.
Don't take your pet outside and set it down. S/He can run off very quickly or an animal can
quickly snatch it up and be gone.
Don't set your piggie where it could fall off of something and get hurt. Piggies don't see as well
as they can hear.
Don't bathe your piggie unless s/he has a bad odor. Find out where the odor is coming from
and find an experienced piggie owner to help you.
Do Not put your piggie in one of those round exercise balls. They are not made like Hamsters
or Gerbils. They can hurt their spine or back muscles.
We have used many different cages in our caviary. Search the Internet for some great ideas
and plans. There are some made from kiddie wading pools, Coroplast and wire stackable
Some very good web sites on the Internet to visit are Guinealynx, Cavycages and Cavy
Compendium. I am sure there are others.
There are many good books for Guinea Pig owners. Find one that lists some useful information
or ask an experienced cavy owner which they think would be good.
Please consider carefully before you breed. There are many piggies needing homes from
dedicated breeders that have studied the genetics and breed for temperaments of the breeds.
It is not so easy to sell the pups and certainly not a money maker.
For photos of the different breeds you can visit The American Cavy Breeders Association.
Email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
|In memory of Jelly Bean
He came to me as a rescue only 5 weeks ago, but in that
short time he proved what a wonderful piggy he was. After
being purchased at a flea market <I'm guessing already at
least a couple of years old> from a family that didn't want
him any more, he went to live with a new family. They
gave him a huge cage, hide, salt lick and all the necessities
except a proper diet and corrective health care. After some
time, they too, got tired of Jelly Bean.
A neighbor lady who loved animals felt sorry for him and
so gave him his next home for a year or so. From her his
"They fed him iceberg lettuce, three heads a week because
romaine will kill him. I only feed him two heads of iceberg
a week, but I added cucumbers and carrots to his vegetable
menu. I tried other fruits and vegetables and grass, but he
didn't like them. I give him this good, fancy guinea pig
food because he really likes all the extra treats in it. He had
the tumor on his back when I got him and the vet said it
probably was a tumor. His missing and broken toes were
like that also. I think something bit him. The vet said they
could not trim his toenails any more than they did. He likes
to drink coca cola from my mouth and if he likes you, he
will give you kisses."
She cried when she gave him to me, but was worried he was
going to die and was also experiencing the financial pinch
we all are finding ourselves in.
I did not want to stress this big old boy out any more than
he already was with the turmoil of change by barraging
him with pokes, digs, diets & what else he needed, so I
slowly added new foods that would help him heal and lose
weight. Tomatoes became a favorite food. I cuddled with
him, but did not feed him coca cola. I got kisses anyway.
When his abscess was not raw anymore and healing, I gave
him a bath. He became a lot cleaner at least although I still
tried to avoid his wounds. The ears cleaned out nicely. I
had to help him express his anal area a few times as with his
diet, sedentary habit and old dirt, he would frequently
become impacted. The second, smaller abscess started
healing up also.
Eventually, I would let him go outside in the cooler parts
of the day. He would stay still at first, but then started to
move around searching out dandelions and clover in the
grass to eat first.
He met the girls and was a perfect gentleman. <Although
he had already lost some weight, I believe he was still too
chunky to chase them, even if he could see them> He
enjoyed their company because even though they would
run around the 3' x 5' cages I use outside, they would come
up to him and nuzzle him and lay beside him, one on each
side. The girls benefited from his presence also as he helped
them to calm down.
Jelly Bean was special and so loving. I will never learn how
old he was, although I believe he was at least five years old,
probably older, and with so much weight on him, that
aged him before his time. Even though he was healing and
never seemed in undue stress, I cannot help but to wonder
could he have been saved to live a longer life if better care
had come sooner?
He was happy at the end and surrounded by friends.
In loving memory.