Your experience with guinea pigs?

Masspanic

Member
So I’ve taken care of a rabbit before, but now that this will likely be my last summer staying with my parents (in college), I’m looking into getting my own small animal(s).

What are some pros and cons of keeping guinea pigs?
Any tips for keeping guinea pigs? Things you’ve learned that you feel others should know?

I’ve done my own research, just curious about other’s experiences.
 

StarGirl

Member
Lucy where is APColorado s pig video?
 

Ladymolly

Member
I have 2 guinea pigs and my BF has 3
pros- great companion once they're comfortable, easy care once you know the basics! Not too expensive after you get the cage up.
cons- very anxious animals at first and they go at their own pace. Can be pretty smelly. kinda expensive to set up.
Make sure you have at least 2, they come from herds so that's like putting a schooling fish alone except guinea pigs can die from loneliness
 

Lmg01

Member
Masspanic said:
So I’ve taken care of a rabbit before, but now that this will likely be my last summer staying with my parents (in college), I’m looking into getting my own small animal(s).

What are some pros and cons of keeping guinea pigs?
Any tips for keeping guinea pigs? Things you’ve learned that you feel others should know?

I’ve done my own research, just curious about other’s experiences.
Pros-
They can live on fleece liners. (Research this before getting)
They aren’t difficult to feed and have similar diets to rabbits.
They are cute, obviously

Cons-
They week, which is basically happy screaming, it’s cute but very loud
They shouldn’t be kept alone
They need space, no tiny cages
They poop a ton
They aren’t as friendly as rabbits and may take a while to get used to you
 

Dechi

Member
They’re cute little ones but messy. I had some as a kid and I bought some for my own kids. I made them a huge cage with lots of room. It was in the basement of my house.

Their food attracted other rodents and soon we had a mice problem on our hands, lol !
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
My sister has one and I can say the cage needs constant cleaning. The whole room smells after like 2 days
 
  • Thread Starter

Masspanic

Member
Ladymolly said:
I have 2 guinea pigs and my BF has 3
pros- great companion once they're comfortable, easy care once you know the basics! Not too expensive after you get the cage up.
cons- very anxious animals at first and they go at their own pace. Can be pretty smelly. kinda expensive to set up.
Make sure you have at least 2, they come from herds so that's like putting a schooling fish alone except guinea pigs can die from loneliness
How long roughly does it take for most to get comfortable? I know it varies just wondering if there was a rough estimate
Lmg01 said:
Pros-
They can live on fleece liners. (Research this before getting)
They aren’t difficult to feed and have similar diets to rabbits.
They are cute, obviously

Cons-
They week, which is basically happy screaming, it’s cute but very loud
They shouldn’t be kept alone
They need space, no tiny cages
They poop a ton
They aren’t as friendly as rabbits and may take a while to get used to you
Did not know about the screaming haha thank you for the heads up. And I'll look into fleece liners

Anyone know how messy they are compared to rabbits? Just so I have some means of comparison
 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
Dechi said:
They’re cute little ones but messy. I had some as a kid and I bought some for my own kids. I made them a huge cage with lots of room. It was in the basement of my house.

Their food attracted other rodents and soon we had a mice problem on our hands, lol !
Thats how the cat horde gets started....
 

Passionfish

Member
one thing I do know, is that since they need companionship, you need to make sure that once one of them dies, you have a home available with another companion. With guinea pigs, once you get them, unless you give them away, there is no end to the cycle of caring for them, because one of them will die, and the other will need a new buddy. You need to consider your options really carefully before choosing to get guinea pigs. Do you want a lifelong commitment? If not, do you have anyone that has guinea pigs already and will take your loner?
 

MasterPython

Member
They are a high maintenance, expensive pet, more than a cat or dog by most accounts.

They need a large cage that gets spot cleaned daily and more intensive cleaning weekly. Either fleece bedding which gets changes and washed a few times a week or a thick layer of the right shavings. They eat/waste lots of hay which costs a lot unless you can buy, transport and store it by the bale. Plus fresh veggies, pellets and vitamin C. If they get sick you need an exotics vet.

I bunny sit regularly and it is a breeze compaired to our piggies.
 

Roman96

Member
I had them, and honestly I didn't enjoy them. I had a fleece liner in a cage called the Midwest guinea habitat (it was a pretty large cage), 2 male guinea pigs, and I scooped out the poop twice a day. The fleece got washed once a week. Even with this, the smell of the cage was terrible. I fed them hay and formulated pellets. Also gave them vegetables once or twice a week. They never got used to me holding them, but they eventually would come out of their castle and move around after a while. They just weren't rewarding for all the maintenance.

Pros
-Make unique noises
-Are very social
-Price isn't too bad compared to other pets

Cons
-Stink
-Poop a LOT
-Can be high maintenance
-Don't do much, didn't want to interact with me at all.
-Hay can definitely make a dent in your wallet if you're buying it from the pet store.
 

BearAndSunny

Member
Pretty much agree with everything thats been said but honestly, i miss my pigs sometimes. Years and years ago i adopted 2 boys from my primary school as the country put a ban on pets in school or something (i was staying in England at the time) and I'd been looking after them so was offered them. One mixed named Ronald and a long haired peruvian named Tufty who died after a year or so, due to being pedigree i was told but in reality he developed internal blockages somewhere. So we took Ronald to piggie friend dates and he paired with a 6 month boy i named Beano. They got on great and let me just say, what a creature Ronald was. He lived to 13 years old, had to undergo surgery to remove an eye, another surgery because the wound opened again, got blind in his remaining eye but boy did that pig just keep on living. He really amazed me. The little angel died of old age much to our surprise and unfortunately Beano was left alone but we tried out best for him, he was handled everyday and played with and loved until he passed too, naturally im pretty sure. But i do agree you generally have to get them companions.

Sorry if its a littttle off topic but seeing the thread just made me think of my 3 boys. They really are pretty extraordinary little creatures even if they are a lot of work!
 
  • Thread Starter

Masspanic

Member
Passionfish said:
one thing I do know, is that since they need companionship, you need to make sure that once one of them dies, you have a home available with another companion. With guinea pigs, once you get them, unless you give them away, there is no end to the cycle of caring for them, because one of them will die, and the other will need a new buddy. You need to consider your options really carefully before choosing to get guinea pigs. Do you want a lifelong commitment? If not, do you have anyone that has guinea pigs already and will take your loner?
That's good to consider--I had planned on getting two but figuring out what the do when one dies is something I'll have to figure out
MasterPython said:
They are a high maintenance, expensive pet, more than a cat or dog by most accounts.

They need a large cage that gets spot cleaned daily and more intensive cleaning weekly. Either fleece bedding which gets changes and washed a few times a week or a thick layer of the right shavings. They eat/waste lots of hay which costs a lot unless you can buy, transport and store it by the bale. Plus fresh veggies, pellets and vitamin C. If they get sick you need an exotics vet.

I bunny sit regularly and it is a breeze compaired to our piggies.
Thank you for the comparative info that really helps
 

Passionfish

Member
Masspanic said:
How long roughly does it take for most to get comfortable? I know it varies just wondering if there was a rough estimate
Depends on how you treat them, and how much you try to interact with them.

Masspanic said:
Did not know about the screaming haha thank you for the heads up. And I'll look into fleece liners
They can be very annoying. It's sometimes like a constant squealing. Hence the name Guinea PIGS, they make noises like miniature pigs.

Masspanic said:
Anyone know how messy they are compared to rabbits? Just so I have some means of comparison
So basically they poop in little pellets, one by one. I think rabbits poop piles of round pellets, correct me if I am wrong. They actually pee a lot more than they poop, and those two smells are not pleasant. I am not really familiar with rabbits, but consider that guinea pigs are just a much smaller version. But of course, some differences are that they are very messy(throwing their hay around, pooping everywhere, peeing everywhere). Although you can potty train them to go in a corner, it takes a while to learn. Basically, you'll be doing one more wash and dry every week. If you kept your rabbit outside, I'd say guinea pigs are much more messy, but if you kept your rabbit inside, then I'd say about the same.

Edit: I forgot to mention that they will ruin a lot of toys you get them, and chew up their mats. They will scatter loose cotton everywhere if you use fleece or cotton mats.
 

RedLoredAmazon

Member
Guinea pigs are fantastic! They are expensive when they need to see the vet; a good exotic vet is worth their weight in gold. They are a social animal so they need at least one friend; males can only be kept in twos, females can be kept with at least two, and mixed pairs must have someone fixed in the couple.
I adopted a male, Cocoa, (neutered) and female, Oreo, (spayed) from a local rescue. Try to find a rescue rather than buying piggies from the store. Most of them seem to come pregnant from the store.

Here's a pigture of the two of them on their fleece. They did have a stink till I figured out I wasn't caring for the fleece the right way. Guinea pigs scent mark their territory and every time I would take out all of their fleece to wash it, they would mark everything and it would be stinky again. When I leave a few of their pee pads in their house when I change the cage liners, it doesn't stink. Wet/peed on hay also makes things smell bad so just make sure you remove that when you spot clean twice a day.

1618845632905.png
 

Kathylee

Member
Masspanic said:
So I’ve taken care of a rabbit before, but now that this will likely be my last summer staying with my parents (in college), I’m looking into getting my own small animal(s).

What are some pros and cons of keeping guinea pigs?
Any tips for keeping guinea pigs? Things you’ve learned that you feel others should know?

I’ve done my own research, just curious about other’s experiences.
I have had 3 pigs.
The first one came from an elderly woman who had passed away. She took care of this pig like it was royalty. This piggie was considered a "senior," they told us she was 5+ years old. She lived for another 3 years. When she died my daughter was just a toddler and she had a meltdown, she loved it so much.
So onto our 2cd piggie, she was a rescue. She lived for 6.5 years.
I couldn't leave the cage empty after having a pig for so long!
I work afternoons & at about 9:20pm I come home & they know it! Squeak squeak squeak haha.
So last summer we adopted our 3rd, we wanted a buddy for her, so I contacted a rescue nearby, she has turned her home into a guinea pig haven- it's crazy, we still haven't heard back from her, she said taking all the pigs to the vet for check-ups before adopting is expensive.
I'd say the pros are companionship, they love to weak, and cuddle, the adore running around and being lavished upon.
Cons: are clipping nails! They wiggle & hate it. They can stink.
We "spot" treat the cage through the week. But clean it & change the bedding 100% once weekly. I noticed the smell is worse when using fleece. I changed to half wood bedding for bathroom areas & soft Kaytee Kozy bedding for sleeping areas and the smell is much better. They need large areas. We have a 6 foot long cage. If they have a small cage then they'll need more exercise outside of it.
They are messy eaters!! They need Hay in the cage 100% of the time to help aid in digestion. And a serving a veggies & approved fruit once a day. Because their bodies do not make vitamin-C.

I've only ever had 1 health problem, one we adopted has a white powder looking film on her ears & when we took her to the vet they said it was a yeast infection, common in GP farms. Ear drops cleared it up, but it spread to her back & caused a bald spot until growing back.

1 con to buying young pigs- is getting them to eat vegetables! Sometimes they just don't know or trust what it is yet. Can take sone patience haha

Edit: I forgot to mention the shedding!

They are great pets & for all ages!

20210323_190845.jpg
 
  • Thread Starter

Masspanic

Member
Thank you everyone for your input! While they seem like great pets, I would be keeping the pets in my room so I think I will stick to rabbits for noise level and because they seem to be a little cleaner. Thanks again for your help guys
 

Roman96

Member
I know you made your decision, but just wanted to add a video of mine I had a couple years back. Good luck, hope the bunnies do well.
Guinea pigs
 
  • Thread Starter

Masspanic

Member
RomanNoodles96 said:
I know you made your decision, but just wanted to add a video of mine I had a couple years back. Good luck, hope the bunnies do well.
Guinea pigs
Thank you! And adorable!
 

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