New Owner Preparing to Adopt

Post Reply

Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:17 pm

I am new to the world of guinea pigs. Me family has never owned a pet, but are ready to start. I experienced hamsters and gerbils in my youth and did not want to go down that road with our first family pet. My kids enjoy animals that are more calm and cuddly and hamsters,and gerbils hardly sit still when you hold them!

After much deliberation we are planning to adopt a guinea pig (or 2). I've been reading all the websites and information I can get my hands on about guinea pigs. I've been browsing craigslist. We've checked our local pet shop (only a mile away and they don't sell pets, just supplies) to see what sort of products they carry. I've looked into local vets.

Here are my concerns:

1) My oldest child is allergic to cats. That is the only allergy in the house. Should I worry about her being allergic to piggies? We don't know anyone with a piggie to see if she is.

2) Looking at postings on Craigslist. Being a novice, I'm concerned about getting an unhealthy guinea pig. I did read some posts here on guinealynx from people who saved some from bad situations which is awesome. But as a first time adopter, I'm not sure if we want to get into that sort of situation. Any tips for finding recognizing a healthy pig.

3) Considering starting with 1 pig then getting a friend later. Read about how to do that too, but feel it would just be easier to start with 2. I've seen the posting for Rillo, Marco, and Pants, but I'm just not ready for 3. :)

Any suggestions are appreciated!


Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:14 pm

1) I've heard that people with cat allergies tend to have piggy allergies too. My boyfriends brother has a really bad allergy to both.
2) I would try to find a pig from a shelter or rescue, and I'd be patient until one comes available You never know what you're going to get from CL, and while many are perfectly healthy at least at a shelter or rescue they've likely been looked over by a vet or person with experience before being adopted out.
3) A lot of the pigs at my local shelters come in as bonded buddies so I'd look for an already bonded pair if it were me.

User avatar
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:59 pm

It's great that you're doing the research before you get pigs, and thinking about how the new pets will fit into your family.

I don't think a cat allergy necessarily means there will be a pig allergy. But with pigs, there are several things that can cause reactions. The pigs themselves, but also their hay and bedding, depending on the kind of hay you get and the kind of bedding you use.

I hope some more people chime in about their specific allergy experience, since we have people with a lot to share.

Pigs aren't really cuddly pets, although they are much calmer than gerbils! Some pigs really enjoy lap time and others not so much. Again, I hope others chime in with their experiences.

User avatar
Still supporting in 2014

Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:46 pm

And this is why adopting is so important! If you want a lap pig or a cuddles, a rescue will know the pigs temperament and be able to guide you. Plus, you can have a visit. And then you can see if your child reacts.

Good luck finding a new family member!

User avatar

Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:48 pm

I see you're in Marietta, GA? I think there are guinea pig rescues there which would solve a couple of your problems. You would likely get healthy pets and could get a couple that were already getting along.

How old are your children? You understand you would be the primary care giver?

User avatar
Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2018

Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:58 pm

Yes the closest rescue is near Atlanta -- Atlanta Metro Guinea Pig Rescue. You might want to contact them:

You could also PM slavetofuzzy here as she runs the rescue.

It would give you an opportunity to cuddle with the guinea pigs and check for any allergies. As Lynx said, you would know they are healthy (unlike Craigslist). You could adopt an already bonded pair and the rescue would know personalities so you're more like to get guinea pigs that are more cuddly than skiddish.

ETA - I do remember a member here that was very allergic to cats but not at all to guinea pigs so allergies may not be a problem. And as SF mentioned, it there are allergies, it may be to the hay and not the guinea pig so a change in hay would be all that was needed.


Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:53 pm

Thanks! This has been helpful. I know that as the adult I'll be main responsible party (with help from dad too). The kids range from 1st to 9th grade. We'll take our time finding a good match and may try to arrange a visit to the rescue group to make sure this is the right choice for us.

You can quote me

Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:23 pm

Ditto to all the advice you've received. Start with AMGPR and see what slavetofuzzy says.

I'm also in Marietta and if I can help, don't hesitate to post.

Bless you and thank you for doing your research first. You and your family will be much happier, and you will save lives by not buying.

User avatar
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:55 am

Our resources at GL are teh awesome! Between Talishan and slavetofuzzy, you're sure to get pigs that fit in to the family well.

User avatar

Post   » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:51 am

I can chime in as an allergy sufferer - I am allergic to cats (the typical - itchy eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose) but am not at all to pigs - I have 3, and have had pigs also before this group, with no ill effects.

4 the Good of all Pigs

Post   » Sun Jul 12, 2015 3:28 pm

I've been in touch with them! We are going to plan a meet up after next week. I'm headed to the beach for some much needed Vitamin Sea!!

User avatar
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sun Jul 12, 2015 3:51 pm

Awesome, stf! Hope you can find a great fit for them.

You can quote me

Post   » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:30 am

Excellent. Keep us posted and have a great time in the meantime!!

Supporter in '11

Post   » Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:44 pm

I'm another person with terrible cat allergies but none to guinea pigs. If you mention the allergy concern to the rescue, they may let you take them back if a problem develops in a week or two.

Yet another good reason to go through a rescue is that you can ask for advice down the road about the piggies' health or other concerns.


Post   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:44 pm

We brought home 2 young boys from the rescue on Thursday! No allergy issues detected yet. Piggies are settled in and we're getting used to handling them, etc. Biggest challenge is telling the kids, "Quit watching those pigs and come eat your dinner!" or "You can feed them tomorrow, it's someone else's turn today." Who knew there would be a race to see who would wake up the earliest so they could refill a water bottle. Lots of advice from and a visit with slavetofuzzy was an excellent help getting us started.

User avatar
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:53 pm

I'm so happy for you! I'd never had anything smaller than a cat until a little over 2 yrs ago, when I adopted my first guinea pig. I now have 5, and am craving more, lol.

I'm also glad you have such a close source of help.

Congrats, and post pics in the photo thread when you can. It's "random piggy pics" or something like that.

User avatar
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:45 pm

Congratulations! We'd love to see pictures :-)

You can quote me

Post   » Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:51 am

"Who knew there would be a race to see who would wake up the earliest so they could refill a water bottle."

That won't last long. ;-) It'll be you filling it before too long -- but I know StF told you that.

I'm in the area too -- so don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

Congratulations!! Know that you have made a huge difference in the lives of four beings by adopting -- the two you adopted, and the two that StF can now help because you and your family gave her the space.

4 the Good of all Pigs

Post   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:57 pm

This was a great match! Wonderful family who is very eager to learn! I look forward to hearing about the pigs and how they are enriching this family's lives!

Post Reply
19 posts • Page 1 of 1