Piggies and now a new rescue dog!

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Aidenswings

Post   » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:16 pm


Hi all, so I am not sure how to safwly handle this. I have 2 adult male gpigs that are in a DIY C&G cage that is huge 57x32. It is on the floor as the only table that fits it is the dining table! It has no top as it was not needed and we like having access to them etc. Ok so we just adopted a 40 lb pitbull/staffordshire terrier this past Sunday. We know at the pound he met a kitten and was fine with it. But no clue on rodents like gpigs. He is super interested in them. Any noises they make he is right there looking at them. I covered their cage first with a fitted sheet leaving sides open for air flow. But it kept sagging. I then bought a big plastic clear drop cloth and using bungee cords attached it to the cage. But I put a few holes on top just to be sure. We have a constant eye on our dog, making sure he is not left alone in the room with gpigs. We do not have the ability to have our piggies in a seperate room. So do I need to buy a huge table to put their cahe up on? Or is it possible to keep them on the floor but put a sturdier cover on their cage such as a tarp or piece of wood? And I would love it if the piggies and dog could coexist peacefully. How would I attempt to introduce them?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:51 pm


You need a sturdy top that will hold the dog. Closet shelving is the best option.

JX4

Post   » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:23 pm


Our dogs -- and all the dogs we've ever had except one -- have been fine with cats, kittens but NOT rodents. All of our dogs except one have tried to kill our guinea pigs. They may not lunge at them right off the bat, but guinea pigs naturally make sounds that trigger the predator instinct in dogs. It is almost irresistible. The only dog I've ever had that didn't treat my piggies like snacks or toys to chase and kill was a very small dog.

You need a very sturdy top to the cage or find a way to put it up high enough the dog cannot get to it -- and then you still need a top to it. Dogs are great at jumping, grabbing a bite of cage with their teeth and yanking the thing down. They are good at lifting up a top with their noses. Dogs can be lightning fast when they decide the guinea pig they see would be the perfect snack or play toy, and I doubt you'd be fast enough to stop him/her.

Aidenswings

Post   » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:19 am


Hi, so is it a lost cause that I may be able to introduce them to my dog, slowly and carefully and over time it not be so much a threat? I realize natural instincts are gpigs are prey, and it is not like I would leave the gpigs out of cage with the dog , especially without me rightthere with them. But I mean like ok these rodents are part of the family etc..maybe I am delusional lol. I was asking some pet owners and they felt that while putting the cage up would seem to be safest, that the dog would want to get at the gpigs even more then? Oye. I feel bad as I want to interact with my piggies too not have them always covered up.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:49 am


I wouldn't do it. They're prey, and will dart away rapidly if they feel threatened. That will kick in the dog's prey drive, and you wouldn't be able to stop him. It wouldn't be his fault, that's just his nature.

Don't cover them up. Get some closet shelving (Closetmaid kind), and put lengths of it over the cage. If you can raise the cage on a table, you can interact with them easier, and the shelving will protect them from the dog.

WICharlie

Post   » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:16 pm


The very best protection is to have the pigs in a separate room. I know you say that you don't have a separate room, but maybe take a very critical look at your home to see if there is ANY WAY possible to accomplish this. Even then, I know the heartbreak of someone who adopted from our rescue and who came home from vacation to two dead pigs when their pig sitters failed to properly close the door when they were caring for the animals.

There are inexpensive utility tables with white plastic tops that you can get. Some even fold. I have two of them and find any number of uses for them. They have adjustable legs to put them at different heights. If your cage has a sturdy bottom, you could buy two of them and put one under either end of your cage. If the cage needs even more support, you could purchase three of them. For added safety, I would lash the cage to the tables. Then use the closet shelving over the top. You can use zip ties to fasten the shelving onto the cage and to each other to end up with a top that opens and closes. Use sturdy clips to hold it closed on the end that can be raised up. In addition to this, you can fasten the cage to the wall so the dog will not push/pull it over if he jumps on it.

The dog that you describe is a powerful animal. Even with the above setup, it might try and harm your pigs. One strong paw through the bars of a cage could cause a fatal injury. If you see the dog trying to paw the cage, you need to take additional steps to protect them.

The other part of this safety set up is to get a crate for your dog and teach the dog to go in the crate when you have to leave the house. Because you just cannot trust the dog when you are not there. You may also need to crate the dog when you are handling the pigs or when they are out during a cage cleaning. If a 40 lb. dog that is all muscle (like your type of dog is) tries to go for a pig on your lap, there's no way you are going to be able to block it.

How to introduce the dog to your pigs? I would start with a small stuffed animal. Rub it through the pig cage to get the smells on it and then hold it in your lap and let the dog sniff it. Have a small string attached to it and place it on the floor so you can pull it along. Judge how the dog responds. Does it back off if you say "no?" ANY show of too much interest or aggression and I would not even dream of letting it interact with a live pig.

CavyGirl04

Post   » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:02 pm


My friend has the sweetest dog you can imagine, but if I handle guinea pigs before seeing her, she goes NUTS. Use extreme caution if you let them anywhere near each other.

Also, even if you don't have a separate room for the piggies, you can put up gates or something to keep your dog out of the room with the guinea pigs while letting you be in there.

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