Babysitting Pigs

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Post   » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:03 pm

So I'm pigsitting 4 guinea pigs. A pair of males and a pair of females, seperated of course. The owner has left town for the next 4 days. I can't bear to do things that are unhealthy for them while they are in her care (EVEN IF SHE DOES IT). She doesn't care how I care for them as long as they are alive (ugh! I'd be worried sick!). These pigs are first of all on pine bedding. We had a 30 minute debate about whether pine was healthy. She argued the point that someone at Tractor Supply told her that pine was okay and horse pellets (I mentioned this since they are just as cheap) and Aspen are unhealthy. I didn't mention this person was most likely uneducated on the care of guinea pigs since she seemed heated, but I always thought Pine was awful and Aspen/Horse Pellets were okay? She also has them in 20 gallon tanks but I've convinced her to make a cage if I can rehome her pair of males (I have a teacher lined up who needs a class pet. She is extremely trustworthy and cares deeply for animals. I don't think class pet is the best home, but they will definetly be in much better care). They are also fed garbage, seed based, HAMSTER pellets.... Is it okay in the short time that they are in my care that I feed them my Sherwood pellets? I already started giving them hay (which they had no access to originally), fresh water, veggies (also not provided) and am limiting their pellets (they were given unlimited before). Is this sudden change going to end up hurting them? I just feel so bad for them...

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Post   » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:01 pm

The biggest issue with the hamster pellets is that they do not have any vitamin C. Make sure she understands that guinea pigs are one of the few species that require vitamin C.

If the pine is well-aired so it does not smell strongly of pine, it should be okay for guinea pigs.


Post   » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:37 pm

The pine smells strong to me, but then again I'm not used to the smell (I can say from this experience, I much prefer the smell of fresh hay in my room over pine). I've mentioned to her many times how it doesn't and how seed based foods shouldn't be given in general and a few other subtle hints and she claims everytime "the people at the pet store say it's okay", "the people at tractor supply said it's the best", or even the "I read it on wikipedia/a news article recently". It's hard to give her advice, even though she's really sweet. I'm slowly making progress with her, but I still worry about them. I just want to make sure I keep them happy and healthy while they're in my care to the best I can

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Post   » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:15 am

Recommend the Guinea Lynx site to her. That should (if she'll read it) give her some education. If nothing else, it will provide a source for information when (not if) her pigs become ill.


Post   » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:13 pm

I have multiple times, but she says it leads people to expensive decisions (not true) and she always gets told by someone at the petstore different. That she prefers to look at something called TheSpruce. I keep pushing her towards it and she has shown that she's looked on here I just don't think she wants to research it. She just wants to take care of them her own way. Like I said she's shown vast improvement since she's got them and the things she has found to work with her pigs she got from me or on here. I'm hoping she eventually starts coming over here more. She has started to look through GuineaPigCages a lot though so I think that's helping as well

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Post   » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:15 pm

Well, if she's coming here she will see your post.

I use pine shavings in the rescue. It's cheaper. It never smells too strong, and if it does I just air it out.

Be easy on the veggies if they don't usually get them. You don't want to cause digestion issues.

It's great that you are trying to help these pigs out!


Post   » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:49 pm

Well if she sees my post, she'll also see the others who are telling me how to care for them and maybe she'll follow all of your advice too! I just opened up the bag of pine she gave in in the garage to air out, I'm hoping it'll smell less like you said it should (fingers crossed). I'll give them veggies in small amounts then. I just gave them a small slice of lettuce and a quarter of cherry tomato along with a little bit of bell pepper so I'll keep things slow when it comes to feeding. Thank you

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Post   » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:54 pm

Haha! I just re-read my post! I meant "rarely" smells too strong, not "never"!

We have a really large rubbermaid tub that we dump our shavings into for storage, so it has plenty of space to air out.

About the seed based food--I imagine a lot gets wasted, so it actually costs more in the long run than good quality plain pellets!


Post   » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:00 pm

I plan to give my personal piggies a room one day to live. I may have to try doing that then! I'll recommend it to her as well as she does often complain of smell.
As for the pellets, that's what I thought! When they arrived at my house the pellets were everywhere and the bowls where filled with poop, but that could have also been from the stress of riding in the car for the first time ever. She gives them as much as they want too which I imagine is way worse than buying hay (a large bale can be less than $7) and a couple of veggies each week.

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