Advice needed: Going Away

Post Reply

Post   » Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:48 pm

Hi, I am a long-time reader of Guinea Lynx and have received great information in caring for my two guinea pigs, GP and Puggles. I got them from a school who did no longer want them as pets. GP was a few years older than Puggles and passed away when he was 5. Puggles is now 7 and after seeing that she does not react well to new ‘siblings’ I decided to keep her as a lone piggy for the past few years. Since I know that piggies are social, she does get lots of attention, floor and couch time, and spoilage everyday!

I am going away with my family for a week this summer, and do not have a sitter who knows how to take care of a guinea pig. She is so used to spending time with only me and my immediate family and I know that she will be very afraid of having someone new take care of her.

I have a friend who has agreed to come over and feed her (I am going to prepare and portion her food out daily because she has teeth problems), but I know that Puggles would rather stay in her house than come out to play with someone new. She doesn’t bond well to new people, she is even uncomfortable with my sister because my sister is not her primary caregiver.

I would not be so worried had this been 2 or 3 years ago, but I am seeing her age and slow down and it breaks my heart. I have had her since she was a month old, and has been my spunky baby since I was 16. She is now a senior piggle and I am worried that her health will deteriorate while we are away, especially that she might become depressed and not eat. I am pondering coming back a few days earlier but I do not think my family is happy with my decision. How do I ensure that my baby will be healthy and happy while we are away?

Obey My Authority

Post   » Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:03 pm

Hello Bands,
I know how you would worry about your Puggles while you are away, I too left our 4 pigs for 2 weeks a few months ago. I found a leaving detailed instructions and back up supplies helped the caretaker greatly, and of course, he too logged onto GL when things were a bit hectic.

Instead of prepping a week's worth of veggies, why not do a few days, and let the caretaker prep the veggies later in the week to ensure freshness.

Have your vet's numbers readily available to the caretaker.

Let the sitter know Puggle's habit, does she prefer a quiet surrounding, does she prefer to be left alone or interact with a new human.

Have a pouch of critical care ready, just as a back up.

Leave detailed feeding instructions, hay, pellets, veggies and useful information.

I hope you will be able to enjoy your family vacation, and come back to a healthy Puggles that misses you greatly while you were away. :)

User avatar

Post   » Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:11 pm

Also if you can afford this, there are some vets offices that allow you to board guinea pigs. Maybe your vet could allow you to board Puggles that way she is already with them if anything would happen and they are aware of it as well.

What momi said is great and very good advice.

I Love Lucy

Post   » Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:41 pm

Some rescues will also board pigs, so if there is one near you, even if they don't advertise boarding as a usual service, they may be willing to help you if you explain your circumstances and concerns.

User avatar
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:10 pm

Is she in a petstore cage? If so, I think it might be much better to take the cage over to your friend's house.

I'd be sure your friend weighs her at least once while you're away so that you can be sure she's eating enough.

Seeing as you're going away for a week, I'd be tempted to have your friend buy the ready-bagged greens and then you can deal with the other stuff separately. It's extremely hard to prepare greens to last for a full week in my experience.

User avatar
amy m guinea

Post   » Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:23 pm

I agree with Mum.

I've transferred a pig to a petstore cage for a friend to petsit and it worked out great. I also had him feed bagged greens and left cash in case so he could buy fresh. I think being in a smaller cage with all the same hideys houses etc. would be better than being alone in the house. Plus I'm always afraid if they are alone in the house, the petsitter might not notice if something's wrong.

Maybe she could be in a quiet spot in your friend's house? Does your friend have dogs or cats to worry about?

Post Reply
6 posts • Page 1 of 1