Vacationing without your pigs - what do you do?

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Lovemypig

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2007 7:59 pm


I searched this site looking for an answer to my question, but couldn't find a similiar topic. Please correct me if I'm wrong (as I often am)!

My question to all of you out there is what do you do with your pigs when you go on vacation? This past week was hard to enjoy because I was so worried whether my boys were happy.

In the past, a trusted neighbor has checked on and fed Quilt (my 4-yr old boar) twice a day when we've been gone. However, ever since he had stone surgery, I've become quite particular about keeping his cage clean and poop free. Also, recently we've adopted a baby and I was concerned that an informed cavy person kept their eye on the two of them (weight, dominance issues, etc.).

Tomorrow I'm picking them up at my cavy-savvy vet's, where they've been for 8 days. My van was loaded with their stuff when I dropped them off and I embarrassed myself by crying when saying my goodbys. I made a "smaller" 2X4 C&C cage for boarding along with 3 pages of notes.

Does anybody have a better solution or idea? Fortunately we won't be going anywhere until summertime.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:14 pm


Sounds like you take good care of your guys. Hope they enjoyed their stay with the vet.

Ideally you'd find someone who had your same standards, room and time and wasn't too far away.

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rshevin

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:32 pm


I've left my pigs: with a neighbor checking in (only 1 pig and only for 2 days), home alone (24 hours), at the vet, and in my parents' home (BAD idea!).

I worried about them no matter who was caring for them.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:01 pm


Didn't your mom feed catfood to the pigs?

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rshevin

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:07 pm


Yes. She also fed pig food to the cat. Hence the BAD idea! justification on that plan. If your mom is good at following directions, perfect. Unfortunately I learned exactly why my mom is a bad cook. Following directions isn't her skill.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:10 pm


But Piggy and Smudgie came through ok, right? Just kidding as that must have been terribly distressing for you to find out.

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JaneDoe

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:10 pm


Ouch!

One of my friends had a friend like that.

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rshevin

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:25 pm


Yes, all 3 of my babies came out of the ordeal just fine. Me, on the other hand, I think I lost several years of my life and gained gray hairs! Oh, and I also lost a significant amount of trust in my parents.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:33 pm


Losing the trust is sad but understandable. I'm extremely paranoid about the Bug so tend to fuss a lot over her. I've only left her twice in her life, unavoidable at the time, but called 4-5 times a day to check in.

I just basically don't go away anymore but then I'm old enough to get away with it. I'm definitely in the "parent" category and much too old to be told what to do by anyone!

PaisCashGingGang

Post   » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:47 pm


Luckily, I had a very competent Pet Sitter for my 2 dogs who was very willing and eager to learn about piggies.

Before I left for 4 days last weekend, I had her come over and we met for 2 hours. She did a hand feeding for one of my pigs who needs to gain weight. I had her handle each piggie (3 of my own and 1 foster) so they would learn her smell and she could catch them lol. I showed her all the essentials and where all the medical items were.

Everything went very well while I was gone and she is now interested in adopting piggies.

Also, I don't know how up to date this site is but I found this for Pigsitters:
http://www.buinea.com/pigsit/usaframes.html

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Amy0204
We miss our sweet Oreo

Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:11 am


It's been a problem, here, too. I passed on a family get together because I wasn't quite sure what to do (plus I wasn't quite sure I wanted to spend that long with my family either). We went up to Chicago last year for a weekend and left the pigs with a ton of hay, and a big farewell salad. I also purchased extra water bottles. We basically drove up on a Friday morning, and came back late Sunday night.

I'm planning to do the same next weekend. One of the neighbor kids will be coming by daily because I stressed too much leaving them alone that long before. This is a friend of Allison's and will be quite responsible, I'm sure, about feeding them. But, I'm not quite sure he'd know what to do in the event of a problem. Thankfully, he can reach us by cell phone at any point if he has a question and I am friendly enough with the mom to ask her to help out in an emergency. Still, it's a really tough call.

I really liked that link and actually found someone who wasn't horribly far away from me. I'd consider putting myself on it, too. People should be able to relax on vacations and not worry about their pets.

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Topaz

Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:12 am


I found a really great petsitter through a good friend of mine. She's taken care of all kinds of critters and owns and runs an alpaca farm. We met a couple of times and I felt very confident that she could handle things.

This summer we took a week long vacation and she came three times a day for the dogs, guineas, and fish.

By the end of the week, her and her kids were in love with our dogs and had grown very fond of coming and having their "couch time" with them every night. I had told them to make themselves at home and stick around as much as they could. They did!

It was funny, this gal said that by day two or three of cleaning my guinea girl's cage, she ditched the dustpan and just started using her hands....and that she knew she'd become attached to the whole bunch when that happened! Heh.

Now she's been whining to my friend(who she's friends with) that her and her girls miss my dogs terribly and want to come for some "couch time" with them, but she feels too weird to call me and ask me. I wish she would.

I feel so lucky to have found her.

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Topaz

Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:28 am


P.s. Meant to say....Keep looking and asking around. I'm sure there's someone out there for you and I do think animals are more comfortable and happy in their own home.

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Lovemypig

Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:57 am


Thanks everyone. After reading everyone's posts, I believe I'll search for a responsible neighbor teen and start the training well in advance of any trip. I hate the thought that for 8 days my boys have been in a strange place with strange sounds and smells (even though they've both been there for vet appointments). I miss the wheeking.

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violagirl3

Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:43 pm


I understand your concern. I left Lily and Eddie with my roommate in DC for three days, and I came back to find their food, hay and water empty. She also only gave them their veggies (which were pre-bagged) one of the nights I was gone. Thankfully I found someone really good to watch them when I had to go out of town again.

I'm going out of town next week for the first time since moving here, and I really lucked out. I ran into one of the people from the local guinea pig rescue when I was at the vet, and when I asked him who he reccommended to pigsit, he offered to do it. This means that if Eddie has an episode he'll be with people who know what to do and he'll go to my vet. I personally think it is worth uprooting them for the week since I know they'll be in responsible hands.

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Unibear

Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:46 pm


i'm glad someone else started this post, I have to go out of town for 4 days during the holidays and I have no idea who is going to watch rosie. My little sister usually does when we go out for a 1.5 day weekend but this is longer and I am going to worry awful. Maybe i will take her along, so piggies travel well in cars?

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Lovemypig

Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:33 pm


Unibear, I can only speak for myself but Quilt has traveled with us more than a couple of times and has done well. I checked to see where you lived to offer help, but you are on the other side of the country!

I picked up Quilt and Spice today. The bill was astronomical, but they were healthy. They had daily charts for each, but when I cleaned out their hay box, it had old, dirty hay stuck (dried pee?) to the bottom. I never let it get that way, but even when paying through the nose, no one will take care of your pigs the way you will. I'm glad we are going nowhere for quite some time.

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DaCourt

Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:50 pm


Being part of a rescue has made it easy to find someone to care for my boys when I am going to be gone for any length of time. I have now found a dog sitter who will come stay at my house. I am going to teach her how to care for the pigs as well. I was just had her here 2 weeks ago. She said she was more nervous about the pigs than the dogs. I have GL bookmarked and showed her around a little. I told her if for some reason she could not reach me, she could post here under my name and explain she was the sitter. I guess she did some reading while she was here because got nervous.She would sit in the room and listen to them to make sure she heard no sneezing or weezing, make sure they weren't fighting, etc...

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Lovemypig

Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:59 pm


You just gave me a great idea! SCGP rescue is on our way to the beach (our next very far-off vacation). Perhaps I can persuade babytulip07, who fosters for them, to "pigsit" in exchange for a nice donation to the rescue!

I'd rather "donate" to a rescue for some pigsitting than pay my vet (who is great, by the way) to watch them. I can't imagine how hard it would be to take on some pigsitting clients in addition to fosters, though.

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Duchess8799

Post   » Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:11 pm


I'm having this same problem here, too! Anyone have experience with flying piggies? My parents (pig people themselves) have offered to take Atari's two pups, the problem is getting them from Massachusetts to California. Besides the fact that I'm going home for a month for the break anyway.
As of now, I have Atari booked to fly with me on Delta, but Bandit and Millie are technically too young to fly, even if I could bring more than one of them on the plane. I have half a mind to smuggle the little ones into the terminal in my pockets. They can't kick me off the plane once we're up in the air, right?

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