Guinea pigs are adorable animals that make wonderful companions. They are loving, curious, and as previously mentioned, absolutely ADORABLE!!! I should know, my family and I have adopted 2 and rescued 3.
July 24th, 2016
The first guinea pigs that we adopted were Caramelo (Spanish for caramel) and Oreo, and since they were our first, we adopted them from a pet store (now, however, we do not purchase anything from pet stores that sell animals). Caramelo became my guinea pig, and Oreo my sister's.
March 25th, 2017
On the evening of March 25th, 2017, my mom was on Facebook when she saw a post announcing that a neighbor of ours was giving away their pet guinea pig, Rex. We fell in love immediately, and within the hour, she was on her way to pick him up. We didn't think that the name "Rex" was appropriate for him, so we changed it to Canela (Spanish for "cinnamon").
We didn't know that there was a specific way in which you're supposed to introduce guinea pigs to each other, so we simply placed Canela into Caramelo and Oreo's home. Canela was curious and wandered up to everyone else, but Caramelo, being the alpha, chased him around. Oreo was nervous and kept crying out, so for everyone's safety, we removed Canela and did a little research on how to properly introduce male guinea pigs to each other. We kept Canela separated from Caramelo and Oreo for about a week, where they could see, smell, and hear each other without harming one another. Then we placed all three of them in a tiki (that's what we call their cage. Cage just sounds like a prison) that none of them recognized as their turf.
We were successful, and although they have a small argument every once in a while, they've gotten along ever since.
September 30th, 2020
Caramelo unexpectedly passed away; we miss him terribly.
November 19th, 2020
Similar to when we rescued Canela, my mom was on Facebook when she came upon a post about a neighbor rehoming their two female guinea pigs. We all fell in love immediately, but because they are females instead of males, our mom was a little on edge (but mostly because of Covid-19). However, we replied that we would love to adopt them if no one had done so by the next day. That was on November 17th.
Late in the evening of the 18th we found out that they hadn't been adopted yet, so we said that we would. The next day we spent the morning preparing for our new babies, and by noon, they were home with us. They had a quick bath and settled in.
Their names were originally Speckles and Sunshine, however, the names didn't come naturally to us, so we changed them to Nutmeg and Noelle.
They are still shy but they have started to come out of their hiding space, and soon they'll warm up to us.
Nutmeg is on the left and Noelle is on the right
Guinea Pig Care
All of our precious little guinea pigs would like for me to tell you what we know about guinea pig care so that guinea pigs all around the world will live a happy and healthy life!
If you go to a pet store, they'll probably recommend to you a small cage with dimensions of about 2'x2'. According to them, that cage houses 2 guinea pigs, however, they need more space than that. They enjoy running around and need to stretch their legs, and generally, a single guinea pig requires at least 7.5 square feet to roam (guinea pigs are very social animals and don't do very well by themselves), with an extra 1.5 feet for a second guinea pig, and another 2 square feet per additional guinea pig. When it comes to your guinea pig's home, the bigger the better!
We purchased our guinea pigs' homes at Piggy BedSpreads, which although a little expensive, is definitely worth the extra money. Also, these guinea pig homes use special fleece blankets for bedding, which is much better than paper bedding (it's better for your guinea pig, as well as both environmentally and financially). The sheets have a waterproof bottom and absorb your guinea pig's urine so that they don't have to lay in it. Although the initial investment may be a bit costly, you'll eventually end up saving money because you won't have to be constantly purchasing new bedding.
We thoroughly clean out our babies' tikis once every 2 to 3 days, but we clean up their dropping at least twice a day.
Additional Home Notes:
Here are the links to our guinea pigs' homes and sheets.
(Vegan Empire does not make any profits from your purchase; we simply want all guinea pigs to live a long, happy and healthy life.)
Guinea pigs love their veggies! We feed ours a wide variety of fruits and veggies, but they also need to have plenty of hay!
Guinea pigs have to have access to a never-ending supply of fresh hay to stay healthy. We feed our guinea pigs second-cutting timothy hay from "Small Pet Select". They all seem to like it very much!
Fruits and veggies:
Fruits and veggies are a guinea pig's favorite, and they all have different preferences! We feed ours...
Caramelo's favorite veggie were tomatoes,
Oreo's favorite snacks are cucumber slices,
and Canela's favorite snacks are carrots.
Pet stores virtually always recommend purchasing pellets for you guinea pigs, but they don't need them. In fact, feeding pellets to your guinea pigs can harm their health!
Eating pellets caused Oreo to form a kidney stone and Caramelo had tooth trouble. While Oreo successfully had the kidney stone surgically removed, Caramelo stopped eating because of his tooth, lost weight, and passed away recently.
So that your guinea pigs are healthy, they need to be groomed regularly, including nails, ears, and baths.
We clean our babies' ears gently using Q-tips. We do this once a week to keep them clean. At the same time, we trim their nails with our electric pet nail tripper. This allows us to keep their nails short without worrying about accidentally cutting the quick.
Baths are usually every 3 months, unless they get dirty before that! We use our all-natural baby soap to bathe them, and it's important to rinse out ALL soap to prevent it from itching. Also, make sure not to wet their faces (especially the ears!) and to not get anything in their eyes.
At the moment, not much has been said about Nutmeg and Noelle, which is because they have not been here with us long, thus we have not gotten to know them well. However, once we do, there will be much more about them here!
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