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Thinking of Rehoming? There are Solutions!

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Thinking of Rehoming? There are Solutions!

Post  CometCuppyParsley on Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:37 pm

Rehoming, selling, adopting out, reownering, getting rid of, call it what you like but it's always the same thing. Some people have good reasons, others don't, but in most cases there are ways to fix problems that might make you reconsider your vow of guinea pig owner-ship.

Two+ pigs don't get along!

Pigs can not get along for many reasons. They might want more space, more attention or it could just not be a good match. Sometimes pigs may be going through puberty (you can understand why that would cause problems!). Piggy puberty starts at about four months and continues until the guinea pig is about nine months. It is not a good idea to try and introduce pigs during this time, and even bonded pigs can start fighting. When your guinea pigs are fighting, don't intervene until blood is drawn. In most cases they'll fight it out without any permanent damage. If your guinea pigs continue to fight, you can give them a 'Buddy Bath'. Most pigs hate bath time, especially if you dry them with a hair dryer. Give the feuding guinea pigs a bath together and dry them together. It helps remove their scent and scares them stiff. I have noticed that this works better with male pigs, for some reason.

Things that are normal:
Rumble-strutting and mounting are normal ways for guinea pigs to show dominance. Just double check that you're guinea pigs are the same sex (or neutered) and leave them alone. They'll start chattering their teeth when they start getting really mad, but don't intervene unless the guinea pigs draw blood. Let them sort things out themselves!

I don't have time for them anymore!
This reason is why you need to make sure you have the time for a guinea pig BEFORE you commit to taking care of one or more! It is hard for me to say that if you're getting rid of your guinea pig because it's too much work, that you probably should. It upsets a guinea pig to be ignored. They're very social animals and would probably be happier somewhere where they'd be showered with attention. If it will only be temporary, give the guinea pig as much attention as you can until you can start paying adequate attention to them again.

It smells bad!
The answer to this one is REALLY simple. Clean the cage more. Some types of bedding don't smell as nice as others. I have noticed that Care Fresh stinks really bad if you don't spot clean everyday. With bedding similar to Feline Pine, you need to spot clean everyday too. I don't know as much about fleece, other than that you need to spot clean everyday as well. So, spot clean everyday and the smell should go down except for certain cases with males.

It bites/the guinea pig is mean to me or won't let me hold it!
Calm down. Give the pig some space and time! You may not be handling the guinea pig properly (there is an article about proper handling of a guinea pig in the 'Articles By Comet' section.). If you are handling the guinea pig properly, it could just be nervous. Give your guinea pig at least six months to get used to you. Your guinea pig will take a while to bond with you and some or more introverted than others. If you have a guinea pig that has been neglected/abused at some point in their life it will take them a particularly long time to relax. I have noticed that victims of abuse and neglect usually end up being particularly sweet if given enough time.

If the guinea pig is aggressive, there are various possibilities as to why. It could be issues with handling or the guinea pig may be in pain. When Cupcake had a nasty case of mange mites, she was various sensitive to touch. If you brushed her fur back just a tiny bit she would bight very hard. If your guinea pig bites, there is probably some medical reason. It is not normal for guinea pigs to bite their people.

My guinea pig is sick!
You should make sure you will have the financial means to take care of them should they become sick. Sometimes unexpected things happen, but try as hard as you can to help them through their illness.

I'm bored with my guinea pig!
If you really don't want your guinea pig because you are bored with it, find your guinea pig a good home. Guinea pigs need to be loved. If you don't love them anymore, find them a GOOD home. Even if you hate the little hairball, please take the time to do one last good thing for your pet.

I have allergies!
Most of the time people aren't allergic to the guinea pig itself. Often they are allergic to the hay or bedding they are using. If you are using Timothy Hay, I would suggest switching to Orchard Grass. I was having bad allergic reactions and almost had to rehome my pigs, but we changed from Timothy to Orchard Grass and they cleared up. My pigs actually like Orchard Grass better. Some bedding types that some people are also allergic to are:

Any kind of wood shavings
Any kind of wood pellet
Hay
Carefresh (VERY unusual!)

I have never heard of anyone who was allergic to fleece. It sounds like it is a safe bedding for people with allergies. Because Carefresh is made out of paper, it is extremely rare for someone to be allergic to it. Allergies to hay and wood bedding is fairly common.

Odds are that you don't have an allergy to a guinea pig's hair. It can happen, though, so you might want to go to your doctor and get tested for allergies to guinea pigs. Skinny Pigs and Baldwins are two hairless varieties of guinea pigs that, like the sphinx cat, cause less allergies. In my opinion it really wouldn't be very nice to get rid of your hairy pigs and replace them with a hairless variety. Not that it would bother your disposed of guinea pigs, it's more the principle of the thing. If you already know that you have guinea pig allergies, it would be a good idea to get one.

I got another pet that doesn't get along with my guinea pigs!
Why did you get another animal that you didn't know how it would get along with the guinea pigs? Why are you getting rid of the guinea pig when they were there first? Think about it.

I can no longer afford my guinea pig!
I applaud your forethought and caring about you pig so much. It is good to know when you really don't have the funds to give you piggies the care they need. Of course, just because you lose your job doesn't mean you need to instantly drop them off at the local shelter. Think about ways you would be able budget enough money to take care of them, how long the financial straight will last and whether your pigs would be ok with slightly lower quality food/hay for a couple months.

I have also seen some rescues that will take care of your guinea pigs for you for a while. You might be able to find a family member or friend that you trust to take care of them.



If you choose to dispose of your cavy, please make all efforts to ensure that they get a great home. No matter how much you don't want them, do home checks and make sure the owner is trustworthy and knows how to take good care of your guinea pig. Also make sure that they are not going to take your guinea pig and then resell it. You took on the responsibility of taking care of your guinea pig, see them through to the end. Most rescues and animal shelters require that you return them if it doesn't work out. When you adopt a guinea pig, make sure that you know whether this agreement applies. When you're thinking about getting rid of your guinea pig, please explore all your options! Often these problems can be easily solved.

I hope that you found this article useful and hopefully saved you the trauma of getting rid of a guinea pig or helped you find a way to keep you furry little companion(s).

-Comet
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CometCuppyParsley
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Location : Washington
Registration date : 2009-03-31

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