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Common Misconceptions about Guinea Pigs and their Care

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Common Misconceptions about Guinea Pigs and their Care

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:17 pm

Guinea Pigs need Vitamin Drops in ther water.

FALSE

Vitamin/Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Drops drops in water are one of the worse and most useless things you can do for your GP. The only vitamin they may need from the drops is the Vit C. This effectively renders the drops useless nearly immediately after adding them. It also distastes the water.

NEVER add anything to your GP's water. They will get all the Vit C they need from a high quality pellet with a stabilized Vit C like Oxbow and fresh veggies.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:09 am; edited 3 times in total

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Guinea Pigs don't need vegetables

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:21 pm

FALSE

Guinea pigs must have at least one cup of fresh vegetables each day each. Good veggies to offer daily include:

Lettuces - all types but iceberg (contains mostly water and very little nutritional value), Good lettuces are Romaine, Green/Red leaf, butterhead/boston, curly or belgian endive, raddichio and others.
Cilantro (coriander)
Peppers - all colours, no seeds
Baby carrots - one small/medium per pig or same equivalent of regular carrot.
Chard, Red or Swiss is most commonly preferred
Zucchini (Courgette)
Corn husks and silks
Cherry/grape tomatoes (no more than 1-2 per pig)

Good every other day foods:

Parsley
Celery - chopped up small plus leaves
Cucumber
Broccoli leaves
Dandelion greens
Green beans
Summer and Winter squash (all varieties)
Chicory Greens

Some fresh foods should be limited to twice per week:

Fruits - apple, plum, apricot, melon, cucumber, peach, grapes and a few others.
Cabbage
Broccoli
Herbs such as Dill, Chives, Basil, Mint, Thyme
Collard Greens/Turnip Greens/Mustard Greens
Kale
Spinach (in small amounts)
Asparagus
Beets
Brussel Sprouts
Cauliflower
Sweetcorn on the cob
Pumpkin
Turnips

Other foods, such as radishes, banana, sweet potato and beet greens should only be given as occasional treats, say once or twice a month.

Vegetables are important to provide essential vitamins, and if provided with a good variety of fresh foods daily, there is rarely a reason for supplements of any kind to be given.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html

ADMINISTRATOR'S NOTE ** I will be posting a more indepth article on proper fruits, & vegetables as soon as I can.**


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:10 am; edited 2 times in total

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Neutering a boar will alter his behaviour

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:26 pm

FALSE

The only things that neutering a male will do are preventing him from impregnating females and slightly lessening the risk of impaction.

They are not the same as dogs, cats and several other species, neutering has little effect on the behaviour of a male.

See http://www.cavyspirit.com/neutering.htm for more information.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html

SPECIAL THANKS TO - http://www.cavyspirit.com/neutering.htm


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:18 am; edited 2 times in total

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Admin

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Cavies only need a handful of hay daily or no hay

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:28 pm

FALSE

Cavies of all ages need green, good smelling, free from mold unlimited grass hay in their diet daily. Hay is essential for wearing down their molars and aiding in digestion. Cavies under the age of 6 months and pregnant or nursing sows can benefit from alfalfa hay in addition to the grass hay. Alfalfa is high in calcium. Alfalfa is fine as a once in a while treat for older cavies that do not have problems with stones or sludge.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Cavies need salt licks or mineral wheels

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:30 pm

FALSE

Cavies get enough salt through their pellets and do not require additional salt. They also get enough minerals through the pellets and their vegetables.

SOURCE - http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Cavies need Exercise Wheels or Balls

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:32 pm

FALSE

A cavy could easily break their back in a wheel or ball. Their spines are not designed to bend that way. The best way you can provide exercise for your pigs is to make them playgrounds consisting of tunnels, or boxes.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:13 am; edited 1 time in total

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Cavies have enough room in store bought cages, or can live in tupperware bins.

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:35 pm

FALSE

Cavies need room to run and play. So they can popcorn and be happy.
Cavy Cages www.cavycages.com has the best information about size of cages and making a Guinea Pig happy.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html

SPECIAL THANKS TO - http://www.guineapigcages.com/


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:14 am; edited 1 time in total

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I got my guinea pig a friend and he/she doesn't like me any more.

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:37 pm

FALSE

Cavies are social animals and, like humans, crave same-species companionship. With a pair or group of guinea pigs you will get to experience them playing, communicating and interacting, which is far more rewarding than having them sit on their own in their cage all day long.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:15 am; edited 1 time in total

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You can't house two male guinea pigs together.

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:39 pm

FALSE

Males can be introduced to males very successfully. Often two adult males can be paired without problem, but there are less dominance issues when a younger or more submissive male is introduced to an existing male. Fighting generally only occurs when two overly dominant adult males are paired, or where two neutered males are paired with female(s).

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:15 am; edited 1 time in total

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My guinea pig runs when I try to pick him/her up - he/she doesn't like me!

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:41 pm

FALSE

Guinea pigs are, by nature, prey animals. Their instinct tells them if something large looms over them, they need to run for safety! Some pigs will learn not to do this if you approach them slowly, but some pigs will always run. Once you pick them up safely, they will really enjoy lap and play time with you.

Be sure to pick your guinea pig up carefully, supporting all four feet as soon as possible and bringing him to your body right away. No pig likes dangling in the air!

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:16 am; edited 1 time in total

Admin
Admin

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Guinea Pigs are able to contract wet tail

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:44 pm

FALSE

Wet tail is a stress induced ailment in hamsters. Many people confuse it with diarrhea in other rodents, but it is entirely restricted to hamsters. Please note, while guinea pigs cannot get wet tail, they can still get diarrhea, which can be fatal.

For more info on diarrhea in guinea pigs, visit: http://guinealynx.info/diarrhea.html

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html

SPECIAL THANKS TO -
http://www.guinealynx.info/diarrhea.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:17 am; edited 1 time in total

Admin
Admin

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My sow is pregnant and should be housed alone.

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:46 pm

FALSE

Separating the pregnant sow from the rest of the group may bring on unnecessary stress for the pregnant sow. Most cagemates may help out with the pups after birth and act like aunties or they will ignore them.

If there is a boar in the cage with the sow, he should be taken out to avoid back breeding.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:18 am; edited 1 time in total

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Rabbits and cavies make good companions

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:51 pm

FALSE

Rabbits and guinea pigs must never be mixed. A single kick from a rabbit, whether accidental or not, can seriously injure or even kill a cavy. Even a dwarf rabbit can cause serious harm to a guinea pig.

For more detailed information on reasons not to mix rabbits and cavies, visit http://www.cavycages.com/rabbits.htm

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html

SPECIAL THANKS TO
http://www.guineapigcages.com/rabbits.htm


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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Admin

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It is best to get a guinea pig from a pet store

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:53 pm

FALSE

You should NOT get your guinea pig from a pet store. Most of hte guinea pigs in the pet stores have some type of disease or problem. It is best to get your guinea pig from a shelter or rescue.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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There are no homeless Guinea Pigs where I live

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:55 pm

FALSE

Just because the local shelters are not overflowing with guinea pigs does not mean that you cannot find one or more needing a loving home in your area.

Many shelters do not house guinea pigs, and if they get them in, put them to sleep almost right away, or turn them away at the door. If you are looking for guinea pigs, start at your local shelter or Petfinder.com

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:22 am; edited 1 time in total

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Admin

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Any Store bought Pellet is ok

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:58 pm

FALSE

Most pellets available in stores contain ingredients that are not suitable for consumption by your pet cavies.

Any pellet that contains dried fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds is not a quality food. The extra pieces are either too high in fat and / or sugars, and present a choking hazard.

Any "Plain Pellet" is OK

FALSE

Just because the pellet you are feeding does not contain any fruits / nuts / seeds / or other coloured pieces, does not make it a quality pellet. See above.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html

SPECIAL THANKS TO
http://www.guinealynx.info/pellets.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:24 am; edited 1 time in total

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Two same-sex guinea pigs mounting each other means they are homosexual (and/or being sexual to each other)

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:01 pm

FALSE

Mounting, rumblestrutting, and any like behavior is normal when two or more guinea pigs are trying to determine dominance. It is not of a sexual nature. See http://cavyspirit.com/sociallife.htm#introductions for information about introducing guinea pigs to one another.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:25 am; edited 1 time in total

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My guinea pig bites me when I hold him/her - he/she must not like me anymore.

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:03 pm

FALSE

If your guinea pig bites/nibbles on you, you may have trace sents of food on your hands/fingers and salts from sweat. Or simply that he/she no longer wishes to be held from a solid surface for long periods of time.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:26 am; edited 1 time in total

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Admin

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Guinea pigs can stay out in the sun for long periods of time as long as they have a hidey house to go into.

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:05 pm

FALSE!!!

Guinea pigs can catch heat stroke a lot easier than most other animals. This can cause a series of problems, such as brain damage, heart failure, dehydration, and unavoidably - death.

It only takes ONE HOUR in direct sunlight to permanately damage and/or KILL a guinea pig.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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Guinea Pigs make great "starter pets" for kids

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:07 pm

FALSE

Guinea pigs (as well as other animals such as rabbits) require a substantial amount of time, attention, and money. When parents buy guinea pigs for their children they are often misinformed about the level of care these animals need to stay healthy and happy. Even a responsible, mature child will have a difficult time remembering and keeping up with the cleaning, feeding, and socialization of their pets.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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Guinea pigs don't need exercise or floor time

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:10 pm

FALSE.

Just like you, your guinea pig needs exercise.
Guinea pigs can develop health problems and illnesses such as ulcerative pododermatis (bumblefoot), spurs, bladder, heart and respiratory problems and male guinea pigs (boars) can get impacti

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:29 am; edited 1 time in total

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I don't need to quarantine my piggie, he/she seems to be in good health.

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:12 pm

FALSE

Any new pig coming into your house needs quarantined. Most illnesses take 3 weeks to incubate and if you do not quarantine, you run a high risk of letting your current pigs catch an illness or mites.

I can just put my new piggie in with my old piggie

FALSE

You must never just put a new pig into your existing pigs cage. You need to introduce on a neutral ground or in a thoroughly cleaned cage. The reason the cage needs thorougly cleaned is to eliminate all markings, scents, etc. of the pig(s) that live there to decrease the chances your pigs will fight.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/special-reference/11278-common-misconceptions-about-guinea-pigs-their-care.html


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:30 am; edited 1 time in total

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Common Cavy Mistakes and Misconceptions

Post  Admin on Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:54 am

#1 Cage Size Too Small
This is the most common problem. Please see "C" for Cages for lots of great cage info and proper size requirements.

#2 Male Guinea Pigs will Fight
Wrong. It depends on the personalities of the guinea pigs. Many, males live together in pairs or trios and are quite happy with no fights.

#3 No Hay or Hay as a Treat ONLY or Wrong Hay
Not giving guinea pigs unlimited Timothy Hay around the clock is a big mistake. Many people don't seem to know that guinea pigs NEED hay.

#4 Not Keeping Nails Trimmed
This is a common problem. Guinea pig nails need to be trimmed about once every 4-6 weeks. They can curl and grow back into the pad causing pain and infections. It's very easy to do on your own. See "G" for Grooming.

#5 Vitamin Drops in the Water
DO NOT USE the vitamin drops in the water!
The only supplement a healthy cavy needs is Vitamin C.
Cavies drink varying amounts of water. There is no way to know how much Vitamin C your cavy is actually getting.
Adult cavies need 30-50 mg per day of C. The drops make the water taste bad, thereby discouraging many cavies from drinking water---not good!

Suggested Vitamin C supplementing:

To supplement, get the chewable 'Vitamin C only' tablets for adults or children. To ensure proper dosage, divide up the tablet.

You can also syringe feed the dose of vitamin C directly, especially if you have a sick or needy cavy.

#6 Giant Exercise Balls and Wheels
Wrong. These are big health hazards to your guinea pig. They can cause spinal injuries and foot and ankle injuries leading to very difficult, life threatening problems. DO NOT USE these products.

#7 Same old food, day in day out
Guinea pigs like and need a variety of fresh vegetables and some fruits, just like we do. Make sure you focus on high-quality greens and veggies which are high in vitamin C and low in calcium.

#8 If I get two guinea pigs, they won't bond with me!
Guinea pigs are a social, herd animal and normally do much better, and are healthier and happier in pairs or trios. They will still bond with you. By having two, you give them a happier life when you are not around.

#9 Buying a Pig in Pet Store
Do you have any idea how many people have stories of unknowingly buying sick guinea pigs from pet stores only to have them die a week later? Quite a few. You should ALWAYS check the shelters and rescues first.

FOR MORE INFORMATION -- http://www.cavyspirit.com/care.htm


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:32 am; edited 1 time in total

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POPULAR MYTHS

Post  Admin on Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:04 am

Guinea pigs are a great STARTER pet because:
They are small and don't need much room.

WRONG, Guinea pigs actually need about 3 times the space of the largest pet store cage. 10 1/2 square feet is the recommended cage size.

They are EASIER to take care of than a cat or dog.
NO WAY. One needs a STEADY and CONSISTENT supply of fresh greens, vegetables and fruits. You need to buy special bedding. You need to buy good quality Timothy Hay and good quality guinea pig pellets. Many of these items are NOT available at your average cat or dog pet store. The guinea pigs need to be fed fresh veggies MORNING and EVENING, hay refreshed about 3 times a week, water bottles daily.

We can put the cage on top of the dresser in the kid's bedroom.
NO! There are other good reasons, but bottom line, a cage in the kid's bedroom makes it the kid's pet and NOT a family pet.

We can TEACH the child responsibility with feeding and cleaning chores.
NO. Not at the expense of the animal. It doesn't take a degree in child psychology to come up with more sane ways to teach children responsibility. Any 'mistake made' by the child means a 'price paid' by the animal.

We'll get one healthy, non-pregnant female or male from the pet store.
This is a JOKE! Do yourself a favor and stay OUT of the pet stores. You should ADOPT two, non-breeding guinea pigs. You must make absolutely certain of the sex. Contact rescues, shelters or private parties to adopt. Do NOT buy an animal at a pet store or from a breeder.

FOR MORE INFORMATION -- http://www.cavyspirit.com/kidsandguineapigs.htm

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