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Thread: Does anyone own -- or has owned -- a Guinea pig?

  1. #1
    Master of New Adventures!
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    Does anyone own -- or has owned -- a Guinea pig?

    So our Max is coming up on his eleventh birthday and he's driving to the hoops for a Guinea pig as his best friend has one. If I hear one more time from him about how he's gotten straight A's for the last three years...

    At present we have a Yorkie (Coco) a turtle (Flash) and a Gekko named Gordon. (Okay. I'm joking about the gecko, but Gordon would be a cool name. Max's is named Fern.)

    I do have to say Max has been very responsible about feeding and caring for Flash and Fern, but I know caring for a Guinea pig is different, requiring frequent cage cleaning and other attentions. I'm also concerned about the noise factor. I know they make adorable squeaking sounds when they want a treat. But I've read a few nightmare stories about them squealing all night.

    Has anyone here had a Guinea pig. If so, what was your experience like and how do you feel about it for a responsible eleven-year old?

    Thanks,

    Jack

  2. #2
    SoH Supporter He-Dad's Avatar
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    We have two. They are very social animals and do better in pairs. As for taking care of them, the more you handle them the better and easier it is. They are a bit skittish but once they are used to you they get better. You do need to trim their nails and make sure they have lots of hay to chew on. They need their cage cleaned at least once a week. Do not use wood chips. Their urine interacts with it and causes them lung problems. Use the recycled paper stuff. And they need extra vitamin C so feed them oranges or green peppers. They make great pets. And ours rarely sqeak at night. Both are female. I don't know if that makes a difference as when I was a kid we had a very vocal male that would squeal everytime he heard the fridge open lol.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, soooo much, He-Dad. Sounds like we're going to go with two females, then.

    Quote Originally Posted by He-Dad View Post
    We have two. They are very social animals and do better in pairs. As for taking care of them, the more you handle them the better and easier it is. They are a bit skittish but once they are used to you they get better. You do need to trim their nails and make sure they have lots of hay to chew on. They need their cage cleaned at least once a week. Do not use wood chips. Their urine interacts with it and causes them lung problems. Use the recycled paper stuff. And they need extra vitamin C so feed them oranges or green peppers. They make great pets. And ours rarely sqeak at night. Both are female. I don't know if that makes a difference as when I was a kid we had a very vocal male that would squeal everytime he heard the fridge open lol.

  4. #4
    Angast's #1 fan Bonehead's Avatar
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    My brother had them for years and they can be excellent pets. He-Dad covered most of the basic stuff but I will just like to repeat what he said about the chirping. They can and will chirp very loudly sometimes and it can be annoying. They are not quiet animals.

    Also they do require regular vet visits. I recommend finding a vet in your area that specializes in small animals/rodents before buying one. Most vets do not specialize in them and only have very minor knowledge of them. My brother learned that the hard way and had a vet misdiagnose a problem with one of his and that led to it's inevitable death.

    Also it's important to know that they can suffer from fly strike so you must keep flies out of your house and specifically away from the Guinea Pigs. It can be deadly.

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    Outlaw Preacher Dave-Man's Avatar
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    They're a rodent, so I'd assume they need something to chew as their incisors keep growing, as well as plenty of fresh hay or food pellets. I am told they like lettuce and carrots as treats. I don't know much beyond this about taking care of them - I never had one as a kid, and as an adult I have always had so many cats I would be afraid for the poor things if they ever got out. One very much wanted to go home with me once, but I felt I had to leave it at the pet store because of this.
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    Heroic Warrior He-Kal's Avatar
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    My grandmother bought me a guinea pig about that same age. They are great pets, but they will bite when you first buy them and it hurts pretty bad from what I remember. Also, you have to clean their cages a lot--they are poop factories Another warning: They eat their own poop (which looks like brown tic-tacs) and that's pretty gross. But, other than that they are great

  7. #7
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    Okay, after a lot of advice from everyone here and from PetSmart experts, we went with one male Guinea pig. As with our turtle (Flash) and our Gecko (Fern), purchasing the pet was the least expensive part of the process. There's a whole world of stuff that comes with acquiring a pet. But we're loving it.

    Snickers is docile, gentle and loves sitting on Max's lap. They bonded instantly! He's a great addition to our home.

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    Skeletor's Right Hand Man Megalodon's Avatar
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    I had two mother and a daughter they were a hoot...

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    Outlaw Preacher Dave-Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-Kal View Post
    My grandmother bought me a guinea pig about that same age. They are great pets, but they will bite when you first buy them and it hurts pretty bad from what I remember. Also, you have to clean their cages a lot--they are poop factories Another warning: They eat their own poop (which looks like brown tic-tacs) and that's pretty gross. But, other than that they are great
    Is this because, like rabbits, they can't digest it all at once? Or is there some nutritional content they are missing which could lead them to do this?
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  10. #10
    Hang in there, Bow! Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Snickers is docile, gentle
    I love that name!


    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    and loves sitting on Max's lap. They bonded instantly! He's a great addition to our home.
    Aww, how sweet.
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  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior He-Kal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-Man View Post
    Is this because, like rabbits, they can't digest it all at once? Or is there some nutritional content they are missing which could lead them to do this?
    I'm not really sure. I think our vet at the time told us it was perfectly natural. I did look up this article about it (has other info on guineas too) stating they do this to aid digestion http://guineapigcare.com.au/piggy-pedia/why-do-guinea-pigs-eat-their-own-poo/ I'm just so thankful humans don't have this same need/problem

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Okay, after a lot of advice from everyone here and from PetSmart experts, we went with one male Guinea pig. As with our turtle (Flash) and our Gecko (Fern), purchasing the pet was the least expensive part of the process. There's a whole world of stuff that comes with acquiring a pet. But we're loving it.

    Snickers is docile, gentle and loves sitting on Max's lap. They bonded instantly! He's a great addition to our home.
    Yep, they are fun pets for sure. I think their bathroom issues just grossed the crap out of me (pun intended) as a kid

  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior HarryCanyon's Avatar
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    Don't you just love that cute squeak they make?
    "You killed Captain Clown, YOU KILLED CAPTAIN CLOWN"-Joker.

  13. #13
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    I just had Snickers lying on my stomach for about five minutes. I spent the whole time petting him and he spent the whole time looking into my eyes. My blood pressure dropped ten points in those five minutes. He's the cutest thing ever. I'll post pics when Kim gets home to tonight. How can you not be in love with such a gentle, calming little creature?

    As for squeaks, Snickers hasn't made any yet. I think he's still settling in. I'm sure they're coming and we look forward to them. He's eating well and is quite comfortable in the duplex cage we got for him, roaming around and getting familiar with his new home. Tonight he gets his once-a-week-small slice of orange as a special treat.

    I don't know who's enjoying Snickers more -- Max or me. All I know is I'm sure glad we got him. And here I've always thought of myself as a tough guy.

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCanyon View Post
    Don't you just love that cute squeak they make?

  14. #14
    Hang in there, Bow! Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    I just had Snickers lying on my stomach for about five minutes.

    As for squeaks, Snickers hasn't made any yet.

    I don't know who's enjoying Snickers more -- Max or me.
    I love that name it's so cute/funny, lol.


    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    I'll post pics when Kim gets home to tonight.
    Fun!


    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    I don't know who's enjoying Snickers more -- Max or me. All I know is I'm sure glad we got him. And here I've always thought of myself as a tough guy.
    Well, but you're a tough guy who knew the Care Bears and Lady Lovely Locks, so it's fitting you take to a cute li'l guinea pig. :-)
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  15. #15
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    That's true, but my novels are all horror and murder mysteries. My mother once asked me how a nice young man who writes of Care Bears could write such frightening books for adults. I told her "You live with the Care Bears for six years and you'll want to write something frightening, too. They're sooooooo cute with their freakin' Care Bear Stares!"

    But you're right. Snickers does appeal to my kinder, gentler side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mer-Man's Minion View Post
    I love that name it's so cute/funny, lol.




    Fun!




    Well, but you're a tough guy who knew the Care Bears and Lady Lovely Locks, so it's fitting you take to a cute li'l guinea pig. :-)

  16. #16
    Master of Physics VZX's Avatar
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    My daughter had one for a few years. It was a pain to clean the cage all the time. They don't do much, just sit there. They don't even roll around in the big hamster balls even though we bought one. I think hamsters are more fun.
    "Everything comes to he who waits."

  17. #17
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    Our turtle and gecko "don't do much" either. I get what you're saying, my friend. But trust me, when you've got a high maintenance Yorkie, then a pet that doesn't do much is a joy. Awfully cute curled up on my lap.

    Quote Originally Posted by VZX View Post
    My daughter had one for a few years. It was a pain to clean the cage all the time. They don't do much, just sit there. They don't even roll around in the big hamster balls even though we bought one. I think hamsters are more fun.

  18. #18
    Hang in there, Bow! Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    That's true, but my novels are all horror and murder mysteries. My mother once asked me how a nice young man who writes of Care Bears could write such frightening books for adults. I told her "You live with the Care Bears for six years and you'll want to write something frightening, too. They're sooooooo cute with their freakin' Care Bear Stares!"


    That reminds me of what Caroll Spinney says of his roles on "Sesame Street"---he loves playing Big Bird, but it's also nice to play Oscar the Grouch to do the other side of the coin! lol*

    *(well, he used to say that when he performed them anyway, before his retirement)
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  19. #19
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    Well, my horror novel, CONFESSIONAL, about a priest who moves to a new diocese to take over for the previous priest who committed suicide by slashing his wrists in the confessional booth, only to find out the Antichrist has taken up residence in the confessional booth and is feeding off the sins in the town is, imo, a lot further from Care Bears than Big Bird is from Oscar the Grouch.

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    I've gotten into the habit of picking up almost anything that's published through Leisure Horror. Especially the ones from the 80's and 90's with striking covers. I guess it's just something to do with the vibes they give off, if you believe in that sort of thing. They have wonderful atmosphere and usually pretty decent writing. So that's a plus. This one was no different.
    Confessional was pleasantly gory and that final scene made me remember why I enjoy the horror genre so much. It was bloody and nasty and made me shudder. I tried to finish it last night around midnight and it gave me the shivers. Just a little too creepy for the witching hour anyway. It left a few loose ends but other than that it was a satisfying, entertaining read.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mer-Man's Minion View Post


    That reminds me of what Caroll Spinney says of his roles on "Sesame Street"---he loves playing Big Bird, but it's also nice to play Oscar the Grouch to do the other side of the coin! lol*

    *(well, he used to say that when he performed them anyway, before his retirement)
    Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; March 26, 2019 at 05:25pm.

  20. #20
    Mistress of the Whip! Divia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    So our Max is coming up on his eleventh birthday and he's driving to the hoops for a Guinea pig as his best friend has one. If I hear one more time from him about how he's gotten straight A's for the last three years...

    At present we have a Yorkie (Coco) a turtle (Flash) and a Gekko named Gordon. (Okay. I'm joking about the gecko, but Gordon would be a cool name. Max's is named Fern.)

    I do have to say Max has been very responsible about feeding and caring for Flash and Fern, but I know caring for a Guinea pig is different, requiring frequent cage cleaning and other attentions. I'm also concerned about the noise factor. I know they make adorable squeaking sounds when they want a treat. But I've read a few nightmare stories about them squealing all night.

    Has anyone here had a Guinea pig. If so, what was your experience like and how do you feel about it for a responsible eleven-year old?

    Thanks,

    Jack
    My husband had one and I hated the thing. It squeaked all the time, would hit its water bottle all the time and just made noise at night....all the time. The cage had to be cleaned...all the flippin time. They really don't do much. Sit there make too many damn noises, drink, poop and thats it.
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  21. #21
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    We must be fortunate. Snickers doesn't squeak at all. We clean the cage once a week, which we are told is enough, and he's incredibly calming, happy to sit on Max or my lap for an hour. Very peaceful.

    As an aside, Max is on Spring Break now and we're also babysitting Hershey, the fifth grade class' Guinea pig. They're on separate floors in separate cages. No squeaking form Hershey either, but I understand squeaking is very common so, as I said, I guess we just got lucky.

    Loving Snickers! With a son in his second year of college, a daughter who's a junior in high school and assistant director for the school's theater season and Max, who has already co-hosted his own PBS special, which I produced and directed and which will air in June, a wife who works sixty hours+ a week as a United Way President and CEO and this being my production company's busiest year ever, I can use some peacefulness in my life! Thank you, Snickers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Divia View Post
    My husband had one and I hated the thing. It squeaked all the time, would hit its water bottle all the time and just made noise at night....all the time. The cage had to be cleaned...all the flippin time. They really don't do much. Sit there make too many damn noises, drink, poop and thats it.

  22. #22
    Hang in there, Bow! Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    ^---Wow, Mr. Jack sure does deserve a little Snickers around the house! :-)
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