Background info...Over the years I’ve had several people ask if I would take in their guinea pigs. (I volunteer with a rescue group that handles dogs and cats.) Each time I researched the care of guinea pigs and have decided not to take them because I was afraid I could not care for them properly for various reasons (newborn twins with health issues, one of my dogs was a full-time job, etc.). Based upon my reading, caring for them properly is a lot of work and space.
I am again considering taking in two guinea pigs.
My first two questions (I’ll probably have more)…
Bedding - Have any of you used fleece? I’ve spent I lot of time on cavyspirt.com, guineapigcages.com, and other similar sites and from what I’ve read the layering or quilting together of towels and fleece seems like a cleaner option – and possibly better for the pigs. Although it seems difficult to keep the hair out of the washing machine and a little gross to wash. What is your experience?
Location – I believe the cage they are currently in is too small. My husband has been researching designs and would like to build a larger ‘guinea pig housing system’. We thought we should put it in the dining room which is on our main floor open to the living room, foyer, and near the kitchen. We spend most of our time on the main floor and we’ve read that guinea pigs are social animals that prefer to be near the household activity. However, our dining room is already a little tight and the thought, aesthetically, of having a huge guinea pig housing complex in our dining room does not appeal to us - but we can get over it. Another idea we had was to put the cage in the children’s playroom which is on the second floor with their bedrooms and their bathroom. It is a sunny room with a south facing window so the guinea pigs would be placed on the north wall out of the direct sunlight. Since we do not spend much time up there, I thought I could get a playpen type system and bring the guinea pigs into the kitchen with me during the day and again in the evening when the children are home. Would that be a bad idea?
Misc. Concerns - My dogs mostly stay on the first floor although they do have free access to the entire house. I have gates I can close to keep them away from the guinea pigs so they do not sit at the cage and stare/drool over them or come near when the guinea pigs are outside the cage. My children are only seven so they would be supervised with the guinea pigs. My husband has asthma that was severe when he was younger but he now has attacks only around cats. I am not sure if guinea pigs are a common asthma trigger but we would have my husband spend time with them prior to adopting the guinea pigs. My son has mild asthma but is with the guinea pigs all day at school with no problems. The guinea pigs are currently at the school and they have been looking for a home for two months. The school is becoming desperate and I do not want them to go to a bad home. (Like my neighbor who keeps two guinea pigs in a plastic storage tote with no air circulation, feeds them grass from her chemical filled back yard, and replaces them from a pet store when her three year old throws them across the room and kills them. If I sound judgmental…I am…it makes me sick.)
Anyway, sorry for the OT rant. Any advice would be appreciated. Anything I am not considering?
Edited by dbsam - 10/12/11 at 11:31am