Today I bring you a list of things that I hate to see inflicted on Guinea Pigs, this is my big rant, my list of Guinea Pig Crimes.
Read them, share them, NEVER EVER do them!
“I saw it on You Tube and thought I’d try it…”
- This is perhaps my biggest hate on Instagram.
- Guinea pigs can technically swim, but they really shouldn’t be put in a position that they have to.
- A swimming Guinea Pig is a Guinea Pig trying to save its life.
- The circular swimming you see isn’t cute laps, it’s the Guinea pig trying to escape.
- The climbing in and out onto objects isn’t fun it’s desperation.
- Guinea Pigs lack the webbed feet of animals that should be swimming. They are not capybaras. Capybaras are related to Guinea Pigs, monkeys are related to humans but I clearly forgot to grow a tail…
- Not only is there an obvious risk of drowning but also the risk that water will get into their airways, eyes, ears, etc etc etc and cause infections.
- Double horror points for putting them in chemically treated pools or salt water. Why would you?
- A fish will flaps its fins on land but nobody films it for cuteness…
“Look at Mr Fluffy, he’s eating KFC!”
- Guinea pigs need to eat lots of hay, leafy veg, pellets and the occasional treat. That’s it.
- Guinea Pigs are herbivores (that’s like being a vegan) never feed them meat, chocolate, crisps or junk food. Even if they do eat those items they can cause all manner of health problems.
Mishandling Pregnant Sows:
“If I hold her like this you can see all the babies squirming!”
- Leave her alone.
- Yes, she’s cute, yes, she looks like a basketball but if you handle her too much you risk losing both the babies and the mum.
- If you accidentally crush a foetus the resulting loss can turn to infection killing mum and babies.
- Do not roll her on her back, this is bad enough in a non pregnant pig but the pressure of her pregnant belly on her spine and organs could be catastrophic.
- If she’s pregnant enough that you can tell she’s pregnant she’s quite likely to be uncomfortable enough without you prodding her.
- I’ve been pregnant, being prodded about is not nice.
“Look everyone, he’s driving a car at 2 days old!”
- Because piggies are born ready to run around it can be tempting to want to spend every moment with baby piggies, and maybe take 200 photos of them posing with various ‘play equipment’….
- …Please, just let it Guinea pig for a bit.
- Babies need their mums. Babies want to be near their mums.
- Babies NEED to be near their mums.
- Mums want their babies near.
- I’ve handled baby piggies, they are usually very anxious to get back to mum.
- Pick them up, have a quick cuddle, check they’re healthy, check if they’re male or female but then let them be babies.
Deliberate Interbreeding / opposite sex playtimes:
“Jo-Jo loves playtime with her brothers…”
- It’s easy enough to make mistakes when the sexes of animals are not known; but deliberately putting Guinea Pigs of opposite sexes together for “playtime” is stressful, messes with their hormones and almost always ends with fighting and/or babies.
- …A bit like Under 16 nights at local nightclubs….but enough said about that…
- A mature male Guinea Pig will relentlessly chase any females, this naturally leads to stress on both sides. Many females will retaliate leading to injuries.
- Guinea Pig herds of any size are well structured things that take days or weeks of bonding to secure. Putting two Guinea Pigs together just for ‘playtime’ is to confuse and endanger the bonds and hiararchy they are familiar with. You could undo weeks of bonding.
- Interbreeding/incest results in a higher chance of birth defects.
- The smaller the gene pool the bigger the chance of defects. This is especially true of the lethal roan gene (google it).
Deliberate Back to Back Breeding:
“Aww look Daddy still loves Mummy…”
- Back to back breeding is the practice of letting a sow (girl) get pregnant over and over again.
- This is bad for mum and babies.
- It’s exhausting for mum and can lead to complications in birth and afterbirth.
- The moment a Mum gives birth they can get pregnant again.
- The Dad should have been removed long ago (he will get Mum and any daughters pregnant)….
- …and any male babies need to be removed after 21 days so that they in turn do not get Mum and sisters pregnant.
- Guinea Pigs will always breed if given a chance to!
- Even humans are recommended not to have babies in very quick succession, so don’t do it to your pets.
Make Up and Hair Dye:
“Don’t hate me Bae, but I’ve just dyed Popsy purple…”
- This truly is one of them WTF things of social media.
- There is absolutely NO good reason to dye your Guinea Pig or paint their nails or put mascara on them, etc etc etc.
- Animal testing is cruel for a reason.
- I don’t care if the dye is chemical based, vegetable based or made from processed unicorn poop, it’s still dangerous to go dying your pets and stressful for them too.
- Squidgygirl (human 3 year old) is allergic to coconut, I’ve never seen a dye without coconut based ingredients. Coconut shuts off her throat…how would you know if your Guinea Pig was allergic to the same thing? You wouldn’t.
- Nail varnish can also provide an allergic reaction but it’s more likely to get stuck to their foot hair, create a mess and then get gradually bitten off and ingested by a frustrated Guinea Pig.
- It’s attention seeking of the worst sort.
“The pet shop said it was suitable for Guinea Pigs…”
- Would you like to live in your bathroom? I wouldn’t.
- Guinea Pigs (and humans) need a lot of space, the smallest cages available often provide a Guinea Pig with less space than you would have living in your bathroom.
- Always buy the biggest cage you can afford over 120cm long (this is generally accepted as being the minimum size for two adult Guinea Pigs).
- Cramping their living space leads to fighting, increased risk of injuries and health problems.
- Never ever house a Guinea Pig in a hamster cage. These are far too small and there are true horror stories each year about growing pigs that get stuck in tubes meant for smaller rodents.
- Never house a Guinea Pig on wire flooring. This can cause a condition called bumblefoot or even break limbs.
- Never house a Guinea Pig with rabbits. Rabbits are bigger, stronger and have different dietary needs. Rabbits sadly can harm and kill Guinea Pigs.
- C&C cages are often considered the best caging options but there are large pre-built cages available too.
Disclaimer: I’m not aiming to shame anyone with good intentions; those who make honest mistakes. But education is vital. Don’t let ignorance be an excuse, research and ask questions, don’t experiment on your pigs or blindly copy what you see online.
There are sadly more of these rants to follow… what do you hate to see happen to Guinea Pigs? Let me know in the comments below….
Searched for terms:
- Can Guinea Pigs Swim?
- How to make Guinea Pigs Swim.
- Can Guinea Pigs live in Rotastack?
- Can Guinea Pigs miscarry?
- How to dye my Guinea Pig hair.
- Hair dye on Guinea Pigs.
- Nail varnish for Guinea Pigs.