Guinea Pig Keeping Update: A New Addition
OK, so I caved to your recommendations in favor of keeping no less than two guinea pigs at a time. It seemed a fair recommendation, especially after noting how well my goats do in tandem.
Orange (pronounced oh-ronj-uh, as in the German word for the eponymous fruit) is now a part of our household, along with Apfel (apple in German). She snuggles with her con-specific and relaxes nicely when held—though she’s still more likely to hide when the dogs appear than is our acclimated Apfel.
I found Orange at a local big box pet superstore being hawked by an adoption group of questionable origin. But that was that—she was mine. A $30 adoption fee sealed the deal. An extra $100 in extra Guinea pig supplies made sure the store made out big in the deal with the adoption people. I played my part.
Though I live in double fear of allergies now that we have two pigs in the household, I couldn’t help but ensure our Apfel had the best of everything. Especially after hearing that Guinea pigs are not sold separately in progressive places like Sweden, I had my misgivings about the sole pig thing and had to make sure Apfel had her Orange.
The similar scenario in my goat mix was what finally convinced me: When I acquired Poppy, my stray goat (yes, it happens—only in Miami), she’d been a nervous creature the whole time I knew her. It was only when I took your advice and gave her a playmate (my Tulip, a silly, now 5 month-old Nubian) that she relaxed and began to accept human companionship (other than my own).
So it was that your advice to seek another pig fell on accepting ears. They now have two enclosures. I switch them daily to the playpen, where they can more easily interact with us, then back to the cage, where they have plush bedding and can relax for the night. I figure it gives them some measure of stimulation to go back and forth.
Though I worry that Vincent (my adolescent Frenchie) plays too rough with them (jumping around them and pawing at their enclosure from time to time) it seems they’re holding up well as long as they have their hiding spots. Apfel actually seems to welcome Vincent’s playfulness, running in and out of the caves and tubes I’ve purchased for their pleasure, teasing the dog mercilessly.
Though Orange is still in “you don’t see me” mode, she’s coming along quite nicely. Perhaps by next week she’ll be squeaking up a storm. I can’t wait… I’m afraid cavymadness is upon me…
Image: costall / Shutterstock