20 Mistakes: How to Kill Your Pet
If however, you are here to prolong your guinea pig’s lifespan, than logic dictates that you should AVOID these actions. If this is the case, insuring your guinea pig would be a waste of time and money. I hope you understand I am joking here. About the guinea pig insurance and killing thing of course. Too much? Ah, well…
The following actions and mindsets are to be avoided at all costs
1Thinking that spending more money means better care and that all guinea pig products in local pet stores or on ebay are really good ideas.
Yeah, well, leash is surprisingly NOT a good idea.
No matter how it perfectly gets along with your new trendy&hip bag. Leashes are just means for someone to get money from you and with no regards for you pet.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Cavies have very delicate spines and bone structure which can not tolerate stress generated by leashes/harnesses.
2. .. or like Hamster Wheels. If you follow simple logic: *hamster* wheels, hamster=NOT(guinea pig) => NOT(guinea pig wheel). Please excuse my imprecise syntax. Simply put, if you like your pet, but even if you do not like it, refrain yourself from buying him/her a hamster wheel. They won’t look cute, and they most probably won’t be even slightly interested.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Cavies have very delicate spines and bone structure which can not tolerate stress generated by hamster wheels.
3. Putting your pet on the direct sunlight on the hot summer day because he is always in the lonely dark places and needs to get some tan.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Guinea pigs have LOW tolerance for high temperatures and could suffer a heat stroke.
4. Single Guinea Pig. Yes, it is probably easier to maintain and control, cheaper, less messy, but the fact is, would you like to be isolated your whole life with no connections whatsoever to your own kind, and with no ability to talk to a ball with drawn face – just to some giant predators who are occasionally throwing food in the cage, picking you up and never eating you, and acting really strange most of the time?
A LESSON TO LEARN: Guinea pigs are social (herd) animals. They need company and that is not their choice, but a legacy.
5. Small Cage. Small cage takes lesser space and requires little attention?
Well to be precise, yes to the first proposition, but generally and resignedly, NO.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Small cages facilitate lower air circulation and higher toxic gasses fluctuation. They are messier, need cleaning more often, more unhealthy for your pet, and not to mention that cavies need larger living space because, well, they are not really small, are they? If you are not motivated enough, try the simple math: how much does the square meter for your living space cost, and how much for your pet’s?
6. Improper diet. Giving your pet human junk food or anything that is not on the guinea pig feeding page list. Or supplementing mineral requirements through stones and rocks. They do not need salt supplements. Seeds are also a mistake, they are mostly empty calories with no significant nutritional value, plus bonus feature: choking hazard.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Learn everything from the guinea pig feeding page.
7. Not providing fresh hay and fresh water 24/7. If not clear why this is a mistake, please go with the basics on the guinea pig feeding page.
A LESSON TO LEARN: they need to drink. They need to eat. They need to graze and thus regulate digestion and teeth size.
8. Not providing enough vitamin C through proper natural nutrients.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Again, pet stores want your money, not your guinea pig’s health. Provide vitamin C through natural food, not through neat colorful artificial supplements from pet stores
9. Artificial food additives (especially in water). Funky artificial additives are a bad idea for themselves, but putting them in the pet’s only water supply is a really stupid idea. If not sure why, go with this: If your pet does not like the taste of the supplemented water, it will stop drinking the supplemented water. If it stops drinking the water, well, …
A LESSON TO LEARN: Keep your pet’s water supply fresh and CLEAN. Artificial additives could have unexpected and most of the time not-so-jolly side effects on your pet’s health.
10. Rarely cleaning the cage. Try to live in your own feces, urine and rotten food for days in a small plastic box. While at it, please take chronological notes on your health affair for the scientific community. I tried when I was a student, and believe me, it is not fun to write all this paperwork for those uptight scientists.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Guinea pig is not a student, and as such, does not have such a strong immune system. Cleanliness is health. Health is longer lifespan.
11. Yelling and/or aggressive behavior. When I say yelling and aggressive behavior, this of course is applied to you, not to your guinea pig. It is perfectly ok for your guinea pig to yell at you. But, war is never the answer.
A LESSON TO LEARN: If you yell at your pet it won’t trust you, you become more frustrated and yell more and finally get detached and hating all the guinea pigs in the world, thus moving to Peru.
12. Not clipping your pet’s nails. The fact is, you probably won’t like it, and your guinea pig most definitely won’t like it. He/she is going to hate your guts. For a day or two at least. Nevertheless, it must be done.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Assuming that you clip your own nails, you probably do it because a simple fact: they grow. Then eventually you can not even pick your nose without some serious bleeding. Similar, but not the same, calamities could happen to your pet.
13. Wire mesh bottom cage. Imagine yourself walking on top of the giant construction mesh panel. With 4 legs. And funny body construction. And lack of depth perspective. And really long toenails.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Guinea pigs have small feet which easily could slip through the mesh, thus irritating the feet, causing foot sores and bumblefoot. They could even break some bones.
14. Not providing enough exercise. They maybe seem incredibly incapable, but they are probably in better shape and could outrun or out-swim most of the owners. Providing the fair chance, of course.
A LESSON TO LEARN: They need floortime, free walking and running, maybe even occasional swimming. Otherwise you risk the same risks as you are risking if not providing yourself with enough exercise.
15. Inappropriate bedding materials. Molten lava, hedgehog carpet, antimatter, kryptonite for the superpigs.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Avoid molten lava, hedgehog carpet or antimatter. And kryptonite for the superpigs. Oh, and the cedar, corncob, straw, sawdust and wire/mesh floors are also a bad idea.
16. Handling mistakes; children. Grabbing them by the ears, dragging them across the cage by their feet, holding them in the air by their head, turning them on their backs. Nevertheless, nothing of this compares to the destructive powers of a child. NOTE: Giving a cavy to children is probably the most effective way to kill your pet. They squeeze, they kick, they throw, they shove the stuff into animal’s mouth and ears and eyes. They have no mercy.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Learn how to properly hold your pet. Most cavies in general do not like to be picked up, and that is a fact you must accept. Keep children away. Or teach, and supervise.
17. Ignoring illness symptoms. “Hey baby, your guinea pig is throwing up his kidneys and bleeding through one of his eyes. He will probably be alright though, he is just excreting negative energy.”
A LESSON TO LEARN: Observe, and take symptoms seriously. They are small animals and their health could deteriorate quickly. If any of the symptoms mentioned on the health page are noticed, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. DIY methods are not recommended.
18. Not enough attention. You bought the guinea pig as a decoration technique and occasionally are throwing some grass in the cage because it is cute when it is begging for food after 3 day fasting.
A LESSON TO LEARN: Again, cavies are social. Not social as facebook or twitter social. Not even as LinkeIn social, nor instant messaging social. They need REAL company, REAL friends, and lots of attention – especially if single.
19. Letting your cat to play with your guinea pig. “No, look, they are REALLY getting along, snowflake (the cat) would NEVER heart him!”
A LESSON TO LEARN: Don’t think too much about this if you don’t want to kill your cavy. And don’t let ANY of your other (bigger) pets near your guinea pig. You don’t know the mind of the animals – especially the natural predators. Do NOT make exceptions based on yours on anyone elses point of view.
20. Inadequate supervision when on free walking time. So, you took your cavy out of the cage, and put him on the kitchen floor to walk around freely on your kitchen-knives-maintenance day, and you just wasted few beers.
A LESSON TO LEARN: When on the free walking time, never let the animal leave your sight for too long. Accidents happen in a fairly stupid and unexpected ways.