We LOVE chin scritches! - click photo to view video
The GOOD life ♥...
First, let's make sure your pig is provided with all the essentials:
1) Fresh water everyday
2) Fresh pellets everyday
3) Fresh abundant hay everyday
4) Fresh veggies as often as possible
5) Vitamin C supplement
6) Clean living environment
7) Spacious cage
8) At least one companion
The CUDDLIES collection:
I like to pamper my pigs, so apart from the fleece towels, I have tried my hand at sewing some cuddly houses and beds!
Beautiful handmade guinea pig products are available from a number of sellers, please see our LINKS page, under "pamper your pigs".
You could always try your own hand at making one of these. They are not as perfect as store-bought items, but the pigs don't mind. Please go to the DIY page for some basic instructions.
Cuddly beds...(these are the ones I made myself, they look less professional!)
"Hey, this cuddly bed is awesome, I'll give you my puffy butt for it!"
"It's a hot day today!"
"I'm going to catch up on my puffy sleep zzzz..."
"I don't like people looking at me when I'm trying to SLEEP! Go popcorn somewhere else!"
"Hey put me down!"
Jens Custom Crafts makes some wonderful Huts and Cabins
There shouldn't be any sharp edges!!
Or you can put a blanket on top to provide a softer footing and they can even lie down for a nap!
See Puffy admiring the view comfortably? Sometimes he would fall asleep right there
Then again, he might also be pondering deeply about the Meaning of Life.
On stormy nights, he prefers to hide underneath to avoid the lightning striking him....
Of course you gotta make room for the ladies once they come along....being a gentleman, Puffy gracefully gave Shylie the safe undercover while he stands guard on the roof
Chew toys, mirrors and hanging bells
Build, build, and build some more!
The great thing about C and C cages is that it's up to your imagination how you want to construct your cage. Remember to keep your piggy's SAFETY in mind when you build, especially if you are building higher levels. Pay special attention to stairs, ramps, etc.
In the beginning, I had a 3 x 4 with a 1 x 3 second floor. I was very happy with it Since it was SUCH a huge difference from my previous store cage
It wasn't long before I started thinking up of all sorts of little things I could add to the cage...like this rooting box that I made. You can check out how I made it in Piggy DIY
The pigs love rooting through it...sleeping in it....burrowing in it...
Then I put in an entire second floor on the opposite side. The 2 second floors are connected with a Sky Bridge.
what is the difference this time?
Indeed! I made a third floor! ^^ I couldn't make it too big, so it's more like a little tower, where they can see the whole world from up high
Little changes include bending a grid in half and making a little platform for them. Puffy is completely at home on this thing!!
Will he share with Snowy?
"That's right! Go sleep in the rooting box, and stay there!"
In the summer, they get a fan blowing on them, lol. Although I have to be honest they are pretty useless. You cannot put it too close for fear that the piggies will reach it and get hit by the blades (the blades are safe, nonetheless, made of foam) and if you have it too far, there is hardly any breeze.
At least they make good use of all these caves and shelves
PJ is obviously thrilled!
This is the cage of my boar pair, Buggy and PJ.They don't get a lot of light down there, so I extended....
Although this was just one grid increase floor area, it felt SO much more spacious. Not to mention the brightness!!
This was the first cage design I had for my other girls, Snoopy and Shirley
It is a 2 x 3 with a 1 x 2 upstairs.
and then one day I thought that I could actually double the space on the second floor without increasing any space horizontally, which I don't have. All I had to do was turn the stairs around, now they have a 1 x 4 second floor ^^
Later on I added another "platform"
inside, the pigs love jumping on and off, as demonstrated by our gymnast, Shirley!
When you insert these "platforms", be careful not to make them too high, the pigs can jump small heights only.
This is the cage I built for my 2 baby boys. They had to be separated from their mother and sisters and I thought they deserve better than my store bought spare cage....this is a 2 x 3.5
I installed a second floor. It is more "dodgy" looking than the other sturdy cages...because the grids I got locally and are more flimsy. The coroplast, too. But it works for them...so it works for me
Be creative!! But more importantly, always keep your piggies' safety in mind when building. This includes cut the remaining length off cable ties, making sure there are NO SHARP EDGES anywhere in the cage. Ensuring the piggies will not roll off second floors...use common sense
Chin scritches and lap time snuggles:
It is important to bond with your piggies, and one of the best ways I found is through giving them a little massage. Piggies love to be scratched mostly on the head, behind ears, UNDER THE CHIN, and along the back. But they do not tolerate you touching their private parts and will mostly kick your hand away with their hind legs when you touch their butts (or balls....)
One of my pigs, PJ, is VERY skittish. He is soo paranoid that even me standing up from a chair halfway across the room is enough to send him shooting from the food bowl into his hidey hole.....it's pretty deflating to see that after a whole year of owning him, he's still terrified of me.BUT, if I reach my hand in slowly and tuck my finger under his chin, he would dutifully lift it up as he knows he's about to get a chin scritch! He loves it!
I JUST removed my hand from scratching his chin so he's waiting for more. I love looking at the scruffy hair on the bottom of their chins!!
This is Shirley getting a scratch on the chin...
And look at that little smile on their mouths, I told you they love it
Train your piggies!!
Pigs may not be able to do all those tricks dogs can, but I have seen piggies standing up or circling for their food. It is really cute!
Remember that guinea pigs thrive in a positive, encouraging environment, so never lose your patience with your pig, do a little every day, and always give rewards, never scoldings!
The guinea pig's biggest motivation is probably food, so use this to your advantage. Pigs can quickly learn to associate with cause and effect: when they do a particular action (e.g. stand), they are rewarded with a carrot.
To train your pig to do a circle...
Hold a piece of its favorite food to its nose to get its attention, and then direct the nose to the left by leading your piggy in a circular motion all the way around. Your piggy should follow the scent of the food and only when it has reached a full circle, give it the treat! You can repeatedly say "circle" so your pig can also associate with the sound.
Don't expect your pig can circle in just 1 or 2 days, patience and training can take up to over a week. Remember to persist every time you offer them a treat. Only train in 1 direction, either clockwise or anti-clockwise.
To train your pig to stand up...
Some piggies can stand up, some can't. My Snowy can stand for over 20 seconds as she nibbles food in the midair. Simply stretch the food as high up as possible to really make your pig reach for it! It's really cute when their front paws lift off the ground, keep the food suspended and see how long they can stand
Snowy being completely vertical as she munches on delicious parsley!!
Shylie is wondering how she does it.....