Happy Holidays…

We’re on holiday, what about the guineas?

How much thought have you put into finding the perfect “home from home” for your guinea while you are away?

1. Where do I find a list of reputable boarding establishments for guinea pigs?
The best recommendations can often come from your local rescue or Vet.
Also check with other friends that have guineas to see if they have any recommendations.

2. How can I tell if somewhere is reputable? They are all making claims about being the best.
Contact them and see what they have on offer. Do they have a formal boarding document with everythingdetailed? What is included/what is extra? Can they provide you with references and would their vet recommend them to you? Are they happy for you to visit and see where your guineas will be staying, as well as how their own guineas are kept? What is their daily routine and is it similar to what your guineas are used to? Are they happy to answer all your questions/concerns?

3. What happens if my guinea pig needs a Vet while I am away?
Your Pig Sitter has a legal obligation to get treatment for your guinea in your absence. Do you know which Vet practice / Vet your Pig Sitter will be using? Do they see many guineas and is there a guinea-competent Vet there who can do dentals, X-rays and lance abscesses without anaesthetic? If your guinea needed a bladder stone removed, would they be able to do this within 24 hours and get the guinea safely through the anaesthetic and operation? Is there more than one guinea-competent Vet available if the chosen one is on holiday or off sick? Does your Pig Sitter take the sick guinea to the Vet on their own or with their friend? Going to the Vet can be stressful, so guineas should always go in with a friend.

4. What happens if my guinea pig dies while I am away?
This should be covered in the boarding document. Does your Pig Sitter know to show the body of the dead guinea to their friends so that they can acknowledge the death in their own way? What would you like done with the body? Options include cremation which can be arranged via the Vet, burial in the garden (if your guineas are being looked after at home), or in a Pig Pot. What is a Pig Pot? It is a lovely big pot that is as individual and unique as your guinea. Choose a nice pot, bury your guinea and plant a special flower, bush, or something else to remind you of your guinea.

5. Do I look for somewhere that keeps lots of guinea pigs which might suggest they are popular and experienced?
Small is beautiful for individual attention – if guineas get sick and need syringe feeding it can be very time consuming.

6. I found somewhere and they won’t let me bring my own bedding, will this hurt for a wheek?
It depends what the bedding is. Your guinea pig may react to certain beddings and being on holiday wouldn’t be a good time to introduce change if it is for the worse. The Animal Welfare Act requires that owners make provision for their animals to “exhibit normal behaviour patterns”. For guinea pigs this is foraging, achieved by a suitable bedding and provision of hay on the “floor” to forage in. See more details about a variety of beddings on Guinea Pig Welfare.

7. Is it important to have a good Vet on standby when there is a rodentologist nearby?
Absolutely – only Vets can make a diagnosis and prescribe drugs for your guinea.

For further questions to ask your Pig Sitter visit

Guinea Pig Welfare.

When looking for your Pigsitter it is usually best to book their holiday before you book your own. Most will be booked up with regular customers.

Wishing you and your guineas a happy and safe summer.

June 9, 2010   Posted in: Planet Guinea, Seasonal care