Guinea Pigs/guinea pigs

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Question
Hi  I've a 16 sq ft cage for my 2 cavies and I've an old tin dollhouse (22 inches wide x 11 inches deep) that I'd like to sit inside the cage, along with other toys and chews, as a hidey hut. I'm using a felt playmat with a road map design. Will this be harmful in any way to my cavies? or will they enjoy it?

Answer
I see no reason you couldn't use your dollhouse for a hidey hole for your pigs. It's been my experience that most pigs don't play with toys like a hamster or rat would, but as long as there's nothing harmful that they could chew on you can certainly give it a try.  

Do keep in mind that guinea pigs are not tidy when it comes to where to leave their droppings. They are much like chickens, wherever they are standing that's where they will go.  Rabbits can be box trained. No so with guinea pigs.

Just make sure your felt mat is able to be washed or laundered if need be. With summer approaching (hopefully soon) you can always take the mat outside, hose it off and let it dry in the sun. But as far as anything dangerous for the pigs, I think they'll be perfectly fine.

Hope this helps you.  I would love to see a picture when you get it all put together.  

Guinea Pigs

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Pat VanAllen

Expertise

As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.

Experience

Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Organizations
Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Education/Credentials
Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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