Welcome to the addictive world of piggies!
Our first advice is to read through all of the articles on our knowledgebase; you should find the answers to most questions there. If there’s still something you’re not sure about, you can always get in touch.
Once you’ve adopted from us, you can also join our Nest Owners Group over on Facebook. This is a friendly place to share ideas, and cute photos! We have a number of experienced, knowledgable adopters who can sometimes help even quicker than we can. Only people who have adopted from us are in this group, so everyone has been through the same process to have their piggies.
Some common FAQs from new owners:
Don’t worry! It probably looks worse than it is. You can dip it into flour to stop the bleeding, but they will likely be fine.
This is completely normal and most (but not all!) piggies will have this.
If you have concerns, you should always ask your vet’s advice. If it isn’t an emergency, you’re welcome to message us. We may have some ideas, and will refer you to your vet if necessary.
Please note: We (Neville’s Nest) cannot suggest, nor diagnose, what might be wrong with a guinea pig. Therefore, any treatment, even if it is an over-the-counter (OTC) product, must be advised by a qualified veterinarian. A diagnosis is an act of veterinary surgery, only. If you choose to self-diagnose and trial treat – this is outside the power of Neville’s Nest.
Piggies are prey animals, and very few will allow you to pick them up easily – most will run and hide. Especially when they are new, it can take weeks for them to gain confidence. Be firm and fast when you pick them up. You can try teaching them to go into a cosie so they can be picked up in that.
Piggies often don’t drink much water, as they will get a lot from their veg. They may be nervous when they arrive, but will drink when they are thirsty!
If they have just been adopted from us, likely, they are just settling into their new environment and reasserting dominance. Some rumbling, chasing and a bit of teeth chattering is normal. If it develops into a full fight, let us know. You can also have two water bottles, bowls and piles of hay, so they aren’t competing. Use houses with two doors, so no one gets trapped.
Your piggies will be very used to be handled, we don’t home piggies until they are friendly and confident. Little and often to begin with is best, 10-20 minutes 3 or 4 times a day, as a guide. But you’ll soon learn if you’re piggies are comfortable being out for longer.
Guinea pigs don’t need regular vet visits, they don’t have regular mite treatment or vaccinations like other animals, and their teeth will be kept short by eating hay. Vet nurses will usually trim claws if you aren’t confident, or we offer grooming at the Nest. You only need to take them to the vet if you are concerned they are ill.
It is possible to insure guinea pigs, but it’s not a usual thing to do. We are only aware of one or two companies that does this. We believe it’s quite expensive. We would recommend have some money on one side to cover a vet trip.
As the question above explain, piggies don’t often need to been seen by a vet, but we have noticed that since the pandemic many vets aren’t taking on new clients, as they are very busy. So we would recommend registering at a vets soon, rather than wait until your piggie is poorly and struggling to find one who will accept you.