Hey Alyssa! 🙂
Guinea pigs really take a long time to trust their humans so don’t worry if you feel like they don’t like you right now, it happens to everyone! Freya used to cry a lot too whenever I held her, so at first I had to resort to having some kind of box or bed for her to get into. When she’s in there, I would lift it and then place it on my lap. Just handle your piggies every day so they would get used to it. Since they’re just starting to get to know you, bribe them with treats when you’re bonding!
As for the aggression issues, I would not be alarmed for now since they might still be establishing dominance in their territory. It’s a necessary part of piggy co-habitation. But if they are hurting each other and one of them is wounded, you should separate them and re-do your introductions. If you can see that they’re being aggressive or they’re hurting each other when they’re in their cage, you may need a bigger cage for them so that they could get their own space.
Maybe the reason why your piggies don’t eat their fruits and veggies is because they’re not used to being fed those things (this is more likely if your pigs came from a pet shop). You should slowly introduce them to their diet. I would recommend mixing small chunks of fruits or veggies with food that’s more familiar to them, such as hay or pellets. You can also try hand-feeding a small portion during mealtime.
I am not sure whether there are any pet boarding services specifically for guinea pigs. I do know that some people put up online ads offering pet sitting services and they also take care of guinea pigs. You can ask some vet offices if they would take in your pigs but I am not sure about the cost. I will post about this when I find some good pet boarding places 🙂
I seldom bathe my guinea pigs (their last bath was about 2 months ago). I only bathe my guinea pigs when they need it 🙂
If by “reliable” you mean that the breeder: (1) knows the breed very well and produces quality guinea pigs for the breed; and/or (2) is knowledgeable regarding guinea pig care and treats all of his cavies well, here are some topics you might want to ask about:
- The guinea pigs’ parents
Breeders should know about each litter’s line; they document it not only for determining the qualities that they want for the litter, they also want to know potential problems that may arise if they pair the wrong cavies. Breeders who take note of their pigs’ line have fewer chances of developing guinea pigs with birth defects or illnesses.
- Certain qualities or distinctions of the specific breed you’re interested in
If the breeder is claiming to be experienced in a certain type of breed, you should ask more questions regarding that breed. What makes them different? Do they require more time to care for? Do they have special needs? This is especially useful for people looking for long-haired or skinny guinea pigs.
- The guinea pigs’ temperament
A breeder that truly cares for their cavies would be able to answer questions regarding the guinea pigs’ temperament. Are they used to being handled? Are they territorial? Do they get along well with other guinea pigs? They may even know which guinea pigs are the most bonded and would suggest that pair to you. Don’t be afraid to ask!
- Their daily care habit and diet
You can ask the breeder about his daily care routine for the guinea pigs, and he should be able to tell you how to properly care for them. You can also ask which types of food are suitable to feed (and maybe he will even tell you which ones the pigs like). Finally, you can ask if they handle their guinea pigs daily and how often they do it. It may not sound important, but this determines whether the guinea pigs are properly socialized or not.
- The guinea pigs’ health or medical history
If there are any health concerns that you should be aware of when buying a specific guinea pig or pigs of a specific breed, the breeder should be able to tell you. You can also ask about common illnesses or health problems for guinea pigs and how to prevent them.
You can ask additional questions based on your research, but these are the things that you might want to know about before you get guinea pigs from a breeder.
I got my fleece from SM and Surplus. At Surplus, they sometimes have fleece blanket bundles and the blankets come in different sizes too. I remember buying blanket bundles from Surplus at P300-500.