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.
In my experience, buying from breeders is better than buying from pet shops, since the guinea pigs being sold at pet shops come with more health problems. I got my guinea pigs from a quitting breeder in OLX, so I can say that the ads in OLX are reliable. But of course, you can always ask them more questions if you’re unsure and you can ask for more photos as well.
But keep in mind that no matter where you get your guinea pigs, you should always take it to the vet right away for a check-up so you can be sure that they have no health problems 🙂
Thank you so much, that comment means so much to me 🙂
I take Freya and Ellie to Animal Care Specialists, Tiendesitas. If they’re not sick, I just take them every 6 months for their deworming shots.
As for the signs of illnesses in guinea pigs, you should watch out for the following:
- changes in your guinea pig’s eating/drinking patterns (if your guinea pig doesn’t eat anything or eats too little in the past 24 hours, it is an emergency case)
- changes in behavior
- runny nose (may be a sign of upper respiratory infection)
- crusty eyes (may be a sign of upper respiratory infection)
- frequent sneezing
- wheezing or “clicky” breathing
- overgrown teeth
- excessive shedding
- excessive scratching (may be a sign of parasites)
There are more symptoms to watch out for but if you manage to take note of some of these in their earliest stages, you may be able to have your piggy treated as early as possible.