Thursday, June 30, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Plums?

Plums come in a variety of different colors, but the humans decided to go with the red ones. They must read our blog! We mentioned recently that we've noticed that we tend to like red fruits. So will this trend continue?
Yum!
Oh no! Lola likes it too. You know what that means?
That means she's going to hog the rest for herself! No fair!
Yet another delicious red fruit! 5/5 stars! Is the color red nature's way of saying, "eat me, I'm delicious"? It sure seems that way!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grapes?

The humans didn't listen to us. We requested another red fruit to review. They gave us a purple fruit instead. Oh well, I can we can't complain too much. At least we're getting to eat some fruit! Today, we're reviewing grapes. Grapes can be fed to your guinea pig 2-4 times per week.

I'm smiling with anticipation. (And yes, those are the seagrass twists on the floor by the bowl.)



Yum!
Grapes are juicy and delicious! I ate until my little belly was full and then took a nap in the pigloo. Ordinarily, I would have tried to take some of Buffy's food too, but I just needed to nap and digest. It was a fun time. We should do this again, humans. 5/5 stars.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Product Review: Farmers Market Seagrass Twists by Ware Mfg.

Today, we tried Seagrass Twists. The package claims it's "flavorful fun" for rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs.

But it lies.

Let the rabbits, chinchillas, and other small mammals keep these things!
I was the first one to take it from the human's hand. As if I'd ever allow Buffy first dibs.
Yuck.
The humans tried to encourage us to give these things another chance. They held them in front of our faces, but we'd just turn away from them. Then they tried dropping them into our dishes. I guess they thought if it was in our dish, we'd be more likely to consider it food and chew on it. Come on, humans. Give us a little credit. We know those are the same lame treats you tried to feed us earlier, and we'll just eat around them when we want hay. In fact, why don't I just push them out of the way with my nose? Yes, that's better. Anyway, these food bowl obstacles get 1/5 stars.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples?

We've noticed a pattern in our reviews: we seem to love red foods. We loved strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, and watermelon. Today, we're reviewing red delicious apples. Let's see if the pattern continues.

They call this a "red delicious" apple. It's certainly red, but we'll be the judge of whether it's delicious or not!
Hey, that is delicious!

I guess they really are delicious apples after all! 5/5 stars. Keep the red fruits coming, humans! I wonder if we're allowed to eat red currants or lychees?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Product Review: Oxbow Oat Hay

Timothy hay should make up the majority of your piggy's diet, but sometimes it's good to mix things up a little. On that note, we're going to review Oxbow's Oat Hay.
Oat Hay? That's different from what we usually eat.
Hmm... That's different.
Lola looks really content with her face buried in a dish full of oat hay. I'll just leave her to it.
We'll give Oxbow's Oat Hay 4.5/5 stars. I liked it, but Lola fell in love with the stuff. She keeps asking me if the humans are going to buy this stuff again (as if I can predict what those silly humans are going to do!). By the way, if you're wondering how often you can feed your guinea pig this stuff, we're not 100% sure. Oxbow's website says "unlimited amounts", but someone at guineapigcages.com says 2-3 times per week. It's probably better to err on the side of caution and only give it to us 2-3 times per week. If you really want to do your research, you can check out the ratios of calcium to phosphorus and other technical stuff that a guinea pig like me doesn't really understand at guinealynx.

Remembering Annie

In two of our past posts, Annie has come up. I mentioned her way back when I introduced myself, and again when we posted our baby pictures. So who was Annie? Annie was the first piggy that our humans owned. They got her off Craigslist from a woman who was moving away and could not bring Annie with her.

Annie, shortly after the humans got her.
Annie plays with her hay-ball toy.

One time, Annie got stuck in her toy, though. That's probably why the humans got rid of it.
The reason the humans got us is because they read that guinea pigs get lonely by themselves. Even though Annie bit my ear when she first met me, we ended up becoming good friends. Annie only lived for about a year after our humans got her, but we'll always remember her fondly.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Can Guinea Pig Eat Basil?

We have not reviewed too many herbs so far. We've tried cilantro and dill, but I think that's all so far. Today, we're going review herb #3: basil. Keep in mind that basil is a food that you should only feed your piggy once or twice per week.
Our eyes are a little red from the camera flash. That's not the basil's fault.
The basil is pretty good. 
I like this. Not sure if I like it enough to steal Buffy's share after I'm done. We'll  see!
We'll give basil 4/5 stars. It was good, but we didn't go crazy for it like we do for certain other foods (like carrots). 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Honeydew Melon?

We mentioned recently that since summer is fast approaching, it's a good idea to feed your guinea pig juicy fruits and vegetables. That's why our humans gave us honeydew melon today. They gave us 1/4 cup of honeydew to share between the two of us.
Honey dew melon. Make sure you scoop out the seeds before feeding it to us.
Not our favorite, but pretty tasty.

At one point, Lola got bored and wandered off. She did come back, though.

We're going to give honeydew melon 3/5 stars. It was good, but it was not our favorite fruit ever. Which, in a strange way, is kind of a good thing because Lola was not motivated to steal my chunks of melon. I would have appreciated that more if it was a tastier fruit that she'd let me enjoy in peace, however. Neither of us actually finished the melon and the humans had to throw away the pieces that were uneaten.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weighing Your Guinea Pig

There are many signs that your guinea pig may be experience health problems, such as lethargy and loss of appetite. Guinea pigs instinctively hide their illnesses, however, so by the time we begin showing these signs, the health of your piggy may already be in dire condition. We do this because we are prey animals, and in the wild, appearing to be healthy even when we're not is a survival strategy. This is also why we instinctively run if we hear a loud sound or a human hand reaches into our cage. It is better to detect health problems as early as possible, and one of the best ways you can monitor the health of your guinea pig is weigh us weekly.

Buffy only weighs 839 grams.  That makes her easy to push around!
I weigh 1,102 grams. I'm a strong, healthy weight!
How should you interpret the numbers after you weigh them? According to Guinea Lynx, female guinea pigs kept as pets have a weight range of 1,000-1,600 grams. (If you own a cuy, your piggy should weigh quite a bit more.) It's not quite as important that your guinea pig's weight falls within a certain range; what really matters is how much their weight fluctuates from week to week. Your guinea pig should not gain or lose more than an ounce (about 28 grams) grams in a week. The loss or gain of 2-3 ounces (56-85 grams) is cause for alarm, and the loss or gain of 4 ounces (113 grams) means you should get your piggy to the vet as soon as possible!

If your guinea has trouble fitting on your scale, or just won't sit still long enough for you to get a reading, you can put them in a container such as a loaf pan and use the tare feature of your scale to cancel out the weight of the container before placing your piggy in it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Right Temperature for Your Guinea Pig

Summer doesn't officially start until June 21st, but you wouldn't know it from the temperatures outside. Temperatures have been in the 90s in this area, as well as in many other parts of the country. This is way too hot for guinea pigs like us to stay happy and healthy! Generally, ideal temperature range for your guinea pig is 65°-75°F (18-24°C). If you have a skinny pig, 75 - 79°F is optimal. If you have a long-haired breed, you may decide to give them a summer hair cut. Regardless of what breed you have, make sure you keep us indoors and run the air conditioning if necessary to keep the temperature within this range. For older piggies, it's probably best not to let the temperature get above 72°F. Also, make sure the water bottle stays full, and you give your piggy juicy fruits and vegetables to eat (cantaloupe, etc.). 

Watermelon is a great summer food for us!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries?

Today the humans fed us strawberries. You can feed us a few small strawberries a few times a week safely. Now that you know we can eat them, you're probably asking yourself: But will my piggies like them? Well, see for yourself:
This is absolutely delicious!

This is so good that I'm licking my lips!
Looks like Buffy is licking her lips, too. Oh, wait... That's a strawberry.
Strawberries get 5/5 stars because they're delicious and you can feed them to us almost daily in small amounts.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raspberries?

We guinea pigs have a sweet tooth. We love sweet fruits like mango and cantaloupe. Raspberries are sweet, but not as sweet as those fruits are, so you can feed them to us a little more often. Don't overdo it, though! If you leave it up to us, we'll eat way more than we should. Today our humans gave us four raspberries, each one cut in half.
That would be two each, if I shared it fairly with Buffy. That's a big if.
Despite reviewing a lot of disappointing fruits and vegetables, our level of anticipation never goes down when we smell something new to try!
First impression: It's good. Really good. Good enough, in fact, that I think Buffy won't be getting her equal share unless she eats really fast.

From now on, I eat from this half of the bowl, and you eat from that half. Deal?
Raspberries are juicy, flavorful, and sweet, but not so sweet that our humans have to worry about us eating too much sugar (that is, with reasonable portion sizes). Raspberries get 5/5 stars!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Brussels Sprouts?

Brussels Sprouts look like tiny cabbages, and are actually a type of wild cabbage. Like other types of cabbage, they should only be fed to us occasionally and in small amounts because they cause gas. We had one Brussels Sprout for the two of us, and that was all we had for an entire week.

This is all we get for the week.

Chomp! It has a crunch to it.
Hey! Human! You can let go now. I might not be able to slice up veggies, but I know how to eat them on my own!

Buffy, don't eat too much! I've got to share a cage with you.
This is yet another food that we were enthusiastic to try, but did not come close to finishing. Because of the gas issue and the fact we got so bored of it so quickly, we're only giving Brussels Sprouts 2/5 stars.

(We should note that the humans, who normally like Brussels Sprouts, found this particular batch to be especially bitter and bad-tasting. At some point in the future, we may give Brussels Sprouts another chance.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomato?

Today our humans fed us tomatoes on the vine, which we like. We also like cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are also good. Heck, we'll eat just about any type of tomato.

Look at that juicy tomato! The humans like to cut it up so Buffy gets some as well. That's not necessary if you ask me.

Yum! Next time, drop it in our dish faster. I was ready to pick it out of your hand!

Looks like you got some this time. Better eat it quick before I get hungry again!
We give tomatoes of all kinds 5/5 stars. Like many fruits and vegetables, they should be given in moderation: about half of one tomato for two guinea pigs.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review of Ecotrition Snak Shak Natural Hideaway

Guinea pigs need to chew on stuff constantly to keep our teeth healthy. Did you know that in Iceland, guinea pigs are called "naggrĂ­s", which means "gnawing pig"? It's true. That's why we love the Ecotrition brand Snak Shak. It looks like a tiki hut and it's safe for pigs to gnaw on. It serves the dual functions of giving us a place to hide while also allowing us to nibble on it and keep our teeth healthy. The only issue I have with it is that the first ingredient is pine wood shavings, which isn't really the best thing a guinea pig could eat. Still, we only end up ingesting a small amount, so it's still fairly safe. I give it 4/5 stars.

Best of all, unlike plastic igloos, Lola isn't strong enough to knock it over, so I always have a place to hide!