Sunday, November 27, 2011

Product Review: Kaytee Fiesta Healthy Toppings Papaya Treats for Small Animals

Today, we're going to review Kaytee brand Fiesta Healthy Toppings Papaya Treats for Small Animals. Here's what they look like:

Is that candy?
It's a little deceptive for them to put "healthy" in the name of these treats. Here's the problem with them: they include artificial colors and dried fruit pieces, and nothing else. Both ingredients are not recommended parts of a good guinea pig diet. They are tasty, however:

I've got a sugar high now!
Toss those things through the bars into our cage!
So they're sugary and tasty, but there's nothing else good you can say about these things. Let's put this in terms you humans can understand: Have you ever eaten a whole bunch of junk food, enjoyed it at the time, but then felt guilty afterwards and hit the gym extra-hard to make up for it? Well, let's just say we feel like we're going to need plenty of timothy hay and floor time to make up for eating this stuff, even if we did like it at the time. We'll give it 1.5/5 stars.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tarragon?

This question stumped the diet specialist at, but we found some people at Guinea Lynx who fed their piggies tarragon, so the humans decided to let us try a little bit. We also found a couple people who said their piggies didn't like tarragon, so we did not have high expectations.

Even Broccoli likes it!
Sometimes you just have to ignore the reviews and try something for yourself. (Except for our reviews. Always listen to our reviews!) Tarragon is fragrant and delicious, and it gets 5/5 stars!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Broccoli's Surgery Postponed

Just a note- Broccoli's neutering surgery was postponed last minute, in case anyone was wondering how it went. The vet called the humans an hour before it was scheduled and said that since the staff would be away for Thanksgiving, it might be better to wait, just in case he needed some post-op attention.

He seems relieved and is currently munching on some sprigs of dill.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Can't Guinea Pigs Eat?

Here on Cavy Savvy, we talk a lot about the different types of foods that guinea pigs can eat. When we checked the blog analytics and saw what people are searching for, however, we realized that we need to do a post on what guinea pigs can't eat. Here are some actual things that people searched for:

* "guinea pig and peace lily" - A really bad combination! We mentioned this in our floor time post.
* "guinea pigs - chives", "guinea pig ate onion" - As we mentioned in our cantaloupe post, you shouldn't feed us chives, onions, or potatoes. (Side note: the green top portion of chives may be okay to feed us, but after our experience, we'd still rather just avoid them altogether.)
* "guinea pig eats shoe lace" - Yes, we will if you let us! But you shouldn't let us. That also goes for whoever searched for "can guinea pigs eat paper bags" (although paper bags can be fun to play in).
* "do guinea pigs eat pumpkin seeds" - As we mentioned in our pumpkin post, you shouldn't feed us the seeds.
* "can guinea pig eat asian food" - "Asian food" covers a lot of ground, so there's no simple answer to this one. You can rule out anything that's not Asian produce for starts. Asian pears are okay to feed us, but a lot of other Asian fruits and vegetables are "question foods." If in doubt, don't feed it to us.
* "can guinea pigs have waffles" - No, we can't! Please, no processed human foods for your guinea pigs.

For more information, check out the lists of foods to avoid here and here.

Vitamin C Options for Guinea Pigs

As you know, we're a big fan of liquid vitamin C. We'll drink it right out of the syringe, and will not want to let go the syringe afterwards because it tastes so good!

Some piggies aren't as wild about having syringes in their mouths, however. Annie liked the taste of the vitamin C liquid, but hated it when humans tried to shove it in her face. Broccoli is the same way. However, Broccoli is a fan of vitamin C in tablet form:

And, of course, you should feed us fresh fruits and vegetables daily. It is possible to get all the vitamin C we need from food, as some have pointed out. However, since vitamin C liquid and tablets can be a real treat and vitamin C deficiency is not something you want to risk, we recommend fresh produce and daily vitamin C supplements. Trust us, your piggy will thank you!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Guinea Pig Neutering

Now that Broccoli is living in the same room as us, the humans are thinking of having him live in the same cage as us. Guinea pigs get lonely on their own and need companionship. However, since Broccoli is a boy, putting him in the same cage with us would be a bad idea because of the risk of pregnancy. If a female guinea pig has not given birth (and neither of us have), it is very dangerous to our health to get pregnant after we're 8 months old. Here are some things you should know about neutering your male guinea pig:

* Surgery, including neutering, is serious business for guinea pigs. We don't handle anesthesia as well as many larger pets do. Having a male and female live together is the only valid non-medical reason for neutering.
* There are some things you can do to minimize the risks of neutering. First, make sure that your vet has lots of experience operating on guinea pigs; don't be afraid to ask questions. Second, get your male guinea pig neutered while he's young--4 months old is a good age. (If you neuter a guinea pig when he's much younger, however, he could experience bone loss.)
* After neutering, take proper post-op care of your piggy. This includes monitoring weight, behavior, and visually inspecting the incision site for pus or lumps.
* There are some health benefits from neutering, such as reduced chance of impaction, but you shouldn't neuter your piggy for this reason alone.

Broccoli's surgery is scheduled for Monday. Let's hope he has a speedy recovery and is able to join us in our cage. I'm looking forward to stealing his food.

Broccoli thinks the humans can't find him there. Let him pretend he's escaped the neutering.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Marjoram?

There's not a lot of information out there on whether guinea pigs can eat marjoram. We did find that it's closely related to parsley, which we can eat, and we did find at least one person mentioned feeding their piggies marjoram on the forum of a reputable guinea pig site. Another site (which seems reputable, although we aren't as familiar with it) had a forum post which said: "As far as I can tell, GPs can eat (in fact, adore) all herbs except chives (part of the onion family and onions are a no-no). So parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme are all great, as are mint, coriander, lavender, oregano, marjoram, basil. . . " Maybe checking three sites seems like overkill, but it never hurts to be cautious when it comes to the health of your piggy!

Since we don't have specific nutritional information on marjoram, it's probably best to just feed it as an occasional treat.

This is a treat! Buffy, I wouldn't get too attached to yours if you know what I mean.
No fair! The humans fed some marjoram to Broccoli through the cage. How am I supposed to steal his food if he's protected by bars?
Marjoram is a nice, tasty treat, although it's not as good as carrots or butternut squash. We give it 4/5 stars.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Radicchio?

This will be our first food review with Broccoli, the new piggy. To be honest, I'd take his opinion with a grain of salt. We both agree that apples are delicious, but Broccoli didn't like carrots! How can you not like carrots and still call yourself a guinea pig? I suspect that Broccoli may actually be two hamsters in a guinea pig costume. If the humans ever put us in the same cage, I'm going to check his back for a zipper.

Today we're reviewing radicchio, which can be fed to us almost daily.


Lola started giving me that food-crazed look, so I took my radicchio and hid under a chair.
And what did Broccoli think of radicchio?

Looks like he likes it, too.
Radicchio is a little bitter, but not too bitter, kind of like endives. And just like endives, we love it! 5/5 stars! Broccoli liked it too, so maybe his opinion is worth listening to after all. (I still think not liking carrots is just weird, though!)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Agents Of the Month AND A New Pig!

Hello Cavy Savvy readers! For our 100th post, we're proud to announce two exciting pieces of news. First, we won Undercover Guinea Pigs Halloween costume contest and as a reward, we are featured as November's Agents Of The Month! Thanks to everyone who voted! We were neck and neck with Flower, who we have to admit, made a very adorable witch this Halloween.

Second, we appear to have a new cage mate. Well, he's sort of a new cage mate, as he's in a separate cage next to our own. His name is Broccoli (Broc for short), and he's in a different cage because he's an unneutered male. Not only that, Broc has an amazing, heartbreaking story that you won't believe. Brace yourselves, humans.

Broccoli was found living outside, fending for himself in a nearby yard. The human who found him said he appeared to have been living outdoors for several weeks at least, and was keeping warm in the chilly Autumn weather by nesting under someone's porch. The human who found him knocked on the doors of homes nearby to see if anyone owned him, but nobody claimed him or knew how he ended up there. The best they can figure is that someone cruelly abandoned him because they no longer wanted him.

This is perhaps the worst thing a human can do. Humans, listen up: If you can no longer care for your pig, never, ever, ever leave them outside to fend for themselves. We cannot survive outdoors, where there is cold weather and predators after us. It's a miracle that Broccoli survived for as long as he did. He was extremely lucky that his guardian angel human found him when he did.

She took him in by luring him to her with a piece of Broccoli (hence his name), and then took him to a vet to get checked out. Aside from a dirty ear, some malnourishment, and teeth that have grown too long from not having access to timothy hay, he's doing okay. The vet thinks that giving him some chew toys and timothy hay will help get his teeth down to a healthy size. He had his ear cleaned out and he seems to be recovering well.

Our humans heard about Broccoli's story and adopted him from the human that found him. She would have kept him, except that she has dogs and Broccoli finds them scary. Now that our humans have him, he's being lavished with an insane amount of attention. The day after they adopted him, they went out and bought him all new chew toys and treats and cage accessories. We are so jealous, but we're glad that he's safe now.

If the vet decides that he can be neutered, and if we accept him into our cage, he will become our new cagemate. For now, he's a very interesting roommate to have. For one thing, he's a BOY. We've never actually seen a male pig before, and we are absolutely fascinated by him. He smells differently, he looks differently, and he even wheeks differently. He seems equally interested in us. He perches on the split level of his cage and looks at us all day. How's that for an exciting 100th post?

If you are as moved by Broc's story as much as we are, and would like to know how you can help save guinea pigs in similar situations, we suggest donating to your local animal shelter. If you live in an area that has a guinea pig rescue, even better. One such rescue in our area is the Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue, and you can donate to them here:

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Butternut Squash?

Now that Halloween is over, we're looking forward to a slew of Thanksgiving food-related posts. First up on the menu is butternut squash. We can eat butternut squash, a type of winter squash, 2-4 times per week. We should only be fed the orange flesh; don't feed us the stalk, stem, or seeds.

It looks like a carrot, but tastes even better!
Yum yum yum!
We give it 5/5 stars! In case you were wondering, we prefer to eat this raw, as we do with most fresh foods.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Games To Play With Your Guinea Pig

We love inventing games to play with our humans (such as our favorite, "Capture The Receipt"), but this post is dedicated to games humans can play with us. Perhaps you've read that you can put objects in your pig's cage to enrich their environment, such as empty tissue paper boxes. But there are more interactive games you can play with us, too.

One such game is "Sniff Out The Treats", and it is our absolute new favorite game. Here's how it goes: you, the humans, place a favorite treat in strategic places around the room. Then, let us out of our cage and watch as we forage to sniff out the good stuff! Just be sure that there aren't any hazards in the room, such as cords, wires, or papers. We might nibble at those, too, if they're available.

Why do we love this game so much? We guinea pigs love to forage. It's an intense instinct that we have. There's no sport in finding food in our cages, but when you hide it around the room and let is find it, it's great fun and good exercise.

Today was the first day that the humans played this game with us. We are let out of our cage for about an hour each day to get exercise, and we always use this time to explore and forage for anything on the floor that the humans might have missed. You can't imagine our joy when we manage to find a stray piece of hay under a chair or desk.

So when we were let out to roam today, we we so pleased to discover that the humans had hid four piles of CareFresh Complete guinea pig food around the room!

It didn't take us long to find them all and eat them.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Vote for Us!

Our friends at Undercover Guinea Pigs are having a poll for the best Halloween guinea pig pictures. Please check it out and vote for us before midnight, November 7.

Vote early, vote often, and vote for the guinea pig in the lady bug outfit! 

Review of Simple Rewards Papaya Medley

Back in May, we reviewed Oxbow's Simple Rewards Timothy Treats, and gave them 5 out 5 stars. Will the Papaya Medley treats be as good as the Timothy Treats?
These look different. The other ones were brown rings. These have three types of things in the bag.
The three things are: freeze-dried papaya, meadow grass pellets, and timothy hay. And guess what? All three are delicious!

Here we are devouring the treats! (Sorry about the video quality. The humans still haven't got the good camera fixed yet.)

We give Simple Rewards Papaya Medley 5/5 stars as well! But which one is better, you ask? Well, that's a tough choice. You would need to give us a lot of both types in order for us to decide.

Seriously, give us a lot of both treats. We're waiting!