Saturday, May 31, 2014

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Scallop Squash?

Scallop squash, also known as Pattypan squash, is a type of summer squash. The name "scallop squash" seems to come from the squash's resemblance to the shell of scallop. (A scallop is a sea creature, apparently. We guinea pigs don't know much about the sea, so I'm not embarrassed to admit I had to look that up!) As a summer squash, scallop squash can be fed 2-4 times per week.

What is that? Are you going to feed us a tiny UFO?
Buffy wants so badly to join us, but sometimes she gets so excited, she forgets where the exit is!
Still no Buffy...
...but the human took pity on her, and gave her some squash through the bars.
What can we say about scallop squash? It was good, but not great. Sure, we ate the whole thing, but not as enthusiastically as we eat some other foods. Therefore, we give scallop squash 4/5 stars!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Product Review: Oxbow Harvest Stacks Western Timothy Hay with Chamomile

We previously reviewed Oxbow Harvest Stacks Western Timothy Hay with Carrots, and today, we're going to a similar product: Oxbow Harvest Stacks Western Timothy Hay with Chamomile.
Oxbow! We like Oxbow!
Nom nom NOM!
This is tasty stuff! It turns out that the points we brought up in our previous Oxbow Harvest Stacks review also apply here (good for traveling, more expensive than just buying timothy hay, etc.). We should also point out that we've found mixed information on whether you should feed chamomile to guinea pigs. The diet expert at said: "I'd probably not feed chamomile as it's has properties to make one very relaxed and sleepy." On the other hand, chamomile appears on the Happy Cavy Safe Flower List. We know that Oxbow has an advisory board "of leading exotic veterinarians, research scientists, animal nutritionists and veterinary technicians," so we tend to trust their products unless there's good reason to think otherwise. (If anyone has any further information on chamomile for guinea pigs, we'd welcome your comments!) In any case, the ingredients say this thing is 97% hay and only 3% chamomile, so it's probably not enough to make us too sleepy anyway.

We'll give Oxbow Harvest Stacks Western Timothy Hay with Chamomile 5/5 stars!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Product Review: Ware Willow Branch Ball

When we reviewed All Living Things Willow Tunnel, we gave it 3/5 stars at the time because Buffy and Broccoli did not seem as interested in it as I was. They eventually caught on after the review was posted, and we'd probably give it a higher rating if we reviewed it today. Given our interest in chewing on that, the humans decided to get us another willow product to chew on: Ware Willow Branch Ball.

The back of the package says: "Say 'bye-bye' to cage boredom with a tasty solution to prevent negative behaviors." By negative behaviors, I assume they're talking about stuff like rattling the cage bars. I have to admit, we are occasionally guilty of that when we're bored. We'll see if this thing helps.
Willow is a plus. Other types of animals on the front isn't.
My willow ball!

Or maybe not! Wow, Broccoli has some strong jaw muscles!
So this thing was fairly fun to chew on at first, but we started to lose interest in it a bit since the humans first put it in our cage. We should also point out that when it was first put in our cage, the humans noticed that there was something inside the ball that was rattling. They reached inside it and pulled out some peanuts! Peanuts are not guinea pig food, and shouldn't be included in a product that has a guinea pig on the front. Even worse, we didn't even see anything on the package that mentions that it contains peanuts, so there's no easy way to know it contains an unhealthy food.

We were going to give Ware Willow Branch Ball 3/5 stars before we noticed the peanuts, but we're going to bump it down to 2/5 stars for that.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Guest Piggy: Bandit the Guinea Pig

One of the guinea pig herds who previously did guest post now has a new addition to the family! We invited the newcomer to do a guest post, so here it is:
Hi there, Cavy Savvy readers!
Hello! My name is Bandit. I live with Fluffy, Olympia, Sandy, and Celery, who have also been lucky enough to be featured on this blog! I am a texel, and I will be one year old in four months. I love, love, love to make noise! Whenever I run around, I make "chutting" noises. Also, I'm always the first to wheek for food!

I'm very shy, but it's kind of hard to hide sometimes because: 1) I'm very big for my age 2) I'm black and white colored. I love being a texel, the only problem is that the humans like to pick me up a lot (they say I'm very cute) and it's hard to clean my fur (I've got so much of it!) Thanks for reading about me!

(I was eating lettuce, so my chin is green!)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Product Review: Super Pet Top Fill Water Bottle

We currently have a water bottle from Petco that we're not entirely happy with. It gets the job done, but there are a few problems with it. One time, the water wouldn't come out, and we got really thirsty. Fortunately, that only happened once, but we are somewhat concerned it could happen again since we're not sure how it happened the first time.

The main concern we have is how difficult that thing is to clean for the humans. There's no easy way for the humans to reach up inside the bottle and scrub away the gunk that accumulates. This is why the humans tried buying us a Petco Flip-Top Water Bottle last year, which probably would have been great if not for that scary-looking metal nub at the end of the nozzle, which we couldn't figure out how to drink out of.
That looks promising...
Today, we're reviewing Super Pet Top Fill Water Bottle. At last, the humans seems to find a water bottle that seemed to fit all our criteria:
  1. A flip top for easy cleaning; 
  2. A ball dispenser on the nozzle (not a scary metal nub). 
  3. Easily attaches to our cage.
We should also note that this bottle did seem a bit smaller than our old bottle, which would mean more frequent running out and refilling. But since it's got a flip top, at least refilling will be easier on the humans.

It leaks! See that drop in the red circle?
It turns out the stupid bottle leaks! It looks like we're going to have to add a fourth criteria for our ideal water bottle: doesn't leak!

We'll give Super Pet Top Fill Water Bottle only 1.5/5 star. (We'll give it .5 above the lowest rating for meeting our other three criteria. It's possible our humans simply brought home a defective one, but it doesn't reflect well on the company's commitment to quality if they allow a defective water bottle to make it to the store.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Loyal readers may have noticed something new on the right side of their screens: a list of foods that guinea pigs can eat. We hope this will make it easier to find our food reviews. In the future, we hope to develop this list into a table that will include columns for nutritional information, alternative names for foods, our numeric ratings, and so on.

Does your human need help figuring out what to put on your blue plate?
Do you find this list helpful? Are there features you would like to see added? If so, leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Product Review: Oxbow Timothy Carrot

Today, we're going to review Oxbow Timothy Carrots. The front of the packaging describes this as "an enriching addition to your pet's habitat." In addition to a picture of a guinea pig, it also has pictures of a rabbit, hamster, and other small animals.

We tend to like products that are customized for guinea pigs, but we also tend to like Oxbow as a brand, so it's tough to predict what we'll think of this one. We've reviewed a similar product in the past, Super Pet Bunny Flip 'N' Toss Carrot, which we did not like. Unlike that product, however, this is made entirely from Timothy Hay, so it's actually more like the Oxbow Timothy Mat (which we loved) in terms of materials.

Good! An Oxbow product! We tend to like Oxbow.

This string is awesome to chew on!
When the humans hung this thing up in our cage, Buffy and I immediately went to town on the string part that's used to hang it up. We chewed up one side of the string, and then the other, until the timothy carrot fell on the ground. The main part of the timothy carrot is okay, and we'll nibble on it occasionally, but the string is the best part! I wish Oxbow would make a product that was all string part; it'd be gone in a less than a day in our cage!

We'll give Oxbow Timothy Carrot 3/5 stars!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sage?

Now that we're in year 4 of our blog (although I was a latecomer to it), it's getting harder to find new foods to review. The humans will go to the store, and sometimes have to look up on their phones if we reviewed something or not. Usually when that happens, they discover that we reviewed whatever-it-is in one of our older posts, but not this time. This time, we ended up with sage to try.

According to the diet expert, "A couple of fresh sage leaves occasionally would be fine."

This is sage. Remember, just feed a couple of fresh leaves per piggy!


We eventually finished all sage leaves, but it was only after getting bored, strolling around, and eventually wandering back to our leftovers. We'll give sage 2/5 stars.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Can Guinea Pigs Swim?

If you search YouTube, you can find lots of videos of guinea pigs swimming. While this proves that guinea pigs are capable of swimming when necessary, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a good idea to make your guinea pig swim. Why not, you ask? Well, consider the following:
I can't speak for other piggies, but I don't like the water!
If you think your guinea pig might actually enjoy the water, we'd recommend giving them the option to wade in water, rather than actually swim in it. You can do this by having a setup where your piggy can get in and out of the water him/herself (for example, using a gradual ramp to the water, or a building a brick staircase in a bathtub). Do not throw your piggy into a kiddy pool with no way of getting out! (We've heard there are some YouTube videos where people do this.) Only fill the water up to our legs and no higher. Some guinea pig owners use this as an alternative method of bathing. If you do have one of the rare guinea pigs that enjoys water and you decide to do this, keep in mind what we said before about how frequently guinea pigs should be bathed.

We should also note that Peter Gurney, a "campaigner for the rights and welfare of guinea pigs," discussed the use of "swimming therapy" for guinea pigs with "weak or stiff joints." He also stresses the need to introduce your guinea pig slowly to water, watch their reaction, and being willing to take them out if they are getting stressed out.