Sunday, April 26, 2015

Guinea Pig History: Cavies in the Moche Valley

I hope everyone's ready for another guinea pig history lesson! We've already shared guinea pig art from Europe in 1580 and 1615. Here's some art that is not a painting, is not from Europe, and is much earlier than those other two:

Caption: "Moche Guinea Pig ca. 200 A.D. at the Larco Museum in Lima, Peru" (Original source.)
The Moche civilization flourished in northern Peru from about 100 AD to 800 AD. Wikipedia says: "The Moche people of ancient Peru worshiped animals and often depicted the guinea pig in their art." This kind of makes it sound like the Moche worshiped guinea pigs, although other sources we've read make their relationship with guinea pigs sound not quite as nice. According to The Moche of Ancient Peru: Media and Messages by Jeffrey Quilte, "Guinea pigs and ducks were domesticated and kept within easy reach for their meat." Not cool, Moche people of ancient Peru! We're way too lovable to be treated as food!

Although we completely disagree with their dietary choices, we do have to admit that their art is pretty cool.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Product Review: Oxbow Timothy Club Bungalow, Medium

Today we're reviewing Oxbow Timothy Club Bungalow. This is a product in Oxbow's Timothy Club line of products, which also includes the Oxbow Timothy Twists we previously reviewed.
Hooray, Oxbow! We like reviewing their products because they're usually good.
The defining feature of Timothy Club products apparently is that they are "made from 100% timothy hay," according to the package. This is a good thing since timothy hay is the bulk of our diet already, so you know it's safe. This puts our minds at ease after dealing with a lot of questionable stuff in guinea pig products like burlap and peanuts. The only thing in this regard to be aware of is that there's a moisture absorbing silica gel packet inside the Timothy Bungalow when you first open it. Make sure your humans throw this thing away before giving it to you!

The packet says: "Do not eat." That's good advice! That is NOT a treat.
One the packet was removed, the humans put down the timothy bungalow as part of our floor time piggy city
It sure is dark in the back of this thing.
Plenty of room to turn around in it!
It was a lot of fun to chew on this thing at first. However, after floor time was over, the humans decided to temporarily replace one of our pigloos with it to give us a chance to continue using it. It was during this time that one of the big differences between the bungalow and a pigloo emerged: a bottom. Having a bottom on the bungalow means that when nature takes its' course, the bungalow starts getting dirty. The humans seem concerned that having the bottom will make this thing get gross too quickly, causing them to throw it out and not get their money's worth out of it. But we think this thing will be great while it lasts!

Oxbow Timothy Club Bungalow gets 4/5 stars!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Product Review: Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding

The world has gone topsy-turvy. We always thought of Oxbow as the people who make hay and pellets, while Carefresh are the people who make bedding. Then we discovered that Carefresh sells their own hay. Now, we discover that Oxbow makes their own bedding! What's next, guinea pigs sleeping in human beds and humans sleeping in pigloos?

Okay, we know that Oxbow knows how to make a bedding, but do they know how to make a good bedding? Let's find out by reviewing Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding.

We like the colors.
We discovered that this bedding comes in three colors: White, Natural, and Blend. We got the Blend, which looks like someone mixed some Carefresh Natural and Carefresh Ultra bedding together. It looks nice.
Clever. It's like you're looking at the backside of the guinea pig on the front.
We had recently discussed the issue of baking soda in guinea pig bedding, and came to the conclusion that while companies claim it's in a harmless form in their bedding, it's probably still better to avoid bedding with baking soda just to be on the safe side. The good news is this stuff doesn't contain baking soda or anything else that's questionable; it's just made of "Pure, Never-printed Paper Bedding."

I just woke up, and I've determined that it's good for napping.
Apparently, it also makes a good bathroom. Thanks a lot, Broccoli. That was my napping spot you used!
It turns out that not only do we like Oxbow's hay and treats, but also their bedding. Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding is soft, controls odors well, is safe/non-toxic, and we think the Blend's color mix is pretty cool.

The only other consideration we should point out is the price. (As long-time readers know, we wouldn't care much about that money stuff ourselves, but our humans do, and it's better to have happy humans, right?) Let's do a quick comparison of prices from an online store (note that prices may vary from store to store, different sizes of products, and other factors):
  • Oxbow Pure Comfort™ Small Pet Bedding - White or Natural = $14.99 for 42 L = $0.36 per Liter
  • Oxbow Pure Comfort™ Small Pet Bedding - Blend = $16.99 for 42 L = $0.40 per Liter
  • CareFRESH® Custom Natural Rabbit & Guinea Pig Bedding & Litter = $19.99 for 60 L = $0.33 per Liter
So the only issue we have with this stuff is that it might not be your cheapest option. Otherwise, we have no complaints about this stuff at all. We give it 4.5/5 stars!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Product Review: All Living Things Yummy Drop Treats

Last year, we did a review of All Living Things Cookie Treats where the humans just took pictures of the product at the store, but didn't bring it home because of suspected bad ingredients. If the ingredients had turned out to be okay, we would have had our humans go back to the store and buy them. As it turned out, those cookie treats were full of junk ingredients, so we felt confident giving a 1-star review without eating it.

Today, we're going to continue that trend with a new product: All Living Things Yummy Drop Treats.

Those things don't look natural.
Let's take a look at what's in this stuff:
That's a lot of ingredients...
Wow, the ingredient list is still going on the other side!
I bet many of our long-time readers are already shaking their heads at this point, but let's review a few of the ingredients they list here anyway. Here are four ingredients that jumped out at us:

  • Sugar - Guinea pigs should not have too much sugar.
  • Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil - "Partially hydrogenated" means that it contains trans fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Trans fat is considered by many doctors to be the worst type of fat you can eat." They also point out that: "The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is no longer 'generally recognized as safe' and should eventually be phased out of the production of food." This stuff is obviously bad news, and shouldn't be in our treats.
  • Partially Hydrogenated Palm Oil - Not only is this more trans fat, but palm oil has negative environmental impacts
  • Dried Nonfat Yogurt Powder - Guinea pigs should not be fed dairy products.
Another 1/5 star product! Glad the humans left that junk at the store.