Saturday, October 31, 2015

Product Review: Piggies Paradise Guinea Pig Subscription Box

Subscription boxes like Birchbox have really taken off. You can find a lot more than makeup and beauty products in them now. For example, there's one called Sock Panda where you can get socks mailed to you every month. There's also one called Bark Box that's full of treats and gifts for dogs. Now, there's even one for us called Piggies Paradise!

We heard of Piggies Paradise recently when the creator offered to let us try it out and review it. (We feel we should mention this in the interest of full disclosure, even though as long-time readers know, we've taken freebies and still given 1-star reviews before.)

Let's see what we got in here...
There were four different products inside the box. Buffy and I then debated what the best way to review this is since we usually just review one product at a time. We decided that we'll briefly review each item here (leaving open the possibility of a more in-depth review in a later post if we have more to say on them), and then finally give an overall review to Piggies Paradise.

Oxbow Vitamin C Supplement Tablets

Wow, these things smelled good! We knew we wanted them even before the humans took them out of the package.
Open it! Open it! Open it!
Once the humans opened it up and gave us each one, it turned out they tasted as good as they smelled. We think these things will be a great substitute for liquid vitamin C that needs to be fed through a syringe for when we have a pet-sitter. 5/5 stars!

All Living Things Bumble Bee Halloween Costume

I volunteered Buffy to try this one on:
You look great!
This bee look a bit annoyed with her costume on; it's a good thing that stinger wasn't real! Even though Buffy isn't crazy about wearing costumes, she looks so good that you've got to give this costume 5 stars!

National Geographic Small Animal Wood Wreath

We reviewed a somewhat similar product to this one in the past: the Busy Bunny's Chew Ring. There are some significant differences between that product and this one, however. This one has a wooden hook so it can hang down. This one has a thing ring of tiny logs, rather than a skinny strings of wood weaved together. This one also has a pine cone in the middle of it. (Pine cones are fine for guinea pigs as long as they have been sterilized.)
Yes, I see it.
This seemed like a fine product, but it just never captured our interest beyond a couple courtesy nibbles. 2/5 stars.

National Geographic Power Snap Small Animal Treats

Last up, we have some treats from National Geographic:

Is that granola?
On the plus side, this treat claims that "your purchase supports the conservation of animals and their habitats." However, there is a long list of ingredients on these treats, and a few of them gave us pause. Therefore, we'd like to hold off on reviewing these until we have enough time to do the research on these ingredients, and we'll do a separate post about it. For now, we'd just like to point out that the ingredients include sugar and corn syrup, and guinea pigs should not have too much sugar.

The Verdict on Piggies Paradise

Rating a subscription box like Piggies Paradise is tricky, because the "product" we're reviewing is actually a bundle of other products. Not only that, but it's also the concept of getting a bundle of products of a certain type (guinea pig products, in this case) on a regular basis. Not every product on this box was a home run; we weren't too excited by the wood wreath, for example. However, those Oxbow Vitamin C Supplement Tablets were amazing! We wanted to chew through the lid to get at those things! Based on what we've seen so far, we'll give Piggies Paradise 4.5 out of 5 stars for having a great concept and some products we liked, but also at least one product with at least one or two ingredients that weren't good.

We've been reviewing guinea pig products for a while now, and one thing we've learned is that you can't trust companies to only use safe, healthy ingredients/materials in their. We generally trust Oxbow to put out good products, but we've seen some real junk coming out of other companies, such as sickly-colored lollipop treats full of stuff we shouldn't eat, willow balls with random peanuts inside of them, and a grass tunnel with burlap unnecessarily added, which can cause digestive blockages. So Piggies Paradise has their work cut out for them, trying to find enough new things to put in the box without including unhealthy or dangerous products. Other than the treats with the added sugar, we think they're doing a great job so far, and hope they can keep it up! We'll keep reviewing Piggies Paradise boxes as we receive them and let you know our thoughts.

If you want to give Piggies Paradise a try, they've been nice enough to give a special coupon code for Cavy Savvy readers. The code is: CAVYSAVVY10 (in all caps). Their website is:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Huckleberries?

Even though sometimes our humans make bad decisions like feeding us lemons, we're still pretty happy with our humans overall. Take this past week, for instance. Our humans visited the west coast, and while there, they thought of us and brought us back a gift from the other side of the country. What gift, you ask? Why, our favorite thing ever: food!

This time, the humans managed to get their hands on huckleberries.
Huckleberries for me? What a thoughtful gift!
Huckleberries can be found in the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest. They're the main food source for a bunch of animals including deer, birds, insects, and bears. We've read that efforts to domesticate the huckleberry haven't been very successful, so they have to picked in the wild by hand, leading to them being somewhat expensive. Thanks, humans! We know that money stuff is very important to you.

Guinea pigs can have huckleberries, but should only have a couple per pig per week. (The humans gave us a little more than they were supposed to before they realized that the diet expert at had recommended we only have a couple. Oops! I guess this means no fruit for the rest of the week for us, unfortunately.)

This better be good if I'm missing out on all other fruit this week.
Not bad...
Huckleberries were pretty good. However, we did get bored of them eventually. Broccoli would wonder off, eat hay, come back and nibble at them. I started doing this too towards the end. I suppose this is another reason to feed less- you don't want to waste expensive berries by allowing us to get bored of them!

Huckleberries get 3/5 stars!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Ask A Guinea Pig: Guinea Pigs Outdoors and Dog Friendships?

It's time for another installment of Ask A Guinea Pig, where we answer your questions! chewy pig asks: "I have a male guinea pig named chewy who we take outside once every day. We just got an outdoor dog and would like to keep taking chewy out. Any tips for getting them to like each other?"

Answer: Before answering your main question, we wanted to talk a little about bringing your guinea pig outdoors. Guinea pigs should not be housed outdoors due to temperature fluctuations, predators, and other issues, although bringing us outside occasionally for things like pignics is fine. I hope you're not using a leash or harness to walk us like a dog since those things can injure us. Also, make sure that you take a look at what we said before about guinea pigs eating grass if you're going to let us graze outdoors; grass is generally fine, but you'll want to avoid grass that's been treated with chemicals, or come into contact with other stuff that's bad for us like dog poop. Also, you'll want to take care to make sure that your piggy doesn't escape into the wild. Broccoli was living in the wild when we first found him, and as he can tell you, it's not fun.

Now, onto your main question: Can guinea pigs and dogs be friends, and can you do anything to encourage this? The important thing to keep in mind is that dogs are natural predators and guinea pigs are prey animals. There are some differences in dog breeds; we've read that terriers are known for chasing rodents, while Shelties tend to be a gentle breed. Even within the same breed, individuals may vary; you might have a gentle terrier or a vicious Sheltie. No matter the breed, you should consider training your dogs if they are going to be around guinea pigs. We also generally recommend that you never leave your dog around your guinea pigs unsupervised. This can get your piggies killed. While we have read some sweet stories of dogs and guinea pigs getting along, it's better to be safe than sorry. Even a gentle dog could be careless and accidentally hurt your guinea pig by stepping on them or laying down on them if they're large enough. Also, because your guinea pigs are prey animals, they're probably going to be scared around a big predator like a dog. One person who had both guinea pigs and dogs noticed that after the dog died, the guinea pigs seemed more relaxed and noticeably less scared.

We're not saying it's impossible that your guinea pig and your dog could become friends. But we are saying that you're playing with fire if you're encouraging this friendship. Your guinea pig is better off being friends with another guinea pig.

Guinea pig friends are best! A dog would probably want to chew on us rather than the log.
Anyone have any experiences with dogs and guinea pigs? Got another question for our next Ask A Guinea Pig? Let us know in the comments below!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lemongrass?

It took a bit of research to figure out if we were allowed to eat lemongrass. We found one person express concern that lemongrass is the source of citronella, an insect repellent, which gave us pause. However, we also found that other people claim their guinea pigs love it, and more importantly, the diet expert at said that it should "be fine occasionally." Therefore, we're going to say that lemongrass should be okay for guinea pigs to eat, but only occasionally, and only in small portions just to be safe.

First, start by having the humans cut off the stiff tops and the root ends, and then peel the outer layers. You'll only want to give us the relatively-softer inner part; the rest of the plant is just too tough.
Even the softer inner part looks pretty tough!
Wow, this is really tough to eat!
I'm confused. Is this food or a chew toy?
Broccoli got sick of chewing and left without fighting me for my portion. I stuck around and chewed on this stuff for a bit, but eventually got bored. This is nowhere our favorite food, but we've had worse. (I'm looking at you, actual lemons!) It did leave a nice lemony flavor in my mouth, though.

Lemongrass gets 2/5 stars!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pomegranate?

Even though we've been reviewing foods for years, and it's getting tougher to find foods we haven't reviewed yet, we're still managing to find some. Today, we're reviewing pomegranates. The big concern with feeding pomegranate to guinea pigs is the seeds, which some have claimed can be a choking hazard. What you'll want to do is crack open the outer part, pick out the red bubbles, pick out the seeds from the red bubbles, and then give us the fleshy part that remains. The problem is, you'll have to do a lot of work for a very small amount of edible fruit! The fleshy part of pomegranate has a tendency to turn into juice at the slightest amount of pressure. After several minutes of cutting the seeds out of the red bubbles, this is all the humans had to show for it:

That's it? Really?
Wow, this is really good!
That didn't last long at all. I'm going to make sure I didn't miss any.
Pomegranates are really tasty, but they are a lot of work for our humans without a lot of food as payoff. We don't mind putting our humans to work for us, but it's torture waiting that long for them to cut up a decent amount of food! We'd give pomegranate a perfect score if we were just rating on taste alone, but we're going to have to take off a couple stars for being an inconvenient mess. We'll give pomegranate 3/5 stars!