Monthly Archives: September 2013
You can learn a lot by just watching ~ Anon
When I’m in the garden I love nothing more than watching the world roll by. And Mummy’s Mummy on the bench. And the delicious grass which I am only allowed small amounts of till my tummy is back to normal. I’m slowly being allowed different veggies back and small amounts of grass but just look at that lawn and tell me it’s not begging for me to nom on it?!!
Have a serene Saturday efurryone
As you probably know whee have been talking about rabbits and guinea pigs being kept together and why you shouldn’t. Our first post dealt with Banham Zoo keeping them together. Despite our best efforts, they have not changed anything and the local papers are not interested in helping us. Our next was a follow up with a comment from the RSPCA on why this was not a good idea.
Whee are making moves in the right direction and places are starting to listen. One success had by a lovely lady called Caroline was at her local Just for Pets Store.
She sent an email to the store voicing her concerns about them keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together. Pointing out why this is not good practice and a link to the RSPCA website on the dangers.
The store manager sent her a reply, which whee have below:
Thank you for your email, which has been brought to my attention by my Regional Manager. I am sorry that you felt the need to contact us regarding the rabbits and Guinea pigs welfare.
I realise that keeping Guinea pigs and Rabbits together is not ideal and shouldn’t be done when the Rabbit starts maturing. The rabbits we have are very young, 7-8 weeks of age and are not even close to getting to sexual maturity so there’s minimal risk of the rabbit mounting the guinea pig and hurting or stressing the guinea pig out.
Baby rabbits very rarely kick out and we monitor all our animals daily usually checking up on them every couple of hours. If we see any kind of stress then we always investigate and isolate the stressed animal. In my four, nearly 5 years of being the store manager i have never had any injured rabbits or guinea pigs. If for any reason we have a rabbit instore for a long period and he/she starts getting older/bigger then we usually put them on there own.
The food we have in the pens is guinea pig food and they get fresh greens also. We are aware that guinea pigs need a special diet and there are caves in the pens incase the guinea pig feels the need to hide.
Obviously we would never sell rabbits and guinea pigs to be housed together due to the points above.
Cavies are gregarious by nature and benefit from being kept in pairs or groups, especially if they are without human contact during the day and we do inform customers of this if they want to only purchase 1 guinea pig. Also its not always ideal for someone to purchase 2 or more guinea pigs due to size and cost of feeding and housing so we always stress in these situations that they need to be handled daily and recommend having a indoor hutch.
At this present time our shops are having new animal units fitted which will be more appropriate to housing guinea pigs and rabbits separately. At this moment in time i have separated the rabbits and guinea pigs to help every ones peace of mind.
I hope I have addressed any concerns you may have had regarding the welfare of our guinea pigs or rabbits.
Once again please accept my apologies for your dissatisfied visit to our store. If you would like to talk to me further about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
As Caroline said, this is an achievement and a real step in the right direction for animal welfare. It can be done!
Some of you mentioned in comments on the last post that you know of places keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together. Would you name and shame shops, zoos and farms with their locations so whee can get the hoomans to contact them and do their best to improve the lives and way those animals are being kept?
Together, whee can all make a difference. One little popcorning step at a time and whee will get there!
Have a fab Friday efurryone
Hello efurryone. This is my very first post just by me. *waves* Nice to see you all.
I’ve been a little shy as I settle in so Mummy didn’t want to crowd me with cameras. Now I’m much calmer and I have a story to tell you! Yesterday evening the weather was perfect and Mummy decided it was just right for me to have my first ever run in the garden! She was very busy pulling all these boxes and things out of the box near my cage and I was a little nervous. Nacho told me how much fun it is out there but I wasn’t so sure.
Uncle Buddy and Uncle Basil went out first, they were squeaking with excitement. Then Nacho went out and it was just me left. I sat on top of the pigloo waiting nervously. Mummy came and picked me up, promising lots of fun. Whee walked through the house and I tried to pretend I wasn’t scared by hiding in Mummy’s hair. All of a sudden whee were outside. There were lots of smells and sounds and it was a bit overwhelming for a little chap like me. Then Mummy sat down and moved me down to her lap. Nacho squeaked and I looked around. So this was outside.
A big cage with convertible roof, retracted to allow more light. A big blue tent with a fluffy snuggle blanket. Two cardboard
castles boxes. And a big pile of green stuff that Nacho was currently scoffing. I sat there, very still for all of five seconds then jumped off Mummy’s knee with an indignant squeak of “Wait for me!” to Nacho.
The green spaghetti was grass and it was delicious. As it was my first time having any, Mummy restricted how much whee had so I didn’t overload my system. Nacho was not pleased and squeaked at the hooman for more most of the time whee were out there! The smells and sounds are fascinating and I don’t know why I was scared now! Mummy giggled when a bird called overhead and I started squeaking back to it and climbing the sides of the run. Here are some pigtures of my fun time outdoors:
Have you ever faced a fear and wished you had done it sooner?
ps. Please join us in lighting a candle to raise awareness of pets in shelters and rescues all over the world.
Though their focus appears to be cats and dogs, there are lots of little guinea pigs out there too who need loving homes. Visit here to see more.
Light a candle for rescue pets and above all, if you are looking for an addition to your furmily. Think rescue
Today is a very special lady’s birthday . . . Surprise!
Big thanks to My Three Moggies for putting this wonderful video together. Please join us in wishing Pam a very happy birthday. And unite across the blogosphere! What a way to make sure one of the most amazing women whee have the good fortune to know, has a brilliant day and feels the bloggy love!
Have a lovely day Miss Pam (hooman of One Spoiled Cat – Sammy!). May you get efurrything you wish for and have purrfect day with your furmily and loved ones. Whee hope Sammy spoils you.
Have a wonderful Wednesday efurryone
Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil
ps. Mummy was very silly and accidentally posted this early, luckily only one person saw and she got it down before it ruined the surprise. *phew* Silly hooman trying to be all clever and schedule it!
As you may or may not know, whee have lots of snuggly tents, cardboard boxes and cosies for when whee play in the garden. Unfortunately there is only one that I like and it also happens to be Basil’s favourite. He will happily snuggle most things but I’m sure he goes in this one to annoy me.
So yesterday, when whee were enjoying a lovely evening run, I got my revenge!
I would say it’s not what it looks like . . . but it is. (apologies for blurry pigtures these were taken on Mummy’s phone) Basil had made himself comfy inside MY tent.
So I huffed . . .
And I puffed . . .
And I sat on top of it till he got out!
Who says whee piggies don’t have a sense of humor eh!? Anyway a few bits and bobs before whee end this post. Firstly, the sad news. There have been two terrible losses in the guinea pig world recently. First was Peaches who left for the Rainbow Bridge on Friday 20th. Whee cannot put into words how much whee feel for Sandra who was a wonderful cavy slave to her. Please pop over and leave a message to let Sandra know you are thinking of her. Also, if it weren’t for Peaches, another piggy Snuggles would not have had her tumor discovered. So Peaches last, and most memorable to us, act in this world was saving the life of her cage mate. What could be a greater thing than that?
The second loss was Ariel from Princess Guinea and Ariel who sadly passed away yesterday. She was a bootiful piggy and one of my Buddy’s Babes club. Whee know that her hoomans are heart broken at the loss of such a wonderful little piggy so please pop of and leave some words of comfort for them.
They say “sometimes loss makes you stronger”, but sometimes loss is just loss, and it hurts ~ Anon
Now for some slightly happier news, whee are the proud recipients of two awards. Though whee have received both before whee felt they deserved a mention. To get something once is an honor, to be thought of twice by different furfriends is humbling. Thank you The Cat on My Head for The Wonderful Team Member Leadership Award . And thank you to Review Books and More for the Shine On Award. Please check out both blogs if you haven’t already! ^_^
So much happy and sad feelings, what a topsy turvy Tuesday. Please have a lovely day efurryone
Hmmm whee might have been a little bit naughty when whee were last out having floor time. And whee might have had it caught on film. But whee admit nothing!
Yours, The Very Innocent
Nacho & Noah
Hello furry friends. It’s Buddy, your intrepid reporter back again with a follow up Friday.
Last Friday whee discussed the zoos keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together and the reasons why whee believe this is dangerous, along with the facts to prove this. You can read the full post here.
Well whee have a follow up with RSPCA Rachel Roxburgh, giving us this quote on what they think of zoos who keep rabbits and guinea pigs together:
“Experts advise that the best companion for a rabbit is another
friendly rabbit and for a guinea pig is another friendly guinea pig. Keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together is not an ideal combination,” said RSPCA rabbit welfare scientist Rachel Roxburgh.
“In the past, one reason for keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together was the desire to provide companionship for these animals when it was considered unsafe to neuter rabbits. This is no longer the case since rabbits of both sexes and male guinea pigs are now routinely neutered safely. Therefore rabbits may more safely, and far more appropriately, be kept with their own species, and it is not necessary to keep them with guinea pigs instead,” she continued.
The RSPCA advises against keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together for a number of reasons:
“The two species have different needs so keeping them together is not ideal. For example, rabbits and guinea pigs have different dietary needs. Unlike rabbits, guinea pigs cannot synthesise vitamin C and therefore this must be provided adequately within their diet.
“Rabbits can cause injury to guinea pigs, intentionally or unintentionally, by kicking them with their powerful back legs. Rabbits may also bully their guinea pig companion, which can make the guinea pig stressed if he/she cannot get away from the rabbit. Additionally, if the rabbit should attempt to mate the guinea pig, the rabbit is likely to cause injury to the guinea pig’s back and may also injure the guinea pig by biting him/her on the neck, which is part of normal rabbit mating behaviour.
“The bacteria, Bordetella bronchiseptica,is the most common cause of respiratory disease in guinea pigs. Rabbits, as well as cats and dogs, can carry this bacteria which can be passed to guinea pigs and cause disease. Therefore, due to the risk of infection, guinea pigs should not be housed with rabbits, and should be kept away from dogs and cats.
“Rabbits behave and communicate in very different ways to guinea pigs, so if kept together they will not understand the other species’ behaviour and therefore do not make ideal companions for one another.
“We would urge zoos to look at their housing policies, and where appropriate amend them to ensure the utmost health and welfare of the animals in their care. However if there is a situation where guinea pigs and rabbits are already kept together and get on well, it is best not to separate them as this could also cause welfare problems,” Rachel Roxburgh added.
So you see, it’s not just us. An internationally recognized society for preventing animal cruelty agree.
What do you think zoos with rabbits and guinea pigs kept together should do next? Do you think they need to change? Or maybe they need to agree that in the future they should not mix species? Afterall, you wouldn’t do it for any other animal so why should rabbits and guinea pigs matter less?
Our next plan is, as a was suggested previously, to contact a local paper and see if they help us get zoos thinking. Whee will update you as soon as whee have anything new. Like a dog with a bone, whee are not going to give up on this!
Until my next assignment
The Treat: Loofah Teddy Bear
Price: £1.50 from Pets At Home (Also available, Woodlands Loofah Core Chews – £1.50 for 3)
Appearance: Attractive colours and the hoomans liked how they could feel and touch it to decide whether it was something whee would like
Initial thoughts from the hooman: Though they loved the loofah core chews they seem pretty frightened of this and don’t want to approach it. After some lap time with the toy they were much more relaxed around it but the size was an issue for them as, unlike the core chews, they couldn’t carry it around with them.
Thoughts from us piggies: Though it was pretty scary at first and whee were hiding from it whee realised it was pretty fun to chew on and throw around. It was a bit heavy from Noah and Nacho to lift and Basil struggled too, Buddy was the only one who could toss it around.
Pros: Cute, fun, easy to find when you want to clean out the cage, lots to chew, destructor-pig proof (Basil still hasn’t murdered his, whee are starting to think he is losing his touch!)
Cons: Whee can’t lift it, whee can’t throw it easily, it’s too big to fit in the pigloos, it gets covered in hay and poop really easily which means it probably won’t last as long as the loofah chews which easily brushed off.
Overall rating: 8/10 – If it weren’t for the size and weight of it, it would be the perfect toy. If you are looking for loofah chew toys for your piggies whee would recommend the core chews as the teddies may be more suited to bigger animals like rabbits.
Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil (with teeny input from hooman)