Guinea pigs help a person to slow down and calm down


Neringa Rutkauskė, who lives in Klaipėda, not only breeds guinea pigs, but also founded the Association of Guinea Pig Breeders – she helps their breeders, shelters sick or unwanted animals, teaches children to take care of their little friends – by helping to care for lost animals, schoolchildren have earned hours of social work.

It is important to clarify everything

According to Neringa, guinea pigs usually come under the care of the Association of Guinea Pig Breeders when a person buys an animal without having enough information about this animal – what it is like, what to expect from it, how it should be raised, what it should be fed, what conditions should be created for it.

“When a pet is purchased without thinking about where it will live and what it will eat – this is a very bad start,” says the interviewer. – I only release piglets from my kennel “Svelnutiņi namai” when we discuss everything with the future owners and prepare for everything. This is exactly how the beginning should be.”

According to the breeder, your piglets are very nervous animals, the first two or three days in a new place are the most important for them. So if people think that they will first buy a pet, and only then look at how and what to equip, that is not the case. It is in the first days that a safe and cozy environment must be created for them, so that they experience as little stress as possible.”

Unfortunately, this is usually the case with animals bought in pet stores: the person does not get enough information, so after a few days they often call asking what to do – the guinea pig does not eat anything, does not move or even dies after just a few days. People make a lot of mistakes out of ignorance, and stress to a pig can lead to death.

Purpose: The Association of Guinea Pig Breeders was founded by N. Rutkauskė in order to help people who have questions about raising these animals and animals that become unnecessary for various reasons. / Photo of N. Rutkauske’s personal archive.

Another reason why an animal is sometimes given up is when it turns out that someone in the family is allergic. According to Neringa, this should also be clarified before purchasing a pet.

“Guinea pig has quite strong allergens, so if a person is prone to allergies, they should do research in advance or visit someone who breeds guinea pigs, hold the animal close to you and see if there will be a reaction,” advises the interviewer. – Pigs often make people allergic. And it’s not the hair that causes allergies, but a certain protein in their body, so even skinless guinea pigs – hairless guinea pigs – are likely to cause problems for an allergic person.”

Some people refuse a guinea pig for absurd reasons: it defecates, its cage stinks… All animals defecate, and if the cage is messy, it stinks. However, there are measures to help prevent unpleasant odors, and the cage should be large enough to prevent it from becoming just a pet toilet.

When I am asked what breed of guinea pig to choose, I always say that it is not the breed that you should choose, but the animal that strikes your heart.

Need company

“I am not just a breeder and seller – I am an intermediary between a person and an animal. My mission is to find a human for a guinea pig and a human for a pet, to help them meet, says Neringa. – When I am asked what breed of guinea pig to choose, I always say that it is not the breed that should be chosen, but the pet that catches your heart. A well-maintained guinea pig lives 8-10, sometimes even 12 years, so it’s a long-term commitment. Therefore, you should choose with your heart.”

The interviewer draws attention to the fact that guinea pigs are communal animals. If a human is enough for a puppy or a kitten, then a guinea pig needs the company of another pig – then they don’t get depressed, they get sick less. If a pig lives alone, it gets sick more often and lives shorter. Therefore, these animals must not live alone, ideally – in two, of the same sex.

Photo of N. Rutkauske’s personal archive.

The Association of Guinea Pig Breeders finds a friend for lonely pigs and releases them to new homes for the rest of their lives, more than one by one. Those people who raise one piglet can come with their pet to the “House of Tenderness” and find him a friend with whom he would get along well. Currently, the Association of Guinea Pig Breeders is sheltering eleven pigs that were no longer needed by their previous owners.

“It is, as I say, a luxury-loving animal – in order to live long and happily, it must live comfortably, with company, and eat well,” says Neringa. – Pigs are very individual, with their own characters. If one is more timid, he gradually learns everything from the braver. It is very interesting to observe their different interests, different temperaments.”

Therapy animals

N. Rutkauskė invites people who want to breed guinea pigs to visit “Svelnutiųi majes”, to see how these animals live, what conditions must be created for them, what care they need. This helps avoid mistakes for the person purchasing the die.

The association, as a non-profit organization with the status of a beneficiary, can invite students who need to collect a certain number of hours of social work at school to help. They earn those hours by volunteering – helping to take care of abandoned pigs: washing drinkers, changing water, cleaning cages, laying hay, just interacting with animals and learning to take care of smaller ones.

Photo of N. Rutkauske’s personal archive.

“Guinea pigs are therapeutic animals,” says Neringa. – They are very sensitive to human moods. If we are in a bad mood or angry, if we feel fear – it is better not to take them in our hands, because they take over our emotions. They also feel the love transmitted by a person, so if someone is just a stupid rodent – that’s what he will be. However, if it is our beloved animal, it gives us that love many times more: it licks our hands, our face, follows us, waits for us to return home, begs for our hands. Yes, it takes time to tame them before we become our own, but when they do, they reciprocate with their love and willingness to interact.”

With guinea pigs, according to the interlocutor, you need to slow down, because they are afraid of very sudden movements, so they say that we pause our running through life today: when communicating with them, we have to be here and now. Guinea pigs are often purchased by families with people who are prone to depression, because communication with these animals helps to calm down and gives positive emotions.

A guinea pig is an animal that adults often choose for themselves, not necessarily for a child. It is an ideal animal for a person who does not have the opportunity to take a pet outside, but wants a warm connection with an animal. If the pigs live together, it is not a problem for them that the owners are not at home during the day or that we do not have time to do with them – they find something to do.

Photo of N. Rutkauske’s personal archive.

The article is in Lithuanian

Tags: Guinea pigs person slow calm


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