Is It Guinea Pig Fun or Animal Abuse??

Guinea pig swimming

 There is a video being shared on Facebook that shows 2 guinea pigs being put in a pool to swim around. A few of ma's friends have shared this video on her wall asking if Cinnamon likes to swim. I found the video cute but mostly because I have a guinea pig who likes to swim and isn't afraid of the water.
In the video, the man sets them in the water and the guinea pigs swim around. The man never leaves the pool and he keeps his eye on them the entire time.There is also a older child at the other end of the pool who is keeping an eye on the piggies. When he sees the piggies slowing down a bit, he picks them up and removes them from the pool.

I am a follower of 5 guinea pigs groups or pages on Facebook. These groups or community pages share photos, talk about guinea pig health, tips and more. 3 of the 5 guinea pig community pages asked their followers to report the video to Facebook saying it showed animals cruelty. The pages lit up with comments how those piggies weren't swimming for fun but swimming for their lives. Followers commented how they couldn't understand why the man would have them in such a deep pool with no where for the guineas to get out of the pool or a island to rest on.

As I read through the comments, I really couldn't believe how many said they reported the video. Others wanted to know where the man lived so they could report him to the local animal control. Some said guinea pigs shouldn't be allowed outside. They are prey animals and hawks or feral cats could kill them. There were finally comments from people who said that the video didn't violate Facebook terms. Others commented on how their guinea pigs liked to swim and some even bought little pools for their piggies.
Guinea pig laying on a rock
I am Super Cinnamon. I jump off and on rocks with ease
There were some comments on how you should never bathe your piggie.Bathing a guinea pig would get water in their ears which would put them at risk for a ear infection. Others said if water got in their nose, it would cause upper respiratory infections and the guinea pig would die. A few of the followers said they have never needed to bathe their guinea pigs because they don't stink.


Guinea pig soaking in a bubble bath

 Some followers asked how do people keep their piggies from stinking. Guinea pigs like to lay in their own urine and feces. They also eat a lot of their own poop. Many told those no bath people that their piggies did stink, they just became immune to the smell.

Cinnamon gets dirty. His fur can get oily. Guinea pigs have a grease gland. The grease gland on a guinea pig is located just above where the tail would be. Male guinea pigs sometimes produce a lot of grease and the hair can get bunched up enough that the gland will clog up. The grease gland is used for leaving scents or marking. Male glands can clog faster than females. If this gland is allowed to clog for too long, infection or irritation can occur. Cinnamon's gland can sometimes get so clogged that ma has to use Dawn detergent on it. Dawn detergent has helped save wildlife after oil spills safely. 
Photo of a flower garden we call piggie paradise.
Its Piggie Paradise
Cinnamon has areas in our yard that is set up for his comfort. Since he goes out in the afternoon/early evening with us , he has a safe place to play. We have a couple of flower gardens that we call "Piggie Paradise". There is places for digging, plenty of shade and lots of places to hide. He also has places around the pond that he loves to hang out. The large pampas grass with the rocks are a cool place to hang out.  
Guinea Pig on the rock
Cinnamon has never been left outside without adult supervision. I am also known as the "babysitter". I keep a eye on him to make sure the neighborhood hawk doesn't come around. We all love our outdoor time. One of the concerns ma had was our pond. The pampas grass is located near the pond. The rocks surround the pond. Her fear was what would happen if our little dare devil was jumping across the rock and fell in the pond. What would he do?? Ma sometimes doesn't move super fast so could she get to him in time? 

Last year everyone got pool time, including Cinnamon. First few times he swam to save his life. He then discovered that swimming was a great way to cool off and have fun. He was never put in the pool without ma or dad in the pool with him. Short swims, never forced, family in the pool time. 

One time, ma's fear happened. Cinnamon was getting a drink from the pond and PLOOP! He slipped into the pond. Instead of freaking out , he started paddling around the pond. He climbed out of the pond, shook the water off and went about his way. He had learned not to fear the water. Ma was near the pond to save him if needed but he didn't need it. 

Now I know many people do not let their guinea pig have free range in their yard like we do. Most guinea pigs would run away. Believe it or not, guinea pigs are super fast. Cinnamon is 4 yrs old now and has been playing in the yard for a couple of years with us. He doesn't stay in a cage. A lot of people feel that a guinea pig should stay in a cage their whole lives only to be taken out to cuddle. Some feel their piggies should only have out of the cage time in a large ball. We don't. Cinnamon gets outdoor time and family time. He gets a lot of exercise and socialization. 


Does he swim? Yes. Does he like to get in water? Yes. Here is a video of him swimming. He is quick as lightning. As you see at the end of the video, ma puts him on the ground. He shakes off the water and just stays there. What you don't see, is that he goes back to the above ground pool and stands up against it to get back in. 




The point I am trying to make is just because someone exposes their piggy to other things than is out of the ordinary, should they be reported for animal cruelty? 

I left one of the guinea pig groups that was asking for the video to be reported. Not because of the fact they felt that the piggies were being abused. It was because they started sharing articles about how cats that were let to go outside were killers and was destroying our ecosystem. They said if you allowed your cat to go outside, you were a irresponsible owner. Cats should be indoors only. 

That is a whole nother blog post!
Happy Saturday. 

14 comments:

  1. I saw the video and imagined that people would start yelling animal abuse over it. I agree with you and think the owner was being responsible. The piggies were swimming for not more than 30 seconds in the video with supervision. Seems like good exercise and a way to cool down to me. We used to have guinea pigs come in regularly for baths at our clinic. I remember one's gland would get a little matted and needed to be cleaned often. Sounds like some people need to chill out.

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    1. Cinnamon's gland is always matted. Its worse now that we are fostering a female guinea pig. His bottom gets soaked often and his hair gets clipped.
      Thank you for stopping by! Have a great day

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  2. The video of Cinnamon just let us think that he seems to like it, and that swimming under supervision is a great way to cool down. Purrs

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    1. Its wonderful exercise too. He hurt his leg last summer jumping off a rock and since swimming is a low impact exercise, he got to aquasize. He likes water. He doesn't like when ma waters the piggie paradise garden and she thinks he is by the pond . He comes out telling her off and giving her stink eye. BOL!

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  3. It seems like most of the complainers at such sites have no experience with the animals involved. Do you remember all the people who screamed about abusing dogs by feeding them ice cream at McDonalds?

    Unfortunately, many people probably think it's good to keep a guinea pig in a cage all day. Which means there are lots of guineas not getting stimulation and exercise.

    My guinea pig nieces don't swim (although I'll be showing this video to my sister). But they get run around time every day.

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    1. When we fostered our first guinea pig, Miss Piggy she was 4 yrs old. She lived in a cage that was really a travel cage. It had room for a dish for food and she was able to turn around in it. She couldn't even walk in it. She had lived 4 yrs like that. To me , that was abuse. It was like putting a large dog in a medium dog kennel and expecting them to be happy.
      I hope your piggie nieces get plenty of exercise, stimulation and kisses. They are happy little creatures with tons of personality.

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  4. I agree with Ann - some people just need to chill out (and mind their own business!). I don't have any experience with guinea pigs; but it seems to me that as long as they are supervised by an adult the entire time, and they enjoy swimming, then why deprive them of the fun way to exercise and cool off?

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    1. I feel that many people yell animal abuse because its something that they don't do with their pets , so they don't feel its right to do with any pet. Ma once had a lady call her to report "animal abuse" of a dog that a gentleman was "FORCING" to run beside his bike. The lady said every morning this guy would ride by on his bike and the dog was being forced to run beside him. The dogs tongue was always hanging out and the lady just knew the man was overheating the dog.
      Long story short, ma followed up on the call and found the man. Come to find out the man had one of the bike extensions that were made for letting fido run beside you on his bike. The dog was 3 yrs old, high energy and a slow ride through the neighborhood would burn the extra energy off the dog. The man said it had worked wonders for the dog because he stopped destroying the house while the man was at work. On weekends the man took the dog hiking. The man showed ma the excitement the dog had when he seen the leash that attached to the bike. Ma explained to the woman who complained that it wasn't animal abuse. She told her why the man did it. The woman said it was not something she would ever do to her dog and it was abuse in her eyes.

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  5. Oh, Carma...my Ma was one of the people who shared that video with you on facebook asking if Cinnamon liked to swim. Ma didn't think it was animal abuse to let a guinea pig swim. She thought it was cute and was also surprised that guinea pigs actually swim! Ma doesn't like a lot of those Facebook groups because the people in them are ALWAYS looking to be mean to someone. Why, the man was right there with his piggies when they were swimming...just as every pet parent should be when their pet (dog, cat, whatever) is in or around water. Good grief. I am glad Cinnamon has a well informed owner like you!
    Oz

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    1. Ma thought it was a cute video too. She didn't see anything abusive about it. Now if the man would have let them swim without watching them or left them to swim until the couldn't swim anymore, that would have been abuse. Less than a 30 second video and he takes them out of the water is not abuse. If you notice when he goes to put them in , they are not fighting to stay out of the water.

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  6. Sadly, haters and busy bodies are everywhere but seem to especially troll social media. I suppose the anonymity of being online contributes to people minding other people's business. Sigh. ;(

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  7. You answered my question from the newer post. You guys wouldn’t abuse any animal. Cinnamon should be allowed to have fun.

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  8. How safe is it to allow a guinea pig near a body of water? I would like to build a large aviary-like pen for my guinea pigs and my partner's turtles to have more space and freedom, but of course that would require a pond inside.

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    1. Guinea pigs are safe around water but I don't really know if it is safe to keep guinea pigs and turtles together. Since I don't know much about turtles, I don't know if they would bite the guinea pigs. Cinnamon plays around our outdoor pond and even gets drinks from it but we only have fish and frogs.

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