Homemade Guinea-Pig Pouches

After bringing Newt and Hazel home, I purchased two little beds for them to cozy up in – a cavy cuddle sack and cavy cuddle cup. This was obviously no longer going to be enough when I got the surprise of three extra piggies! I initially put in some towels and old pillow cases, but once I knew that two was turning into five, I needed something more comfortable and permanent.

 

Taking inspiration from the cavy snuggle sacks available to purchase in pet shops and online, as well as the old pillow cases and leftover fleece from the lining of their cage, I decided to just make my own!

I’m basing these for my guinea pigs, but of course these can be used for any small pets.

 


 

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You will Need:

  • An old pillow case
  • Fleece (enough to cover the whole inside of the pillow case)
  • Needle and thread (or a sewing machine)
  • Scissors

 

Step 1

Cut you pillow case in half, as this gives the perfect size for the guinea pig to snuggle up into, but not get lost in the fabric! For each of the halves, if needed, sew up one end so that there is only one opening.

I like to use old pillow protector covers from Manchester Collection, as they are a little thicker than normal pillow cases, and adds that extra warmth. I believe I got these for around $5 each.

Step 2

Turn your pillow case inside out, so that the side you want as the outer of the pouch is now on the inside.

Measure and cut enough fleece so that it covers both sides of the inner of the pillow case. Fleece is great to use for small animals, as the urine soaks right through it, which stops it from becoming wet. I picked up my fleece from Spotlight, and around $20 covered enough for 4 pouches. Plus they have so many designs to choose from –  from plain colours to cute little patterns that I could match to my guinea pigs (I had to get the watermelon pattern, one of their favourite treats!)

Step 3

Match the side of the fleece you don’t want on DSC_0098display against the inside of the pillow case. Start by sewing the edge of the fleece to one side of the case opening. A sewing machine would be much more efficient here, but if you don’t have one like me, a needle and thread is fine (it may not look as neat, but it still does the job).

Continue sewing around all the edges – you can either cut the fleece in half again, and sew the edges in a square pattern on each side of the case.
Or keep it whole, not having to sew the fleece to the middle edge. Make sure you sew all corners of the fleece directly to the case, as it stops the fabric from being pulled out too much.
(The only negative for these ways is that it makes it harder to dry, as the bed is a lot thicker. Alternatively, you can stitch it so that the fleece is only sewn on at the opening, and can be fully turned inside out and made thinner)

 

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Step 4

Once all the fleece as been sewed on, turn the case inside out so that the fleece is on the inside and pillow case is in it’s original form.

Fold back the inside of the case just around the edges, so that the fleece is showing around the opening of the pouch – this helps it to keep it in this shape, and is easier for the animal to get inside.


And that’s it!

(I do hope my instructions made sense – it might sound confusing, but once you get it, it’s super easy!)

Care –
Each morning and evening I spot clean any mess from the guinea pigs cage, such as wet hay, droppings, urine, etc. This includes inside their beds.

While it’s easier to keep cages clean with fleece, t’s also important to wash this bedding regularly. I tend to do this once a week in summer, and every 2 weeks in winter (as it takes longer to dry in the colder weather, and I don’t want them to be without beds – however, I still like to air them out for a bit).

After shaking out any excess hair, I soak the bedding/cage lining in warm water and a guinea pig safe washing powder (something that is non irritant to skin). I then wash it in cool water to remove any excess soap. Then I hang it out dry, and if it’s quite warm this should only take a couple of hours.
Make sure it’s completely dry before placing back in the cage, as you don’t want the guinea pigs to get sick from a cold.

 

I think that the cavy snuggle sacks available for purchase are really cute (and much better crafted than mine), but the thing I like about the homemade ones is that they are much larger. So if more than one guinea pig wants to get inside, they can snuggle up together 🙂
Plus, I was able to save money.

Here’s a little photo shoot of my piggies enjoying their warm pouches. Once they settled in the pouches together they turned into such models!

 

 

 

Let me know in the comments what sort of bedding you use for your small animals – do you purchase it, or make your own?

Jess xx

 

Guinea-Pig Update!

The last post I made about my little guinea pigs was finding out that Hazel was pregnant, and had just given birth to 3 babies – I was waiting to see what gender they were and if I was able to keep them. I just realised I never made an update on that situation!

As all the babies were girls I was able to keep them, and I now own 5! Let me introduce you to the newest addition to Newt and Hazel’s family – Kova, Cappy, and Totoro.

 

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This little grey is Totoro! She has the most loveliest coloured coat of grey and white, which is scruffy like Newt’s, and often sits very styled! She was originally going to be named Oreo, but I thought Totoro was such a cute name, as she matches the colouring of the Japanese character. She’s a bit of a quiet one, just like Hazel, but soon settles, and then enjoys a cuddle. A very gorgeous little piggy!

This here is DA6JyeSUMAAth0MCappy! She was named after a character from Hamtaro – I thought it was a really cute name, and matched her because she looked a bit like a cappybara. She was the only one who received her mothers short hair (a dream to keep clean!). Cappy is very inquisitive, and once you’re holding her, she will climb all over you to see what’s going on! If you pat under her chin she will also put her paws on you, which is so cute!

And finally, the gorgeous little bear Kova – a sligDA6JyeWUMAA2HPCht twist on the name Kovu from the Lion King. It took me a while to find the perfect name for her, but I really think it suits her. Kova is a little sweetheart, she cries a bit when you pick her up, and gets very upset when I have to trim her coat, but loves her cuddles. She takes a while to come out of her shell, but once she does she is very happy. She got the same fluffy coat as Newt and Totoro, but her mum’s colouring.

 

I am glad they are all girls, it would have been hard enough to give them up if they were all boys, but even worse if I had to give away one or two and separate them.

While I didn’t originally plan on looking after 5 guinea pigs, I am so grateful for each of them. Getting to see newborn pups and see how they all interact is great. They all have such individual personalities, and always make me laugh! I love them all.

It definitely takes more time to ensure they all get the equal amount of cuddles, and time out of the cage can be hard with 5 small pigs! However, I’m not complaining, and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Even though they are small animals, all 5 of them have had such a huge impact on my life. Not only do they make me happy, but they give more purpose to my day, and have helped me discover what I want to do in life.

 

In other guinea pig news – in my first post about them, I wrote about how I have set up their cage. I recently made a change to this and have found it much more efficient. Instead of using hay and wood chips as bedding, I have replaced it with a fleece lining. The fleece keeps the cage much cleaner as urine soaks through it, so it doesn’t became wet, and makes it much easier to spot clean daily. I simply wash it with a safe soap powder once a week (and it is very easy to dry!)
I of course still provide them with hay where there is no fleece, one half of the bottom of the cage, which they use to burrow in and as a food source.

I picked up a few meters of fleece for (I believe) under $15 from Spotlight, which I will link here. I got a pink owl patterned one for the box, and some green coloured ones for the open parts of their cage. I also place a few sheets newspaper underneath to add extra warmth.

In addition to that, as there is now 5 I wanted to provide them with more beds, and they’re actually super easy to make at home! I cut in half an old pillow case, and sewed any excess fleece all around this inside to create two homemade cavy sacks. I placed them inside their box, and they love cuddling inside them! Then pillow cases are great because they can definitely fit more than one piggy – but sometimes they get a bit cranky and want to have them to themselves..!

 

I hope you enjoyed the update! All the pigs are doing very well 🙂 Although, they probably wish the weather was a bit warmer, so they can sit out on the grass!
I am also currently in the process of putting together a little time lapse video of them, so keep and eye out for that 🙂

You can also see photos of the five piggies and Bella on my additional Instagram account.

Jess xx

Guinea Pig Surprise!



A while back I made a post about my guinea pigs, Newt and Gus (which you can view here if you haven’t already). 
A few weeks ago I noticed that Gus’ stomach had become bloated. This got me worried, as bloating is very dangerous to guinea pigs. He was eating fine and passing his food, so I decided to keep a close eye on him, and if he had no improvements I would take him to the vet and find out what was going on.

I thought it could be one of two things; bloating, or Gus was actually a girl and he was pregnant! I often had a look at him, and could swear that I could feel babies. Plus his was only large in the tummy area..

So on Saturday the 3rd, I booked an appointment at the vet, and took him down to get checked out.
It didn’t take the vet long to diagnose Gus as being a girl!! And she was in fact pregnant! Of course it was a surprise, and not exactly what I wanted, as I bought Gus as a boy, but I would much rather that then him (I mean her!) being unwell. So I’m just glad she’s healthy!

I would also like to thank the wonderful vet, Candice, at Best Friends Pet Centre. It can be difficult to determine the gender of a guinea pig at a young age, and Candice was so helpful and good to us!

As I named Gus after the Fault in Our Stars, it only seemed perfect to rename her Hazel (and it matches her fur colour!)

So after that, I was anxiously checking each day to see if there were any babies. Newt was being so good, giving her space and sitting outside protecting her. Plus, it now made sense why our dog Bella got use to Newt, but never Hazel! Animals have an amazing intuition, she obviously knew!

Finally, on Thursday night, the 8th of September, when checking the guinea pigs before going to bed, I lifted up the top of their bed to see three newborn baby guinea pigs!
They were so precious! Obviously as newborn babies, they were squinting and working out how to walk, it was such a beautiful scene!
Hazel gave birth to two brown babies, with different white markings, and a grey and white one. They are so cute and tiny, and I love watching them hop around the cage and following mum! They’re currently still feeding of Hazel, but have just started eating pallets and vegetables as well, which I didn’t expect so soon.

Sadly, I now have to separate Newt and put him in the downstairs level of the cage, because he can get Hazel pregnant again. But I am planning on getting him de-sexed, so they will be back together soon. They definitely miss each other, and Newt can get a bit stressed from time to time, especially with wanting to see the babies. So I make sure to give him lots of cuddles!
I am also unsure if I will be able to keep the babies.. the pet shop I bought Newt and Hazel from (which was also the vet I took her to), have kindly offered to take them off me when they are old enough. But now I’m starting to become attached to them, and I couldn’t bare to separate them from each other, and Newt and Hazel.. However, the only way I will be able to keep them is if they are all girls, to prevent anymore surprise pregnancies! So fingers crossed.. I may have already made the mistake of thinking of some names..

So it’s definitely been an exciting two weeks in my household, and I’m enjoying this exciting and cute time with my piggies!
And I’m finally used to referring to her as Hazel, and as a girl!

I’m so proud of Hazel for giving birth to three beautiful pups, and for being a new mummy! And to Newt for being a new dad!

I love my Newty Boy, Hazel Nut, and new three gorgeous babies!

Jess xx