Hey There GuineaGang!
The guinea pig community is an exceptional one for many reasons. The kindness, support, and enthusiasm we get to witness and be a part of is endlessly inspiring and motivating. At the end of the day, we are a community of animal lovers, seeking to make the world a safer and more joyful place for our cavy friends, as well as for our fellow humans.
In this vein, it was with sincere joy and humility that GuineaDad was able to help sponsor Northern California’s Bay Area Pignic events this year, held in Marin and Cupertino.
The Bay Area Pignics are joyful, family-friendly gatherings held each year in the Bay Area, for guinea pigs, owners, and enthusiasts alike to come meet like-minded individuals in their community, raise money for animal rescues, adopt some pets in need of homes, and celebrate the creatures that bring us all so much joy.
This year marked the 12th annual Pignic celebration, and they’re only getting better.
Guinea pigs and their humans from all over the Bay Area arrived at the lawn of The Marin Humane Society’s Novato campus on August 26, 2023 for a variety of guinea pig-focused entertainment and education.
There were complimentary wellness checks and nail trimming for all piggie attendees, along with communal playpens, pet adoptions, a veggie eating contest, a costume parade, a bake sale, raffles, food trucks, and more.
As always, one of the best parts is just witnessing all of these happy, frolicking guinea pigs playing together.
The event was established to celebrate these adorable rodents, educate those interested in learning more about them, raise money for local rescues, and help guinea pigs in search of their forever homes. With an entry fee of just $5, guests are invited to bring their own guinea pigs or just come and observe the fun. This is a great event for guinea pig lovers of all ages.
For anyone unable to attend the Marin Pignic, the event’s 2nd installment was held two weeks later on Saturday, September 9, at the idyllic Portal Park, in Cupertino, to which even more guinea pig lovers turned up.
With complimentary GuineaDad treat packets for all event attendees, free health tips and checkups, and dozens of contest and raffle prizes donated from GuineaDad and other like-minded friends of guinea pigs, there’s a great time to be had by everybody.
All proceeds from the event go toward the benefit of local small animal rescue efforts through Marin Humane, Gardner’s Pig Pen, and Little Heart Rescue.
The Marin Pignic saw 200 humans and over 100 guinea pig attendees, raising more than $3,300, and helping 8 guinea pigs in need find their humans and get adopted into loving homes. The Cupertino Pignic hosted 172 humans and 118 guinea pig attendees, and in total, between the fundraiser and the Little Hearts Rescue booth garage sale, raised a total of $4,752.31!
In addition to raising money for guinea pig rescues each year and finding homes for piggies in need, the Pignics are a fantastic opportunity to connect with fellow guinea pig enthusiasts and animal lovers across the Bay Area.
The sense of community was heartwarming, as people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life came together to celebrate their shared passion for these incredible animals. If ever there was a perfect event for the whole family, it would be a Pignic.
There were volunteers from Marin Humane Society and local vet clinics in attendance, with medical professionals offering free wellness checks and nail trimming for any guinea pigs in attendance.
For these complimentary physicals, guinea pigs would be checked for proper:
Maintaining a healthy weight is especially important for guinea pigs, as obesity can put undue pressure on their joints, organs, and feet. Providing high-quality hay and plenty of exercise are the best ways to help your guinea pig maintain a healthy weight.
- Dental Length & Alignment
As guinea pigs’ teeth are constantly growing, a constant supply of hay and some guinea pig-approved chew toys are important for maintaining healthy dental length and proper alignment.
- Eye Health
A healthy guinea pig's eyes will be clear, shiny and alert. If they are crusty, watery, dull, cloudy or bulging, this could be a sign of viral or bacterial infections like conjunctivitis, or another serious condition.
- Ear Health
Similar to abnormalities in the eye, any crust or white marks in a guinea pig’s ear could be a sign of a fungal infection and should be looked at by a vet right away.
- Heart and Lung Health
A guinea pig should have a strong, fast heartbeat and no wheezing when they breathe. Congestion or difficulty breathing could both be signs of a respiratory infection and should be examined by a vet. Using the right, absorbent, high-quality guinea pig bedding can make a world of difference for your guinea pig's lung health.
- Skin and Coats Health
Guinea pigs are susceptible to parasites, and they are easily spread from one guinea pig to another.
Common parasites like ticks, fleas, and mites, can often be seen in the fur of a guinea pig, by rashes, or by the presence of the parasites’ fecal matter in the guinea pig’s fur.
Symptoms of worm parasites can include diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, anorexia, fever, and dehydration.
- Foot Health
Foot injuries and infections like bumblefoot are unfortunately common for guinea pigs and require immediate treatment.
Prolonged exposure to moisture and bacteria is extremely hazardous for a guinea pig’s health, so their homes and bedding should be cleaned and dried frequently, and wire-bottom cages and other jagged or sharp hazards should be avoided whenever possible.
After receiving a clean bill of health, guinea pig attendees were given a complimentary nail trim and a quick gender check (to avoid any Pignic procreating), before being allowed to mingle with each other guinea pigs and frolic together in the communal playpens. The chutting from these happy piggies playing together and making new friends could bring a smile to anyone’s face.
After the dozens of raffle prizes and contests were won, and the guinea pigs had played to their hearts’ content, it was time to get out the carriers and head home, eagerly awaiting next year’s Pignics.
The 2023 Bay Area Pignics were huge successes, and GuineaDad is honored to have been able to sponsor these wonderful events. All-in-all, event Founder Lora Figgat, the Pignics couldn’t have gone better, and this year’s were the best ones yet.
Both days were filled with joy, laughter, and community with a deep appreciation for our wheeking, four-legged friends. It brought together a diverse group of people, all bound by their love for guinea pigs and their desire to make a positive impact on the community.
We can't wait to attend next year's Pignics, and we encourage everyone to mark them on their calendars. These are events that truly warm the heart and leave you with a smile that lasts long after the chuts of the day have faded away.
Thank you to all who attended, and a special thanks to Lora Figgat for putting together this wonderful event together, as well as to The Marin Humane Society, Gardner’s Pig Pen, Little Heart Rescue, and all those who contributed. This wonderful community of ours is made that much better by your efforts.
To see more heartwarming pictures and videos from these wonderful events, and to stay apprised of dates and information regarding next year’s Pignics, you can follow Bay Area Pignic on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BApignic and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bayareapignic/
Until next time, GuineaGang!