Guinea pigs are cute and love being around other guinea pigs. If you only have one, they might feel lonely and sad. They’re social animals that enjoy being with their own kind.
Here’s the thing:
Even though you can keep a Guinea Pig by itself, should you? Not at all. If your guinea pig doesn’t have at least one other playmate, they will feel isolated and withdrawn. These fluffy balls of fur should always be kept in pairs and small groups to keep them happy and engaged.
This blog post talks about everything you need to know about keeping your guinea pig happy. Let’s dive in.
Keeping More Than One Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs are curious, active, and alert animals that love exploring. If you leave guinea pigs alone, they lose motivation for activities – making them feel lonely and miserable.
Guinea pigs love company and enjoy grooming each other. Therefore, it will be much harder for your guinea pigs to keep themselves tidy without their mates. After all, we all need a support system.
According to HSSV, guinea pigs will coo and cuddle each other, just like humans. Moreover, they prefer being in pairs so they can play, chase, and eat together.
You’ll be amused at how chatty they can be! So, even if you lack space, consider getting at least two guinea pigs.
Picking Your Guinea Pigs – Selecting the Right Genders
When choosing a pair of guinea pigs, you must consider the gender of the cave mates you’re going to house together. That way, you can ensure that your animals live happily together.
Experts recommend that you keep two pigs of the same gender. But if you’re getting guinea pigs that are spayed or neutered, it’s okay to keep a male and female together.
Guinea pigs breed quite fast and don’t miss a chance. With the growing number of abandoned guinea pigs in shelters, it’s best to ensure that your furry friend doesn’t make any more babies. However, you can let them breed if you believe you can take care of all the furry babies.
Here’s our motto:
The fewer abandoned animals in shelters, the better!
Otherwise, two male guinea pigs or two females can live in harmony.
But before you go on getting two males, consider this:
Males can become domineering and territorial. With male guinea pigs, there are two types: the dominant males and the submissive males. If you pick out two males, you’ll be lucky to find the right pair.
If you’re fortunate, you’ll get a dominant and a submissive. But you’ll have a problem if you get two dominant piggies together.
As mentioned earlier, these are territorial animals, and having two of the same dominant nature means it’s a disaster recipe. They’ll bully each other and disrupt your household. You can avoid these disagreements by getting a pair of females!
Male Guinea Pig Compatibility
When it comes to animal compatibility, you have to put them together and see how they react.
When first put together, the males often display some aggressive behavior. They can express their anger by arching their backs, hissing, and making strange noises like chattering teeth.
The aggression should subside within ten minutes. However, if the males continue to be hostile toward each other and don’t show any signs of bonding, you’ll have to find them a new furry friend.
If two male guinea pigs get along, you can expect them to be peaceful and happy. They’ll greet each other with sniffs and purrs, without showing any aggressive behavior.
Choosing Guinea Pigs of Same Age – Does it Matter?
For some animals, such as cats, experts advise having two of the same age. Often the younger animals are more playful and energetic than the older ones. Therefore, it can be annoying to the more mature and sensible of the two.
For guinea pigs, this is never the case!
It works quite well, pairing an adult guinea pig with a baby. That way, the dominant animal is easier to distinguish. This way, you wouldn’t witness any major fighting or hissing, and the two sort themselves out within a short time frame.
Guinea pigs are lovable creatures to keep – they’re small, low maintenance, and furry balls of joy for your children. Just make sure you pick them in pairs – otherwise, these little animals won’t be their cheerful, happy selves!
Why Size Matters
Guinea pigs are one of the biggest rodents kept as pets, and they require roomy cages. Their smaller relatives, like gerbils and hamsters, often settle in smaller enclosures. Guinea pigs are also more unruly than their smaller cousins, so it isn’t crazy to suggest a larger enclosure for them.
Here’s the thing:
Guinea pigs tend to rely on floor space. Ramps and platforms at low heights offer variety, but guinea pigs need ample room to exercise, even with regular playtime outside the cage.
Guinea Pig Housing – Large Enclosure is Key
For two guinea pigs to coexist peacefully, providing enough space is essential. They require roomy living quarters, ideally a spacious enclosure. Cramped spaces can lead to stress and conflicts between them.
Just as humans feel uneasy in tight spaces, animals feel the same way! To ensure the well-being of your two guinea pigs, make sure they have a sufficiently large enclosure where they can feel secure, and comfortable, and have their own personal space.
Benefits of Large Enclosure
Opting for more spacious cages for your furry companion offers a multitude of advantages that contribute to your peace of mind:
- Large housing enclosures are one of the most basic types of enrichment you can offer. Guinea pigs can live up to seven years and can become depressed and bored without adequate stimulation. Imagine spending your entire life in a walk-in closet; even with occasional playtime, your life would be pretty dreary.
- Adequate room to exercise will ensure that your guinea pigs become less likely to develop medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, bumblefoot, and anal impaction.
- With a roomier cage, guinea pigs can exercise and play on their schedule, not yours. Guinea pigs tend to be most playful in the morning and evening, so it might not be convenient to take them out for fun.
- Larger digs increase the possibility of peaceful co-existence among multiple guinea pigs. Since guinea pigs are social creatures, they do best when living together.
- Larger spaces are easier to clean because they prevent the build-up of waste and allow guinea pigs to separate their pooping area from other activities.
- With the opportunity to express many natural behaviors in a larger space, your guinea pigs will be happier, and it will also be easier to understand their personalities.
- For bedding, experts don’t recommend cedar and pine shavings due to the chemicals they contain. When soiled, these aromatic wood shavings produce fumes that can harm a guinea pig’s respiratory system and feet.
- Try to use bedding made of paper and provide two to three inches of bedding to maximize absorption.
To maintain hygiene, it’s advisable to position your guinea pig’s cage away from the kitchen and food preparation zones. Keep their enclosure separate from other pets that might view them as prey. If you have young kids, select a spot where you can oversee their interactions with the guinea pigs and manage access. Below are practical pointers to assess the space needed for guinea pigs:
- One guinea pig: 7.5 square feet cage (minimum), but more is better. 30″ x 36″ is a good size.
- Two guinea pigs: 7.5 square feet (minimum), but experts prefer 10.5 square feet. 30″ x 50″ is a good size.
- Three guinea pigs: 10.5 square feet (minimum), but experts prefer 13 square feet. 30″ x 62″ is a good size.
- Four guinea pigs: 13 square feet (minimum), but more is better. 30″ x 76″ is a good size.
In the past, an outdoor hutch was seen as suitable housing for guinea pigs. However, keeping them outside deprives them of family interaction. If you choose outdoor time, make sure to closely supervise their activities to minimize potential dangers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I tell if my guinea pig is lonely?
Signs of loneliness include lethargy, decreased appetite, and less engagement with their environment. These can improve with companionship.
What if my guinea pig seems content alone?
Some guinea pigs might seem okay alone, but they generally exhibit happier behaviors and more mental stimulation when in the company of their kind.
Can I introduce a new guinea pig to my single guinea pig later on?
Introducing new guinea pigs later can be tricky, as established guinea pigs might resist newcomers. It’s often smoother to introduce them when they’re young.
Before you go to an adoption center or a pet shop, make sure you have a cozy, safe, and comfortable enclosure for your new friends. You need an enclosed run for the guinea pigs to get fresh air and plenty of comfy nooks to sleep in (and escape for alone time).
our furry friends will be purring with happiness in no time! It’ll help ease their transition and contribute to the relationship getting better!