Do You Need to Get More than One Guinea Pig?

Guinea pigs are adorable and highly social animals that crave the company of their pig friends. If you decide to have one guinea pig, chances are they’ll be quite unhappy. Guinea pigs are social creatures thriving off their interactions with other animals of the same species.

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 If your guinea pig doesn’t have at least one other playmate, they will feel isolated and withdrawn.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.

Watch this excellent video by Squeak Dreams:

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 all of these things – making them feel lonely and miserable. Guinea pigs love to groom each other. Therefore, it will also be much harder for your guinea pig to keep themselves tidy without their mates. Who doesn’t need a loving friend? We all appreciate a helping hand.

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.

Should I Choose Guinea Pigs of the Same-Sex?

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. On the other hand, if you’re buying guinea pigs that are spayed or neutered, it’s normal to keep a male and female together.

Moreover, 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 are best.  However, before getting two males, consider the following.

Males can become domineering and territorial. With male guinea pigs, you’ll discover they have dominant males and submissive males. If you pick out two males, you’ll be lucky to find the right pair. If you’re fortunate, you’ll get dominant and submissive. But you’ll have a problem if you end keeping two dominant pigs together.

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’s 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 their teeth are chattering. 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 getting along, you’ll have to find them a new furry friend.

If the two males get along, none of the aggressive behaviors are likely to occur. They’ll be quite peaceful and cheerful, give each other a good sniff and a purr of contentment.

Guinea Pig Housing – Large Enclosure is Key

A key factor for two guinea pigs getting along is to ensure they have enough space. These animals need spacious housing, and it’s best to keep them in a large enclosure. Cramped quarters can amplify feelings of frustration and tension, which causes them to quarrel and fight.

Look: As humans, we get uncomfortable in cramped and confined spaces. It’s quite similar to other animals too! The two guinea pigs will require a large enough enclosure to feel relaxed, safe, and have the privilege of getting alone time.

Benefits for your guinea pig

Your furry friend will enjoy roomier cages, which will give you peace of mind. Here are some of the benefits:

  • 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.

Do my guinea pigs need to be the same age?

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 an annoyance 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. Therefore, you shouldn’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 have 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.

Other considerations

For sanitary reasons, try keeping your guinea pig’s cage away from the kitchen or other areas where you prepare food. Make sure your guinea pig’s cage is away from other pets that may see them as prey. If you have young children, consider placing the cage in an area where you supervise child-guinea pig interactions and control access. Here are some useful guidelines to determine the space required for guinea pigs:

One guinea pig: 7.5 square feet cage (bare-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 (bare-minimum), but more is better. 30″ x 76″ is a good size.

Avoid the Great Outdoors

People once considered an outdoor hutch as adequate housing for guinea pigs. But keeping the animal outside robs them of interaction with the family. It would help if you supervised outdoor exercise for your guinea pig to reduce risks.

Final Thoughts

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). Your furry friends will be purring with happiness in no time! It’ll help ease their transition and contribute to the relationship getting better!

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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