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You probably got your first guinea pig pet and are wondering, Do guinea pigs need a friend? For starters, guinea pigs are very social animals. Within a few months of getting yourself one, and you have built trust, then they become affectionate.
But is that enough for your pet? Is human interaction the only relationship your sweet guinea pig needs. Some animals are loners by nature, while others are very social and thrive best in the company of their fellow animals. If you have a guinea pig or are thinking of getting one, then it is ideal to know the answer to this question.
Related: Guinea Pig Cages
Do Guinea Pigs Need A Friend?
As mentioned earlier, guinea pigs are social animals. So, yes, they need a friend, a fellow guinea pig. Without company from other guinea pigs, a guinea pig tends to feel lonely. With time, they will slump into the depression hole, which can be fatal for them.
In the wild, guinea pigs thrive in groups. Their sociality is what helps them survive. They provide each other with warmth and watch out for the predators.
The domestication of guinea pigs ensures they are safe from predators. It also means we provide them with a warm and cozy place to stay. However, it does not mean that we deny them what they need most, a fellow guinea pig friend. It is the only way your guinea pig gets to play around when you are out, and also “speak” guinea pig language.
Actually, it is illegal in some countries, like Switzerland, to adopt only one guinea pig.
Same-gender friend or not?
As much as you want your guinea pig to have some company, it would help if you considered the genders. Keeping guinea of different genders is okay, but you better be prepared to house and care for a litter of pups every 2 or 3 months a year. Yes, guinea pigs procreate like bunnies!
If you want to keep guinea pigs of different genders and you do not want pups, then have the guinea pigs neutered or spayed.
The most recommended option is to have guinea pigs of the same gender. Female guinea pigs get along quite smoothly. Two male guinea pigs are also good, but they can get a bit territorial.
If you want to keep 2 male guinea pigs, introduce them when they are puppies, so they get acquitted with each other. This way, they will create a relationship when they are young, which will help avoid any fights between them.
Also, two males of different ages can work. If your male guinea pig is a bit old, you can get a younger male guinea pig as a friend. It will automatically establish dominance over the younger ones, and you will not have cases of fights.
How To Introduce Guinea Pigs
Just like human friendship needs a little buttering and trust, so do guinea pigs’ relationships. Guinea pigs also have different personalities and moods, and the key to introducing them to each other is knowing their different personalities. Here is how to go about:
- When you introduce the guinea pigs, watch them, and see how they behave together for at least an hour. Signs of tension include mounting, butt-sniffing, aggression, yawning, and some fighting, albeit not serious.
- Listen for any sounds the guinea pigs might be making like chattering their teeth
- Take notice of things the guinea pigs might for like food or space within the cage or toys and try fixing it
- Any changes in their behavior like trying to isolate
Do guinea pigs need a friend? Yes, it does. However, a little care is necessary when introducing new guinea pigs. Watch out for the genders you want to keep, the guinea pig’s personalities. If they start fighting, separate them immediately.
Hey, I’m Amy and I’m in love with my Pets! I have a diverse variety, including 2 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, a rat and a beautiful macaw. I love writing about everything pet-related and spend as much time as I can sharing my personal experiences.