As a pet owner with both dogs and guinea pigs, I found myself wondering if they could spend time together. I consider my pets part of my family, and I am sure you do too. We all want our family to get along, but unfortunately, that is not always possible.
Both dogs and guinea pigs are naturally social creatures. They typically enjoying interacting with other animals of their kind as well as humans. However, it is not always a great idea to let the two species live together. Some pet owners have been able to make their dogs and guinea pigs get along, while others have not.
Do guinea pigs and dogs get along?
It is possible for some dogs and guinea pigs to get along, but it is not recommended in all cases. Personally, my dog is very skittish and shy. New creatures scare him, and he would not make a great playmate for my guinea pigs. But there are plenty of dogs that are calmer and more social. They may be able to get along with your cavies just fine.
If you are going to introduce your dogs and guinea pigs, you should follow these tips for a smooth process.
- Always monitor any interactions between the two animals.
- Have a separate place that is just for your piggy. They need their own habitat to relax away from your dog.
- When you first introduce them, keep your dog on a leash and leave your guinea pig in their crate.
- This will allow you to control both animals at the same time.
- I recommend having another person help so you have an extra pair of hands.
- Keep the animals several feet apart at first.
- Try to get your dog’s attention and keep them calm.
- Ask them to sit, so they can focus on one task at a time.
- Use treats as rewards for obedience.
- Move your dog closer to the cavy in its crate in small steps.
- Stop the introduction if your dog gets too excited.
- They can easily become stressed or aggressive during this process.
- You can let them calm down and try again later.
- If your dog stays calm, give them a little more slack on their leash.
Eventually, your dog and guinea pig might be able to stay calm around one another. However, at the first sign of aggression or extreme anxiety, you should separate them. I recommend waiting a day before trying the introduction again. If you try multiple times without success, it is best to just keep your pets apart. Don’t forget to check out my new guide where I wrote a long section about this issue.
Will dogs kill guinea pigs?
Possibly. Dogs have a natural instinct to hunt, which is the main reason that it is not safe to let them live with your piggy. A lot of breeds of dogs were trained to hunt small rodents, and they may be naturally inclined to hurt your guinea pig. While all dogs may be prone to hunting, the following breeds were specifically bred to do so:
- Pit bulls
- Labrador retrievers
- Golden retrievers
- Jack Russel terriers
These are not the only dogs that could instinctively try to hunt your cavy, I’ve owned a lot of piggies over the years and this is my great resource when you have questions. but they are some breeds to be careful with. Any dog can accidentally kill a guinea pig if they play too rough or become aggressive. That is one reason why I always recommend you supervise the interactions between your pets.
Can dogs get sick from guinea pigs?
There are some illnesses that can pass from your guinea pig to your dog. This does not commonly occur, but it is important to keep an eye out. If you notice one of your pets is sick, I recommend separating them from your other animals until they feel better. Here is information and advice on keeping healthy guinea pigs as household pets, check out here.
Bordetella can be passed from dogs to guinea pigs or vice versa. These bacteria can cause respiratory issues for your pets and require treatment from a veterinarian to resolve. Your pets could also potentially pass ringworm back and forth. This would also cause you to have to see a vet.
How do I protect my guinea pigs from dogs?
Whether your pets get along or not, you should still take the necessary precautions to keep them safe. Even well-trained animals can be unpredictable from time to time, and you want to eliminate any risk of injury or death. I recommend the following tips to protect your guinea pig from dogs.
- Ensure your piggy has a sturdy and dependable cage. You do not want your dog to be able to break the bars or damage it in any other way.
- Keep the cage in a safe spot. Ideally, you should house your cavy in a room away from your dog. Otherwise, your dog could accidentally knock the cage over.
- If your guinea pig is out of its cage, be sure your dog is safely out of the room.
Are guinea pigs safe around dogs?
No, your guinea pig is never truly safe around dogs. Just because your pets get along one day does not mean that will be the case tomorrow. The relationship between the two animals can change quickly, which is why it is so important to monitor them whenever they are together. At the first sign of aggression or anxiety from either animal, I recommend separating them.
Are dogs ok with guinea pigs?
Some dogs may be okay around guinea pigs, while others may not. I do not recommend letting the animals interact because it can be a very dangerous experience for your cavy. However, if you are confident in your dog and their demeanor, it may be worth a try. Young puppies can be easier to introduce to guinea pigs because they are at a great stage for socialization.
Why does my dog eat guinea pig poop?
I was surprised to learn that it is okay for your dog to eat guinea pig poop. I wouldn’t recommend making it a habit, but if it happens accidentally there is no need to worry. No one is really sure why dogs can be enticed to eat pig poop, but they could actually get nutrients from it.
Dogs and guinea pigs are not natural friends, so it might be difficult for them to get along. However, both animals are very social creatures and they typically enjoy the company of others. If you have a very calm dog, you might be able to successfully introduce them to your guinea pig. I always recommend being vigilant though and separating your animals at the first sign of trouble. It’s better to be safe than sorry!