In most cases, it is safe to introduce guinea pigs, but you must do it very carefully. You want to avoid fighting among them and prevent the spread of illnesses.
Ten tips for introducing a new guinea pig
In order to correctly add a new piggy, there are some precautions you must take. Ensure their environment is prepared and have the necessary supplies to house two animals at once. Here are ten essential tips to follow when introducing a new guinea pig.
- It is easier to introduce younger guinea pigs to one another. If they grow up together, they will be less likely to fight as they get older. Also, they can establish boundaries and territories early on for a smooth cohabitation experience.
- If you have an older piggy, it is best to add a baby. Bringing in another older cavy will make your first one feel threatened and create issues over dominance. They will not feel as strongly towards a baby, though.
- Only put one male in with females. If multiple males are introduced to a group of females, they will fight for territory and attention. Make sure all of your cavies are safe by limiting the number of males you house with females.
- Before introducing a male to a female, make sure they are neutered. If you fail to do so, the female will have babies. Guinea pig pregnancies can be dangerous to their health and lead to the death of the female cavy.
- Make sure there is enough room in their crate. Each one needs their own space to eat, sleep, and play. Include two of everything in the cage to prevent fighting and territory disputes.
- Only buy hiding houses with two entrances. Having multiple pigs can lead to one accidentally trapping the other inside a hiding house. They must have an easy way to escape if necessary.
- Keep them separate for a few weeks and have a vet examine both to ensure they are healthy.
- Find neutral ground for introducing them. You should use a secluded and quiet place to keep them calm. Put out vegetables and teats to distract them as they get to know each other, and use towels to retrain them if they become aggressive. Make sure they get along for two hours before putting them in the same crate.
- Wash the cage to provide a more neutral territory. Thoroughly cleaning the crate will remove much of your older piggy’s scent and make your new one feel more comfortable.
- Nipping may be necessary to establish boundaries, but you should intervene if they fight or start inflicting wounds
Common questions about introducing a new guinea pig:
In addition to the ten tips above, there are some common questions guinea pig owners have when they introduce a new one. Keep reading to learn more about the process. I’ve owned a lot of piggies over the years and this is a great resource when you have questions.
How long should you wait to introduce a new guinea pig?
If you have a new guinea pig, you should keep it separated from your older one for at least two to three weeks. During this time, you should take both of them to the vet to ensure they are healthy. You do not want them to pass illnesses or diseases back and forth.
Waiting a couple of weeks to introduce a new cavy can also help them become acclimated to their new environment. They can start to feel comfortable in your home and get to know you before you introduce them to their brother or sister.
Is it better to have two guinea pigs or one?
Guinea pigs are naturally social animals. They tend to do better in a herd than in isolation. If you want to do what is best for your cavy, two animals are better than one.
However, the number you have should depend on your ability to care for them properly.
Can you put two male guinea pigs together?
Yes, you can put two male guinea pigs together for a cohesive living situation. Multiple males will get along if they are introduced to one another correctly.
However, you should never put two males in the presence of a female. This arrangement will lead to fighting as they fight for dominance. It can also lead to hurt cavies and expensive medical costs.
Is it better to have two male or two female guinea pigs?
Whether you choose two male or two female guinea pigs is mostly a personal preference. It is typically better to have cavies of the same gender to avoid pregnant guinea pigs.
Males may fight for territory or dominance more than females do, but you can adequately introduce pairs of either gender for successful results.
Can guinea pigs live alone?
It is always best to adopt two guinea pigs. They are very social, and they thrive in an environment that includes other animals of their kind. If they do not have a playmate, they can become very lonely. In the wild, they live and travel in herds.
Rarely are they ever isolated from a group. In some countries, it is even against regulations to adopt just one guinea pig because the activity is considered cruel.
Having multiple cavies provides them with the stimulation they need to avoid depression. They can enjoy a partner in their crate for social activity and company.
Some guinea pig owners consider adding a rabbit or other type of animal to their piggy’s container.
However, it is always best to keep guinea pigs together and away from other animals to prevent injury and death.
Can one guinea pig die of loneliness?
Yes, guinea pigs can actually die of loneliness. If they are isolated for long periods, you will notice an impact on their physical health.
They require companions to remain active, social, and happy throughout their lives. Solitary cavies require much more attention than you can provide.
If you have a single guinea pig, you should consider adding another one as soon as possible. Also, it is wise to purchase these animals in pairs to avoid isolation and depression.
Guinea pigs are very social creatures, and they thrive in environments that include more than one piggy. While it may not be the most convenient solution for you, having multiple animals will keep your pet happy and healthy for longer.
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.