Guinea pig companionship

Guinea pigs are social creatures by nature. They can survive alone, but thrive when they live with the company of other pigs. Your guinea pigs should be kept in groups of at least two, making sure that both guinea pigs are desexed (or both animals are the same sex) to avoid having unintended litters of baby guinea pigs.

Why guinea pigs should live together

Guinea pigs adore companionship. They are far happier and healthier when living with friends. There is a lot of evidence to show that social interaction with other compatible guinea pigs is beneficial to their health and welfare, and also that lack of this is stressful and detrimental.

How to introduce guinea pigs

It is important that guinea pigs are socialised early in their lives so that they develop the social skills they need to function well within guinea pig social structures! New animals should be carefully introduced and monitored for aggressive interactions. In particular, male guinea pigs are more likely to tolerate one another without fighting, if they are introduced at a young age.

Once guinea pigs have formed social bonds, these guinea pigs should not be separated if at all possible. Even if one guinea pig needs veterinary treatment, ideally at least one of their family should stay with them, as this helps to reduce their stress thereby helping them to cope better.

Should guinea pigs and rabbits be kept together?

Guinea pigs should not be kept with rabbits as these two species have different needs and do not make compatible companions. Rabbits may carry harmful organisms and pass this onto your guinea pigs. In addition, rabbits often bully guinea pigs; rabbits can seriously injure guinea pigs, particularly with their strong kicks.

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