Guinea Pigs are social animals, so they should live in pairs and/or groups of up to twenty others. They need companions when you are not around. Guinea Pigs housed alone are prone to undergo loneliness, depression, and other health problems because of it. It is also illegal to own a Single guinea pig.
Guinea pig with other Guinea pigs
It is better if we house guinea pigs of the same gender to avoid any pregnancies. You can’t directly introduce the newly bought guinea pig to the old one or any guinea pig.
First, you have to keep them in a different enclosure for a few weeks so that you can analyze their behavior and their health conditions. Also, analyze whether they are calm also whether their behavior meets your expectations.
After that, you have to clean every accessory and the cage of your older guinea pig to remove the scent marks. If not the new one and the already existing one will fight for territory.
Some guinea pigs will always fight if you house them with any other guinea pigs but many will eventually bond with the new guinea pigs. It all depends on the character of the guinea pig.
Before housing together, place the new guinea pig in a separate cage adjacent to the older guinea pig. In this case, they both will get to see and learn without hurting the other. After a few weeks if they behave well place both of them in the same cage.
For a few weeks, you have to closely monitor the pair. Be ready to separate the guinea pigs when they fight. When one of the guinea pigs’ hair stands on the end and chatters the teeth then they are likely to fight.
They will get along eventually but at first, you have to watch them for hours to avoid any aggressive behaviors. Give them treats and rub them with the hay. If you have more games and toys in their cage they will concentrate more on exploring the cage together than fighting.
Still, after several attempts, if your guinea pigs don’t get along then you can keep them in a cage with a mesh partition in the middle. In this way, they can see each other but they won’t fight for their territory. After a few days remove the mesh and check whether they get along if not repeat the process.
It is best to have young guinea pigs to the adult guinea pigs. The adult guinea pigs won’t be territorial with the younger ones and will be less threatened.
Guinea Pigs with Gerbils
Guinea pigs and Gerbils are different. Guinea pigs have strong social bonds with other Guinea pigs, but not with Gerbils. If housed together, they will fight for the available resources. They even fight for space as they both are territorial.
Guinea pigs are scared of gerbils, but the gerbils are not scared as guinea pigs. When frightened, the guinea pigs will stop eating, freeze, shiver, lower their heads down, run away, or hide.
If you still want to keep them both in the same cage, you have to let them stay in two different rooms, but do keep in mind that they will never become friends or form a bond.
Guinea Pigs with Rabbits
Guinea Pigs and rabbits are cute and social creatures. But it is not advised to keep them together. It is not that the rabbits are aggressive. Both of them speak different languages and imagine being with someone who doesn’t understand your language throughout your life.
Also, rabbits are quite big compared to guinea pigs when they play together rabbits may lick them and place their paws on guinea pigs which may cause bruises on guinea pigs.
Guinea Pigs with Hamster/Chinchillas
It is always a no when it comes to hamster/Chinchillas. Guinea pigs love to be in groups whereas Hamsters/Chinchillas love to live alone. Also, hamsters/Chinchillas are nocturnal whereas Guinea pigs are not. If you place them together their life cycle will mismatch and they both will be stressed.
Guinea Pigs with Ferrets
Guinea pigs are snacks for ferrets so it is always a no to introduce ferrets and guinea pigs.
Guinea Pigs with birds
Guinea Pigs can be housed together with small pet birds like parakeets, cockatiels, and budgerigars. Since they have short claws they won’t hurt guinea pigs. Remember to trim your bird’s claw and beak so that it will not hurt your Guinea pig.
Guinea pigs with Dogs/Cats
Guinea pigs and dogs/Cats may get along if you introduce them properly but there will be always a risk. Don’t directly take your guinea pig and place it next to your dog/Cats. Guinea pigs will be terrified and will run to hide but your dog may run along and will terrify your little pet even more.
It is not advised to introduce your guinea pig to a dog/cat breed that has high hunting instinct also don’t introduce them to adult dogs.
Introducing the guinea pig to a puppy that is 16 weeks older may be successful for a lifetime as the puppies don’t see any small creatures as prey and have no instincts to hunt them.
How to introduce Guinea pig to Dogs/Cats?
It takes weeks or months to make your dog/Cat and guinea pigs get along. Until then you have to avoid your dog/Cat from reaching the guinea pig cage. Keep them in a separate room by doing this your dog /cat will get the scent of your guinea pig and gets used to it.
By doing this, your dog/cat will understand that your guinea pig is also a member of the house. If your dog/cat acts aggressively and barks near the door of your guinea pig’s room, then don’t scold instead give treats and distract by giving toys.
Your guinea pig will be stressed after moving into the new house, new owner, and by seeing your other pets and hearing their sound. You have to give little time to your little friend so that they will gain some trust.
Try holding your guinea pig safely and introduce it to your pet dog/Cat. Your dog will get excited and starts to bark and lick your guinea pig. You should make your dog stay quiet and not physically touch your little pet and avoid frequent licking.
You should be always there when your dog/Cats and guinea pig are together. Your dog/Cats may unintentionally hurt your guinea pigs. If you are not sure it is better to keep them always in separate rooms and spend time with your pet separately.
A companion is the most important to Guinea Pig’s life, so much so that they die out of loneliness. But remember to only house them with other Guinea Pigs. They cannot create a bond with other animals even if they can, they would end up being lonely.