Making sure your guinea pig has a friend
Guinea pigs are very social animals and need the company of other guinea pigs. Social animals that live on their own get stressed and lonely.
Littermates of the same sex should live together, as this minimises the chance of their fighting. Males and females shouldn’t be kept together, as they will breed and it can be difficult to find homes for the young.
Company from people whom a guinea pig trusts is better than the guinea pig living alone. But a person isn’t really a good substitute for living with another guinea pig, as people and guinea pigs have separate needs and different methods of communicating. A guinea pig living with just people is like a person living with just guinea pigs. Would you be happy living with just guinea pigs?
If guinea pigs are kept alone they should have the opportunity to interact with trusted people for several hours each day.
Male guinea pigs are usually around nine weeks of age when they can father young, and females can have babies even sooner, at about four weeks. However, some males are able to father young much earlier than this (as young as three weeks of age), so it is safest to separate males from females by three weeks of age to avoid unwanted babies.
The female has between one and six babies per litter.
Rabbits and guinea pigs shouldn't be kept together as rabbits can bully and injure guinea pigs and they both need company from their own kind.
If you go away, you should leave your guinea pigs in the care of a trusted friend or neighbour.
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