If you have recently bought a new guinea pig or you had a pair and lost one of your cavy friends, I am sure you must be wondering whether guinea pigs can live alone or not.
I lost one of my little furry friends a few years ago, and I too was wondering the same, so I did some research and also consulted a vet.
Can Guinea Pigs Live Alone?
Yes, Guinea Pigs can live alone; however, it might be better to provide them with some company.
Guinea pigs are incredibly social in their natural habitat, which is why they don’t respond well in isolation.
So, even if your piggy pal seems to be doing okay alone, they are better off with a companion or two.
Guinea Pigs also have a personality, and it’s possibldiee that your single guinea pig may be comfortable living alone. But if possible, try and keep more than one guinea pig.
As a part of my research, I learned that it’s illegal to keep only one guinea pig in Switzerland. So if you only have one, the good folks in Switzerland will help find a new place for your cavy, or you can get another one.
Signs of Loneliness in Guinea Pigs
So you brought a guinea pal home but cannot decide if they are lonely or not and whether you should get another cavy or not.
In such a case of uncertainty, you can watch out for certain signs of loneliness in your fur child that will help you decide your future course of action.
Loss of appetite
Guinea pigs should consume at least one cup worth of food (fresh veggies and pellets) along with occasional fruit treats.
If your pet doesn’t, perhaps it’s an indication of a bigger concern.
Lethargy and Loss of Interest in Daily Activities
Cavies are full of energy and love to frolic around and have a fun time. You can witness that by placing a guinea wheel in their cage and providing them with toys.
When guinea pigs have access to said avenues of fun, they are unlikely to sit idle.
But if your furball doesn’t seem excited about anything, the chances are they crave the company of a fellow guinea.
Guinea pigs are generally anxious beings that more often than not come across as agitated and skittish.
However, after spending some time in their new abode and becoming familiar with their owners, they shouldn’t be visibly nervous.
If that turns out to be the case with your fuzzy friend, perhaps they need a cavy companion themselves.
While guinea pigs don’t have strange behavior that one needs to look out for, they can start acting strangely if they feel isolated and solitary.
When cavies feel alone, they may begin exhibiting behaviors that they wouldn’t ordinarily, such as biting their hutch walls, trying to escape, asking for attention 24/7, rattling dishes and water bottles, among others.
If you notice any peculiar actions coming from your guinea pal, ones that strike you as odd or with an underlying message, the chances are that they are asking for a guinea friend.
Should You Get Just One Guinea Pig?
With the indications mentioned above, it’s safe to say that guinea pigs are happier when they have company.
So it’ll be better to get another one if you only have one piggy pal currently.
And as a general rule of thumb, when adopting a cavy companion, always consider getting a pair from the get-go to avoid any complications down the line.
In simple terms, if you want your piggy pal to thrive and be the happiest they can be, you might want to provide them with cavy company from the start.
Benefits of Adopting More Than One Guinea Pig
Aside from a happy pet, there are many more benefits of adopting more than one guinea pig.
Increased Physical Activity
Guinea pigs are energetic animals that enjoy being active more than anything. This means normally, cavies will move about to blow off steam.
However, their activity levels will certainly go up if they have a partner to train together.
Lower Stress Levels
As already mentioned, guinea pigs are naturally nervous rodents who will get noticeably anxious in unfamiliar surroundings.
In other words, when you bring home a cavy companion, they are likely to feel uncomfortable and be stressed out.
But if they have a guinea friend to rely on in an unfamiliar environment, they will be less stressed out, which will be good for their overall well-being.
If you want your cavy child not to be edgy all the time, you might want to give them a companion to fall back on and not feel isolated.
Are There Any Negatives OF Adopting A Pair?
Bringing home more than one guinea pig is beneficial for the most part.
Of course, you will have to provide for two pets and not one, but that shouldn’t be that big a problem as guinea pigs are relatively low maintenance.
So to speak, there aren’t any negatives of adopting a pair of guinea pigs. However, it must be noted that guinea pigs form lifelong bonds that mean the world to the little rodents.
These relationships get so strong over time that cavies may become incapable of surviving alone.
That means if one guinea pal dies, the other one may not be able to take the hit and pass away as well.
As piggy parents, that can be a cause of concern, but to be fair, you can never be sure about how long your pet will live.
Therefore, the possibility of double deaths in the future shouldn’t keep you from getting more than one guinea pig.
Domesticating a Guinea Pig
Cavies are one of the most adorable and sought-after pets the world over and rightly so. They are not only incredibly cute but also easy to look after.
Perhaps, that must be why you have brought the charming furball home.
Adopting a cavy companion is a rewarding choice for many reasons.
For starters, cavy companions are lovable creatures who know how to love back, which makes keeping them appealing.
Naturally, as pet owners, you want to keep one that reciprocates your feelings.
Aside from being personable and grateful animals who appreciate their human companions, guinea pigs have plenty of desirable qualities, making them an excellent pet option.
Easy Of Care
Guinea pigs don’t have a complicated lifestyle, requiring some exceptional care routine. The only thing you need to ensure as piggy parents is maintaining a routine.
Piggy pals don’t respond well to a haphazard way of living and may develop problematic behaviors.
To avoid that, it’s advisable to have a timetable for your cavy companion’s day-to-day needs.
Feed your piggy pal on time each day, change their water and food daily and keep their living quarters clean.
For additional comfort, provide your pet with some toys and exercise equipment to keep it occupied.
Guinea pigs don’t need much space. Perhaps the most compelling reason to own a guinea pig as a first-time pet parent is the little space cavies need.
A decent-sized hutch should be enough to keep your fur child happy.
A cage where your cavy companion can stand up on their hind feet and run from side to side without bumping into the walls should be sufficient for your little one.
Of course, that said, you can get a bigger hutch for your fur fellow to provide them with ample space, replicating the openness of their natural habitat.
A Vegetarian Diet
A healthy, well-balanced vegetarian diet is the best when it comes to feeding cavies.
All you need to keep your fur friend satiated is a variety of raw veggies, some pellets, and Timothy hay.
Unlike most other animals, guinea pigs don’t have complicated requirements regarding food.
As long as you serve them fresh vegetarian produce, they will be happy and content.
Cuddle-Able Anywhere and Everywhere
One of the most endearing qualities of guinea pigs is their cuddle-ability. Their mini size and soft fur make them endlessly cuddle-able.
And the best part is that you don’t have to compromise on when and where you snuggle with your pumpkin as you can take them everywhere you want.
Unlike with bigger pets, you don’t need to think much about when taking a piggy pal out.
Going for a short weekend getaway? Your guinea pig can come.
Planning a road trip with the family? Your fur family member can surely come.
As pet parents, the ease of taking a piggy pal where you want makes the tiny rodents an excellent pet choice.
Another exceptional trait in guinea pigs is their friendly behavior. They don’t bite or kick their owners.
Of course, there are exceptions to that; if someone irritates their cavy companion or tries to hold/pet them forcefully, they might react aggressively.
However, once you are fully acquainted with your piggy pal, and they have begun to trust you, you don’t have to worry about biting.
Is Your Guinea Pig Happy With You?
While keeping guinea pigs as a pet is a beautiful experience for piggy parents, the same can’t always be said for the rodent itself.
Cavy companions are not hard to please. If you fulfill their needs, they will begin to appreciate you and show that by licking you. But there is more to keeping guineas than managing their necessities.
Cavies are sociable animals that are known to thrive in groups in the wild. So, when they have to live alone, they can get depressed and stop doing much, including consuming food.
Although guinea pigs can survive alone, they shouldn’t have to because that’s against their natural preference. This means even when it seems that your cavy companion is happy with you, they might not be due to loneliness.
The simple answer to the question of whether guinea pigs can live alone is yes; they can.
However, they shouldn’t have to live alone as that’s not the most beneficial for their well-being.
The repercussions of being lonely in guinea pigs are so severe that people in Switzerland are legally bound to adopt two cavies.
In other words, bringing home just one guinea pig is outlawed in Switzerland, and that should be enough to conclude that (at least) two guineas are better than one!
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