If you have been considering getting one guinea pig, you might be wondering which gender to get.
The short answer to which gender is a better pet depends.
Both male and female guinea pigs make excellent pets. The sex of the guinea pig should not matter as long as the animal is healthy and social.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences to help you decide which gender is a better pet.
Is It Better to Get Male or Female Guinea Pigs?
On their own, both male and female guinea pigs are excellent pets. This is why the choice should not matter much if you are getting a single guinea pig.
However, if you’re planning to get a pair or add a guinea pig to your herd, then it’s a significant decision. It should be worth considering which gender to get in this case.
It is essential to understand that guinea pigs are social animals. This means that it is best that they are raised with other animals or a companion.
Hence, even if you plan to get a single guinea pig, you will need to think about the future. They will have to be raised in a pair in the future.
A human can provide only so much companionship to a guinea pig. It is best if they are around another of their kind in the longer term.
Getting a Pair or More of Guinea Pigs
If you plan to get a pair of guinea pigs, it is best to get a pair of two female cavies. This is mainly because they are less likely to fight and be violent.
While two young male guinea pigs might get along initially, they will fight when they reach sexual maturity.
Moreover, getting two male and one female guinea pig is also a poor decision. It can very easily lead to risky and bloody fights. This is because the boars will fight over dominance.
However, if neither of these choices appeals to you, you might want to get a male and female pair. In this case, it is best to get your guinea pigs neutered.
Otherwise, you should expect innumerable amounts of litter. Guinea pigs mate early on and frequently. In fact, they will even start mating right after the litters are born.
Not only that, but when a female guinea pig gives birth frequently, it can shorten her lifespan. It also makes them susceptible to health risks.
If you keep a pair of male and female guinea pigs, ensure you get the male one neutered.
You can get your guinea pigs neutered by a vet or professional. However, neutering is not recommended because it can be pretty stressful and risky for your pet.
This is why it is best to get a pair of two females because it reduces all kinds of risks.
What if You Already Have Guinea Pigs?
The answer to which gender is best to keep as pets changes when you already have guinea pigs. You might be wondering which gender to get if you want more guinea pigs.
Even in this case, you should get a guinea pig of the same gender. Your best bet is with an all-female guinea pig group. These would be the most accommodating to a new member.
Generally, female guinea pigs are not like male ones. They fight rarely. They might assert dominance, but not in a violent manner.
On the other hand, having an all-male group of guinea pigs can be risky. Fights will frequently break out in this case. This is especially true if new ones are introduced.
If you want only males, it is best to get a pair or trio early on at a younger age. This way, they will not have many fights.
In this case, you will not be able to introduce any more guinea pigs regardless of their gender.
Another good option is to have a combination of guinea pigs. In the wild, guinea pigs tend to live in a combination of one male and a few females.
Differences between Male and Female Guinea Pig
Perhaps comparing the differences between male and female cavies might help your decision. This will help you decide which gender would better fit you.
If you plan to bring home a baby guinea pig, you must remember that they get larger as they age. Adult guinea pigs are much larger than smaller ones.
The exact weight also fluctuates depending on genetics and nutrition. Moreover, male guinea pigs tend to be slightly larger than female guinea pigs.
Additionally, boars also are longer than sows. They also weigh more than female guinea pigs.
When it comes to cleanliness, sows are undoubtedly much cleaner than boars. They generally tend to keep their living spaces clean and tidy.
On the other hand, male guinea pigs don’t mind a messy space. They are more likely to pee everywhere and tip over their water bowl.
The lifespan of guinea pigs depends mainly on their diet and environment. However, male guinea pigs tend to live longer than female ones on average.
This is especially true if sows give birth. Their lifespan gets reduced if they frequently give birth.
On the whole, female guinea pigs tend to be much more amicable. This is why females tend to have fewer fallouts amongst themselves.
They are also more laidback. However, this also largely depends on their personalities. Sows can be aggressive, but generally, they are calmer than males.
Males do not generally do well in herds and groups. They typically end up fighting over dominance, which is dangerous for them.
This is also because males tend to be quite territorial of their space. They feel the need to protect their personal spaces, which are violent.
The personality of a guinea pig essentially may be individual. However, there are general assumptions about their personalities.
For example, male guinea pigs tend to be more outgoing and social. They will likely interact, play and cuddle with you.
In many ways, male guinea pigs are more confident and bolder than females. This makes them easier to handle as well.
However, it will take female guinea pigs some time before they get acquainted with you. It is difficult to establish a connection with a female guinea pig in some cases.
They would rather stay reserved and in their own personal spaces. On the other hand, male guinea pigs would likely venture out and explore more.
Lastly, male guinea pigs are also more vocal and louder than female guinea pigs.
Male and female guinea pigs tend to have different health conditions. The only condition they both are at risk of having is a urinary tract infection (UTI).
If they are kept in unhygienic conditions and don’t get enough water, they may both develop UTIs.
However, older, unneutered males can also develop a condition called impaction. This involves a build-up of fecal matter in the guinea pigs’ anal sack.
This means that they are unable to empty their bowels completely while defecating. It is also because their muscles weaken over time as they age.
Luckily, impaction can be a manageable condition. On the other hand, female guinea pigs are more susceptible to developing various types of cancers.
For example, they have a higher risk of developing mammary, ovarian, and uterine cancer as they age.
Another difference between the two genders is their smell. Due to the fact that they are less clean, male guinea pigs are also smellier.
However, this also is because of the grease gland in these tiny critters. This gland is more active in males, so they are smellier.
Female guinea pigs can also have more active grease glands in some cases. However, generally, they don’t.
How to Tell the Difference between Male and Female Guinea Pigs?
Besides these aforementioned factors, you can look at other things to see whether your guinea pig is a male or female.
For example, you can look at their private parts. Male guinea pigs have genitals that resemble the shape of a lower case i.
On the other hand, females have genitals similar to a Y shape.
All in all, the answer to which gender is better depends on your preferences. Female guinea pigs are a popular choice since they are friendlier, accommodating, and cleaner.
They are also a good option if you plan to keep more guinea pigs in the future. Introducing female sows to other ones is much easier than with boars.
It is ideal for prospective owners to get a pair of guinea pigs who have already bonded. This way, you will not need to worry about any fights.
It would be worthwhile if you read up on introducing guinea pigs and learning about them before you get them.
However, if you want to get a single guinea pig, you must consider its future. It will need a companion in the future, so you should choose a gender accordingly.
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