A guinea pig is a wonderful pet. Two guinea pigs are better. Three beats two and four well, lets not get carried away. One pig is certainly enough to keep most people entertained, but it might not be enough to keep your pet entertained. You should definitely consider buying a second guinea pig or more.
Why Should I Buy Two or More Guinea Pigs?
Guinea pigs love company. They are social animals and when left alone, they can get lonely which will negatively affect their health and well-being. These cute little creatures need a ton of attention and if they dont have a friend or two to keep them company, they will cry out for you much more often. Too often for most of us, given our already too-busy lives.
If your furry friend has a playmate in the cage with him, a furry friend of his own to keep him entertained, you wont have to spend nearly as much time with him. Of course you can still spend as much time with your pig(s) as you want, but you can also leave them alone for a bit, safe in the knowledge that they will not get lonely and suffer as a result.
What Sexes Get Along the Best?
Is it best to get two males or two females? Or is one of each the ideal combination. What about buying three guinea pigs? Two males and a female or the other way around? Or three of the same sex? There are a lot of possible combinations and the options increase exponentially with each additional guinea pig you buy.
If only buying one guinea pig, its sex doesnt make too much of a difference. Males are generally more energetic and need more exercise, while females are more mellow and a bit less active, but other than that, theyre similar.
If youve decided to get more than one little piggy, you have another important decision to make: what sexes to choose. First of all, lets clear up a common misconception: you may have heard or read that two male guinea pigs will fight to the death if you put them in the same cage. This isnt exactly true.
While two males will indeed fight if they are in an extremely confined space, as long as you give them an adequately-sized cage, you wont have a problem. That way each guinea pig will have his own territory and your two boys will happily coexist and be friends.
That peaceful coexistence will change, however, if you introduce a female (big surprise, right?). Adding a female to a cage with two males causes the males to fight for dominance. And dominance means control of the female, the food, the water, etc. The loser would end up starving to death, since the dominant male would keep him away from the food and the water. And, of course, the female. So dont ever put two males in a cage with a female.
Having two females together works just fine. They might have the occasional disagreement over food and water, but in general, they will live together peacefully. The females are simply more docile than the males, making major altercations very unlikely.
The best situation, in terms of harmony and a peaceful coexistence, is having one male and one female. Naturally, the male will be dominant and the female lets him. He sees her as his property and will not cause her any harm. Of course there is one major problem with this living arrangementbabies.
Leaving a male and a female together in the same cage will almost certainly result in puppies (yes, guinea pig babies are called puppies!). And quite possibly lots of them. The gestation period of guinea pigs is two months and the female cycle lasts 18 days. You could end up with dozens of babies in under a year. Yikes!
Cages Full of Guinea Pigs
Most decent-sized pet stores will have several cages of guinea pigs. This isnt really surprising, given how often and how quickly they can reproduce. Plus, there is a large demand for guinea pig puppies, so pet stores let them do a lot of breeding.
What this means to you is: cages full of animals that you know already get along. If you buy two guinea pigs that are already living together in the same cage, you wont have to worry about the possibility of them not getting along and fighting once they get to their new home.