Guinea pigs greatly enjoy the company of other guinea pigs because they are very sociable and friendly. They could easily get lonely when kept alone.
It’s always advisable to keep at least two of them to avoid this. If you are introducing a new guinea pig to your current pet, you may want to know if your guinea pigs are bonding.
We are about to cover just that.
How to know when guinea pigs have bonded?
Guinea pigs may bond immediately or take some time to bond. To know when your guinea pigs have bonded, you will realize that they are making happy sounds to show contentment and acting comfortable around each other.
They will communicate with happy squeaks and wheeking sounds. They will also popcorn around the cage, stay close to each other and groom one another. Some males may even mount the females.
Choosing the perfect match for your guinea pig
As we’ve said, some guinea pigs will bond effortlessly while others may take time. You can make the process easier by looking for the best fit for your piggy.
By now, you should have learned enough about your current pet. Its likes, dislikes, personality, etc. You should now choose a new pet based on this information.
If your pet is quiet and timid, get a dominant pet that compliments it, and vice versa. Keep in mind that same-sex guinea pigs will fight often, mostly males as they try to establish dominance and set boundaries.
Female guinea pigs are less aggressive and though they may fight, they tend to be more friendly towards each other. Same-sex guinea pigs are preferred because no invasion of privacy will occur during spaying or neutering.
If you want to have opposite-sex guinea pigs, get a pair that is neutered to avoid a litter of little piggies. Opposite sex guinea pigs tend to blend well.
Introducing new guinea pigs
When you get a new cagemate for your pet, you shouldn’t immediately dump it in the cage and believe they will cohabitate and live happily ever after. You have to do it skillfully keeping in mind that these are two personalities meeting for the first time to begin living together.
It is advised to first quarantine the new piggy before introducing it to your guinea pig. Quarantine should take between 2-3 weeks.
It is an important stage of bringing new guinea pigs together. It allows you to check the new guinea pig for diseases, infections, mites, and parasites.
You should make sure that any of these is treated before getting it in with your other pets to avoid cross-infection. Always take care of it last after checking up on your guinea pig.
The quarantine period also gives the new pig time to get used to its new home and its scents. It will be a great time for you two to get to learn each other and bond together.
Behaviors which show that guinea pigs have bonded
According to People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals(PDSA), there are several behaviors you can observe in your pet to know if they have bonded or not. PDSA acknowledges that guinea pigs that have the following kind of behavior have bonded well.
Popcorning refers to happy jumps made by guinea pigs that mimic popcorn jumping while cooking. If you see them doing this type of happy dances, then you are lucky.
Your guinea pigs have bonded smoothly and they actually like each other.
You may hear wheeking and squeaking in your cage which is another form of expressing joy. Guinea pigs communicate with various sounds.
If you hear them making these types of loud sounds, then they are okay being together.
Your guinea pigs may want to stay close to each other every time. If you notice them following each other around, playing together, running around tunnels together, or playing with their toys then they have bonded.
When guinea pigs are trying to establish dominance they will grab each other’s food or even prevent each other from drinking water. If your guinea pigs are contentedly eating close together then they are getting along just great.
Grooming one another
Guinea pigs like grooming themselves and you’ll find them busy at it every now and then. If they are grooming one another, cleaning each other’s faces and fur, that means they are doing really well at bonding.
A male guinea pig may mount a female guinea pig. It’s not always sexual. If your male is mounting the female, then they are doing fine.
Other good behaviors to watch out for are: nudging and sniffing each other’s bums or touching their noses together.
Behaviors which show that guinea pigs are not getting along
Guinea pigs may not always get along at first. According to PDSA, behaviors that your guinea pigs are not bonding include:
- Agitated teeth chattering.
- Serious fighting.
- Hiding away from each other.
- Chasing each other away.
- Opening mouths wide at each other to show their teeth.
- High pitched purring to express their anger.
- Appearing stressed.
Guinea pigs love living together so they will usually bond and learn to live with each other. There may be little fights here and there sometimes but it’s all very natural, do not interfere let them sort it out themselves unless it gets serious.
If they don’t get along after trying every trick in the book, let them live separately. If it’s big enough, separate their cage into two with wire mesh so that each will have their own space.
Alternatively, you can get another cage and put them together. They will still feel relaxed to see each other and be around each other separately so do not keep them afar.
Make sure that if you are keeping two guinea pigs you have a cage big enough to accommodate them. Having a small cage may make them have trouble bonding as they love their personal spaces.
A minimum cage for two should be 7.5 square feet but try to make the cage 10.5 square feet.