can guinea pigs be alone

Can Guinea Pigs Be Alone? 6 Tips to Help Your Guinea Pig

We’re looking at the question, ‘can guinea pigs be alone?’

It is well known that guinea pigs are better when they have others to be around. Guinea pigs are naturally sociable animals and so require company.

But what if you just have one guinea pig, and can only have one guinea pig at this precise time? Is that bad, and what can we do to make its life more bearable.

It is fine to just have one guinea pig.

Although they are social animals it wont kill them to be alone, it just wont be that pleasant for them.

So here are some 6 things we can do as lone guinea pig owners to make their lives a bit more interesting.

1. As they don’t have regular company make sure that you spend regular time with your guinea pig. Experts say spending around 2 hours a day with it will do it a lot of good. If you can spend more, then that’s better.

2. Give them things to do to keep them occupied. A great article on this is this one

can guinea pigs be alone3. Let them run around in a room in your home is great for them. I often isolate a room in the house for them to do this, and he loves running around and letting off steam. Do guinea pig – proof the room first and you do have to watch it doesn’t start chewing things you don’t want it to. It is also likely to poop and so tissues, anti-bacterial spray and rubber gloves are necessary as well.

4. Consider bringing the guinea pig inside and putting it in high traffic areas so it feels part of the family. It will appreciate being part of the family and the attention that it brings.

5.  If you have a garden, let it loose and follow it around once a day. You will need to watch it doesn’t escape through hedges but guinea pigs are natural explorers and they love to run around and find new things. Don’t get a leash for it though as this can be cruel for the guinea pig.

6.  Guinea lynx suggests keeping an eye on its weight as it may start to lose weight due to not eating. Depressed guinea pigs can get like this. If your guinea pig is just sitting in one spot all the time, and not eating and drinking it’s a sign that they aren’t doing good. Spending time with them is great therapy for them, so give them as much time as you can.

So, can ‘guinea pigs be alone?’

Guinea pigs can be alone, however it is not advisable to let this happen for a prolonged period unless you have the time to spend with them to give them the company they need.

A guinea pig will always prefer the company of another guinea pig and then a human’s, however if that is not possible it will enjoy whatever affection you can give it.

4 thoughts on “Can Guinea Pigs Be Alone? 6 Tips to Help Your Guinea Pig

  1. My guinea pig’s been alone for well over a year now. We tried getting her a friend three times now, a female near her age who she bit and terrorized for almost two weeks, a month old female baby whose ear she nearly chewed off and refused to let her eat, and a year old male who she hated enough to fight with every time we put them together. When i say fight, I mean the bloody kind. She also lost weigh every time we introduced a new pig and developed a fever. Now we’ve given up trying to make her a nice,friendly pig, but if anyone has any tips on how I can make her less vicious, it will be appreciated.
    Also, she’s pretty friendly with the humans she knows and loved her daughter (who died) and mate (also dead), so she’s not completely anti social.

    1. Hi Ashwini,
      Who knows what goes on in their heads! I suspect they just consider another guinea pig as a threat and some are just more territorial than others!

      I too have a similar situation and adopted a female (aged 5) as a companion for my male who I knew would be friendly. One time she scared him so much he almost died of shock! I had to keep a wire between them so they could communicate but not fight and this worked fine.

      He has since died of old age and she is now alone. She too had companions in the past but the adoption center tried re-homing her several times and each time she attacked the other male (this I only learnt later after I had adopted her!)

      I did notice however that she was thin and I had my vet check her out because a hormone imbalance can make them aggressive. She had cysts on her ovaries and he operated, she recovered well and is now looking healthier. This made little difference to her like of a companion but sometimes it can work! I’ve had g-pigs for over 20 years and had come across this condition before where it had calmed the female down once her hormones had settled.

      Like your female mine is friendly and vocal, chats away to me and is very interactive. She comes out of her bed when I call her. I just do my best to give her as much attention as I can and let her run around my sitting room, which has a wooden floor. I put some mats down but she’s good on a wooden floor too!

      I hope my story might help your situation in some way :)

  2. My guinea pig is not friendly at all! She doesn’t like to be held and will not come out of her hiding hole to be social. She is approx. 8 months old. We chose a guinea pig as a pet because we wanted a small animal that we could hold and snuggle with. We dedicated a large corner of our living room (a high traffic area) and have also provided a nice multi-level CNC cage for her. She is not at all like other piggies I have held. What can I do? We are at a loss and have decided a hamster would take up a lot less space and provide the same interaction that we are currently getting with our piggie. Please help!

    1. Hi Tina,
      Some animals do need a lot time to come round and I have learnt that on occasion they just may never really be that sociable. I have a female rabbit who it took me 2 years to make friends with! She is now five but still doesn’t like to be stroked. Yet when I take her to the vet she jumps into my arms!!! Her mate on the other hand, loves to be stroked and falls helplessly at my feet! But I love them both the same :)

      As for guinea pigs or any small creatures it may just be that they are afraid of us. We have to look at things from their perspective and they don’t know or necessarily have the intelligence to realise we mean them no harm. They all have intelligence of course and their individual personality but like people there are differences.

      It’s hard for us when we had expectations of how we would like it to be and the question is can we accept that and love them anyway? I have wanted to ‘pass on’ the ones that didn’t match up to my expectations but of course I could not and would not do that, I took on the responsibility and care for them regardless. In so doing I found that a very special bond developed and maybe my dropping the expectation was the key!

      I wish you all the best with your little guinea pig :)

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