Introducing a guinea pig to its new pack

Every so often you may wish to add a Guinea Pig to your pack.

However introducing the Guinea Pig straight away to its new friends is often not the best thing to do.

The reason for this is to ensure that it does not have any illnesses or diseases that could possibly be passed onto the others.

What kind of quarantine gap does there need to be?

It is often thought that there needs to be a gap of about three weeks between getting the guinea pig and putting it with the others.

This will give you enough time to assess whether the new Guinea Pig is in  a fit state to join the rest of the pack. You can also assess their behaviour and character during this time as well and make arrangements if you feel there are going to be any potential conflicts.

Introducing your Guinea Pig after quarantine

Once the three weeks have passed then put the new guinea pig in a cage which is next to its new mates for a period of a few days. This will give them time to get used to each others smell even though they wont be able to get close to each other before they actually meet face to face.

When you do introduce them, it is best to take a different plan with sows to boars.

With both sows and boars, they can be introduced during floor time. However with boars, make sure you do this on neutral territory so they don’t fight.

If you feel that your guinea pig is definitely free of illness and disease having come from a reputable breeder and it is a young guinea pig, then you may feel that you a time of quarantine is not necessary.

A good way to find this out is to rub the new guinea pig with some bedding that has been soiled from its family and put it in the cage with the new guinea pig. The reason we are doing this is because younger guinea pigs will tend to pine if left alone and could die.

If you do find that there is still more trouble from this fast introduction then introduce another young guinea pig and put the two together.

In summary

A period of quarantine can often be a very helpful way of introducing a Guinea Pig to its new pack. Done well, it can ensure a Guinea Pig begins life its new home well and settles in with its new pack as best as you can make it.

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