Guinea pigs and rabbits. Both cute and adorable pets right?
Absolutely, they are both great pets. But how do you know which one is right for you?
In this post, we’re going to look at the similarities and differences between them so you can make up your mind as to which pet is right for you.
Guiena pigs vs Rabbits: The Similarities
Both guinea pigs and rabbits enjoy similar types of accommodation. Both are at home outside in a hutch or inside a home. They do not like being limited to a small space and enjoy having space to run around in. The accommodation needs to be dry and cleaned out often, free of poo droppings. They much prefer warmer temperatures between 10 degrees and 25 degrees Celsius but can handle the cold and survive it if they need to.
Both rabbits and guinea pigs need hay to chew on all the time. Both need hay to grind their teeth on and to give them some of the nutrients they are missing. It is the most important food that they need to eat. Both rabbits and guinea pigs cant take foods with too much sugar, calcium and fat.
They both cant eat cooked food and only drink water as a staple food. Fruits should only be fed to both species sparingly and both species should not be eating carrots and lettuce as much as you would think.
They both require regular feeding, and hay and water must be always available for them to eat on demand. Their teeth are constantly growing and so need grinding down.
Their hutches will require cleaning out at least once a week at the minimum as they are always pooing or weeing.
If you have longer haired breeds of guinea pig or rabbit they both need their hair maintained on a weekly, if not daily basis. This is especially the case around the anus where excrement can be built up on the anus of both species and around their feet from the mud that they drag into their hair.
Short breed varieties of both species are both quite low maintenance pets and can be left whilst the owner is at work as long as they have both hay and water available.
Both species are inexpensive to purchase and maintain. They can be bought from pet stores and rescues alike, or from listings on the web. They tend to be roughly the same cost.
Both species react well to their owner treating them well. The more time you spend with a rabbit or a guinea pig, the more they respond to you and are friendly. The less time you spend with them, the less they will be friendly and will be afraid of you.
They are both very fast runners and so are hard to catch if they were to escape their accommodation.
Keeping Guinea pigs and Rabbits together
Some owners of both species have kept them both together in the same accommodation. This can be done but must be done with great care, and is not recommended for new and novice owners. They are much better being kept separate.
Both guinea pigs and rabbits are very good first pets for older children. Younger children however do need to be supervised around them to ensure that both species receive the care that they need.
Guinea pigs vs Rabbits: The Differences
Size and growth
Obviously there is a size difference between guinea pigs and rabbits once they grow the maturity. Guinea pigs only reach a certain size, where as rabbits can grow much larger.The Mass of a guinea pig is between 0.7 – 1.2 kg (Adult) and they measure in Length: 20 – 25 cm (Adult). Where as a rabbits weigh between Mass: 0.4 – 2 kg (Adult, In Wild) and Length: 20 – 50 cm
Guinea pigs tend to live between 5-8 years where as rabbits can live anything between 9 to 12 years if their diet is right.
Rabbits tend to need around 8 hours of straight sleep and much more heavier sleepers than guinea pigs who much prefer to sleep on and off and even sleep with their eyes open to stay on guard for predators.
Rabbits and guinea pigs do have certain differences and both species have different nutrient requirements and so they cannot be fed entirely the same foods.
Rabbits have the ability to jump and to burrow which has repercussions on the accommodation you provide. Any rabbit runs, must either have a ceiling on them or be high fenced. They must also be burrow proof. Guinea pigs however, cannot jump or burrow and so these precautions need not be met.
If you are wondering whether to buy a guinea pig or a rabbit then it all depends on what you like. Both species are as owner friendly as each other. It really depends on which you would like to own and what suits you. Both are as inexpensive as each other and low maintenance. They are both very friendly creatures and respond well to human interaction.