If you have recently purchased a guinea pig as a pet, one of the most frequently asked questions people have is if their furball will be alright living alone. The short answer is yes. Your guinea pig can survive living alone. However, this is not their preference, there are several things to consider before signing off on keeping it single. We are going to take a closer look at the guinea pig to learn more about it and its preferred living conditions so you can provide your pet with the happiest life possible. We’ll also discuss what you can do to be a better companion to your hamster to reduce any feelings of loneliness.
At What Age Can a Guinea Pig Come Home With Me?
A baby guinea pig is called a puppy, and these cute little creatures become adults at about 6 months. Most people like to purchase puppies because they are even cuter than the adult versions. However, guinea pigs younger than about 3 weeks should remain with their mother, and most experts recommend waiting until the guinea pig is at least 7 weeks. These newborns will have a difficult time surviving on their own because they need specialized care that only a mother can provide.
The mother will nurse them for 2-3 weeks and sometimes longer. She will also teach the child how to eat solid food, which it may begin doing as early as 1 week after birth.
What Happens If A Guinea Pig Lives Alone?
Your guinea pig is a social animal that prefers to live in a large group. Like many other rodents, guinea pigs can have large families. However, the males tend to fight on occasion, and most experts recommend purchasing at least one female if you intend to have more than two males in the same habitat. Two males will often act aggressively toward one another when you first put them together and often arch their backs and hiss. This aggressive behavior should subside within about 10 minutes after they get to know each other. If they are not beyond the aggression in about 20 minutes, the two guinea pigs may not be compatible with each other.
Sometimes there isn’t any aggressive behavior at all. Females also tend to break up the tension, and a single female can help keep the peace between several males. A larger enclosure will also help the animals get along and keeping them all the same age allows them to be more comfortable together.
How Do I Know If My Guinea Pig Is Lonely?
Your guinea pig can get depressed, and the symptoms include excessive sleeping and a refusal to be held or pet. It’s common to see these symptoms in your pet when you first get it home from the pet store, especially if it shared a cage with other guinea pigs that you didn’t bring home with you. It may also show these symptoms if a long-time cage mate dies. Many experts believe that this behavior demonstrates depression and even loneliness in your pet.
If you notice these symptoms and there seems to be no reason for their onset, it could be that your guinea pig is lonely. However, it could also be a sign of a health problem, so we recommend taking your furball to the vet to have it looked over.
How Do You Entertain A Single Guinea Pig?
If you notice your guinea pig showing one or more of these symptoms, there are several things you can do to help ease your pet’s suffering.
We recommend keeping your guinea pigs in pairs because they are social animals that always prefer to live in groups. Several males living together without females can sometimes be problematic, but they almost always have a friendly temperament. If you can only have one, you will need to become the company it craves. Spending a few hours each day with your pet and supplying them with toys can help your pet have a happy life despite being alone.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and learned a few new tricks. If we have given you some ideas to improve your pet’s solitary life, please share this guide to raising a single guinea pig on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image: Miroslav Hlavko, Shutterstock