I’m afraid that I’ve seen and heard about it far too often. Guinea pigs living with rabbits, playing with cats and snuggling with dogs. Keeping guinea pigs with other pets in the household is very risky and should be minimized as much as possible.
Guinea pigs are very vulnerable critters. Much more so then mice, rats and other small animals. If something goes wrong, the guinea pig will come out of it very badly!
Guinea pigs, rabbits and other small rodents all have very different ways of communicating. This is what makes them each unique and the reason why they are not meant to interact with each other is because each cannot understand the other one.
This lack of communication can lead to frustration and often a fight.
My animals get on fine together!
Just about anything is possible on this green earth and animals are unpredictable creatures. Yes, many different types of animals have been known to get along very well together. I’m sure that many of you have seen the amazing video’s of predators helping prey and even nursing babies of other species! It is a shame that we can’t trust them, but it is just not worth the risk. Guinea pigs prefer other guinea pigs company, just as mice prefer other mice and rabbits prefer another rabbit.
Everyone keeps rabbits and guinea pigs together!
This is very sad, but true. Guinea pugs and rabbits are carriers of diseases which can affect each other and make them sick. Furthermore, rabbits are very large and liable to stand on a guinea pig and hurt it as guinea pigs have fragile spines that are not made to be bent and can be broken easily. When rabbits play, they love to zoom around and do binkies (a jump and a twist) in the air. A guinea pig could very easily be kicked hard by accident.
The other important thing to note is that rabbits and guinea pigs both have different dietary needs. Housing them together and managing their diets would be complicated as rabbits can make their own vitamin c while guinea pigs cannot and need it supplemented in their feed. Keeping guinea pigs with rabbits should be discouraged and I advise you to tell anyone who doe it.
Dogs– Are predatory animals, if instinct kicks in they may lunge at the guinea pig. I’ve seen the most docile dog go after guinea pigs when they ran. When guinea pig run, even in play, this can trigger a reaction in a dog. Causing them to give chase.
Cats- Have the same instincts as dogs and are much more dangerous because they have extremely sharp claws and teeth. It would just take one quick bite or swipe of the paw to seriously injure a guinea pig.
Birds- Some people keep their guinea pigs at the bottom of an aviary with their pet birds. This is a terrible housing situation for guinea pigs because they will inevitably catch lice or mites from bird droppings. Birds can and will peck at guinea pigs and the poor guinea pig will be walking on bird droppings which is highly unsanitary.
Mice/Rats/Chinchillas- For starters, they have such different dietary requirements, secondly, guinea pigs always come off the worst in a fight, and thirdly, these animals need habitats with ladders and levels. Tall, instead of long. Guinea pigs cannot climb very high so these toys would be useless to them.
I would keep my different animals separate from each other. It might be all right for dogs and cats to live safely together, but for guinea pigs, they are much happier living and playing with their own kind.