Guinea pigs and other animals!

keeping-guinea-pig-withI’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.

Why not?

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 ankeeping-guinea-pigs-with-1d 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.





Risks

keeping-guinea-pigs-with-2Dogs– 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.

keeping-guinea-pigs-with-3Birds- 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 higkeeping-guinea-pigs-with-4h 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.

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12 thoughts on “Guinea pigs and other animals!

  • September 14, 2016 at 9:00 pm
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    Great post! and I hope a learning experience to whom ever puts there poor little guinea pig at the bottom of a bird cage! ( I mean.. who would like to live down there??)
    I have never and probably would never own a guinea pig as I am a cat person, but I agree with what you wrote! My cats are very relaxed and non aggressive, as is my dog, but I am sure in a playful manor they would hurt the little pig!
    Great read!

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    • September 14, 2016 at 9:53 pm
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      I know! Its crazy what people assume can be done 🙂 I think that everybody knows their own animals best. Like for example my cats Tika and Buttons. I wouldn’t trust Tika anywhere near my guinea pigs if they were on the loose, but Buttons would be more relaxed. I definitely wouldn’t leave them alone together. I do trust our dog Hemi though, and at times I have let them hang out together supervised.

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  • September 14, 2016 at 9:40 pm
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    Hi Emma, I would love to have a guinea pig as a pet, they are so cute and look very cuddly 😛 Not for me of course (for my kids…yea). Although I think I’d prefer a rabbit, a white one just seems so innocent and fluffy! Yes I’m a man but I’m a sucker for cute things haha.

    I had no idea that they actually try to communicate with other animals though, wow – mind blown.

    Thanks for this great post,
    Brandon

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    • September 14, 2016 at 9:50 pm
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      Hi Brandon!
      Why not for you? Guinea pigs are for adults as well, and did you know that Michael Bond, the MAN who wrote Paddington bear has guinea pigs running free range in his house. In fact, kids are more likely to become bored with guinea pigs then adults are!
      Glad you like this post! Best wishes
      -Emma

      Reply
  • November 9, 2016 at 9:49 pm
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    Thanks for sharing this! I didn’t know that guinea pigs needed vitamin C included in their diet. I never would have thought it to be unsafe to mix guinea pigs and rabbits because they look so similar! Learned something new today 🙂

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    • November 9, 2016 at 11:51 pm
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      I agree and I wish that everyone knew these things!

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  • November 9, 2016 at 10:27 pm
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    I completely agree with you! Being a dog trainer I know lot’s about their behavior and predatory instincts. Even the sweetest dog could go after a guinea pig unexpectedly. I have had four guinea pigs in the past in the period between when I had my last dog and now my current dog. I am sure I will be getting guinea pigs in the future as I absolutely adore them. However, I also know that this time I will most likely have dogs as well. I know that I will not be allowing my guinea pigs and dogs to “play” in the same area or room. I have always been concerned with people who just don’t see the risk and I am definitely not one of those people to take any chances with my pets. I’m really glad you have posted this article because it is important to the safety of our pets. Thank you!

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    • November 9, 2016 at 11:45 pm
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      I’m so glad you agree! I sometimes feel a bit bad when I see videos of them playing together, but it is just so risky 🙁

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  • November 10, 2016 at 4:22 pm
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    Interesting! I had no idea that guinea pigs were so fragile. I’ve never had any pets apart from cats and one dog. I do think it would be obvious that no one should have to live at the bottom of an aviary… how cruel people can be! I think if I had other pets I would keep them in enclosures separated by species where they are 100% safe at all times.

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    • November 10, 2016 at 6:13 pm
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      Sometimes people are very ignorant, but yes, it is cruel and they should know better!

      Reply
  • November 10, 2016 at 9:16 pm
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    Another great article on guinea pig safety. I continue to learn every time I visit your site. Like I said previously, my daughter and I are close to adapting 2 guinea pigs. This is why I keep checking in to your site so I am as prepared and knowledgeable as possible. This is the best site for guinea pig information I have found so thank you! Keep up the great work. It shows that you care.

    Patrick

    Reply
    • November 10, 2016 at 10:09 pm
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      I am so glad that you are enjoying it enough to come back!

      Reply

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