Guinea pigs are instinctively social creatures. Almost all guinea pigs are happier with a friend, although it's best to let them choose a pal, rather than plop two strangers together and hope they become BFFs. Think about it. Guinea pigs live in groups in the wild, but they get to choose their own network. And in the wild, the king of the castle doesn’t have to share his territory with fellow dudes if he doesn’t want to. So, we may mean well when we try and play matchmaker, but sometimes we don’t get it perfectly. If your guys are picking on each other, there is still hope. Guinea pig bonding is possible.
Back to (Bonding) Basics
1. Start strong with a proper re-introduction.
You're wondering how to bond guinea pigs? Okay. First things first. They're gonna need to be re-introduced on neutral territory with lots of space, like a blocked off kitchen, until they settle down. Make sure the space where they are introduced doesn’t smell like either pig, OR any other guinea pigs. Any hidey holes should have two exits, so no one ends up cornered and feeling defensive.
Some yummy guinea pig hay always makes a good distraction, too. Rumbling, humping, chasing, a little chattering, and similar theatrics are to be expected. Louder chattering with an open mouth and raised paw while circling the other guinea pig is a sign that things may be going south again. You want to separate them before getting to the point of lunging and biting.
Guinea pigs hold grudges. Once blood is drawn, it’s usually game over for that bond.
2. Provide adequate living space.
Along with a proper introduction, guinea pig cage size is one of the most important factors contributing to a lasting friendship. For a pair of male guinea pigs, 10.5 square feet at least is recommended. Bigger is always better. Limited space can cause squabbles over territory. Even the best of friends need some time away from one another every now and then, you know?
Bigger cages allow for multiple hides, food dishes, and toys, so guinea pigs will be less likely to feel resources are threatened. A big living area isn’t a luxury for guinea pigs, it’s a necessity. This the perfect time to upgrade their digs. Putting new friends together in an unfamiliar enclosure will only increase the chance the resident guinea pig will accept a new roomie. Your guinea pig might suggest some new accessories to spruce up the new abode, but you didn’t hear it from us.
Looking for some extra stuff to help the Guinea Pig bonding process? Buy below. This stuff (and stuff like it) definitely helps.
Still no love on the guinea pig bonding front? Sometimes introducing guinea pigs is a gradual process. Fellas going through puberty can be especially challenging and might get on better after their first birthday . Many pigs that are stressed cohabitating can still live happily as neighbors, separated by a divider made of grids. And if they still crave a roomie? If you have the space, head over to your local rescue. Most will let you bring your frenemies over to speed date potential matches and find the perfect pal for both.
Because they say four pigs is better than two, don’t they? Ok, maybe not, but we do.