So, you're lucky enough to have guinea pigs in your life. Those adorable wheeking furry potatoes with legs make everyone smile. But are you considering adding another species to your household? Maybe a dog or a cat? What about your cavies? Is having guinea pigs, dogs, and cats under one roof a good idea?
Predator vs. Prey
See the picture at the top of the blog? It really should look like this.
This has nothing to do with how sweet kitty or fido is. They’re higher in the food chain than your furry (unless you have a skinny pig) potato with legs.
Also, when your piggies see any predator, this is what they’re thinking they see.
It’s not good for prey pets to be scared out of their wits. Therefore, if you want a multi-species household that includes guinea pigs, dogs, and cats…
Keep 'Em Separated
Ok, now I’m dating myself by sharing a lyric from The Offspring’s song “Come Out and Play (Keep ‘Em Separated)” from 1994. But the 90s are hip right now, so it's ok.
Anyway, here are some ideas to keep your piggies safe and happy…and away from your dogs and cats. Truth be told, I came up with these after looking at my colleague Shelby's setup. To say she has a multi-species household is an understatement. You can follow them on Facebook at Mile High Menagerie.
Your cavies need their own room, or floor even, with a door. You may think your dog and cat will respect the appearance of a baby gate or an ex-pen, but it’s not worth risking the chance. This includes taking them out of their enclosures during floor time. Instead, secure Fluffy and Buster somewhere else in the house.
When They Go Low, You Go High
Check out Shelby's Piggie Taj Mahal. It's off the floor, and so high her dogs can't reach her herd. Plus, Godiva, Pig-in-Charge, gets an excellent vantage point to watch for any food deliveries so she can alert everypig. You can read more about Godiva and her piggie friends here.
When you adopt an animal into their fur-ever family, they trust you to keep them secure, content, and healthy for the rest of their lives. While guinea pigs, dogs, and cats are all marvelous pets, unfortunately, in multi-species households, instinct can lead to horrific accidents. Planning ahead and making a few adjustments before bringing a second or third species into your home will be better for all.
Do you have a multi-species household? We’d love to hear how you keep everyone safe and happy. Comment on our socials or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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