We’ve talked about why guinea pigs need another piggy in their lives, and how to find the right match. Introducing guinea pigs isn’t rocket science, but a few steps upfront can make all the difference. Let’s lay some groundwork to make sure the relationship has a chance to blossom.
photo credit: RSPCA.org
There are some things you will need to do in order to get ready for the big event.
Make sure you’ve got the “home” space prepared. Guinea pigs need a lot of floor space, and we recommend AT LEAST 7 square feet of floor space PER PIG. This will cut back on possible arguments, as well as making health issues easier to avoid.
Clean that home space utterly and completely, scrubbing away all the smells, replacing fleecies with clean one, even putting out entirely new toys and hay. We recommend using a vinegar and water mix, but certainly use no chemicals since the cavies are super sensitive to the residues. This is now a no piggy zone until both piggies come home together.
Set up a “meeting room”. This can be the kitchen, or a hallway, or some largish open space. Put down at least two piles of hay and treatsies. Avoid any huts, ramps, or tight spaces where anyone could get cornered. Again, use clean fleecies and avoid anything that has the smell of your resident piggy on it. Put some things in there that neither of the piggies has ever seen – some new toys, new hay cakes, something novel.
Find yourself a dustpan and an oven mitt, just in case. You can use these tools to separate piggies who decide to throw down and rumble. Never get your bare hand in the way of a fight – they are so upset they don’t’ discriminate your hand from the other piggy, and you can get bitten very badly.
Everyone has been properly sexed, and the appropriate surgery done to prevent unwanted litters. There is home space aplenty. You’ve got an intro space all set up.
Ready to introduce? Let’s go.