|Chewy and Chunky out to see if there are goodies.|
|Here comes a piggy train at full speed!|
|Hay tastes better with company.|
You decide to add a cavy companion. Now what? Well, it does get a little tricky from here. First, you want to add a guinea pig of the same sex. This is extremely important. Breeding guinea pigs can get out of control fast, and there are health risks that will be saved for another posting another day - please do your research if you consider breeding. A boar that is hopped up on breeding hormones will not make as good of a pet as one that doesn't have females on his mind. Check out petfinder.com, your local shelter, or rescue. There many, many adoptable guinea pigs out there just waiting for someone to love them. Many of them have already been handled a lot and are very friendly, because they were spoiled with love until their human got tired of them and decided they were a disposable pet. Those guinea pigs from a big box pet store most likely came from a place very much like a puppy mill. Lots and lots of guinea pigs in tiny cages with little to no human interaction, because it is about the profit, and these are the places that can supply guinea pigs to the big pet chain stores at the rate they are ordered. When you buy there, you are supporting these mass breeding and mass buying efforts between the breeder and big box store. I urge you to consider that, and if you want a baby that you cannot find available for adoption, search for an ethical breeder who handles and loves their guinea pigs and wants them to go to the best homes. Not to the home that hands over money the fastest on impulse.
|Everyone likes company over breakfast.|
#1. Do not just take a guinea pig and place it in your resident pig's home. That's an intruder and your guinea pig is likely to be alarmed and take action. The new guinea pig will be on the defensive and fight back. The key is to move slow.
#2. Introduce the guinea pigs on neutral ground with many goodies. This makes the meeting a pleasurable experience. When it's time to introduce the new guinea pig to the shared cage for the first time, have it freshly cleaned, rearranged, and put in some new fun stuff to change it up.
#3. Bathing both guinea pigs first so they smell the same can help.
#4. Rumbling and swaying is natural. They're going to sniff each other. They may mount each other to compete for dominance.
#5. Monitor them closely with a towel, but leave them be unless fighting is serious. If fighting becomes serious and there is blood shed, throw the towel in and grab one immediately. If there is not blood drawn, let them squeal, chase, and work out their piggy hierarchy. They will compete to determine who's the leader and who's the follower. It's natural; you only want to step in if there's serious fighting.
#6. Introducing a younger pig is likely to go better than adding an older one. A baby guinea pig is likely to accept the other pig as a leader much more quickly. Two older pigs are likely to work out their differences more harshly. Two "teenager" guinea pigs guinea pigs on the brink of adulthood are more likely to be hormonal and aggressive temporarily.
#7. Be patient. The payoff is very much worth it. I introduced all three of my boys one at a time when all were over a year old. Success is very possible.