Can guinea pigs die of loneliness? Well, if you already own a guinea pig, then you already know that they are overly emotional and gentle animals.
The sad truth is that your guinea pig can die of loneliness. Because guinea pigs are very social animals, they require a lot of companionship in their life.
Hence, you have to devote a couple of hours a day to play with your guinea pigs to keep them happy and motivated. If you have only one guinea pig and you don’t have the time to play with it, we recommend adopting a second guinea pig.
Can Guinea Pigs Die of Loneliness?
As earlier stated, guinea pigs can actually die of loneliness. This is why when people ask why is companionship so important for a guinea pig; we quickly update them for the following reasons.
Companionship is vital to a guinea pig because naturally, they move together in large herds out in the wild. They regularly interact with each other and keep themselves company. A domesticated guinea pig will not have access to this type of social structure.
However, in every case, guinea pigs are more fulfilled and happier when they have other companies like human attention or other cavies.
Leaving the guinea pig on its own would make it more skittish and fearful, causing it to be prone to depression. A lonely guinea pig may develop unpleasant habits like chewing the bars on the cage or rattling the water bottles. They will also cry for attention often.
Read Also: Do Guinea Pigs Play With Each Other?
Why You Should Have More Than One Guinea Pig
The primary benefit of having more than one guinea pig is that there is an opportunity for both guinea pigs to develop a bond. When two domesticated guinea pigs from a close bond, they will start to look after each other.
For example, should one guinea pig start losing speed and agility due to aging or ailments such as arthritis, the companion will assist by dragging food items like pellets and vegetables to the sick one.
If one guinea pig gets injured or is stuck somewhere, the partner will make loud wheezy noises to draw your attention for help.
Anyway, not all guinea pigs will develop these types of bonds; however, you’ll not discover this if your pet lives alone.
Are Guinea Pigs More Active When They Are Paired?
Paired guinea pigs are more active because they help to keep each other busy. They will spend time chasing themselves around the cage, playing together, and running laps. Even a contentious relationship will keep both pets active.
The more dominant pet will constantly roust the submissive partner off the most comfortable napping spot and steal the best food.
A solitary guinea pig will become sedentary when it doesn’t have a companion or playmate.
Can Human Affection Replace Cavy Bonding?
In a few cases, if you own just one guinea pig, it may bond with you and substitute the need to have another guinea pig. However, from our experience, that is a sporadic case.
It requires you to spend an ample amount of time with your pet to satisfy its attention cravings, keep it well adjusted and happy.
If you can spend a couple of hours daily interacting with your pet, you may be able to achieve this. Otherwise, adopt another guinea pig.
How Do You Make Guinea Pig Happy Alone?
Not everyone has the opportunity to adopt more than one guinea pig. If that is your case, we have drawn up some practical guides to keep your solitary pet happy.
To make your guinea pig happy alone, try these options:
Build a Perfect Environment
The things around your pet will play a significant part in determining its overall state of health and its psychological state.
To build a perfect environment for your fluffy ball, ensure you get a cage that is big enough to allow it to play and run around.
Buy as many toys as you can to keep your guinea pig busy.
Provide things that the pet can chew on. An old sock or pinecones are some excellent examples. Also, remember that safety is paramount; therefore, don’t introduce dangerous items to the pet.
Guinea pigs love hiding and running around; encourage them by providing various wooden structures or paper houses for them to play in.
Read Also: What Guinea Pigs Like to Play With
Play with the Guinea Pig
Just giving the guinea pig loads of toys doesn’t make you pet owner of the year. To ensure your pets live the best life possible, spend time play with them.
However, if you have just adopted a new pet, then we recommend that you go easy on the pet. Start by talking to the pet while in the cage, then slowly introduce your fingers to them, so it gets used to your smell.
How Can You Play With Your Guinea Pig?
You can play with your guinea pig by handling and stroking it, talking to it and sometimes letting it out of the cage.
Spending all the time inside the cage without a friend to play with can be tedious, so you can let your pet out of the cage to run around in a room. As always, pay close attention to the safety of your guinea pig, especially when they are out of the cage.
Ensure there are no harmful objects in the room, such as a loose electric cable that could hurt the pet.
We recommend you have a pet house or a little box where your guinea pig can hide in if they become scared.
If you have a garden, this is an ideal place to let your guinea pig play. These little balls of joy love gardening. But don’t forget to keep an eye out, so they do not run away or feed on something toxic.
Can guinea pigs die of loneliness? Yes, they can. We recommend you adopt more than one guinea pig from the onset. Places like Switzerland are very forward-thinking as regards animal social rights. For example, it is illegal to own less than one guinea pig in Switzerland.
Unfortunately, laws cannot regulate every aspect of a pet’s life. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure your guinea pig lives its best life as pet owners. If you cannot dedicate enough time to your guinea pet, please adopt a friend.