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Thread: Questions about getting a new friend for my current guinea pig

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Questions about getting a new friend for my current guinea pig

    I had two bonded girl guinea pigs but one suddenly passed over the weekend. It was a sudden and rapid decline where she fell into a GI stasis and the vet did not give a good prognosis so she was put to sleep. While I am going to take a little longer to get over her, at the same time I want to make sure my other guinea pig, Pixie, isn't lonely now that her sister is gone. Both girls are/were approaching five later this month (born around Thanksgiving 2015), so what I am trying to figure out is if it's better to get an already bonded pair and introduce Pixie or to get a single piggie and repeat the process in who knows how long. Given Pixie is about five years old, she may live another month or another few years (obviously I hope the latter but I'm also trying to be realistic here given the approximate age expectancy of guinea pigs) so I worry if I get a single piggie it would be stressful to that pig if Pixie were to suddenly pass but at the same time, I worry if I try to introduce Pixie to another already bonded pair it, are the odds in my favor that they won't exclude her? Also, how do I find a good match given that in person stuff is limited due to covid? I wouldn't want to get more piggies and get fights and multiple lonely piggies instead. My cage is currently a 2x4 CC cage. I also have a 1x2 loft I can add on but not using at the moment.

    Pixie seems fine but I also have been off work a few days due to holidays but normally work in person during the day so I won't be able to spend as much time with her during the day as I have been and I know guinea pigs are social animals and I want to make sure I'm doing what's best for her.

    What is the best option for moving forward?

    Thank you,
    Molly

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about getting a new friend for my current guinea pig

    My personal preference in similar situations has been to get a pair of young sows to introduce to the older sow. I find the older sow takes well to much younger sows in most situations and having them in a trio avoids this situation when the older sow passes before the younger ones do (cage space permitting of course).

    However I will say this solution is only suitable if you intent to continue to own guinea pigs well into the future, if you intend to slowly transition out of guinea pig ownership I would instead suggest adopting a single similarly aged new companion from a rescue. 5 is young enough that they could have a few years or more left to live if they are in good health.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Questions about getting a new friend for my current guinea pig

    Thank you for the advice. I do plan on continuing owning guinea pigs for a bit, I find them good pets and best suited to my current living conditions! Also, having Pixie still is making Sable's (her sister) passing a little easier for me though she's already so done with all the extra cuddles I've been giving her in the past few days. She's issued an SOS because of cuddles and affection overload.

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    Cavy Newbie
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    Re: Questions about getting a new friend for my current guinea pig

    I actually have the exact same question. I'm really torn. One of my bonded females passed away this weekend. Although I'm definitely struggling with the loss, I worry about my other gal. They were very social with each other. I'm trying to give her even more attention, but I know it's not the same as having a piggie pal. Plus, I am at work all day and the thought of her just being alone breaks my heart. She's about the same age as Molly's pig. I adopted the two of them about 4 years ago and was told they were "about one year old" (I think they all say that), but I suspect they were a bit older. I, like Molly, am concerned about getting into a cycle where I have one older pig & one younger pig. Although I didn't consider getting a younger pair, I honestly don't have the space to expand my current cage to accommodate three. I guess my question is, would it be better to try to adopt an older pig or a younger one? I've heard mixed thoughts on whether it's easier to integrate an older with a younger or two older pigs. Just looking to get some additional feedback. Thanks.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about getting a new friend for my current guinea pig

    Quote Originally Posted by EmilyZ View Post
    I actually have the exact same question. I'm really torn. One of my bonded females passed away this weekend. Although I'm definitely struggling with the loss, I worry about my other gal. They were very social with each other. I'm trying to give her even more attention, but I know it's not the same as having a piggie pal. Plus, I am at work all day and the thought of her just being alone breaks my heart. She's about the same age as Molly's pig. I adopted the two of them about 4 years ago and was told they were "about one year old" (I think they all say that), but I suspect they were a bit older. I, like Molly, am concerned about getting into a cycle where I have one older pig & one younger pig. Although I didn't consider getting a younger pair, I honestly don't have the space to expand my current cage to accommodate three. I guess my question is, would it be better to try to adopt an older pig or a younger one? I've heard mixed thoughts on whether it's easier to integrate an older with a younger or two older pigs. Just looking to get some additional feedback. Thanks.
    I am truly sorry for your loss. Nothing hurts quite like losing a beloved piggy.

    Since you already have girls, a little larger herd is definitely doable if you have adequate space. Older sows make excellent "aunties" and in your case, if you do plan on continuing your journey with piggies I would definitely suggest a pair of baby sows. That's what I had intended to do with Punkin and Scooter for Sly, when Pooper passed away. I was hoping against hope that my boar trio would work, but it failed as they almost always do.

    Having two young girls will ensure that your single girl once again has company, and it will ALSO ensure that in the inevitable event your older girl passes away, they will still have each other. They will mourn without her, just as Punkin and Scooter mourned Sly's passing, but they will quickly adapt.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new friend for my current guinea pig

    Thank you for your kind words. It's always tough to lose them. I just did a quick search and there are some young female pairs up for adoption in my area. I'm going to really take a look and see what's feasible in terms of my cage setup. I certainly don't want to bring 2 pigs into my home if I can't properly give them the space they need. I appreciate the advice; it seems like if it's doable, introducing a pair of young sows would be the best way to go.

  7. "Thank you, EmilyZ, for this useful post," says:


  8. #7
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Questions about getting a new friend for my current guinea pig

    Thanks for the information! I'm hoping to get some young sows in the near future. Unfortunately, the shelters in my area seem to only have boars right now so I'm hoping some sows come in soon. Pixie seems a little lonely so hopefully we don't have to wait too long.

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