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How Many? Does my single pig REALLY need a friend?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Jun 16, 2009
So, this is the thing, i bought two pigs about two and a half years ago, unfortunatly they fought but I kept them so they could still see and talk to each other.

Now, one of the pigs has passed away and I am left with Charlie, he has obviously been alone for a long time but he always had Freddie to keep him comanpy through the bars! He was never the one who fought, Freddie bullied him.

So, does he need a friend? He's been alone before so will he even WANT a friend.

Thanks very much!!
i have had a guinea pig for almosta year now and she doesnt have a friend and i see her doing quite fine. i mean she would probaly like one but i just cant keep up with one let alone for two. whatever you feel is right, but mine is very happy:D
i have had a guinea pig for almosta year now and she doesnt have a friend and i see her doing quite fine. i mean she would probaly like one but i just cant keep up with one let alone for two. whatever you feel is right, but mine is very happy:D

To give your guinea pig the best possible natural environment & behavioral patterns YES.
It doesn't matter if your pig LOOKS happy, they are herd animals & they absolutely need at least one of their own kind to talk to & interact with as they are very social animals. A lonely pig is an unhappy pig, you are not a guinea pig & your company is not nearly enough. They depend on you for their every need, and they greatly need company of their own kind.

It still amazes me how it's even possible to be allowed to get only one. There should be a law against it. Please get your guinea pig a friend, if you hardy have time for one then perhaps it's in your animals best interest to place it with someone who does.

There's not a that large difference between having one pig & getting another. :)
It depends upon the guinea pig. I have four together now but I have had singles.... those that didn't get along with any other guinea pigs. If you opt to keep one alone, make sure you give it a lot of attention and time out of its cage so it has the exercise and companionship it needs. Or you can have two singles with their cages butting up so they can see one another if they aren't compatible. I gave my single guinea pig every opportunity to meet each guinea pig I adopted. She was too aggressive with them but loved people. I think she thought she was human and didn't want to share a cage with one of those guinea pigs.
Friends are really important to guinea pigs' happiness. They keep them interested in their environment and give them something to do all day. Your guinea pig will not die if it doesn't have a friend, in the same way that we won't die if we don't eat any vegetables in our entire lives. But, nobody would recommend doing either. I had my guinea pig alone for three months before we got him a friend, and it's amazing what the change has been. Without the comparison of having a friend for him, I never would have picked out his "bored" behaviors -- when we got the second pig, he stopped wheeking as loudly as possible when he heard me start to wake up. Things like that, that I now recognize as him being bored and lonely, have stopped.

He went about half of his life, before I adopted him, without a friend, and the opposite of what most people who don't want to get their guinea pigs friends speculate might happen, happened: instead of not really wanting a friend, because he never had one before, he absolutely cherishes his friend. I can't take her (spayed) out of the cage without him freaking out, running in circles, and making a sad wheek until I put her back. One time he even tried to jump out of the cage to go after her. Of course, not all pigs react like that. My second pig, who had friends her whole life, doesn't really react when I take my first pig out of the cage.

To cut to the point here, yes! Your pig wants and needs a friend. Not to say that there aren't pigs out there that are incompatible with other pigs; there are. Usually, though, even pigs who fight with some companions are perfectly happy with others. And it sounds like, your pig not having been the aggressor, another pig would really be a good idea.
I don't know. When we got Snickerdoodle he was very wild and aggressive. He bit us and snapped at us when we stuck our hands in his pigloo. He eventually became more tame, but he's still my fiesty baby and I love him for it. When we had sorted all the piggy info out (Snickerdoodle was "unplanned", we found him in a park, and had to learn a lot in a short time) we decided to get him a buddy. We found a baby boy to adopt and we went back and forth over our decision for the 21 days it took him to mature. We were certain Snickerdoodle was going to KILL the baby.

I must confess we skipped the 3 week quarentine.. The 19 day old baby was too scared and squeaky, it broke our hearts to put the tiny fuzz ball in his own cage (this would come back to bite us, as baby developed mites and gave it to Doodles) so we into'd them in a neutral spot. I was AMAZED! They quickly found the same carrot and ate it side by side. Tuxedo tried to suckle Snickerdoodle for FOUR days and poor Doodles got NO sleep (so much so that he actually napped on us if we took him out, so much for fiesty).

They are best of friends. When Tux steals Doodle's carrot or follows Doodles around or they cuddle in the same pigloo I KNOW we did the right thing.

Did you know that a lot of rescues do "playdates"? You can bring your piggy and they will try to match him.
It still amazes me how it's even possible to be allowed to get only one. There should be a law against it.

Actually, someone on this site (from Sweden I think) said that in their country it was illegal to only adopt one. I thought that was great until I saw she had something like 4 pigs who all live alone because they don't get along. I like that we have the option here of finding our own second pigs. But I do agree that they should have buddies.
I think all piggies need a friend. It is only right. Think of how lonely it is being stuck in a cage all day without another of your kind.
You can't give it the kind of attention and interaction it needs from another guinea pig. You can't be with it all the time to let it know someone else is there.
I agree with the others that getting another guinea pig could really be benefitial to your pigs happiness, and honestly there really isnt much cost in getting another guinea pig, just a little more food and space.
Thanks guys! I will consider it, but will a much younger male pigger get on with my big boy? I mean, won't the little thing go over puberty and then want domanice? I don't want him neutered, it costs way to much and the vet's don't do that much neutering of guinea's anyway, so better to be safe than sorry I suppose.

In the UK, our main pet store (Pets at home) won't allow you to buy a single pig unless you can prove that you have a second that you are planning to introduce. But, it isn't illegal.
Yes it's definately better to get a youngster when pairing up boars, than to have two fully grown ones immediately fighting for dominance. It's actually quite difficult to pair up fully grown males. The acceptance is usually easier when one of them isn't in or past puberty yet & not seen as such a threat. :silly: Good luck finding a really lovely snuggly baby piggie!
Thanks, I suppose it is more luck getting mum to let me have one more *dies*!!!
You're not going to purchase an animal from Pets At Home, right? Please look for shelters/rescues in your area.

I'm sure that out there, there is an odd few Guinea Pigs who really just cannot get along with other pigs, but that definitely isn't common. Just because your pig doesn't get along with one, two or even three other pigs (One of my pigs refuses to get along with three of mine, but get alongs perfectly fine with another) doesn't mean that he/she will never get along with *any* pigs.
I think pigs getting along well has a lot to do with size of the cage and proper introductions. Good luck with getting another pig :)
You don't have to, BUT it is very recommended and I'm sure your piggy would be delighted.
My first piggy was alone all his life, even at the pet store (though I recommend not because there are so many piggies at shelters looking for forever homes.)
Now, on the other hand, he lives with my other piggy, Wall-e. I see a tremendous behaviour change in him. He seems more happy, and he runs around more- it's rather cute ^.^
I mean you don't have to, but I'm sure your piggy would love a companion to talk to and possibly cuddle with.
SO many people have told me, two males will never get along, but that is so UNTRUE, and I have the pigs to prove that. However, that said, it doesn't mean any two males will get along- like humans for instant.
I find that when you have a younger piggy and an older piggy, then they are most likely to get along, because well, its quit obvious who will be the dominant one. Will that change when the younger one becomes older, maybe, hasn't for mine.
Brownie, my oldest is still the alfa male, but that doesn't stop Wall-e from trying to be dominant. Is there fighting between them? No. Do they share? YES.
It all depends, though I think you'd have a better chance at having a succesful bonding pair if you add a younger piggy instead of old.
Hope this helps :)
Tulip has been a single pig her whole life as far as I can tell. I got her from a rescue just a little over two years ago. She's fine. In fact, I don't think she would take kindly to another pig, especially where hay is concerned. She's so spoiled. :lol:
They do realy need a friend even if they don't get along like Charlie and Freddie. They can be kept separate but still see each other.

But if you get a baby they should get along. When I found out Rudy couldn't be neutered I got a baby for him and they are the best of buddies.
Thanks guys, and don't worry, I wouldn't get one from Pets at Home!!
Btw, would a male pigger get on with a female SPAYED pigger?
Cause I've hear od this rescure where they spay all their femals...
I really hope that you choose to get your pig a friend. I think he would appreciate it immensely. Who wants to be all alone in this world without another of its kind to keep it company? :)
A male guinea pig would typically get along with a spayed female guinea pig. However, spaying a guinea pig isn't as popular and neutering once since it is more complicated and there are more risks involved.

If you can spay a piggy why not try and neuter? I know you said you didn't want to or couldn't earlier but if you could do one or the other I would suggest the neuter.

How old is your current piggy? It isn't kind to keep a lonely guinea pig. The cycle has to end someplace, so some people opt to keep a sole guinea pig when they are older. However, if he still has a couple years to go he needs a friend. I agree, a baby piggy might be the best bet. At worst he hits puberty and they have to live side by side.
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