Leaving your pet alone at home is not what one likes much, but when the pet owners are working professionals and need to go out for work and stay at the workplace for a long time then there are fewer options than leaving the pet back home.
When you are planning to adopt a pet, you need to make sure if you will be able to keep it company and for how long you have to leave the pet alone. For small rodents like guinea pigs, the time frame can differ.
Can you leave your guinea pig alone?
You can leave the guinea pig alone when it is needed, but it is advised not to leave it alone. Guinea pigs are social creatures and they prefer to live in a gang. They love to mix with other creatures and they enjoy the experience of being in a group.
So living alone is not a great option for the guinea pigs and it will impact their health in the long run.
Why do guinea pigs are not preferred to live alone?
This is because the sole guinea pigs need an ample amount of care and guidance. Sometimes it also requires a good amount of training so it can live alone in a shelter. If you cannot manage to stay with your pet then you can at least keep a pair of the rodents as pets, so the creatures can keep company with each other.
Is it okay to have just one guinea pig as a pet?
Guinea pigs are not okay when you keep them alone in a cage. They do not enjoy their loneliness and rather get depressed when they are forced to live a solitary life. They are herd animals and thus, they always prefer to be in a group when they are in the wilderness. They need some companionship when they are in a cage and thus, you have to make arrangements for their friends.
How can you keep your guinea pig alone?
In case you are forced to keep the guinea pig alone and cannot manage to adopt a pair of them then you have to follow a few rules to let the guinea pig be happy and lively for a long time.
Make sure that there are plenty of arrangements to keep the guinea pig engaged and entertained. There should be lots of toys and other activity-related toys so the guinea pig gets stimulated by those. The main purpose of the owner would be to keep the pet energetic so it does not get boring. You need to know what kind of games and activities initiate the energy of the guinea pig.
There are certain kinds of simple toys like ping pong balls which can provide ample entertainment to the guinea pigs. If you are searching for some customized kind of balls for your guinea pig then you can get them at the pet stores like Petco etc. But if you get them rubber-made balls then do not let them chew the rubber balls, as that can harm the pig.
Give them someplace for hiding in their shelter. This always excites them when they find the structures or figures that offer them hiding place. They feel at home as they do such things when they are left free at the jungles. You can buy some wooden structures or can arrange for cardboard boxes which will be used as makeshift house for the creatures.
Gardening can also be a much helpful hobby for you as well as the pet guinea pigs. Outdoor is always preferable for the guinea pigs as they tend to stay outside as much as they can stay near the foliage and plants.
You can take the guinea pig along with you and let it roam around you when you are digging the soil or taking care of the plants then the guinea pig will be busy digging the soil. Just keep in mind that the guinea pig should not escape the garden and the door should be locked always.
Do not keep the guinea pig attached to the leash as that will be hurting for the creature. Just keep the area enclosed and locked so it can move around in the yard without any binding. T his way the small pet will be able to enjoy the fresh air and sun which is beneficial for its health. This is a nice way of entertainment and the guinea pig would not need the companion to be happy.
Do not keep the guinea pig within the cage for the whole day. If it does not have any companion then it would be stressed and it would not like the experience. It would feel lonelier and that would not be healthy for it. Let it freely roam in some rooms of your house, if not through the whole house. Your pet will enjoy these hours of freedom and will explore the room even without any companion.
Make the rooms ready for the guinea pig. Do not put any sharp object against which the guinea pig may collide. Also make sure that there are no open windows, or outlets. This will let the guinea pig come out of the room or get lost. Do not keep any valuable paper in the room as they may try to chew or tear it off.
Can a lonely guinea pig stay healthy?
Loneliness can affect the health of your guinea pig. When you bring it from the breeder, it usually gets habituated of living in a group. Then it suddenly finds it alone in a shelter. As the guinea pigs are usually brought at a very young age so it becomes easy for them to get adjusted to the new surroundings.
But if you find that your guinea pig is losing weight and it is not showing any energy then you should check it with a vet. Sometimes the vets recommend keeping a pair of the guinea pigs as the company that they get from the other guinea pigs improves their health. The symptoms like lethargy, unwillingness of eating and weight loss indicates that the guinea pig is seeking company of its playmates.
Why guinea pigs do not prefer to live alone?
These small rodents live usually in groups as they are small creatures and get hunted by various more powerful predator animals. They need to be united to hold on to their life and unity provides them the strength against the fierce forces of jungle.
Thus they tend to live in a group for their whole life. They have become social creatures and cannot live alone in the nature. So driven by their social instincts they seek the companionship of some other guinea pig when they are adopted and brought to a new shelter.
What happens when a guinea pig is left alone for too long?
A pet guinea pig will always love the attention of its fellow pet guinea pigs as they love the companionship and herd life when they are in nature. It lives a happy and content life when given some of the companions of its own species.
The guinea pig which is forced to stay in a solitary way in its shelter gets changed. Their friendly and communicative habit changes to fearful and skittish type. Guinea pigs are found to be much prone to depression and they can even become the prey to anxiety. It can sometimes utter sound which will express its despair for a companion and that should not be ignored by their owners.
How the companions help the guinea pigs to stay fit?
Guinea pigs are prone to bone diseases like arthritis and when they age, they tend to fall sick. Their movements get restricted and they do not ride or climb the equipments or toys that are left within the shelter.
However, if there are two guinea pigs in one cage, then the other one, which is less likely to fall sick by the same ailment, would force the other one to play with it. This is also good for the health of the aged guinea pig as it will get motivated and energized by the company of the other one.
Sometimes when there are two guinea pigs in one cage, one may act more dominant and steals food or the best spot of the cage. This can aggravate the fighting nature of the other one and this way they will be physically active. When there is one guinea pig in the cage, it can start acting calm and may lead an inactive life, which can cause it to become obese and prone to various diseases.
Can the human bonding be the replacement of companions of guinea pigs?
In case the guinea pig is left alone and it luckily has an adorable owner, then the relationship with its owner may keep it happy and content. Guinea pigs are of much sociable nature and they can even bond well with a human.
If the owner or some other family member keeps the guinea pig company, plays with it and spends time with it, then the guinea pig will stay happy and will not miss the herd of other guinea pigs. So this can be a nice way to keep a single guinea pig at home.