Among the most commonly held beliefs when it comes to guinea pigs is that it is okay to keep just one on its own. Many erroneously think that guinea pigs do not need companionship. While this could be the case if the owner has excess spare time to spend lavishing attention on their pet, this does not represent reality for most people. Generally, folks need to leave the house each day for work or school or other obligations. Just think how you would feel if you spent all day every day in a small caged space? Would you live through it? Likely, but you would be far happier with a friend around.
The fact is that the guinea pig is an incredibly social being. Because they are historically prey for other creatures, they feel far more comfortable with other pigs nearby. Humans can sometimes frighten them, while fellow guinea pigs offer comfort and safety.
Will the Smell Be Too Much to Bear?
In most cases, this will not be true. As long as your cage is the proper size to hold two guinea pigs, the smell will be the same is with one. In the past, I have had multiple pigs and now, with two, I notice no major difference in terms of smell. What has been noticeable is the amount of fun I have with pair of them. Observing their interactions as well as their distinctive personalities and loving attitudes toward each other is a real joy. These are activities I would not be able to engage in if I only had one, sheepish and shy guinea pig in the cage.
If the guinea pigs owned have not been neutered or spayed it is necessary to make certain they share the same gender. While some believe that females get along together easier than males, this is not a universal truth. Of course, if a pair of males is bought at simultaneously, they have probably already established which one is the alpha, making things go much more smoothly. For those who have a male already at home and are thinking of bringing another male into the mix, understand that some fighting may initially occur. This is simply how they figure out which one will rule the roost and it will probably resolve relatively soon.
There can be no doubt that guinea pigs make for terrific pets, though it is generally advisable for owners to keep at least two at a time. Nobody wants to think of a single guinea pig spending its days feeling sad and isolated.