Posted: June 13, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: I have always wanted to get a guinea pig. I have two rabbits, one male and one female. My male rabbit is almost 1-year-old. Could a male or female guinea pig live with my Netherland dwarf male rabbit? And if so which sex would be better to live with my rabbit? Would the guinea pig have to be neutered/spayed?
A: Housing rabbits and guinea pigs together has never been recommended. Rabbits, even dwarf breeds, would still be larger than most guinea pigs and could damage a guinea pig with their large hind legs. Rabbits also tend to be territorial, especially the dwarf breeds. Biting is a natural defense mechanism for rabbits, which could cause deep puncture wounds to a guinea pig that has no defense against them.
Unlike other animals, neutering does not change the behavior of guinea pigs. The same can be said for spaying, although few veterinarians will spay female guinea pigs due to the high risk of death.