Posted: June 25, 2013, 4 a.m. EDT
Some guinea pigs need another companion after the loss of a cagemate, but others don't.
Q: We had two guinea pigs, but one died recently. Is it necessary to get another guinea pig?
A: The answer to this depends on each guinea pig’s individual personality, just as it does with people. Some people are inconsolable about the death of someone close to them and tend to shut down and grieve. While other people seem to be able to move on in their lives quite easily. If a guinea pig moves on easily, it can make it seem like the guinea pig’s partner never existed while it was still alive.
Guinea pigs are not unlike their human counterparts. If the guinea pig appears to be grieving, won’t come out of his house, and is not interested in eating or interacting for more than a few days, then he needs a friend. If possible, let your guinea pig help in the process of selecting a new companion by taking him along on trips to visit other guinea pigs you might adopt.
If your guinea pig hides out for a day or two and picks at things but then goes back to eating normally, interacting and acting ordinary, you have more choices. Ask yourself if you and your guinea pig are ready for a new companion. Leaving a guinea pig as a loner requires more of your time. Has your schedule changed so that you can offer more one-on-one interaction? If your schedule does not lend itself to more time with your guinea pig, then this kind of life would be gloomy indeed for your lone guinea pig
One final note: A few guinea pigs go through the passing of a roommate with ease. They may even popcorn, taking no note of a roommate’s departure. And they may refuse to accept another companion.
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