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Replacing A Lost Guinea Pig Companion

Does the remaining guinea pig in a duo need a new companion?

Shannon Cauthen
Posted: June 25, 2013, 4 a.m. EDT

two guinea pigs posing
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.

See more guinea pig Q&As, click here>>
See more guinea pig information, click here>>
See Shannon Cauthen's author bio, click here>>

Posted: June 25, 2013, 4 a.m. EDT

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Replacing A Lost Guinea Pig Companion

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Reader Comments
When Leonard died in July, we were so worried about Sheldon. They had een together since birth and hated being apart at all, but we placed Leonard's body back in the cage after returning home from the vet, where he passed, Sheldon said his goodbyes, and then seemed to adjust well. These days, he is a pretty happy pig, even without a cagemate. He spent 3 1/2 years with his brother and he hs done fine. We were worried. Weighing him (and his food intake) daily. We were lucky.
Ashley, Littlestown, PA
Posted: 11/30/2014 6:49:31 AM
I had three and when one died the other two grieved for a long time. When the second one died I got three more little boys and I'm GLAD I did as Nibbles olny lasted 3months more,but Hewy,Dewy&Lewy made his last days better. But they grieved after he passed.
Mima, Kansas City, MO
Posted: 7/11/2013 11:05:14 AM
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