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Caitlyn11

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Hi I’ve had my little girl for about 6 months now. She didn’t grow up with any friends. Do you think it’s a good idea to get her a companion? If so, what age would you suggest?
 

artcasper

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Yes! Please read the threads on her about Bonding and someone with more knowledge will be along soon to advise on suitable ages but it is kind of up to who your piggy chooses..
 

Wiebke

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Hi I’ve had my little girl for about 6 months now. She didn’t grow up with any friends. Do you think it’s a good idea to get her a companion? If so, what age would you suggest?
Hi and welcome

It is great that you want to find your girl a companion!

It would be great if you could rescue date your girl so you come home only with a piggy she has clicked with. Age or gender (sow or neutered boar) are much less of concern than mutual liking and acceptance.

The younger your girl is, the better the chance of acceptance. It very much depends on how you she was separated and how much socialisation by other guinea pigs she had experienced to still see herself as a guinea pig and be interested in them.
She may react fear-aggressive to other guinea pigs if she is insecure; that is where dating comes in as you simply cannot predict how she reacts and which piggy companion would be best for her.
There is no recommended rescue listed on Guinea for your state (the Midwest is notorious for their lack) although there two good rescues not far from the Chicago area in Indiana. Guinea Lynx :: US Guinea Pig Rescue and Shelter Organizations
You may be able to find more rescues on petfinder, but you need to check what standard they are (quarantine/vet care etc) and whether they do offer adoption sessions.
Going via a good standard non-kill rescue with mandatory quarantine/vet care/pregnancy watch means that you will bring home a companion that doesn't come with hidden passengers and potential problems and you have the support of the rescue if you cun into trouble along the way. That is a lot of service you get back for your extra effort.

If you cannot access a good rescue, you have basically two options:
If you can afford it, get two baby sows from a pet shop, so they can live together as next door company with interaction/stimulation/socialisation through the bars if your girl doesn't accept them straight away.
Or find another single piggy of either gender, again to keep as a next door companion with the proviso that unneutered boars and sows can NEVER mix - not even under your supervision. Impregnation is a matter of seconds and over before you can get to them; not that guinea pigs do play dates! For them, every meeting is a full-on bonding session.
Please be aware that adopting from the free-ads means that all risks are on your side (pregnancy/illness/mis-sexing) and that owners keen to get rid of problem piggies tend to be very economical with the truth as a number of forum members have found to their cost.
As much as it pains me to say, you have more recourse as a customer of a pet shop chain although you can have bad experiences there as well, as we see all too often from new owners joining us for that reason.

Here are some guides that you may find helpful in understanding interactive behaviours and what you expect/look out for:
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Boars, sows or mixed pairs; babies or adults?
What to check and look out for in new guinea pigs (vet checks, sexing, parasites&illness)
 

Caitlyn11

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Wow, this was SO helpful, thank you so much!
I got my baby from the pound, they were about to euthanize her. I honestly don’t know how her home was before I saved her.
 

Caitlyn11

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If she doesn’t take to the new pig, how would I know? Or if the new pig doesn’t take to her? If they bite, is that okay? (I’ve tried before on neutral territory and it didn’t go well. My baby bled). My friend took her piggy back home as I figured that much aggression wasn’t normal. I don’t know. :(
 

Wiebke

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If she doesn’t take to the new pig, how would I know? Or if the new pig doesn’t take to her? If they bite, is that okay? (I’ve tried before on neutral territory and it didn’t go well. My baby bled). My friend took her piggy back home as I figured that much aggression wasn’t normal. I don’t know. :(
Bites are the end of the line.
Please take the time to read our very detailed step-by-step bonding guide with plenty of pictures and videos.
It will take you through preparation and the different bonding stages in detail with the appropriate behaviours and dynamics and a clear list of behaviours that mean your piggies have reached the end of the line, so you can judge any stage whether things are going OK or not. Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

if you can get to an experienced rescue that will do the initial and crucial stage of the bonding for you, then please travel!
Please also be aware that your piggy may be very fearful of others after her last experience. it will take patience and/or experience to make her comfortable enough in the presence of another guinea pig. If you go rescue, it is important that you mention the failed bonding for that reason.
 

Caitlyn11

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My poor baby 😞 Thank you, I’m going to do some research this week and hopefully find a rescue this weekend since I have Monday off. I think that’s a good time to start this process over again.

I did read the step by step bonding guide as well as sow behavior, I just get mixed feelings I think. I suppose you’re right that babies are a little more dramatic and I can’t be so quick to be scared for her. I’m an overprotective mom. 🙄 haha
I did separate right away when she bled, however.
Thank you so much for all of this information, you’ve all been a great help.
 
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