Getting a second guinea pig

a.hoover165

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Hi! So I know guinea pigs are animals that should not be owned singularly, but I currently only have one. She was initially given to my niece as a gift but then dropped off at my mom's house and just stayed there alone for way longer than I'd like to admit. I've been away at college, but as soon as I got a permanent residence that wasn't a dorm I decided that it would be best for me to become the new owner of S'mores because I want to give her the best life possible. I've had her for about five months now and decided that I need to get her a friend. How would I go about introducing her to another guinea pig after being alone for almost 3 years (😭 I know it's so sad, I'm doing my best to make up for it). Also, should I look for a piggy that's roughly the same age or go for a younger one?
 

Piggies&buns

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It’s great that you are looking into getting her a new friend! She will be so much happier.
When getting a new friend, character compatibility is the key to a successful bond. Age is largely irrelevant. Piggies have to have the right mix of characters and want to like each other. It also doesn’t really matter how long they’ve been alone, all piggies can be bonded and rebonded at any time.
If you go out and buy a new piggy from a pet shop, then there is no guarantee of mutual liking and the bonding may fail. The safest way is to go to a rescue centre for help. They will try your piggy with other piggies until a match is found. There is also no risk of passing on illnesses as all rescue piggies would have been vet checked, no risk of missexing and therefore no risk of pregnancy. Rescuing for a centre is the recommended route and all round safest!
If you choose to buy one from a pet store or newspaper ad, then that is your right but you do need to know the risk involved that it might not work out and have a plan b in place for the potential of them having to live separately and the bonding failing. Hopefully it wouldn’t fail and all will be well, but there is not a guarantee.

The bonding procedure should you do it yourself is detailed in the links below.
A new pet store piggy/ad piggy should ideally be quarantined in a separate room for a couple of weeks before introducing to your piggy, vet checked and you will need to check the sex yourself

Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
 

Wiebke

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Hi! So I know guinea pigs are animals that should not be owned singularly, but I currently only have one. She was initially given to my niece as a gift but then dropped off at my mom's house and just stayed there alone for way longer than I'd like to admit. I've been away at college, but as soon as I got a permanent residence that wasn't a dorm I decided that it would be best for me to become the new owner of S'mores because I want to give her the best life possible. I've had her for about five months now and decided that I need to get her a friend. How would I go about introducing her to another guinea pig after being alone for almost 3 years (😭 I know it's so sad, I'm doing my best to make up for it). Also, should I look for a piggy that's roughly the same age or go for a younger one?

Hi!

If you can wait a little bit until adoption and dating is possible again, there are several decent guinea pig rescues in your state; some of which offer rescue dating so S'mores can have a say herself who she wants to get on with.

Our guide on single guinea pigs has a chapter that is looking in more detail at what you need to consider when you try to a find a friend for a longer term single guinea pig and how to best go about it:
Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities

Here is a discussion about adding new guinea pigs: Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?

Here is the Guinea Lynx welfare compatible rescues locator for your state. You can ask the listed rescue whether they know a decent rescue closer to you if necessary: Guinea Lynx :: US Guinea Pig Rescue and Shelter Organizations

I am in contact with HALF (Helping All Little Furries) in New Jersey, who also have fosterers in your state and rehome into your state, so it may be another option, as would be Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue, who also run to a very good standard and who may know of further suitable places within your reach.
Here are the facebook contacts of these two rescues:
Helping All Little Furries
Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue
 
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