Should I get my (male) guinea pig a friend?

mockingbirdsoup

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I had females growing up and introducing them was pretty easy. I’ve heard boys are a lot more difficult.

I adopted my boy, Wilbur, about a year and a half ago. He’s about 3-4 now, and I was told he lived on his own his whole life but seemed interested in the guinea pigs in the neighboring cage. I started college so my family takes care of him while I’m gone but I know he’s probably not getting as much attention. I thought I should get him a friend to keep him company.

So I was wondering how much success you guys have found finding your boys buddies? I was thinking about possibly adopting a baby boy because maybe he would feel less threatened. If they don’t get along, would living in neighboring cages be okay too? I also thought about getting a pair of brothers so if they don’t all get along, at least those two can live together and Wilbur could be divided off. But would three boys together just stress all of them out too much?

Wilbur has been alone his whole life as far as I know, so maybe he feels fine, but I know they’re social little creatures and I’d love to make his life better if I can.
 

KathT

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If you can wait til after lockdown, I would suggest boar dating at a rescue centre so that they can find him a friend he will get on with. You could contact them now, to see if they have any boars, and then take him once things are returning to some normality.
 

Piggies&buns

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Character compatibility is the key to having a successful relationship. Where at all possible, if you can take him boar dating at a rescue centre he will be able to choose his own friend which will make for a good bond. Dating at present is likely not available due to the lockdowns, But it would be worth having a look for your local centre and getting your name on their lists for dating after lockdowns.
If you go out and buy a piggy, then you have no way of knowing if they will be compatible down the line and may end up having to separate then and still have two single piggies.
Age is much less of a factor, so regardless of what age piggy you get, they still have to be compatible.
Don’t put three boars together unless you are prepared for the fall out - boars do much better in pairs.
However you also need to be aware that the idea of having getting brothers and then if they don’t all get along the two brothers can live together - be aware that even being brothers will not guarantee that their bond will be successful for the long term - most will be but as it comes down to character compatibility, being blood related does not mean that they will like each other.

I know this makes it sound negative and it absolutely isn’t - you just need to be aware of piggy dynamics and what works and what doesn’t, it is perfectly fine and easy to keep two boars together but it comes down to finding the right piggy for your piggy, if you can do that, then two boars together are fantastic and you will see a change in your Wilbur and his happiness! I have two boars myself!

Two boars need a cage of at least 150cm x 60cm, we recommend 180cm x 60cm, as the more space you can give a pair of boars the better as it allows them to have their own territory.

A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

Cage Size Guide
 

Little Ones

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Boys are easy to bond if done right. It’s simply untrue that boys do better alone, or that they’re aggressive, or that they don’t do well with other pigs. These are misconceptions told by pet stores rather than being truths.
The only difference is girls live well in herds. Because of this, adding girls to a herd without dating can work out well. However since boys live in pairs (very rarely 3s or 4s, large boar herds can sometimes work), it’s not a case of throwing them together. The boys have to choose each other.
It’s kind of like if you live in a house with 5 random others, you’ll probably have a better time as you’ll find at least someone you get along with. Whereas if it was you and one random other person living together, the relationship is going to be a lot harder and strained.
Two boars which choose each other will get along really well. There is still going to be dominance behaviour, but this isn’t aggression unless blood is drawn. His age and the fact he’s been on his own a long time shouldn’t make things too difficult, but as it stands you don’t know if he’s a dominant or submissive pig. Pigs should be kept with other pigs, it’s only in exceptional circumstances where this changes. So i think, even though you don’t think he’s been lonely, it’s highly likely he will have been. Guinea pigs are extremely social animals and require constant interaction. He will really enjoy having a friend around! It’s worth a try anyway
 

Hog lips

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As others have said a rescue is your best bet. My bereaved boar when to our local rescue to find a friend and he was tried with 3 different solo boars before he clicked with one.
 
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