Ask Alice: Is It Too Late To Get A Second Guinea Pig?

Answering your guinea pig care questions.

Bonded guinea pig friends Revy and Abby-Roo
"I was given my Lola back in October and I absolutely love her. I was told she is about 4 years old. 
Can I bring in another baby/young guinea pig to keep her company?"
Hi Tennille,

It's never too late to introduce a single pig to a new friend. In fact, many older pigs respond more positively to a younger companion - with their smaller size, an established pig is less likely to view the newcomer as competition or as a potential threat to their social standing. Of course, that's not to say that pigs of similar age or size won't get along. Like people, bonding depends more on the individual pigs and their personalities. You never know who may hit it off.

I've been getting similar questions from other cavy owners. The basic story: a piggy parent finds out that guinea pigs are highly social creatures who thrive in the company of their own kind. They want to find their pig a friend but they're not sure how their pig will react. Often they've been told by misinformed pet store employees that guinea pigs will fight. Or they've read a few anecdotes of pigs not getting along. There's even a myth that male guinea pigs can't live with each other. Not true! Just look at Orange County Cavy Haven's Boars Rule campaign.  

To start you off, Jackie's Guinea Piggies has useful info and advice on guinea pig socialization. The guidelines listed under "Introductions" help to ensure your pigs can start off on the right foot (or paw). The "What to Expect and When to Intervene" section has tips, photos, and explanations to help illustrate cavy behavior. 

If you're still apprehensive about the bonding process (totally understandable!), I'd highly recommend getting in touch with a guinea pig or small animal rescue. They generally have ample experience pairing up single pigs and can help make the process easier for you with personalized piggy "play dates". 

Good luck!


  1. I get this question often too - good resources :) Hershey was a solo pig for 3 years and she was fine with our other 3 girls almost immediately when we introduced them.

  2. I've also found this a good page when going through the angst of introductions: http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html.

    One pig is fun, but two (or more) are much more entertaining.

  3. Being distracted at Pignic probably helped ;)

  4. Great resource! I actually haven't seen that one before. Excellent pictures too.

  5. I have took my piggie to a rescue and paired him with several until we had a match. The new one was younger. All has been fine. Recently, after about 3 months the have stated fighting. Teeth chattering etc, I tried a buddy bath; I tried putting a divider between them; but the little one tried every way possible to get through the divider. I finally seperated them; but left them close. I gradually try to place them in a big play area and sit and monitor them; but almost instantly it starts. The smaller seems to be the agressor. I let them be, I don't rush to seperate, but do so when I see it might escalute. What do I do? What happened? They were perfectly bonded. Please help!

  6. Mu-Xi turns four this year and her 8 year old cage mate died last month. I found a guinea pig half Mu's age at the Humane Society, but turns out she was pregnant. Now we have tiny little babies all running around while Mu-Xi tries to keep her composure. I didn't mean to put Mu-Xi through so much after Chai died. So much so soon. Mu-Xi hasn't lived in a group in a few years.

  7. Thank you very much. This information is very helpful...I'll let you know how it goes if I get another guinea pig. First I'm going to build her a better bigger home. I want to make sure there is plenty of space for the added family member. :-)

  8. Glad it helped! Yes, please do update if you decide to find your pig a friend :) I hope everything goes well.

  9. Poor girl, it must have been quite a shock for her (even though the babies do sound adorable). Hope she's able to adjust without too many problems.

  10. From what you described, it sounds like the younger pig may have decided he wanted to change things up in their social hierarchy. Keep going with the supervised visits - you're on the right track! I'd also try increasing their cage space, giving them multiple hideaways/food bowls, and more room to take a break from each other if needed.