How do you know if two guinea pigs don’t like each other?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

When it comes to guinea pigs, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if two piggies don’t like each other. However, there are a few signs and behaviors that you can look out for to assess their compatibility.

1. Aggressive displays: If you observe biting, raised hackles (the hair along their back standing up), and prolonged intense teeth chattering, it’s a clear indication that the guinea pigs do not get along. These aggressive behaviors should not be taken lightly and immediate separation is necessary to prevent any harm.

2. Frequent chasing: While occasional chasing is a normal part of establishing dominance, if one guinea pig is constantly chasing and cornering the other, it may indicate a power struggle or bullying. This can lead to stress and discomfort for the submissive guinea pig.

3. Refusal to share resources: If one guinea pig is consistently guarding food, water, or hiding spots, it suggests a territorial behavior and a lack of willingness to share. This can cause conflicts and tension between the piggies.

4. Excessive vocalization: Guinea pigs communicate through various vocalizations, but if you notice excessive and intense squealing, squeaking, or rumbling, it may be a sign of aggression or distress. Pay attention to the context and frequency of these vocalizations to understand their meaning.

5. Frequent hiding or hunching: If one guinea pig consistently hides or hunches down in a defensive posture when the other is around, it could be a sign of fear or discomfort. This behavior suggests that they do not feel safe or at ease in each other’s presence.

It’s important to note that some initial displays of dominance and establishing a hierarchy are normal when introducing new guinea pigs. However, if any of the above behaviors persist or escalate, it’s crucial to separate the guinea pigs to prevent injuries or long-term stress.

In general, it’s best to give guinea pigs some time to sort out their dominance hierarchy. It’s natural for them to establish a pecking order, and interfering too early can disrupt the process. However, if the signs of aggression are severe or continuous, it’s better to err on the side of caution and separate the guinea pigs to ensure their safety and well-being.

Remember, each guinea pig is unique, and compatibility between individuals can vary. If you are unsure about their relationship, consulting with a veterinarian or experienced guinea pig owner can provide valuable insights and guidance.