How to Keep a Single Guinea Pig Happy in 5 Ways

According to experts, guinea pigs are the second most intelligent small pets after rabbits, with 240 million neurons in their brains! Guinea pigs are social pets and love living with companions. We will discuss how to keep a single guinea pig happy in five ways if you have only one in the cage. 

The best way to keep your single guinea pig happy is to play with it for at least two hours daily. Also, introduce fun toys and climbing structures in the cage to keep it entertained. Ensure you provide enough hiding places in the cage and stick to a specific feeding schedule. 

If you’re worried your guinea pig will be sad, stressed, and depressed because he is alone, keep reading. I’ll discuss how to keep a single guinea pig happy in five easy ways. You don’t have to be an expert—these are simple tricks you can do at home.

5 Easy Ways to Keep a Single Guinea Pig Happy

how to keep a single guinea pig happy

As a social pet, living alone can be a daunting task for a guinea pig. It’s pretty easy for your little furry friend to feel sad. 

Here are five practicable tips to help you keep your single guinea pig happy: 

1. Provide a Lot of Human Attention

You must be there for your guinea pig for a considerable time. Their social instincts make them want to stay close to a companion most of the time. 

Ensure you meet his social needs by availing yourself now that there’s no other companion. While interacting with your guinea pig, you may notice it’s uncomfortable. That’s normal during the early stages of being around people. 

You want to create a bond gradually. Here are some tips for bonding with your guinea pig:

  • Be patient with the guinea pig. Guinea pigs need enough time to get used to people. Try to talk to him while still within the cage – let him get used to your voice. 
  • Once he’s comfortable, he should, by self-will, come to you. Don’t take things fast by pulling him out of the cage. 
  • Have your hand in the cage and let the little furry friend sniff it. That’s how the guinea pig starts knowing who you’re and forms a bond. 
  • Bond by voice. Verbal cues are a powerful tool for bonding with your guinea pig and making him feel loved, cared for, and secure. 
  • Set aside two hours for playing with your guinea pig daily. This is important for companionship and strengthens the bond between you. 
  • You can offer to brush or groom the little animal while having physical contact. 
  • Sing for your guinea pig or read a story to them. It will only be a matter of time before he understands your voice or sounds. 

Plenty of human attention can significantly help your guinea pig feel part and parcel of the family

If you’re a couple or more in a home, it’s even better. You can always take turns keeping your guinea pig company. 

Also Read: Is A Hamster A Rat? Here’s What Science Says

2. Provide Many Fun Toys 

Guinea pig

The instinctual behaviors of a guinea pig are too many. They love exploring, which leads to the discovery of new things. 

Moreover, guinea pigs are full of engagements, and with their open-rooted teeth, they love chewing like rabbits and chinchillas. 

Frankly, only two hours a day may not be something for such an active, fun-loving animal like a guinea pig. Therefore, you must provide fun toys in plenty to compensate for the absence of a companion

When buying toys for your piggie, ensure they meet your guinea pigs’ exploration, playing, chewing, and hiding needs. 

There are several toy options on the market you can buy for the guinea pig. Here are some of them. 

  • Toilet paper roll
  • Tubes and tunnels
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Apple sticks 
  • Willow bridges
  • Oxbow toys 
  • Wooden blocks 
  • Tissue box 

The listed toys are affordable and readily available. Provide a variety for your pet baby to ensure he has diversity on the table. 

3. Ensure Enough Space for Them 

Let the cage of your guinea pig have enough space for free movement. A small, crumbed cage means limited movements, which can stress your little pet and create boredom. 

If you feel the cage is becoming a limiting factor, occasionally take him to a guinea pig-proof room. Ensure the room has no outlets to allow the guinea pig outside the house. 

You must be there for him to avoid instances where he hides under challenging spots and you never have a chance of finding him. Remember, guinea pigs are excellent hiders. 

Don’t let them loose if you take them out for fresh air.  They can easily run away. Instead, make an enclosed outdoor cage with chicken wire. Let him run inside it. 

Also, be careful with predator birds that scoop guinea pigs. Safety for your piggies must come first when taking them outside. 

Find Out: How to Help a Sick Rat-5 Simple Tips

4. Provide a Healthy And Balanced Diet

Guinea pigs eating carrot

Consider providing a well-balanced diet to keep your guinea pig happy and healthy. 

Generally, guinea pigs love munching on green vegetation and fruits in the wild. A balanced diet ensures successful growth, reproduction, and longevity in guinea pigs. 

A healthy diet for guinea pigs includes the following: 

High-Quality Hay And Grass

Like what guinea pigs love having in the wild, a high-quality fresh grass and hay diet is recommended daily. Provide fresh grass and herbs daily during the day and at night.  

Grass and hay are essential in the diet as they help the guinea pig’s digestive system function properly

Moreover, the open-rooted incisors that grow continuously are worn out by feeding on grass and hay. If the guinea pig doesn’t get enough of the grass, these teeth may grow out of proportion. 

Don’t offer him lawnmower clippings. They irritate the digestive systems and can even make your guinea pig sick. 

Fruits And Vegetables 

Studies recommend supplementing guinea pigs with Vitamin C, essential for wound healing and bone growth. 

Fruits and vegetables contain these vitamins. Feed your guinea pig lots of fruits and veggies like broccoli, kale, and lettuce. 

Other veggies you can be keen to provide are carrots sliced in small pieces. Fruits include apples. However, avoid giving citrus fruits since they contain high acid levels that are unfriendly to the digestive system. 

Water And Minerals

Your guinea pig should drink between 80 to 100 milliliters of fresh, clean water daily. Provide this water in inverted water bottles that have a metal cannula. Supplement feeding with appropriate minerals for a complete diet. 

Note that there’s no need to rush when feeding your guinea pig. When introducing a new diet, do it gradually, or you risk your small furry friend resisting it. Also, avoid underfeeding or overfeeding the guinea pig for proper growth. 

5. Check on Your Guinea Pig’s Health

If health problems go unnoticed, your guinea pig will suffer silently and could even die. 

Monitoring your guinea pig’s health is an excellent way to ensure he remains happy and motivated. 

You can notice any health problems by monitoring your guinea pig regularly in the following ways:

  • Observe eating and drinking habits: Monitor your guinea pig’s appetite and water intake. A healthy guinea pig will have a consistent and regular appetite. Therefore, any significant changes in eating or drinking behavior could indicate an underlying health problem.
  • Observe activity levels: Guinea pigs are generally active animals. Monitor their activity levels, noting any decrease in mobility, lethargy, or changes in behavior. Unusual behavior, such as excessive hiding or aggression, could be a sign of discomfort or illness.
  • Check fecal matter: Keep an eye on your guinea pig’s fecal matter. Healthy droppings should be firm, well-formed, and consistently present. Loose stools, diarrhea, or the absence of fecal matter can indicate digestive issues or other health problems.
  • Regular physical examinations: Schedule regular check-ups with a veterinarian experienced in treating guinea pigs. They’ll conduct a thorough examination, including checking the eyes, ears, nose, teeth, skin, and overall body condition. These examinations can help identify any potential health issues.

Once a problem is spotted, take quick treatment measures. You need to make your veterinarian know what’s going on for diagnosis and treatment recommendations. 

Watch out for any lifestyle diseases such as obesity. Undertake regular weight measurements to ensure the guinea pig is within the acceptable weight range. 

Can One Guinea Pig Live Alone? 

One guinea pig can live alone but with plenty of company from the owner. Experts recommend pairing the two of them to eliminate loneliness. If you decide to have a single guinea pig, you should provide the right environment to keep him motivated while staying alone. 

Generally, guinea pigs live in herds in their natural habitats; hence, they’re social animals. While in groups, they make specific sounds and choreograph movements that indicate communication. They love playing together and engaging in wrestling games. 

Keeping one guinea pig is challenging and infringes on its freedom of association. Although it’s possible to have one guinea pig, it’s easy for him to plunge into stress, boredom, and depression without enough stimulation. 

That said, the guinea pig owner is the first companion of the pet. That means allocating enough time to interact and play with him daily. Most importantly, implement the strategies mentioned above for better results. 

How Long Can a Guinea Pig Live Alone? 

A guinea pig can live alone for only a few hours if he gets used to having you as a companion. Meanwhile, if his companion dies, the guinea pig cannot take even a single day alone. Otherwise, he would fall in distress and eventually get depressed. 

So, you mustn’t leave your guinea pig alone for over a day. If you plan to go on a trip, you can talk to someone to watch the little piggie on your behalf. 

Remember, the guinea pig requires fresh water daily, changed twice a day

Food needs replenishment a few times a day and more. Therefore, if you plan to be out for a few hours of the day, your piggy may still be fine. 

Anything more than that, and hell can break loose. Consider boarding your little pet if you’re going away for some time – it will significantly help his overall well-being. 

Leaving your guinea pig alone for long may have repercussions beyond loneliness. Besides food and water getting finished, your guinea pig could catch a sudden illness. And such diseases may kill fast. 

Final Thoughts

Understanding how to keep a single guinea pig happy is crucial for their overall well-being and happiness. 

By implementing the five ways mentioned in this article, you can create a joyful and fulfilling environment for your furry companion. 

Remember to provide a spacious cage, enrich their lives with stimulating toys and activities, and offer a balanced diet. This way, you’ll make your little furry friend happy in no time!

Leave a Comment