Stop guinea pigs fighting

Guinea pigs face to faceIt’s not a pleasant experience when you have guinea pigs constantly or out of the blue fighting. I am afraid to say males can be a little more prone to not getting along with each other than females. It’s important to stop guinea pigs fighting, before it all gets out of hand and to prevent serious injuries. Commonly guinea pigs are sweet natured and calm creatures, it just depends on what is making them fight.

Why are they fighting?

There can be many reasons why, maybe they don’t have enough space to move around and are squabbling over territory. Perhaps they just won’t ever get along and that is that. Maybe one is getting more food than the other. A lot of stress can be a major factor, constant loud noise from the household for example. Being in the same room as the tv will cause issues. They do get used to noises after a time, but being surrounded every day by extremely loud sound is not good for them. If they are squabbling, then it should die down and it means that they are being dominant. If one is in pain, that can also be a reason.

When I was younger we had a couple of female guinea pigs that lived out in a hutch in the back garden. Anyway, one day I went outside and saw a couple of baby guinea pigs running around. I went back inside and told my parents who at the time thought that I was joking about, as I was always joking around at that young age. So they came outside and saw the babies. The problem was, that the place we got them from and where they used a breeder, had been negligent. We weren’t expecting to be purchasing pregnant sows.

What happened is the other female was falling out with the one that had given birth. Because it was used to being just the two of them and now the babies had the mothers attention, as they were then all together. This is a situation that can cause fighting and generally falling out. If you are experiencing this, then separate the other adult female for a day and place back in again. If it keeps happening then a permanent separation if you are able to place another guinea pig with the other in another cage. If this is not possible, unfortunately its either taking the adult or the babies to a rehoming situation, hopefully it doesn’t get to this.

A new guinea pig meeting their fellow beings may actually cause a fight, fur will be raised on the top of the neck and will be feeling agitated. In general, they usually just get to know each other and the order of hierarchy is established.

What do they do when fighting?guinea pig means business

Show their teeth to each other, you will never see this as any other behaviour that they do, you know that something is up. Also, heads will go up in the air, both standing a certain distance away from one another. All of a sudden, it may be chasing and running around or up close and personal fighting. A louder chattering of the teeth and agitated squeaking is also signs that a fight is about to happen.

How to prevent and stop fighting?

Provide plenty of space in their home and playpen. Make sure each guinea pig is receiving its fair share of food. Quite a bit of squabbling can ensue, if there are not enough hiding places, always make sure that there are the right number for the guinea pigs that you have.

When they are physically fighting, immediately place a towel over them, which will confuse the situation and quickly remove one of them using a fleece pouch and wearing thick gloves, in case of biting as it can be nasty. Do the same thing again if it happens next time, give them one more chance after a month to see if things settle down.

There will have to be a permanent seperation, if you are unable to do this, then unfortunately one of them will have to go. Place the cage next to the other, so they still have communication, but not be in each other’s company. Hopefully you won’t experience this situation and generally all of your guinea pigs should get on fine.

 

Thank you for reading this article, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will reply back as soon as possible.

Source: https://www.healthguidance.org/entry/11835/1/fighting-guinea-pigs.html

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4 comments found

  1. Thanks for this useful post Eden! 

    Guinea pigs seem like such lovable animals that it’s hard to imagine them fighting, but I’m sure it happens. You mention that one of the factors could be loud household noises. Do you think that guinea pigs would be less likely to get into fights if they lived in their owner’s gardens? Or is it hard to say?

    Thanks again!

    1. Yes unfortunately fights do happen, but its not that common. Over time guinea pigs can get used to noises, but I have found for example, that really loud noise for a long period of time may annoy them and cause fighting plus agitation between them. I always recommend if people are able to, is to have your guinea pigs live inside. Its better for interaction and a constant temperature. What I would say if their cage was placed in the same room as the tv, this could cause stress which may lead to fighting. I have mine, where they can hear the tv, but they are far away enough to not get upset by it. If the loud noise in the household constantly goes on for days, its not going to be good for them. If there is building work being done in the house for a longer period, then this would annoy them, so best to take them to a place that can look after the guinea pigs whilst building work is being complete. 

  2. Eden,

    Thanks for this important lesson on guinea pigs, my grandson has a couple of guinea pigs but I had no idea that they could get into a fight.  They seem so docile and sweet, he is always holding and petting them.  I would never have known how to break up a fight between them without reading your article.  So if this ever happens we should separate them for a time before putting them back into the same pen?  For how long is it really necessary for a whole month?

    Susa

    1. Hello Susan, 

      It is uncommon for guinea pigs to fight, but it can happen. Yes you should separate them, so take one out and place in its home. Give it an hour and place them together again, without any other guinea pigs with them. They hopefully should have settled down and one of them will back down from trying to be dominant. If they do fight again, place the towel over and quickly remove one of them using a fleece pouch and wearing the gloves. Then a separation of a week, with them being in separate cages but next to each other, so they can still communicate. 

      Try after a week with them meeting each other, if this does not work. Repeat the process and try the last time for a month. Permanent separation will have to happen if its unsuccessful after the 3 times. Its placing them in the separate homes with other guinea pigs or unfortunately if this is not possible, taking the other guinea pig to the rescue centre and getting a new friend for the piggie thats on its own. 

      Hopefully this won’t happen with your grandsons guinea pigs, as like you say they are known for being very sweet and docile creatures. 

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