Is it Okay to Have Only One Guinea Pig?

When you wish to pet a guinea pig, one of the most important things to consider is whether to own just one or two guinea pigs. In this article, you shall find the answer not just for that, but also for several other related questions. Starting from why owning only one guinea pig is illegal in Switzerland to how you can keep your guinea pig happy without a companion.

So, is it okay to have only one guinea pig? Yes you CAN have only one guinea pig, but SHOULD you? Definitely no. Guinea pigs are social in nature. They tend to isolate themselves or show grief when their companion dies or is taken away. In worst cases, when a partner dies, the other dies just out of loneliness without any apparent warnings.

With that said, there are some ways in which you can have a shot at keeping your guinea pig happy even without a partner. Read through to find out how!

Does it Apply to Both Male and Female Guinea Pigs?

One less-spoken fact is that female guinea pigs are the ones that need to be grown in a group of 2 to 4. Male guinea pigs do just okay being alone. Yet, you have to remember that getting a companion for your male guinea pig can increase his life expectancy by a factor of 10! Let’s face it, nobody wants their pet to die earlier. Especially in this case where you not only get to enjoy your pet longer but also get double the happiness of owning just one!

Does Getting a Wheel to Run on Keep a Guinea Pig Happy in Solitude?

Well, this is one ridiculous rumor in the crazy world. It is like asking you to run around a wheel all by yourself rather than hanging out with friends. Although, it is worse in case of a guinea pig. This is because guinea pigs are much more social than humans are!

Being social does not mean being active – as is the case of a guinea pig. They are not very active animals, sometimes getting them a wheel may even break their tiny feet because they are not built for such a purpose. Their activity is still impressive. For instance, getting them to run around in a field or some time out of the cage inside your home and other such activities help to keep them happier.

Can a Little Time Outdoors Make a Single Guinea Pig Happy?

That depends. Some individuals are happy on the open road, while others do nothing but grieve the loss of their partner irrespective of where they are. Also, keep an eye on your pet when they are outdoors if your area has hawks flying around. Otherwise what you thought would make your pet happy, would make it a hawk’s evening snack!

I am Getting a Secone One, Should I Choose a Male or Female?

The answer to this question depends on which sex you already own. If what you got is a male, getting the second one to be a female is better. This is because males tend to dominate each other when together. They are very territorial. If you have a female and you need a companion for it, then another female is the best choice. Gal Pals get along better!

If you do have space and other resources for more guinea pigs, choose to pet at least four. That way, you will get to witness incredible happiness in them which will give you comfort like no other tangible asset in the world can!

To learn more about whether you should get a male or female guinea pig, read this post next.

Why do Guinea Pigs Need a Companion?


These days we put our own convenience before the happiness of our pet. Some people (whom I would best call as devils), are not worried if their pet doesn’t have enough space, food or company, as long as it does not cause trouble to them. We have to understand that they are living creatures too and have their own needs. This question is as crazy as asking why a human needs to marry or why we need to have friends.

As said earlier, guinea pigs are social animals, and by social I don’t mean using Facebook or Instagram (although it would be damn cute if they did). By social, I mean that they like to run around (although not so fast), they like to play around with their cage mates or have games like chasing a ping pong ball.

Imagine it this way, a group of giraffes adopts you. They’re totally not like you. They let you play around with their kids. They give you all the food you need. They do give you what they think you need. But they cannot understand what you really want. You keep asking them in French or Spanish or English or Chinese, they wouldn’t understand. But now if they adopt a second human, how would that be? Now just replace the giraffes with humans and you (the human) with the guinea pigs.

Can Any Two (or More) Guinea Pigs Get Along With Each Other?

When you decide to buy more than one guinea pig, this is another important thing to consider. You cannot randomly choose any guinea pigs from different corners of the world. It is just like how you get along with some people better than what you do with others. I would suggest thinking it through well before getting your pet.

It would be so much better if you buy two guinea pigs right away from the same store. This is like how it is better to move to another country with your friend than making new friends after moving there alone. When the guinea pigs are kept in the same cage in a store or a shelter or a rescue foundation, you would not have any trouble of getting them along with each other. If you are getting a second one already having one, you need to be careful because if they do not get along well, you are in for great trouble.

Want to learn more about how to make your guinea pigs get along? Read this post next.

What is the Mental Effect on a Guinea Pig When Left Alone?

When a guinea pig is raised alone, we mentioned it gets lonely and dormant. But why is this? Well, it is because they get scared. When you are alone with gorillas, wouldn’t you be scared? If you have Bear Grylls along with you, you would feel much better. This is an analogy to having a guinea pig alone with you!

Related Questions

Where to buy a guinea pig?
I would answer this question in just one sentence. Being an animal lover, I’d say “Adopt, don’t shop”. Animals in pet shops have enough care. But the ones which have been rescued need a home. Giving a home to a living being in need is the best of good deeds you can do.

Why is owning only one guinea pig illegal in Switzerland?
Switzerland is one of the most animal-friendly countries on earth. They recognize the need to cater to animal needs so much that they have laws that ban anything that harms animals. One such example is the law that bans Swiss residents to own a single guinea pig.

It may sound ridiculous, but it is high time that we recognize the need for such laws considering the number of guinea pigs that die out of loneliness. Why should right-to-live be confined to humans?



I love animals! I grew up with everything from dogs and cats to rabbits and guinea pigs. I enjoy learning about pets and to share what I learn with others.

12 thoughts on “Is it Okay to Have Only One Guinea Pig?

  1. Was wondering my niece has a female that was doing well on her own. But since they were afraid she was lonely they adopted a baby girl as a companion. Well the older one is a meek personality and it seems the baby girl is the older one started getting malnourished and showing bones. We have now seperated them but the young one is now grieving for the older one . Is it possible to reintroduce them once the older one is healthy again?

    1. Yes, it’s definitely possible, even great to reintroduce them once the older is healthy. Guinea pigs might not have the best memory, but from my experience they always seem to remember their companions. So, shouldn’t be any problems at all 🙂

  2. Pingback: How Do I Know If My Guinea Pigs Are Cold? And How to Keep Them Warm – Pocket Pet Central
  3. I have a almost 5 month old male guinia pig is it okay for me to just own 1 or should I get another male the pet store tomd me males usually don’t get along well together they like there space

  4. One of my piggies passed away today, leaving a 2.5yr boy behind. I’m planning on getting an adult girl pig to be his companion, but I wondered how quickly I need to do this? Is it a case of as soon a shot possible? Or does my remaining piggy need time to grieve?

    1. So sorry to hear that one of your piggies passed away 🙁 Guinea pigs memory span and grieving process is alot shorter than humans so I would definitely get a new one fairly soon. Don’t wait for to long.

  5. I have two female guinea pigs, but I want to get this boy one I saw and bonded with right away. However, I don’t want babies. I will get him neutered, but is he okay alone in a cage until then? Would he even get along with the girls? Thank you to any replies

  6. I have a male, and I made the mistake of only getting one because I wasn’t aloud to get more than one. I might try and convince my parents to let me get a second, but the risk that the pigs might not get along worries me. I don’t have the space for another cage!! Any suggestions?

  7. from what i’ve read it would be better to adopt a boy, i would get an average size cage but idk if i have the room for 2 but since i’ve been doing online school i will def have time to interact with my pet, also i have a question, do guinea pigs get emotionally attached too you? bc i want to get a guinea pig bc i heard they are therapy pets and since i can’t get a dog i feel like that’s the closest thing to a dog yk? and they are SO CUTEEE. so yea:)

  8. I care for a women’s animals. She has MS and she seems to kind of be a hoarder, of things and pets. So anyway, she got a hairless Guinea pig, and I don’t think she does much research but she also doesn’t really do anything with them so not only am I their caregiver I try to make time to spend with them to get them exercise and attention. She got this Guinea pig by itself and it just always seems so depressed. I got another one, but so far they don’t get along the greatest so I just put their cages side by side…I also got her to get them larger cages, but he still seems so sad. Occasionally I’ll see a little spark of energy where he talks and jumps but otherwise I’m just worried about him. The other Guinea pig is so opposite, almost like a puppy so friendly and runs around like crazy when I let him out…Maybe he was alone for too long? I’m just not sure what to do at this point…any ideas of what might be wrong? Suggestions? And now I’m worried the other might get lonely since this one doesn’t interact with him much and the this one came from a house of 9 Guinea pigs (not sure if they were caged together)… will having the cages side by side give him enough companion ship?

  9. My senior male piggy lost his companion yesterday. We aren’t going to continue with guinea pigs as our children are older. Is it ok to keep our surviving pig alone? We don’t want to take him to a shelter. We love him and will be giving him lots of attention. He is approximately 5 years old.

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