Dogs are known as social beings as they can easily adapt to any environment and live with different animals. People adopt dogs for various reasons; one of them is not to feel lonely. But when it comes to living with other animals, dogs can exhibit different behaviors.
Can dogs and guinea pigs get along? If the dog is untrained, their natural instinct is to hunt small animals. It is best to pair a small dog with a guinea pig and gradually train it not to hurt or trample it.
Now let’s explore in detail why and how dogs can live in the same environment with a guinea pig.
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Different Owners, Different Dog Habits
Dogs are much like kids. If you behave badly in front of your kids, you directly give them an example of the behavior they think they should exhibit. The same goes for dogs. If you socialize your dog, train it, feed it regularly, and give it a lot of love, it will pay off.
Dogs are great because they always return more than 100% of your investment in them. If you treat a dog poorly, it will also behave poorly – it will be either very aggressive or terrified.
Now, what does this have to do with the topic?
A guinea pig is a fragile and timid animal. It can’t fight against these predatory animals, especially huge dogs. Let’s face it, a dog of every size can easily kill a guinea pig, so it’s not all about the size but the behavior of the dog.
Is it trained to hunt small rodents or cats? If so, a guinea pig wouldn’t live more than 15 minutes with that dog. Some dogs are trained to herd the cattle, which might be great for that need.
Naturally, many dogs will develop the first instinct that has been mentioned, to hunt small rodents.
Guinea pigs are naturally an attraction for dogs as they love chasing everything that runs from them. Luckily, pet owners can subside this instinct and train them to love guinea pigs instead.
Small dogs can be friendly with guinea pigs because their size is much more comparable, and this is why it is recommended to pair a small dog with a guinea pig.
Given the size of an average big dog, if not trained well, it can easily trample the guinea pig, hurt it or even kill it in a second.
Signs That a Dog Isn’t Comfortable Near Your Guinea Pig
Here are the signs that indicate dogs are being uncomfortable with guinea pigs:
Growling is a typical sign that a dog is angry, uncomfortable, or ready to attack. Just think what happens when you touch a dog while it’s eating.
It will start to growl, which means you need to back off, and if you don’t, a dog will usually try to bite you.
Staring and Chasing
If your dog is constantly chasing your guinea pig or is staring at it, it’s a sign that your dog is having problems living with the guinea pig.
When chasing, there’s a chance that your guinea pig gets scared or that your dog tramples it and kills or hurts the pig.
Alert and Uneasiness
If your dog isn’t relaxed with the guinea pig, that’s already a bad sign. You can easily tell when your dog lowers his ears back and is constantly under tension.
Putting the ears back often means that the dog is relaxed, but it can also mean that it’s in a state of uneasiness or it’s scared.
How to Get My Dog Used to My Guinea Pig?
If you look at the dogs through history, they are probably one of the most versatile domestic animals. In the past, small dogs were trained to hunt rodents.
But at that time, people rarely kept rodents and dogs in their houses or yard.
Today, there are thousands of people who own dogs and guinea pigs. You can even search for it on YouTube, and you’ll see some of them.
Does this mean that guinea pigs can live with dogs? Below are some ways to get your dog used to guinea pigs:
- If you teach your dog to socialize and behave in front of a guinea pig, they can live together.
- On the other hand, they cannot get along if your dog is aggressive or shows signs of being uncomfortable.
- If you just bought a dog, be sure to introduce it to your guinea pig but very gently. Let them spend some time together while your guinea pig is in the cage.
- Let the dog sniff from outside the cage, and then continue the introduction.
- On the other hand, it might be that you just bought a guinea pig. If that’s the situation, then the introduction will be much harder. Dogs are known to keep their territory, especially dominant dogs.
- If you just bought a guinea pig, the best way to introduce your dog and a guinea pig is outside the dog’s territory. If you keep your dog in the house, then go outside or at the park and then introduce the guinea pig to your dog.
- Let the dog carefully sniff it and keep it on the leash. Slowly but surely, your dog should get used to your pig, and they will develop a good relationship.
Here is a video about training a pet dog not to harm a guinea pig:
How to Keep a Guinea Pig Safe from Dog?
In case your dog is eligible for coexisting with the guinea pig, below are ways to keep your guinea pig safe from your dog:
- You should provide your guinea pig with a space. The best way to do this is to buy a comfortable guinea pig cage where your pig can feel relaxed and sleep well.
- The dog also needs to have its space, a confined space! Let’s say you keep your dog and guinea pig in the house. A guinea pig should be in the cage, and the dog can either be in his house or roaming around the house.
Beware that you should never steer your attention away from the animals while they’re together.
When they’re playing, you should always be there. Watch closely if your dog misbehaves, and if it does, simply correct that behavior or separate the animals.
Even the slightest flinch can sometimes mean that your dog is ready to attack, so keep an eye out.
Can Dogs and Cats Transmit Diseases to Guinea Pigs?
Dogs and cats are like magnets for bacteria. The dogs usually have bacteria in their mouth, as they love sniffing around, licking stuff, and eating whatever they think is good for them.
Unfortunately, these bacteria can cause respiratory diseases in guinea pigs. Some say that even rabbits represent a threat for a guinea pig, so they should be evaded altogether.
Cats are also known to carry some bacteria with them, which is not good for guinea pigs. After all, cats are more likely to hunt and kill a guinea pig than dogs.
They are much more skilled at chasing and killing rodents than dogs, so don’t ever let your cat approach the guinea pig.
Dogs and guinea pigs can get along if the dog isn’t aggressive. Even when the dog isn’t aggressive, it can happen that it just doesn’t like your guinea pig; that’s why it’s important to watch how your dog reacts to the guinea pig carefully.
If your dog is calm and goes along with the guinea pig, you can keep them both in the same place. But beware of the bacteria in dog’s mouth, as these can cause respiratory disease in your guinea pig.
If you don’t want to risk losing your guinea pig, give your pets constant attention while they’re together. Dogs can easily hurt a guinea pig, even if it isn’t on purpose.