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Dogs are friendly creatures and great companions. They are also known to get along with many different animals. Dogs, in general, love making new friends. My dog Kiki loves meeting new people and animals. She met a pair of guinea pigs named Kiki (yes same name), and Kiwi a few months back. Let me tell you; she was very interested in those guinea pigs.
Being a Yorkshire Terrier, she was naturally curious about these two little creatures. The guinea pigs secured in their cage as a safety precaution. My dog tried to get into the cage to meet the pigs and was barking at them. Not sure if it was the hunter in her, or just plain curious and wanted to make a few new friends. We were not about to find out that day. However, I was curious and decided to find out if dogs get along with guinea pigs.
Can The Two Get Along?
Dogs and guinea pigs can get along just like peas and carrots as long as the dog is not aggressive. I would not, however, just throw the two together and expect them to be best buds right off the hop, you could be in for a not so nice surprise. And never leave the two alone unsupervised. Proper introductions are essential, along with a well-trained dog. Even then, you should take extra precautions. The best way for these two to get along is from a distance.
Some dogs are breeds like the rat terrier are bred to hunt small animals and rodents. Well, the guinea pig is little, and part of the rodent family. So, if you have this type of dog, then a guinea pig is not the best pet for you to have in the same house.
A guinea pig runs around a lot, and they are quite fast. Dogs love to chase things. But, if you have a well-trained dog that was socialized early, then you can train your dog to treat the guinea pig as a family, not prey.
A smaller dog that is not into hunting small animals and rodents, maybe the best way to go. Smaller dogs cannot get into enclosures. That does not mean a bigger dog cannot get along with or even love a guinea pig.
Today we will go over the proper way to introduce your dog to your guinea pig and how these two can live together and get along. Let’s dive in, shall we?
How To Introduce Your Dog To A Guinea Pig
To properly introduce your dog to your new guinea pig, it is best to do it in stages. It is a good idea that your dog is present while you are setting up the guinea pig’s home. However, they are not to meet each other right away. Once the guinea pig is in its new home, let your dog stand at the door and get used to the scent of the guinea pig. Now, your dog may growl and get aggressive. But, do not get upset with your dog. Your dog is dealing with something new in its house. Try keeping your dog busy with its favorite toy or treat.
You can get these two familiar with each before introducing them by putting their smell on a cloth. After about five days, you may proceed to let the two animals see each other. However, one person in the family should have control over the dog at all times, and be looking out for aggressive behavior. Once your dog is showing that it is relaxed around the guinea pig, you can then allow more contact. Bring your dog into the room, and let it see the guinea pig. Then take the dog out of the room and reward it. Do this a few times a day. Keep your dog on a leash when introductions are taking place. Always give your dog rewards for showing a calm and relaxed demeanor.
How To Keep Your Guinea Pig Safe From The Dog
Keeping your guinea pig safe is very important. Your guinea pig should have an enclosure that keeps it safe and comfortable for your little ball of fur. This way, your dog can roam around the house freely, and your guinea pig will be safe in the enclosure.
When spending time with your guinea pig, make sure to close the door of its room. Then you can let the guinea pig out so that it can run around and get some playtime with you. Guinea pigs love to explore, so giving it run around the room will be quite the treat for it! If you let your dog join, it might end up scaring the guinea pig back into its enclosure.
The best way to keep your guinea pig safe from the dog is to keep them separate. You don’t want any accidents. Dogs like to play, and could accidentally hurt or kill your guinea pig by mistake.
Signs That Your Guinea Pig Maybe Be In Danger
We know dogs are hunters instinctively. So you should be aware of the signs that your dog may be getting ready to attack your guinea pig. Your dog will be doing this out of hate for the pig. It is just in their nature to want to hunt, especially if they are to hunters. Hunters are prone to hunt and kill smaller animals and rodents.
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Signs to look out for include:
a sign that a dog is warning that it is about to attack. Some examples are: when someone comes to the door, a dog will bark and run over to the door. It knows someone is there, and it wants to warn everyone and the person on the other side of the door. They want that person to realize they’d better be careful if you get to close or try to take away its food while the dog is eating. More than likely, you will be warned by the dog with a growl to back off.
Your dog may be giving your guinea pig a bit too much attention by staring at for some time. Your dog is stalking the guinea pig and hunting it. Do not leave your dog alone with your guinea pig. Never underestimate the determination in a dog that is hunting.
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You may notice that your dog does not seem at ease around the guinea pig. The dog may be pacing in front of the enclosure. The dog is unsure of the guinea pig and is deciding what it should do, or it is genuinely scared of it.
Dogs will bark at something they want to get at or get the attention of something. So chances are if your dog is barking around the guinea pig, it is just a little more interested in it than it should be.
Lunging towards Guinea Pig
If your canine is lunging towards the guinea pig’s enclosure, it has made up its mind that the small animal is prey.
Panting and raised Ears
If your dog is panting and its ears are raised, this is a sure sign that the dog has decided the guinea pig as prey and will become aggressive towards it.
Smelling and tail wagging
Canines will sniff and wag their tail at prey. They will also follow every move the guinea pig is making. Be on the lookout. Better yet, just keep the door closed to ensure your dog does not get into your guinea pig’s room.
If you find your guinea pig is hiding and shaking, this is another sign that the dog has been too interested in the GP, and it is scared.
- Reward your dog for behaving around the hamster
- Keep the dog on a leash when you are introducing them
- Never leave a dog and hamster alone together
- Teaching your dog “gentle” “leave it” goes a long way
There you have it, my friends. Can dogs get along with guinea pigs? Yes, they can, but we recommended from a distance. Never leave the two together unsupervised. Dogs have a strong hunting instinct; therefore, your guinea pig could be in a lot of trouble, or worse. You must make sure that you protect your GP at all times. Purchase a high-quality enclosure for your guinea, and spend time with it in a room with a closed door. If you would like the guinea pig to explore in the house, take your dog outside. Make sure another family member is outside spending time with your dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Dogs Kill Guinea Pigs?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Well, it could happen. Dogs are predators, so they hunt and kill. If you have a guinea pig whom you let run around the house freely, you are asking for trouble. You may be okay if your dog was raised with the smaller animals, and if it has been socialized with other animals as well. Better to just keep the two separate from one another.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Wheek?
When guinea pigs wheek, it usually means they are excited to see you, happy, and waiting for their favorite treats. The wheeking can be very loud, but not often. I used to have one of these beautiful little creatures, and it’s wheeking was extremely loud. It did not bother me much though, I found it rather cute.
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