If a cavy is alone and has no social partner it will result in deterioration of skills. Do not let your cavy alone because it get a much higher risk to get serious sick and may die prematured. No human nor a rabbit can substitute a conspecific – not either if you spend a lot of time every day for your pig. If you want to do the best for your Guinea Pig: Spend him at least one conspecific and let them live together in company themselfs.
Against individual enclosure of Guinea Pigs
You might have been noticed that a individual enclosed Guinea Pig is much more fixated on its owner. This is often used as an argument to get a Guinea Pig domesticated the right way. We can tell you: It is not! Your cavy won’t be fixated to you because you are so smart and affectionated and your pig really likes you. It will do this due to a big distress of missing social partners. Guinea Pigs who live in company and won’t be stroked every day by its owner will get domesticated too but it might take a while. This is quite normal and should be the right way.
Individual enclosure due to unawareness – the rabbit lie
Many pet owners but also in pet shops and at least Breeders of Guinea Pigs give an advice to spend your cavy a rabbit as social partner. You might think that you do your best to let them not alone if you do this but also a rabbit can not replace a conspecfic. Of course the won’t bother themselfs that much but they are complete different animals with opposite body language and phonetics. Also a Guinea Pig is always smaller physically.
If you keep one cavy and on rabbit together they are together alone. As the Guinea Pig, the rabbit will get into a partnership of convenience too. We have got another article who describes detailled why they are not good buddys: Keeping Guinea Pigs and rabbits together
If the social partner of a Guinea Pig dies
So you have done your best and spend your cavy at least one partner. The problem is if one of your Guinea Pigs dies for some reason. The other has been left alone. If you decide to keep Guinea Pigs think about of keeping at least three pigs. If one of them dies you can spend some time to search for another without leaving one alone. OK, there is a rule of thumb that an even number of Guinea Pigs fits best in small groups so at least four cavies should be the best solution.
Borrow a Guinea Pig after another one dies
There are many stakeholders out there who really know that Guinea Pigs are pack animals – and they already know that any keeping might end for some reason. To left the last Cavy not alone it is possible to borrow a Guinea Pig as long as >your< Pig lives. You should think about it what happens with the last Pig even if you start to keep cavies. Keeping it solo is the worst decision you can do!Spend your Guinea Pig company! There are pack animals and want to live in groups.