Have you ever wondered if guinea pigs and rabbits can actually live together? If you are a great rabbit parent, you will know that sometimes your pet may become lonely and will need a companion. Many rabbit owners will usually get another rabbit to keep their pet company. If you own a guinea pig, you might be wondering if the animal can live with your rabbit and keep it company.
While the two animals may look somewhat alike, they are not of the same species, and it is better to keep them separate from each other. If you want a companion for your rabbit, you’ll be better off geptting another rabbit for the animal.
There are many reasons why you should keep your guinea pig and rabbits separate from each other, even though they are not dangerous to themselves, and many owners keep them together. For instance, although they are not sexually compatible, rabbits may attempt to mate with guinea pigs, and this could lead to injury.
What Are The Differences Between Guinea Pigs And Rabbits?
Even though physically they look somewhat alike, rabbits and guinea pigs possess some striking differences, which is why they should be kept separate from themselves. First of all, although they are from the same family, they are a different specie altogether.
What this means is that they are not sexually compatible, and they should not mate. However, most times, when they are kept together, the rabbit will often try to mate with the guinea pig, and this could cause injuries for the guinea pig as it is smaller than the rabbit.
Also, the behavioural traits of these animals are totally different. Rabbits are much stronger than guinea pigs, and so, they play very vigorously, jumping about and kicking out often. The danger in housing them with guinea pigs is that they may accidentally injure the smaller animal even if they do not mean to do so.
This could happen when a rabbit is moving about and kicks its legs, or it jumps over the guinea pig. It is possible that it may accidentally stomp on the guinea pig and sometimes, the resulting injury can be so grave as to lead to death.
Another difference between rabbits and guinea pigs is their diet. Their nutritional requirements are quite different, even though both animals feed on hay. The antibiotics in a rabbit’s food can be harmful to a guinea pig.
If you house the animals together, it is inevitable that the guinea pig will ingest some of the rabbit’s food. Also, rabbits do not need vitamin C, since they are able to synthesize it on their own. In contrast, however, guinea pigs require lots of vitamin C in their diets.
What Are The Similarities Between Guinea Pigs And Rabbits?
Although rabbits and guinea pigs have their differences, in some ways, they are similar. For instance, they both love to play, and so if you own these animals, you should get a large run for them in which they can play, separately of course.
If possible, keep the runs outside and allow the animals to run in clear weather under your supervision. A rabbit will require a larger run and enclosure than a guinea pig because of its larger size.
Also, rabbits and guinea pigs are very sociable animals. In fact, they may become depressed, sick or lonely if left alone for long periods. This is why it is necessary for you to get another animal of the same species for your pet so that it can have a company and a playmate. Also, you should make out time to play with your rabbit and/or guinea pig so that the animal will become used to you, especially if you have only one.
Again, both animals enjoy chewing on hard food, especially hay . Hay is beneficial to both rabbits and guinea pigs as it contains some nutrients, and also serves the important function of wearing out the animals’ teeth so that they do not become too long. Teeth that grow too long can cause dental issues and pierce through the animal’s skin, causing it agony. Hay is also perfect for the gut activity of the animals.
What If I Decide To Keep My Guinea Pigs And Rabbits Together?
If you want to keep these animals together, you should take some precautions so that they can live safely together. Some of them include:
- Neuter your rabbit: Neutering has some benefits for rabbits. First of all, it makes them more sociable towards other animals. Also, it stops them from wanting to mate all the time. If you do not neuter your rabbit, and you house it with your guinea pig, it may injure the guinea pig by trying to mate with it frequently.
- Separate the animals by creating a smaller enclosure for the guinea: If you have a large enough enclosure, you can separate the rabbit and guinea pig by creating a smaller part within the enclosure for the guinea pig. While they can both stay in the enclosure and play together, the guinea pig will have a safe place to run to if the rabbit becomes too rough in its play with it. The door or opening of your guinea pig enclosure should be small enough to allow only the guinea pig to pass through it so that your rabbit will not be able to gain entry.
- Do not give them food together: As mentioned earlier, the dietary requirements of rabbits and guinea pigs are quite different. Mostly, the common thing that they eat is hay. You should not attempt to feed your rabbit with guinea pig food, and in the same vein, you should not give your guinea pig rabbit’s food. Give your guinea pig its food in its enclosure and close the door so that it does not wander into the rabbit’s enclosure to eat with the rabbit.
Even though lots of people think that it is okay to keep these two animals together, it is actually better to keep them separate. This is not to say you cannot own a rabbit and a guinea pig at the same time. What you should do is get different enclosures for them if you have the means to do so. Doing this will keep the guinea pig safe from the rough play of the rabbit.
- My Rabbit House [Link]