You might have seen your guinea pig shaking when a dog is around. Does that mean guinea pigs are scared of dogs?
Yes, guinea pigs are generally afraid of animals that are larger than them, such as dogs and cats. Since cavies are tiny, helpless prey creatures, they can be easily attacked by other animals.
Therefore, they find themselves in danger when surrounded by dogs and other predators.
This might be worrisome for you if you already have a dog and still planning to adopt a guinea pig.
So, is there a way for them to be great companions?
Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
Can A Dog And A Guinea Pig Be Friends?
It depends. If rightly introduced to each other, guinea pigs and dogs can be friends.
As you know, guinea pigs and dogs are two completely different species. It means that they are not natural friends.
Moreover, dogs are larger in size than guinea pigs, and their bark can make guinea pigs run away.
They also have natural hunting instincts, making it unsafe for small animals like guinea pigs.
However, there is still some hope that they can get along well in the same household. It is because of their nature. Dogs are naturally friendly in nature.
But when they see something unfamiliar, like a guinea pig, they may think of it as prey.
However, both Guinea pigs and dogs are social creatures. Hence, they are compatible in the sense that they love the company of others.
They, becoming friends, will depend on the training you are giving. This leaves us with some possibility that they can befriend each other.
So are there any signs that your Guinea pig and Dogs can become friends?
Signs That Your Guinea Pig & Dogs Can Be Friends
Proper training by the owner may lead to a good friendship between the guinea pig and the dog. However, if you can not understand if they are befriending or not, you can look for some signs.
You will notice several behavioral changes in both of your pets. The signs are listed below:
- Calm behavior from both sides.
- Roaming around the house together but without disturbing one another.
- Guinea pig no longer “Drrrr” or “scream”.
- The dog is not threatening or barking at the guinea pig.
- Playing without harming each other.
If both the guinea pig and the dog are calm and don’t act upset when they see each other, this might be a sign that they can get along!
Eventually, seeing the dog and the guinea pig playing with each other can be the finest sign of becoming friends.
However, all these signs of getting along do not happen in a day. It depends on the way you introduce them to each other.
Let’s see how you can introduce your cavy to your dog in the next section!
How To Introduce Your Guinea Pig To Your Dog?
There are many simple ways to introduce your guinea pig to your dog. The proper introduction of your guinea pig and dog depends on you.
So, learn the exact steps mentioned below:
Step 1: Introduce Them With Their Smell
You should be letting them know their smell. Dogs and guinea pigs will scent each other when you handle them. That’s good.
When they like you, the owner, they like your aroma and the other pet’s scent as well.
Step 2: Make Them Face Each Other
Now, you need to introduce them face to face. Harness your dog and ball up the guinea pig for safety. The ball protects the guinea pig from your dog’s bites and steps.
Once they see each other, it automatically builds perceptions in their minds.
However, the dog may first take the guinea pig as prey. But, with proper training, you would have to make your dog understand that the guinea can be their playmate.
Step 3: Release Them Under Supervision
If the previous steps go well, you will have to move to the next step of release. Slowly release the leash and supervise their exploration.
When the dog gets closer to the guinea pig and stays calm, you can eventually lengthen the dog’s leash. This will make the dog move around near the guinea pig.
If that works, remove the leash and let them roam around while you watch.
However, if the animals are tense, end the session immediately. If you notice otherwise, let them roam freely. But you have to keep a keen eye on both of them.
Now, if the introduction does not go well, your little guinea pig can be scared of your dog. It may raise the question in your mind – do guinea pigs get scared of dog barks?
Let’s know about it.
Do Guinea Pigs Get Scared Of Dog Barks?
Yes, guinea pigs get sacred of dog barks.
They are small sensitive creatures. A barking dog can certainly be scary for them.
If terrified by a dog barking, sometimes guinea pigs cry loudly as well.
There is no wonder that whenever a dog sees something unfamiliar or gets curious, they bark. So, if your dog is not familiar with your guinea pig yet, they may bark.
Initially, both of your creatures are instinctively distrustful of each other. The dog considers the guinea pig as prey. Similarly, your guinea pig sees the dog as a loud, scary predator.
So, when the dog barks, the guinea pig feels threatened.
What To Do:
To solve the problem, keep a safe distance between both the guinea pig and the dog. Keep the guinea pig in a closed room so that it does not get the barking sound.
Also, if your guinea pig is outside of its cage and the dog starts barking, put the guinea pig into the cage as soon as possible.
This is because the dog can harm the guinea pig if it’s free.
Will My Dog Eat My Guinea Pig?
Despite their hunting inclinations, many dogs are good with guinea pigs. However, keeping a guinea pig with a larger animal is risky.
Dogs can certainly hurt or kill guinea pigs through ‘rough play.’ As a guinea pig parent, safeguard your pet.
Be careful and teach your dog how to interact with the guinea pig. Most owners can do this with proper training.
Why Is My Dog Obsessed With My Guinea Pig?
If your dog is obsessed with your guinea pig, this can be due to their curious nature. Also, dogs instinctively hunt. So, the obsession might be due to that reason.
Boredom and caring impulses may also lead to obsession. Proper training and different living rooms can solve the problem.
Why Is My Dog Whining At My Guinea Pig?
Dogs are always excited by new and strange things, especially ones that are small, like guinea pigs. They whine because they are curious and unfamiliar with the guinea pig. A little training can make your dog stop whining at the guinea pig.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Guinea Pig?
Licking is an instinctual behavior that is present in dogs from the moment they are born. They explore things by licking them. The reason your dog licks your guinea pig can be instinctual if it’s not threatening the guinea pig.
To sum up, this article showed us how guinea pigs are scared of dogs. Guinea pigs see larger animals as their predators, whereas animals like dogs see guinea pigs as potential prey.
Hence, they both should be introduced to each other carefully. By reading this article, pet owners can have a clear idea about introducing their guinea pigs to dogs.
They can both be friends under proper training and supervision. However, if proper training is not provided, both the creatures may not get along with each other.
Pet owners have so many questions regarding these two creatures. In this article, we have answered as many queries as possible.
So, as a whole, here are some key thoughts on the entire thing:
- Do not set your guinea pig free in the house in the first few days.
- Introduce both of them gradually and step by step.
- Keep the dog and the guinea pig in two separate rooms.
- If you notice your dog barking at the guinea pig, immediately put the guinea pig into its cage.
- If your dog is obsessed with the guinea pig but does not harm it, it may be a sign that they are becoming friends.
- Never let the two of them meet with each other without your supervision.
Also, to know more about other things your little creature might be afraid of, consider reading Are Guinea Pigs Afraid Of The Dark? (Solved!).