Can Rabbits And Guinea Pigs Be Friends

Rabbits And Guinea Pigs
Source: scym (Pixabay)

 

Yes, domestic rabbits and guinea pigs can get along. But we don’t recommend having them live together. Looking at these little fellows, one may think they won’t be a danger to each other and can live in the same space, even if they don’t get along well. The common and most important reasons to keep them separately are their dietary needs, prone to diseases and behavior.

Rabbits And Guinea Pigs Have Different Diets

Rabbits and guinea pigs may be plant eaters (herbivores) but there are various differences to their needs. Rabbits’ body makes their own vitamin C whereas guinea pigs need a diet rich with vitamin C. Rabbits can get ill if their body is exposed to too much of vitamin C. Without this vitamin in the diet, guinea pigs can be affected in the following way:

– Their vision can get scurvy

– They may suffer from diarrhea

– They may start losing hair

– They can become lethargic

– In extreme cases, they can die due to internal bleeding

When rabbits and guinea pigs are living together, you need to make sure your rabbit doesn’t end up eating your guinea pig’s food (full of vitamin C). Rabbits may also have the tendency to dominate the smaller animal and eating all the foods provided to the guinea pig. Eating vitamin-rich food can make your rabbit severely ill. Similarly, if the guinea pig eats your rabbit’s food, they will not receive the needed vitamin C and may suffer from poor diet.

Sources of vitamin C for your rabbits: Broccoli, Strawberries, Kale, Tomatoes

If you have or want a rabbit and a guinea pig, consider feeding them in separate rooms.

A quick look on which foods are safe for our rabbits:

Rabbits And Guinea Pigs Have Different Behaviors

Rabbits and guinea pigs aren’t really compatible. Guinea pigs are small, scared and anxious animals who gets easily intimidated by other animals. Rabbits are stronger and bigger than guinea pigs due to their difference in size and weight. Even when they are playing together, a rabbit can hurt your guinea pig without meaning to.

A rabbit’s hind legs are strong enough to kill a guinea pig. Imagine your rabbit jumping on your guinea pig with its weight as a playful act. Also, rabbits have sharp nails (claws) which can turn into a deadly weapon which are used unknowingly. Their claws can cut deep and create an open wound which may turn fatal for your guinea pig.

It’s also common that male rabbits try to mate with female and male guinea pigs. This is potentially dangerous at the most and unpleasant at the very least for your guinea pig. During such a mating or mounting, while your guinea pig can’t possibly get pregnant, but this is likely to stress them out and may even leave them with a broken back after the experience. Spaying or neutering your rabbit may reduce their aggressive behavior and also help prevent the them from mounting your guinea pig.

Moreover, rabbits love grooming and cuddling one another. Guinea pigs are more solitary animals and keep to themselves. If we put them both together, your rabbit is most likely to become lonely and depressed, whereas the guinea pig will become irritated due to the constant persuasion. It’s important to find activities that they can do to keep themselves engaged and entertained.

To assist you in finding the right cat toys, Best Pet Advice team analyzed data on various products — evaluating them based on price, quality and more.

Toy Options For Rabbits Available On Amazon

Note: All details are accurate as of the publication date and subject to change.

Rabbits And Guinea Pigs Can Spread Diseases

Both species can carry the same diseases and transmit them to one another too. Various rabbits carry bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica and Pasteurella — if passed to your guinea pig can cause respiratory issues for them. These diseases may not be dangerous to your rabbit but it is potentially fatal to your guinea pigs.

Like rabbits, other animals such as dogs and cats carry this bacterium too. If you have them as house pets already, keep an eye out for any signs of illness in your guinea pig.

Source: Erin’s Ark

Bottom Line:

If you want to house both rabbits and guinea pigs because they are so adorable, we would recommend to set their living arrangements in different rooms. Both may be sociable animals but they have different ways of communicating and different behaviors. For them, it is difficult to understand each other which leads to frustration, loneliness and depression.

Rabbits and guinea pigs are not the most compatible pair, but if you really want, you can make it happen and have them live in peace with you. Introduce them to each other when they are still very young. They’ll get accustomed to each other’s presence and behaviors.

Give them time to get used to each other and be good old-school playmates, if not roommates. Provide supervision so that any situation going out of control can be stopped.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Can rabbits eat spinach?

Yes, rabbits can eat spinach leaves. Limit feeding your rabbit spinach to only about 1-2 cups per 2-3 pounds of body weight per day.

– Can rabbits eat bread?

No, rabbits should not eat bread. If fed, it should not be once or twice a month in small quantity. Bloating, indigestion and G.I. stasis are common illnesses caused by bread consumption.

– Can rabbits eat hazelnuts?

No, rabbits cannot eat hazelnuts. Hazelnuts contain high levels of fats, calories and carbs which makes it difficult for a rabbit to digest due to its sensitive digestive system.

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