Rabbits and Guinea Pigs, friends or foes?

Author: Emily Rice-Scott   Date Posted:2 July 2014 

A friend of mine recently asked whether it would be a good idea to get a guinea pig for her daughter given that she already has a rabbit, and it prompted me to do some research…
According to the RSPCA Australia website this isn’t an ideal situation. A rabbit’s best companion is a rabbit (preferably of the same sex or you may come home to baby bunnies, oops!) and a guinea pigs best companion is, you guessed it, a guinea pig (again of the same sex, see above hehe).
However, sometimes you may find that although they aren’t of the same species and out in the wild they may not get along, you could end up having a pair of unlikely besties. We’ve all heard of the lion, tiger and bear that are best friends, the dog and the elephant, the giraffe and the ostrich.  Sometimes love does conquer all and animals forget who should be their dinner and who should be getting eaten.

Below is a list breakdowns given both scenarios, your bunny & guinea love one another and how to care for them together OR bunny and guinea despise one another and bunny has turned all thumper on guinea and is using his back legs as a weapon rather than just hopping, hmm. 

 

 

Friends

Foes

Housing

Your two buddies can live either inside the house or outdoors in a hutch. This hutch has to be big enough for both of them to move around comfortably. It should also have closed off / dark areas for them to sleep in. The hutch needs to be predator protected and securely close so they don’t do a runner. It should be out of direct sunlight and be wind protected to avoid heat exhaustion in Summer and hypothermia in Winter.

Each animal should have his or her own hutch. As per the left column - big enough to move in freely, have dark area as well as be secure, and placed in a good spot.

 

Diet

Now bunny and guinea have similar diets however they do have to have slightly different necessities (for individual needs see the right column). They both need hay and grass particularly the following grasses – Timothy, Paddock, Ryegrass etc. They also need a rabbit & guinea feed pellets to keep their teeth from growing. They also need fresh fruit and vegetables 3-4 times a week inc. broccoli, carrot, brussel sprouts, bok choy, celery, apples etc. And don’t forget water!

Bunny – Now Bunny’s dietary needs include all of the items in the left column + a salt lick. Rabbits gather very little salt from their diet, so this has to be added as a supplement.

 

Guinea – GP’s need a dietary source of Vitamin C as they cannot synthesise vitamin C from other food substances. You can provide Vitamin C foods like citrus and kiwi fruit or by adding a supplement to their water supply.

Exercise

If you are exercising your mates outside, a confined area of your lawn or a run is probably best…if this isn’t possible a harness and a lead will be your next best bet. Both bunnies and guineas can run very quickly and escape.

If you are letting your B & GP have the run of your house, make sure to put all cords and electrical wires out of reach. They can bite into the wires and be electrocuted.

All of the left column applies however separately, obviously.

Grooming

Both bunnies and guinea pigs shed their fur so they require brushing as well as the occasional shampoo.  Make sure to brush and wash your pets from an early age so they get used to it.

As per the left column.

Health

Both rabbits and guinea pigs suffer from intestinal worms like all animals, so they should be treated every 3 months.

As well as worms, they both suffer with lice and mites. A flea, lice and mite spray will help to keep those pests at bay, this should be done every 2 weeks

Rabbits – Our fluffy friends also deal with specific health concerns, these include – obesity, incisors, the sniffles and Myxomatosis.

 

Guinea Pigs – Ulcerated and swollen footpads, dental problems and vitamin C definiency as mentioned above.

 

The above health issues can be seen to by your local vet.

 

For all of your bunny and guinea pig needs be that together or seperate visit –

https://www.aussievetproducts.com.au/categories.php?category=Small-Animals

 

 


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