For the most part, a guinea pig and a dog can get along. You would think that this isn’t the case. After all, in the wild, a dog would probably hunt a rodent like a guinea pig. Although, this doesn’t mean that you can put the two in a room and expect them to play happy families right off of the bat.
You are going to need to take a few precautions, and we are going to be talking about that on this page.
You are the judge of your dog’s personality
As you may know, no dog is the same as another dog. They each have their own unique personalities. By now, you should have a pretty decent idea of your dog’s personality. You will know if they are calm and you will know if they really love to play.
You will know if they are aggressive towards things that they are unfamiliar with. This should tell you if the dog is suitable for playing with a guinea pig or not. It isn’t going to tell you the whole story, but you will have a rough idea about how everything is going to pan out.
If you have a dog that tends to err towards being a bit aggressive, then it will never be a good idea to introduce the dog to the guinea pig. It would not end well. They probably shouldn’t even live in the same home. If you have a calmer dog, then it might just work.
If they don’t get along and can’t live together, you have to keep them in separate rooms. That is tough to manage, as just a split-second can result in a fatal outcome.
It doesn’t matter if your dog weighs 120 pounds, as long as it’s calm and doesn’t hurt the pig with its weight, it can be perfectly safe to have them in the same room. A 30-pound dog can pose the same threat as a 120 pound one.
Never leave the dog and the guinea pig alone together
This is the golden rule. Even if you trust your dog to be alone with the guinea pig, it doesn’t mean that they should be left alone.
Your dog has a natural instinct to hunt that animal, and you have absolutely no control if you leave the room and that instinct kicks in.
Some breeds have a strong instinct to chase, an example is the Greyhound. Others, like Jack Russel and terriers, are prone to having a hunting instinct towards small prey.
This means that if you have a dog and a guinea pig living in the same home, you will need to ensure that the pig is living in a closed cage.
You do not want the dog to be able to get in from the top of the cage, and you do not want the guinea pig to be able to escape without you knowing. This, once again, is not going to end happily.
If your pig is happily running about, as it should do at least a couple of times per day, then you will need to ensure that you leave a closed door between the guinea pig and the dog if you need to leave the room for any reason.
It will only take a second or two for a dog to strike. You won’t have any time to react when you leave the room.
Introduce the dog and the guinea pig to one another
When you have a guinea pig and a dog living in the same household, you will need to introduce the two of them to one another properly.
You can’t just put them in a room with one another and expect things to go smoothly. The first time you have the guinea pig and the dog encounter one another, the latter will need to be on a leash, and the guinea pig will need to be in a ball.
This will allow the dog to inspect the guinea pig without harming it. You will want to ensure that the meeting is only a minute or two at the most. If it goes on for too long, then the guinea pig will start to get incredibly scared (natural instinct!) and this could make it sick.
During the first meeting, you will want to look for any aggressive behavior in your dog. Some aggressive behavior may be OK at this stage, but if the dog looks like it will clearly attack the guinea pig, then you will probably not be able to train out that behavior.
Well, you may be able to do so, but you wouldn’t want to take that risk.
Over time, you can allow the dog to wander about without the leash on (keep the guinea pig in the ball) and, eventually, have the two of them walking about freely. Although, of course, you will want to ensure that you are in the room at all times after this.
To sum everything up.
Piggies and dogs can get along and be friends, but in most cases, it’s a great challenge that possesses a potential risk.