Ways To Make Your Dog and Guinea Pig Get Along
Giving all of your love and attention to one pet is easy, but taking care of two can be challenging. This is especially true if your pets are two different animals – like a dog and a guinea pig, for example. Aside from the size, these animals also have different needs and personalities.
As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your dog and guinea will get along. You need to make sure that both of your pets live a healthy and comfortable life, regardless of how different they are. You won’t be able to enjoy the life of being a pet owner if your furry friends are always growling at each other.
To help you out, here are some ways to make your dog and guinea pet get along with each other:
1. Create A Soft Spot For The Guinea Pig
Before you introduce your pets to each other, create a soft spot for your guinea pig first. This spot should be accessible to your guinea pig, so they’ll know that they have a safe space to run and hide whenever they feel threatened by the dog.
Having a strong cage is essential in creating a soft spot, especially if your dog comes in a huge breed. If possible, you should place the cages in high areas where dogs can’t reach them. Bookshelves and window perches are some of the most common areas you can use.
Aside from having a safe spot, it’s also important that you designate different resting and eating areas for both of your pets. Their toys should also be kept in separate spaces.
Don’t let them share spaces since dogs and guinea pigs are territorial animals. Forcing them to use the same space for eating and resting will only result in a disaster.
2. Train Your Dog
Whenever dogs get in a fight with smaller pets, it’s usually the dog’s fault. This happens because dogs have naturally higher and more sensitive prey instincts. The prey instinct of your dog can pose dangers to your guinea pig’s life, so obedience training is really vital.
Chasing after small animals is a dog’s natural response to threats. In this case, the threat can be the guinea pig. Over time, this behavior can cause the guinea pig to fear your dog.
To ensure that your dog and guinea pigs don’t act this way whenever they’re around each other, spend time to curb your dog’s unwanted behavior. Find time to do some obedience training with your dog and teach them how to respond to basic commands, such as “come,” “drop it,” and “sit.”
Only allow your dog and guinea pig to meet if your canine friend is already trained. The more efficient your dog is in responding to commands, the easier it’ll be for them to be calm around a guinea pig.
3. Exercise Your Dog’s Body And Mind
Just like human beings, dogs also need daily exercise. Exercising can provide physical and mental stimulation to your dogs while helping them socialize better. Aside from these, exercise is also important as it serves as a healthy and safe avenue for dogs to release their energy. As a result, their brains will slow down, which allows them to control themselves when they’re around guinea pigs.
Since dogs also require stimulation for optimal health, you should give it to them through a more controlled environment. Giving interactive toys and high-intensity training will reduce the possibility of your dog chasing a guinea pig.
When taking your dog for a walk, pause between sessions to review some of the obedience commands you taught in the past. Work on changing your pace and speed during your regular walks.
Doing all of these is a safer alternative for dogs to unleash their prey instincts rather than using the guinea pig for this purpose.
4. Treat Them Fairly
Pets are easy to love because their minds and bodies work like human beings. Even if they are four-legged creatures, dogs and guinea pigs also have emotions and can get attached to their owners.
To ensure that your dog and a guinea pig can live harmoniously, treat them fairly by showing equal amounts of love to them.
Studies have proven that dogs can get jealous, so if you’re giving more love and attention to the guinea pig, they might feel that the “new kid” is a competition. This will create a rivalry between the two. Once this happens, your dog won’t like the guinea pig at all. In worse cases, your dog might even be angry with the guinea pig and consider them as a threat.
Thus, treat your pets fairly so they’ll feel loved and not be threatened by any rival.
5. Stay Positive
As a pet owner, how you react to situations around your dog and guinea pig can create an impression in their eyes. If you always scold and yell at your dog whenever they don’t respond to your commands with the guinea pig around, your dog might think that they’re punished because of the guinea pig. Reacting this way will only create tension between the dog and the guinea pig.
When attempting to make your dog and a guinea pig get along with one another, always keep the situation positive. Always have a positive mood when introducing your pets to each other. If it doesn’t work for the first time, maintain a positive mindset that everything will work out in the future.
Don’t forget to reward your pets whenever they show friendliness to the other pet. Praise them and give them their favorite treats. Rewards can motivate your pets to continually show positive behavior whenever the other pet is around.
Your Commitment Counts
Aside from implementing these steps, don’t forget to keep a watchful eye whenever your dog and guinea pig spends time together. Pets can be unpredictable at times, so it’s best if you’re always ready for any emergencies.
Making your dog and a guinea pig get along is a long-term process. Make sure that you’re willing to exert a lot of time and effort into this task.