It might shock a few people that although guinea pigs are soft and cuddly animals, they can do such harm. As pet owners, it is our first and foremost step to learn everything about the species of animal we own and the possible dangers for them. Whether it is learning about what food they eat or if they feed on each other, it is essential to know if our pets can survive as a group.
Do guinea pigs eat each other? This question might look gruesome and unbelievable however, it is frequently asked. There are several reasons as to why guinea pigs resort to cannibalism whether it is because they want to assert dominance or if it is because they do not have enough food to eat. To further elaborate on why guinea pigs eat each other, keep reading.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Bite Each Other?
There are a number of reasons as to why guinea pigs would threaten each other by biting them or even going as far as to start eating them. Generally, guinea pigs are social animals that do better around groups of their species, however, a disagreement of any sort may lead to aggression among the animals which can cause them to resort to cannibalism. Following are the reasons why guinea pigs might bite/eat each other.
- Assertion of dominance over territory.
Most guinea pigs try to sabotage the other by biting them in a fight to show their dominance and scare the other guinea pig. A guinea pig might feel threatened by another and try to take action to gain the upper hand in the situation. Dominance in animal species is gained through aggression and violence.
- The guinea pig feels stressed out.
There might be a lot of reasons for this, one of them being that the living situation of the guinea pigs might be crowded. This will lead them to be stressed out and eat each other to handle overpopulation. It can help them to settle problems of low food quantity.
If there isn’t much that a guinea pig can do in a cage with its peers, then it might resort to eating them. The living space for the pets must be suitable enough as to where it does not lead them to eat each other for entertainment. So it is advised to keep plenty of toys and breed them in big spaces so they do not start feeding on each other due to mere boredom.
Whether it is to fight for food or scavenge for it, a guinea pig might eat another pig to get a filling meal. It is important to give each pet enough food so that they do not have to harm each other to survive. This is more common in families of guinea pigs. The mother, if not given the proper sustenance, will feed on her babies (especially the small ones) to cure her hunger.
A guinea pig might also bite its peers to show signs that it is not feeling well. If your pet is acting unusual or is biting other guinea pigs, you must take it to the vet as it might need medical attention. It is advised to keep a check on your pets to make sure you don’t find out about their health issues through cannibalism.
What To Do If Guinea Pigs Start Eating Each Other
As we have mentioned, there are a ton of reasons why a guinea pig would resort to eating another guinea pig. It may be due to territorial issues between two pigs or because they need to assert their dominance and claim their leadership among the litter. Whatever it may be, we need to find out the cause and prevent this from happening at all costs.
Main reasons for cannibalism among guinea pigs:
- Asserting dominance
- Crowded cage
Now that we know the reasons why a guinea pig might eat a fellow pig, we shall look at the ways we can prevent this from happening.
- Firstly, make sure to give them enough space to run around freely and distance themselves from each other.
- Secondly, give them enough sustenance and water so that they don’t have to rely on each other’s meat for food. A poor diet can also lead to aggression.
- Next, remove all stillborn babies as soon as you discover them.
- Never put a father guinea pig in the same cage as newborns, he might resort to eating them or causing them harm.
- Another thing to take care of is entertainment. Give them toys and play areas to enjoy themselves in so they do not lead to hurting each other for entertainment.
- Lastly, spaying and neutering them will help keep the population in control, which will reduce stress levels and many other reasons for cannibalism.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Do guinea pigs eat each other when one dies?
Usually in most situations, this doesn’t happen. However, in extremely poor conditions where there is not enough food or other problems for your pet, they might resort to eating up the remains of the dead guinea pig. However, in most cases, the survivors only nibble or lick around the eyes and ear area to show their affection towards the lost friend.
- Do guinea pigs harm each other?
When a fight breaks out between guinea pigs, it gets quite messy. There is a lot of violence and they might hurt each other a bit in the process. But normally if the conditions are right, there is no reason for guinea pigs to get into fights.
- What do I do if one guinea pig dies?
Guinea pigs are best if they have friends with them to bond with. If your pet’s friend has passed, it’s a good idea to get a new friend so that it can mourn over its loss. However, make sure to follow all steps to avoid fights between the two.
As guinea pigs are strictly herbivores, they usually are never in situations where they have to feed on each other’s meat to survive. Moreover, they are social creatures who enjoy company and are lively with peers. Now, on to the question “Do guinea pigs eat each other?” If your guinea pigs get into fights frequently, then there must be a problem that needs to be checked out immediately before permanent damage occurs. Otherwise, they are less likely to get into fights which lead to one’s death.