If you have two or more guinea pigs you may have noticed them “chasing” each other around or “wrestling.” While these behaviors may look like fighting they’re actually part of guinea pig play behavior.
Guinea pigs are social animals and enjoy being around other guinea pigs. They play together to build relationships and bond with each other.
Chasing and wrestling are common play behaviors in guinea pigs. These behaviors usually involve two guinea pigs running after each other or “wrestling” by biting and nipping at each other.
While these behaviors may look aggressive they’re actually not. Guinea pigs use these behaviors to play and have fun. They usually don’t hurt each other during these activities.
However there are times when guinea pigs may fight with each other. Fighting usually occurs when two guinea pigs are unable to resolve their differences and establish a hierarchy.
Guinea pigs may also fight if one guinea pig is feeling threatened or afraid. If a guinea pig feels like it is in danger it may attack another guinea pig to defend itself.
So how can you tell if your guinea pigs are fighting or just playing? There are a few key things to look for:
Are the guinea pigs taking turns chasing each other?
In the play guinea pigs will often take turns chasing each other. This helps them bond with each other and build relationships.
Are the guinea pigs running away from each other?
If one guinea pig is chasing another and the other guinea pig is running away this may be a sign of fighting.
Are the guinea pigs biting each other?
Biting is usually a sign of fighting not playing.
Are the guinea pigs making loud noises?
Fighting guinea pigs may make loud noises such as squealing or grunting.
Are the guinea pigs bleeding?
If you see any blood this is a sign that the guinea pigs are fighting and not playing.
If you see any of these signs it’s important to separate the guinea pigs right away. Fighting can lead to serious injuries so it’s important to take action to prevent it.
If you’re not sure if your guinea pigs are fighting or playing it’s always best to err on the side of caution and separate them. Once they’re separated you can watch them closely to see if the behaviors continue.
If the guinea pigs are fighting you may need to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to help you resolve the issue. With some time and patience you can help your guinea pigs get along and enjoy each other’s company again.