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Differences Between Male and Female Guinea Pigs | Should I Adopt Male or Female Guinea Pigs?

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

One question many new guinea pig owners have is whether to get female or male guinea pigs. There is no right or wrong answer to this question but today I will be exploring the differences between them.

Space requirements: Male guinea pigs typically need more space that females for a couple of reasons. One reason is that they usually grow to a slightly larger adult size, so more space makes sense. The more important reason that they need more space however is because of the difference in temperament. Boars tend to be more territorial and more likely to fight with others compared to sows. This does not mean that sows do not require a large amount of space, just that it is an extra consideration for boars.

Heath considerations: The differences in male and female anatomy mean that there are different health risks and issues for each sex. One of the most prominent health issues in sows is reproductive problems. The only treatment for some of these ailments is to spay the animal. Impaction is an ailment that is almost exclusive to boars, but in rare cases can occur in sows. It is more common in older boars because the muscles of the anus are weaker meaning feces cannot be expelled as effectively. Feces can get trapped within the anal sac causing problems.

Behaviors: Male guinea pigs tend to be more territorial and will demonstrate more dominance-related behaviors. One example of these behaviors is called rumble strutting. They may also fight more and it could be more difficult to introduce new piggies. It is rumored that female guinea pigs are more shy than males, but in my opinion it depends on each individual pig’s personality.

There are more differences that what I have discussed here, however I believe these are the main contrasting factors between male and female guinea pigs.

Although these are factors that can be considered, when deciding on what guinea pig to adopt, decide based on personality and what feels right to you, not based on gender.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Anything expressed in these posts is my own personal opinion and is not to be taken as medical advice.

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