Guinea pigs are complex, interesting, and adorable animals that make an appealing choice for any first-time pet owner. The male vs. female guinea pig topic is important as it helps first-time owners decide which gender would be more suitable for them to care for and eventually integrate into their lives.
Male and female guinea pigs have distinct personality traits, much like humans. These are adapted according to their environments and the external stimuli and attention they receive from people, shelters, and lifestyles. They are friendly, warm, and loving animals and make for the best pets that will teach you a lot about how animals’ function and the specific requirements and needs of guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs vary in many ways, from their size, personality, lifespan, and exercise requirements. These differences are usually categorized according to the sex of the guinea pig.
Let’s get started.
Comparison Table Highlighting the Main Differences
|Male Guineapigs||Female Guineapigs|
|Weight||2 – 2.6 years||2 – 2 pounds|
|Height||8 – 12 inches||8 – 12 inches|
|Lifespan||4-8 years||4-8 years|
|Exercise||1 hour/day||1 hour/day|
|Grooming||Easily done||Easily done|
|Trainability||Easily trained||Difficult to train due to un-friendly nature|
|Other pet-friendly||Yes||Not as much|
|Noise||Rumbling and hooting||Mostly quiet|
|Smell||Stronger odor||Normal odor|
|Aggression||More aggressive||Less aggressive|
Male Guinea Pig Overview
Male guinea pigs are generally friendlier and more confident. They also tend to behave better when a part of a smaller group that consists of two or three male guinea pigs. Male pigs are more responsive and more inquisitive than female guinea pigs.
Boars are also more likely to take an interest in exploring their surroundings. There is a misconception that male guinea pigs possess an aggressive disposition. However, there is little evidence to support this claim.
Health and Caring
Male guinea pigs are more likely to deal with health conditions such as impaction as they get older. This is the build-up of fecal material in a guinea pig’s anal sack. As muscles weaken, it is difficult for these males to adequately empty their bowels when passing fecal matter through their digestive system.
As a result, the care provided to these guinea pigs is also tailored according to their health. However, impaction is often a manageable condition for caretakers of male guinea pigs to deal with.
Female Guinea Pig Overview
When observed alone and in a large group with fellow sows, female guinea pigs display an interesting set of social dynamics. They are more comfortable existing among their kind in large groups.
While female guinea pigs are generally seen as being shyer and more reserved, they are also more likely to “bicker” and argue with one another to assert their social standing in a group. This proves to be quite an interesting personality trait in humans and animals alike.
Sows are initially reluctant to let their owners carry them, but in due time they grow comfortable and can develop bonds with owners that are similar to their male counterparts.
Once comfortable, sows will seek protection and support from their owners when they are afraid. Sows will also provide a calming effect on fellow females when they are experiencing stressful feelings.
Health and Care
Female guinea pigs require an exorbitant amount of timothy hay from their owners and a plentiful supply of fruits and vegetables. They are also neater and tend to create less mess in their area. Female guinea pigs require occasional baths and nail clipping sessions to maintain their hygiene.
Once settled, the female guinea pig generally requires less care compared to the male and thus proves to be less high maintenance to care for.
How To Tell the Difference Between a Female and male Guinea Pig?
There are a few metrics by which one can differentiate between a male and a female guinea pig. On average, there is not a significant difference between the size of female and male guinea pigs.
When they reach middle age, they grow to be roughly the same size. Male guinea pigs weigh a bit more than their female counterparts and weigh about 0.5 pounds more than females.
The typical lifespan of both female and male guinea pigs is generally four to eight years. With age and varying health issues, this lifespan is sometimes shortened.
In terms of smell, male guinea pigs tend to have a stronger and more pungent smell when compared to female guinea pigs. This is because they secrete a trail from their grease gland when they choose to show domination and want to mark their area with a reminder that they were present there before any other male guinea.
The area around this gland is where the guinea pig’s tail is located and can hence begin to smell if not taken care of properly.
Female guinea pigs exhibit a greater degree of cleanliness, a stereotype that also holds for humans when comparing females to males in the human world. They throw less food on the floor, keep their surroundings neat, and are more concerned with the degree of cleanliness present in their living space.
Conversely, males tend to be messier and less concerned with keeping their living space neat and tidy.
In terms of personality, as stated earlier, male boars tend to be friendlier and easier to a pet than female guinea pigs. However, the amount of care and attention given to a guinea pig by its pet owners plays a significant role in the personality of a guinea pig eventually develops.
Guinea’s that have been cared for and paid attention to tend to have more trust in humans, and as a result, they are likely to be more playful and agreeable.
While male guinea pigs are associated with aggression, they tend to be gentle and caring in nature. However, male guinea pigs that have been mistreated by owners or in shelters develop aggressive qualities to protect themselves. Female guinea pigs are more reserved, shy, and subdued. However, male guinea pigs can demonstrate loving and friendly personality traits with time and give love and patience.
A male guinea pig is noisier due to the brief sounds, compared to a chirp or the sound that guns make when bullets are put into place, and a “click” sound is heard.
Sexing A Guinea Pig
Sexing guinea pigs refers to determining the sex of a guinea pig according to the reproductive organs they possess. The most convenient way to do this is to place the guinea pig on its back or bottom and place a cloth on their backs so that they are cradled and, more importantly, comfortable.
It is easy to observe their genitals and conclude whether they are female or male in this position. How might you decipher whether genitals belong to a female or male? Measure the distance between the anus and the respective genitals vulva for females and the penis for males.
List Pros & Cons of Owning a Male Guinea Pig
- Male guinea pigs are friendlier, more confident, and easier to bond with.
- Bores work best when paired with a small herd of other male guinea pigs.
- They are more playful
- More time spent on care, handling, and general maintenance
- If not cared for adequately, male guinea pigs may become aggressive
- Large amounts of vegetables, fruits, and timothy hay are required to sustain male guinea pigs.
List Pros & Cons of Owning a Female Guinea Pig
- More tidiness and cleanliness are required on the part of the owner to maintain hygienic living conditions
- Shy and reserved, but can grow to be warm, friendly, and loving
- Require less up-keep in terms of maintenance and general cleaning.
- Require more vegetables and fruit when pregnant due to nourishment needed for baby.
- Require adequate space when placed with other female guinea pigs and their offspring.
- Reserved and may take a lot of time to develop comfort and understanding with the owner.
Male Vs. Female Playfulness
Male guinea pigs are generally more playful as they are confident, friendly, and willing to make and form new bonds and connections. While females can be considered moodier and pickier in their bonds, once comfortable, females prove to be friendly, warm, and loving pets to have.
Male Vs. Female Guinea Pig Which Guinea Pig Is Well for You?
It is recommended that the male guinea pig is easier and more rewarding for you if you are looking to experience guinea pigs as pets for the first time. They are fast at forming lasting and strong friendship bonds.
Males are also likely to live slightly longer than the average female. Male guinea pigs are a suitable choice for inexperienced guinea pig owners. They are brave exuberant and will not spend the first few weeks in hiding, with you guessing whether or not they have a serious issue with your general existence.
Pairing Your Guinea Pigs from The Start
Since guinea pigs are sociable animals that thrive best when paired with other guinea pigs, they love the company and care provided by their own. This allows them to express their natural desires, feelings, and behaviors. Single-sex groups are usually preferred when pairing guinea pigs for ideal living conditions. Siblings, fathers, sons, and mothers and daughters usually make good living companions.
Sometimes, a mixed group of males and females will also get along very well, and in some cases, even better than single-sex groups. But beware of unwanted litter unless that is your desired aim! What is cuter than a bunch of baby guinea pigs? I cannot currently think of anything.
How to determine the sex of a guinea pig?
There is a simple procedure to determine the sex of a guinea pig. Place them on their backs with their heels held up and measure the distance of the anus from the respective reproductive organ.
What is the difference between the personalities and behavior of female vs. male guinea pigs?
Females take some time to reveal their true and friendly natures, while males are dominant, energetic, and confident from the start.
What combination of male vs. Female guinea pigs is best suited for pet owners?
Whether or not 2 male or female guinea pigs work better together depends entirely on external factors compared to the general disposition of guinea pigs that naturally exist. Guinea pigs that have lived in loving and caring shelters or homes work best together.
On the other hand, two male guinea pigs can be kept together and often demonstrate great agreeability and cooperation when kept in pleasant living conditions.
What are the benefits and challenges of owning male and female guinea pigs as pets?
While both guinea pigs come with their fair share of concerns and possible difficulties, such as the extra care required to keep the living space of male guinea pigs neat and the attention that needs to be paid to the hygiene of the male guinea pig, the benefits, and long-term advantages of caring for both male and female are tremendous.
While females usually take longer to grow comfortable with their owners, once they become settled and secure in your care and good intentions, they become the friendliest and most loving animals to care for and grow into love with.
How should you prepare to become a first-time owner to a male or female guinea pig?
Research is the first thing you should do if you are interested in becoming a first-time pet owner of any pet, not just adorable guinea pigs. There is a world of knowledge available in blogs, articles, and veterinary websites. Secondly, prepare by getting the necessary items such as plentiful food supplies, hay, and adequate living space where the boar or sow can be kept.
Lastly, remember that animals are much like little children when first met. It takes time to get to know them, understand them and how they like to be cared for, and ultimately understand them. Do not forget to enjoy the process and savor all the precious moments you have with your little friend!
While male guinea pigs are friendlier and easier to get comfortable with, once female guineas warm up to the idea of you, they are loving, gentle, and warm animals that make for an excellent choice for a pet.
They make less of a mess, support and encourage their fellows during stressful times, and can be a great source of comfort and support for their human owners. In time, both female and male guinea pigs grow to be quite friendly and loving, given they are cared for adequately.
Like all other animals, guinea pigs, whether male or female, are complex and interesting creatures requiring time, effort, care, and love.
However, it is important to remember that when a female guinea pig becomes pregnant, the upkeep, maintenance, and care required to tend to their altered needs is significantly more than for female and male guinea pigs that are not expecting. The number of fruits and vegetables they consume, the timothy hay required for them to sit in, and the space their growing bodies need should all be tended to and kept a mental note of.
Once you decide to adopt a guinea pig, it is best to take the due time required to truly understand the needs and nature of the being you are planning to own, nurture and care for.
Guinea pigs can display extremely friendly, caring, and lovable characteristics and can cure an owner of feelings of loneliness, sadness, and the general human condition of feeling useless if there is not someone or something available to care for and provide for.