Can Your Skinny Pig Live Safely With Other Pets?

Can Your Skinny Pig Live Safely With Other Pets?

Can Your Skinny Pig Live Safely With Other Pets?

Skinny pigs are quirky, cuddly, and they're becoming increasingly popular as pets. 

But one question that often pops up among potential and current owners alike is, “How do they get along with other animals?”

First things first, skinny pigs are incredibly social creatures. In the wild, guinea pigs live in close-knit communities, and this trait has carried over to their hairless counterparts. They thrive on interaction, whether with humans or other skinny pigs. However, there are some special considerations to keep in mind when introducing them to animals of a different species.

General Considerations for Mixing Pets

  • Space and Housing: 

Ensure each species has its own safe space. For skinny pigs, this means a secure, comfortable cage that other pets can't access.

  • Health and Hygiene: 

Different species can transmit diseases to each other, even if they appear healthy. Regular vet check-ups are essential to prevent cross-species transmission. Fleas are an especially problematic concern if you have dogs and cats around your skinny pig’s exposed skin.

  • Supervision: 

Never leave a skinny pig unsupervised with another pet, especially in the early stages of their relationship. Watch closely for signs of stress or aggression and separate them if necessary. 

ALWAYS err on the side of caution!!

  • Introductions: 

Gradual, controlled introductions are crucial. Start by allowing the pets to see and smell each other from a safe distance, and gradually allow closer interaction based on their responses.

Ideal Companions for Skinny Pigs

Other Guinea Pigs

The best companion for a skinny pig is, unsurprisingly, another guinea pig. Whether you opt for another skinny pig or a furry variety doesn't particularly matter; what's important is that they keep each other company. Guinea pigs communicate through a variety of sounds and body language, and having a friend to "talk" to can greatly enhance their quality of life. Moreover your skinny pig will adore snuggling into their furry friends coat for naps for a cuteness factor of 10!


You might think rabbits, being smaller in size and also quite social, would make good companions for skinny pigs. However, caution is advised here. Rabbits and skinny pigs have different dietary needs and communication styles. More critically, rabbits can carry bacteria (like Bordetella) that are harmful to skinny pigs. So, while they might coexist peacefully under careful supervision, they're not the ideal roommates.

Other Rodents

Smaller, non-predatory pets like hamsters or mice might not pose a direct threat, but differences in social behavior and communication can lead to stress for all parties involved. If you have these pets it's best to house them separately and let them get to know one another under close supervision.

Reptiles - Lizards, Bearded Dragons, Snakes…

For obvious reasons, never introduce your skinny pig to a pet snake - it will be potatoes for lunch! 

As far as other reptiles go, some lizard varieties like bearded dragons are known for being docile and also need a warm environment to thrive so you might think they are the perfect pair. However, the vastly different environmental needs and dietary concerns mean that this is unlikely to be a practical pairing. Moreover, even docile reptiles are still predators and your skinny pig might feel scared and anxious even if the reptile is not behaving in a threatening way.

Most reptiles are solitary creatures due to their territorial tendencies and are not likely to appreciate another animal in their living space. Reptiles also carry pathogens (like salmonella) that do nothing to them, but can be very harmful to mammals.


Cats, with their predatory nature, might seem like they'd pose a significant risk to a small, vulnerable pet like a skinny pig. However, many cat owners have successfully introduced their feline friends to skinny pigs under careful supervision. The key here is knowing the cat's personality and the way introductions are handled. A calm, gentle cat that shows no signs of aggression or excessive interest in the skinny pig can potentially coexist peacefully with it. It's crucial to always supervise their interactions and provide the skinny pig with a safe, cat-proof area where it can retreat to if needed.


Dogs vary greatly in size, temperament, and prey drive, making the dog-skinny pig dynamic a mixed bag. Gentler dog breeds with a low prey drive are more likely to form a peaceful relationship with a skinny pig. On the other hand, breeds with high hunting drives should be monitored very closely, if allowed to interact at all. Introductions should be gradual, always supervised, and ideally, start when the dog is young or already known to be gentle with smaller animals.

Never ever leave a skinny pig alone with a dog, regardless of past behavior!


Birds and skinny pigs living together is less common and can be quite situational. Small birds, like finches, budgies, or canaries, pose little threat to skinny pigs and vice versa. However, larger birds with stronger beaks, like parrots, might unintentionally harm a skinny pig if they become too curious or aggressive. 

The main concern with birds is the potential for stress on both sides. Birds can be quite noisy, and their big flappy movements might startle a skinny pig. Conversely, the presence of a roaming skinny pig might stress some birds - the unfamiliarity of its appearance and sounds may trigger the birds instinctive fear response. Birds rely heavily on auditory and visual cues to understand their environment so anything out of the ordinary (and we can all agree skinny pigs are extraordinary!) can be distressing. 

Birds can also be quite territorial so if you're considering keeping birds and skinny pigs together, ensure each has its own safe, comfortable space.

The Bottom Line

Can skinny pigs live with other animals? 

Absolutely, but with caveats. 

The best companion is another guinea pig, but with careful consideration and supervision, other pets can also become part of your skinny pig's social circle. 

While it's possible for skinny pigs to live alongside cats, dogs, and birds, it's not without its challenges. The safety and wellbeing of all pets involved should always be the priority. Understanding the personalities and needs of your pets and providing them with a safe environment are key steps to fostering peaceful cohabitation. Always proceed with caution and consult with a veterinarian or a pet behaviorist if you have any concerns about introducing different species to each other.

Remember, every pet is an individual. What works for one might not work for another. Paying close attention to their behaviors and needs will help you create a harmonious household for all your furry (and not-so-furry) friends.

Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!


April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H


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