Now that you have made up your mind about owning a guinea pig, it is time that you decide which out of the two genders do you want.
Should it be a male or a female guinea pig? And, most importantly, how are they different from one another and why do these distinctions matter?
- 1 Physical differences
- 2 Behavior and temperament
- 3 Health differences
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- 5 Which sex is better for you?
Generally speaking, the biggest marker that distinguishes a male guinea pig from its female counterpart is their physical traits.
Male guinea pigs tend to be a little longer and hence, bulkier when compared to the other sex; whereas, the female guinea pigs are lighter and shorter in size.
Coming to their genital forms, the male cavies have a genital opening shaped like a tiny circular dot that is somewhat raised above the level of their circumscribing skin.
On the other hand, the female guinea pigs have a slight bulge around their genital areas thereby, making it incredibly easy to set itself apart from its fellow.
Like we have already mentioned in the preceding section, male and female guinea pigs hardly differ from each other in terms of appearance, apart from size.
The males are considered to be 30% larger than the females. If you ever come across a pair of guinea pigs from opposite sexes, you will be able to delineate the differences as one of them will appear oversized while the other, a bit smaller.
However, bear in mind that this might not always be the case as some species of guinea pigs make it extremely difficult to discriminate between the male and female complements merely through their bodily peculiarities.
The hormonal differences between male and female guinea pigs surface themselves through their smell; both of them are gifted with grease glands but, their level of activity differs.
In boars (males), the grease gland is more active thus, stimulating the production of hormones that are characterized by a sticky texture and which the cavies capitalize on to mark their territories and attract the females.
Even though this hormone produces a typically foul smell, its potency can be reduced if you take care of your pet and clean it regularly.
As opposed to this, the sows (females) are home to lesser active grease glands and the hormones ensued too, are lower in the count.
This is the reason why they do not smell as much as their male equivalents. Nevertheless, there’s always a fair chance for an exception to pop out in this rule and in this case, the female guinea pigs can also have optimally active grease glands.
What about neutering?
Both male and female cavies can go through the neutering process hence, making them sexually inactive and incapable of reproduction.
In females, the ovaries and wombs are surgically removed through a process known as ovariohysterectomy and in males, this mechanism involves the elimination of their testicles.
Most vets are inclined towards removing the testicles from within through small incisions on each scrotum.
Quite interestingly, the neutering in boars and sows has been assigned with two different terms- in the former instance, it is castrating and for the latter, it is spaying.
Behavior and temperament
Male guinea pigs- Quite like their physical features, male guinea pigs are more outgoing and genial and therefore, it will not be very difficult for you to establish a connection with them.
But, like always, all boars don’t have to necessarily sport the same personality and do not be surprised if you spot an exemption in the lot.
Also, male guinea pigs are more active and curious than the females; if you lock them up both in a cage, you will see the male cavy hurrying his way from one corner to another with or without a particular mission.
Female guinea pigs- In contrast to what we have mentioned above, sows are meeker and timider; at least when during the first few months.
After you spend some time with them and they figure out you are worthy of their trust, they will make an effort to nourish a bond with you.
Furthermore, sows are far less active; to them, the ideal way of surviving is by hiding behind tiny elements and mostly shying away from everything.
But, like the male cavies, the females too can exhibit their string of dissimilarities.
Boars have a better sense of hygiene when contrasted against the females and longer lifespan.
It is not that personal hygiene has got anything to do with their health but, it is always fruitful to familiarize yourself with little details that can inevitably bring about a change.
Sows are far messier than the male guinea pigs and are more vulnerable to illnesses and this fairly explains why sows have a shorter lifecycle.
Nonetheless, according to experts, if both the male and female guinea pigs are fed appropriately and taken care of, they will live longer than their average life expectancy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are male guinea pigs more aggressive?
To answer your question about whether or not guinea pigs are more aggressive, we will have to say yes.
They are more aggressive and dominating at the same time. Both these behavioral trends stem from their obsession over their territories and they are swayed by these emotions more when there are sows in the cage you have them in.
Are female guinea pigs friendly?
Female guinea pigs are friendly but, it takes them a decent amount of time to break the ice and reciprocate to your advances of formulating an attachment.
Can two male guinea pigs be kept together?
Evidently, as male guinea pigs are more aggressive and have discrepancies over the same subject, keeping two boars together within a restricted space might lead to fighting and open doors to an unwanted massacre.
It is not recommended to house only two males or only two females together and take a safer path.
Do male guinea pigs bite more?
Because male guinea pigs are overtly belligerent, they can sometimes display hints of dominance through biting the sows or when they are meaning to nibble on themselves.
Hence, the best way to make certain that the male cavies are not wounding you or snapping at others is by neutering them.
Which sex is better for you?
Both the genders of guinea pigs will make great pets for you regardless of their distinct temperament and personalities.
If you are someone who is fond of coy companions then, sows are the ones that you should resort to but, if you are all for vigorous and gleeful pets, you should resort to the male guinea pigs.