Guinea pigs or rabbits: what suits me?

If you want to buy a small animal, you have the choice between a wide variety of species. Guinea pigs or rabbits are particularly popular, but which one suits you better? Here are a few tips to make your decision easier. Rabbit or guinea pig? That is the question ... - Shutterstock / Robynrg

Whether guinea pigs or rabbits, the purchase of pets should always be carefully considered and well planned. It is a mistake that long ears and Meeris are particularly easy to care for and child-friendly due to their small size. Children can take care of small animals and learn a lot from them, but the main responsibility lies with the parents.

Guinea pigs or rabbits? Differences in posture

Both guinea pigs and rabbits need regular exercise, ideally well secured in the garden. Otherwise you can also prepare a room in your apartment for the fur noses to run out and exclude all sources of danger (cables, small and pointed objects, poisonous plants, ...). Guinea pigs are usually somewhat smaller than rabbits, cannot jump so high, do not dig deep holes in the ground and are not good climbers. Nevertheless, they like to have several levels in their enclosure or cage. Be careful not to drop the sea ice. The open-air enclosure for guinea pigs is less expensive than that for the long-eared ears, since a fence and a protective net are sufficient for this.

Rabbits, on the other hand, are true outbreak artists, the fence has to be buried quite deep so that they don't dig a tunnel. As a cover, a net is not necessarily enough to protect against birds of prey, but preferably also a stable fence so that they cannot jump out. The outdoor enclosure should not be too low for the Hoppler so that they do not feel constricted, and they too are happy about increased seats. If you don't have as much space or don't dare to design an escape-proof rabbit enclosure, guinea pigs may be better for you.

Keep guinea pigs and rabbits together?

For a while it was taken for granted that guinea pigs and rabbits were kept together ...

Communication: differences in rabbits and guinea pigs

Whether you choose a guinea pig or rabbit also depends on your communication preferences. The language of the two species of small animals is very different from one another - among other things, this is an important reason why both the pigs and the long ears absolutely need company of their own kind and should be kept separate from one another where possible. By the way, guinea pigs and rabbits are not related to each other, they come from different animal families: Meeris are rodents, rabbits are rabbit-like.

The rodents communicate a lot via noises, they squeak, brumble, coo and whine as much as they can. The rabbit-like, on the other hand, only scream when they are very scared, hiss or growl when they feel threatened. Otherwise, they are very quiet and essentially express themselves through their body language. For people who have little experience with pets, guinea pigs are intuitively easier to understand, since people also communicate a lot about sounds (in this case, verbal language) and can therefore understand themselves more easily in Meeris. It is especially nice for children when they feel that they can talk to their pets and are understood when they talk to them and read something to them. Nevertheless, neither guinea pigs nor rabbits are cuddly toys and usually do not appreciate being hugged and hugged.

Those who like it quieter and calmer will enjoy rabbits more. Depending on the breed and personality, the rabbit-like animals are fascinating to watch and are a little more trusting and enjoy training together. So you can do agility with some rabbits, which is otherwise known mainly from dog sports.

General tips before buying pets

Dog, cat, mouse, guinea pig or rabbit? No matter which pet suits you best, you shouldn't rush to choose an animal family member, but prepare it well. Be sure to clarify beforehand whether all family members agree to the purchase and are willing to invest sufficient time, love, patience and money. Guinea pigs and rabbits both have a similarly high life expectancy and can sometimes live up to eight or nine years, sometimes even older, if they are kept properly and cared for properly. Cages and enclosures need to be cleaned regularly - parents should be aware that their children need help and may need to be reminded of this more often.

You should also test in advance whether you or someone else in your household is allergic to your desired animal. Once you have thoroughly discussed the decision and everyone agrees, it is advisable to first look at lonely guinea pigs or rabbits in the animal shelter who are looking for a loving home. As an alternative, there are also serious breeders for small animals, who make sure that the fur noses grow up in a species-appropriate manner from the start, so that they are not particularly shy of people. Otherwise there may be private individuals with offspring from the sea or Mümmlern in your circle of friends, with whom you will find what you are looking for. Some pet stores also offer small animals, but you should take a close look to see if the little animals are doing well and the sellers are familiar with them.