Why Do Dogs Lick Guinea Pigs? [FIND OUT!]

Dogs are born with the instinctive behavior to lick. Our beloved dogs are great pets, and they can often live in harmony with other pets in the house.

A lot of households contain both dogs and guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are small rodents that make great pets for kids. The population of guinea pigs in the United Kingdom is approximately 400 thousand whereas the number of guinea pigs is a little over 1.3 million in the United States.

Is it okay for the two animals to interact and let the dog lick Guinea pigs? We will find out in this article.

why do dogs lick guinea pigs
Why Do Dogs Lick Guinea Pigs?

Related Reading: What Does It Mean When My Dog Licks The Carpet

Is it safe to let your dog lick a guinea pig?

In the wild, dogs are prone to hunt small animals like guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are naturally an attraction for dogs as they love chasing everything that runs from them. Dogs can easily hurt a guinea pig, even if it isn’t on purpose.

If your dog is untrained, their instinct is to hunt small animals. Given the size of an average large dog, if not trained well, it can easily hit the guinea pig, hurt it, or even kill it in a second.

Dogs usually have bacteria in their mouth. They love sniffing around, licking stuff, and eating whatever they like and find interesting. Unfortunately, these bacteria can cause respiratory diseases in guinea pigs.

Pet parent tip: If you notice one of your pets is sick, it’s better to separate them from your other pets until they feel better.

Will my dog eat my guinea pig?

Your dog could be obsessed with your guinea pig for any of two reasons

  • The guinea pig is an interesting specimen to watch.
  • The dog just can’t wait to get its paws and mouth on it.

Here are some behavioral signs that a dog is a danger to your little guinea pigs.

  • If your pooch growls continually at your guinea pig, it will likely attack it if it gets the chance.
  • When your dog comes across the guinea pig, excessive barking is a sign of danger to come.
  • You might also notice your dog freezing and staring at your guinea pig. This might be an attack stance that explains a potential danger.
  • If your dog jumps toward your guinea pig when they are in your hands or their cage, your dog has marked prey, and your guinea pig is in danger.
  • Teeth clenching also gives a sign of an impending attack. 

If you notice any of these aggressive behaviors, keep your little rodent away from your dog at all times.

Regardless of your dog’s breed, supervising every interaction between both dogs and Guinea pigs will prevent the unfortunate from happening.

Can guinea pigs bond with dogs?

Remember that it is most likely that the guinea pig will be afraid of the dog at first. Keep a separate space for your guinea pig to relax away from the dog for its safety.

dog looking at guinea pig getting ready to lick them

How to properly introduce dogs and guinea pigs? 

If you are going to introduce your dog and guinea pig, you should follow these tips for a smooth introduction.

  • When you first introduce your dog and guinea pig, keep your dog on a leash and leave your guinea pig in their crate.
  • This will allow you to control both the animals at the same time.
  • It’s better to have another person for help. This way, you will have an extra pair of hands.
  • Keep both the animals several feet apart at first.
  • Try to get your dog’s attention and keep them calm. Ask your dog to sit.
  • Use treats and praise as rewards for obedience.
  • Move your dog closer to the Guinea pig in its crate in small steps.
  • Dogs can easily become stressed or aggressive during this process. Stop the introduction right away if your dog gets too excited or aggressive.
  • You can let your dog calm down and try again later.
  • If your dog stays calm, give them a little more slack on their leash.

Eventually, your dog and guinea pig might be able to stay calm around one another. However, at the first sign of aggression or anxiety, you should separate your pets.

Safety tips for dogs living with Guinea pigs

It’s time to learn how to keep your guinea pig safe from the dog. 

  • Always supervise their interaction: Never leave your dog unattended with your guinea pig. Even if your dog and guinea pig are completely calm, always supervise any interaction between your dog and Guinea pig. Even the slightest flinch can sometimes mean that your Guinea pig is unsafe, so keep an eye out.
  • Guinea pigs should always have their space: Give your guinea pig a place of its own so it can be alone when it needs to be. The best way to do this is to buy a comfortable guinea pig cage in which your pig can feel relaxed and sleep well.
  • Safe spot for your Guinea pig: Keep the cage in a safe spot. Ideally, you should place the Guinea pig cage in a room away from your dog. Otherwise, your dog might accidentally knock the cage over.

Pet parent tip: The relationship between the two animals can change very quickly. So, it is so important to monitor them whenever they are together.

dog licking guinea pigs
Dog licking guinea pigs

Wrapping up

Keep in mind that all face-to-face interactions between your dog and Guinea pig hold an element of risk for the guinea pig. Even a well-trained dog might accidentally play too roughly. Pets that get along for years might still experience an accident.

Always give each pet the care and attention they deserve while making it fun for you as well.

Happy petting!

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.