The idea that all of nature’s denizens can happily live together in peace and harmony has become firmly ensconced in our collective psyche thanks to an endless barrage of colorful children’s stories and cartoons that have sold the idea to generation after generation of animal lovers.
The reality, however, is far different from the literary and televisual illusions, as in the real world most creatures tend to live with members of their own species and very rarely if ever have anything to do with any other animals.
The hedgehog is a notable exception to that rule, as they don’t even enjoy the company of other hedgehogs and only spend any time with other members of their own species when they absolutely have to.
The chances are that if you see two or more hedgehogs together, it’s a mother and her offspring, because except for mating and rearing offspring, hedgehogs don’t, and won’t spend any time together.
They’re solitary by nature, and it can often take a hedgehog a long time to adjust to spending any amount of time around humans, so attempting to get them to cohabit with a guinea pig is a fruitless endeavor that won’t end well.
And as hedgehogs are nocturnal and guinea pigs are diurnal, their paths are unlikely to cross even if you do find a way to get them to live together.
It’s also an incredibly bad idea to introduce a hedgehog to a guinea pigs enclosure, or vice versa, as hedgehogs are also incredibly shy animals, and their fear response when they encounter any situation that they consider to be a threat, involves them curing into a spiky little ball, which could seriously hurt a guinea pig if they get too close to the terrified hedgehog.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from having a guinea pig and a hedgehog as pets at the same time, you’ll just need to make sure that you keep them both in separate enclosures and cages if you want them to both live long(ish) and happy lives.
Some animals were never meant to be kept together, and the hedgehog tops the list of creatures who are more than happy in their own company and don’t want or need to share their lives or spend any time with other animals.
Is A Hedgehog Bigger Than A Guinea Pig?
There isn’t really much height or weight difference between a guinea pig and a hedgehog and both animals are pretty much the same size. But apart from being mammals and sharing similar dimensions, they don’t have much more in common.
They don’t eat the same diets, guinea pigs are active during the day while hedgehogs only make a fleeting appearance during the hours of darkness, guinea pigs enjoy the company of their brothers and sisters, and hedgehogs aren’t bothered if they ever see another member of their own species.
Both animals do however make good pets, and while guinea pigs enjoy being picked up and stroked and interacting with their owners almost immediately, it can, and often does take a hedgehog far longer to acclimatize, and get used to human company.
So, if you do decide to add a hedgehog to your household, you’ll need to be aware that their behavior and the way that they’ll interact with you will be completely different from the way that a guinea pig will.
And if you do want to enjoy spending time with your new hedgehog pal, you’ll need to be patient and give him all the time that he’ll need to get used to being around you,
Should I Get A Hedgehog Or A Guinea Pig?
That depends entirely on whether or not you have the time to devote to a hedgehog and if you prefer stroking and masking a fuss of your potential pet, both of which a guinea pig will readily and happily soak up.
If you work days and are only home at night, a hedgehog might be a better idea as they’re a nocturnal animal and only appear at night.
Even though it will take a hedgehog a while to get used to you and being around you, when they do, they can very demanding and incredibly time and labor-intensive.
And if you don’t spend the time with your hedgehog that they need, and will want you to, they could become sullen and withdrawn and refuse to have anything to do with you.
Guinea pigs on the other hand are happy to be left to their own devices and don’t mind how much or how little time you spend with them as long as you feed them and occasionally pet and stroke them. They’ll spend their daylight hours playing and eating and won’t do much more than that.
If you want a pet that requires time, effort, and the proper amount of dedication, and will eventually reward you with their loyalty and company, then you should consider adopting a hedgehog.
But if you want a far less time-consuming pet that’ll be happy as long as its bowl is full of food and only needs to be petted and stroked every now and then, then you’ll be much better suited to spending what little free time you do have in the company of a guinea pig.
Do Hedgehogs Smell Worse Than Guinea Pigs?
Neither is a naturally smelly creature. In fact, guinea pigs are fastidiously clean animals while hedgehogs have no smell that can be detected by humans. That doesn’t mean that they won’t smell if you decide to keep either as pets, but if they do, it’ll almost certainly be your fault.
The reason why hedgehogs and guinea pigs can start to smell if they’re kept as pets is because the cages and enclosures that they’re kept in aren’t cleaned properly.
Their living quarters need to be kept as clean as possible, which means cleaning up the animal’s feces and urine regularly. If you don’t clean up their waste, that’s when both can, and will start to smell.
Which smells worse, a guinea pig or a hedgehog? Neither, as long as you make sure that their cages and enclosures are kept clean.