While for animal lovers it seems like it’s only obvious that animals have feelings, there’s a lot of people out there who get pets without considering that. Guinea pigs are one of those overlooked animals.
Just like other rodent species such as rats, guinea pigs need friends. And in 2008 Switzerland actually made it illegal to own a guinea pig all on it’s own.
Guinea pigs, being herd animals, so they really do need at least one companion. The law was part of a legislative push to grant “social rights” to pets that tend to get lonely. Having a cage mate boots their quality of life. If one guinea pig die before the other, you would need to get it another to replace it, or you could face a legally situation.
Guinea Pigs aren’t the only animals in Switzerland that are protected from living in isolation, Goldfish are required to be in a minimum of pairs and parrots too, or they need the chance to socialize on a regular basis. And while cat’s don’t seem to need friends, the law in Switzerland requires that they be able to at least see other cats out the window or in the garden, if you don’t own more than one.
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