Did you know . . . ? It’s Illegal to Own Only One Guinea Pig in Switzerland Because They Get Lonely!
Did you know there are a lot of people out there who get pets without considering that animals get lonely and have feelings too. 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 its own.
Guinea pigs are naturally 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 boosts their quality of life. If one guinea pig dies before the other, you would need to get it another one to replace it, or you could face a legal situation.
Guinea pigs aren’t the only animals in Switzerland that are protected from living in isolation. Goldfish also 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 cats don’t seem to need friends, the law in Switzerland requires that they be able to at least see other cats out of a window or be able to roam about in the garden (safely that is).
So, when looking to get a new pet, think about getting two as companions for each other, plus you’ll be on the right side of the law too!