For most of us pet owners and animal lovers, it only seems obvious that like humans, animals too have feelings, and there are many people who tend to get pets without even considering this fact. Among these overlooked animals, are the guinea pigs. Just like us humans, and other rodent species like rats, guinea pigs too, need friends, although in 2008 Switzerland passed a bill, making it illegal to own only 1 guinea pig, all on its own.
Since guinea pigs are herd animals, they do need at least one companion. The illegalization of owning only one guinea pig was part of a legislative push to give social rights to any kind of pet that will get lonely. For guinea pigs, having a companion highly improves their quality of life. If by chance one dies before the other, and you don’t get another to replace it, you could be taken to courts and have a legal situation.
In Switzerland, along with guinea pigs, goldfish and cats are protected from this legislation as well. If you have goldfish, you are also required to have a pair of parrots as well, if not, they require to socialize on a regular basis. It is the same for our furry feline friends, the cats. Though they don’t seem to require a companion, if you don’t own more than one cat, the Swiss law encompasses that they are able to see other cats through the window or in the garden.