The Biggest Loser’s Davina McCall Makes Decision Over Second Guinea Pig

Davina McCall guinea pig decisionImage courtesy of

There are many things to consider when bringing a new pet home. Be sure you think about improper sexing, unwanted breeding, the options of neutering, and the actions you must take if multiple pets do not get along.

Davina McCall, host of The Biggest Loser in the UK, has come under fire for announcing the purchase of a pet guinea pig to her Twitter followers. Some cavy enthusiasts claimed she was being “cruel” for making her new pet live a solitary life.

The guinea pig, now named Harley, was for Davina’s youngest daughter, Holly, who is 10 years old. The Twitter flurry began when Davina, 44, posted a picture of Harley at the pet store. Less than 24 hours later she posted that she would be purchasing a second guinea pig.

The Daily Mirror is reporting that, “Davina received scores of messages – and 18 retweets – after she announced she’d bought a guinea pig. But after some pretty harsh words from a few of her tweeps claiming it was cruel to only get one, she rang the shop for a second opinion.”

What is the truth behind this argument? Most rescues and shelters support the idea that two or more guinea pigs should be kept together because the animals live naturally in social groups. It is also important to spay or neuter guinea pigs kept together of the opposite sex to prevent any unwanted breeding and control the pet population. The old idea that guinea pigs and bunnies should be kept together is frowned upon by contemporary guinea pig enthusiasts.

Some pet stores support the idea of guinea pigs being kept in pairs or groups as well but information at the point of sale is not always available to interested buyers. This is a point of frustrations for many rescue volunteers and shelter workers and thus leads to arguments like the one involving Davina McCall on Twitter. High profile people have the opportunity to set a good example to a broader audience than animal welfare workers may be able to reach alone.

The Daily Mirror reports, “Her main concern was breeding.” Unwanted breeding is a concern for many owners in her situation. Pet stores don’t always properly sex their guinea pigs so it can easily grow out of hand when you have babies having babies before you know what to do.

[media-credit name="Guinea Pig Today" align="alignleft" width="519"]Davina McCall guinea pig Twitter post[/media-credit]Here at Guinea Pig Today, we suggest adopting a second guinea pig from a rescue or shelter. Those who know the personality of guinea pigs that need a home can set a “speed dating” session so guinea pigs like Harley can select a friend of their liking. It might be a boy or a spayed girl guinea pig, but the best part of working with a rescue or shelter is also adopting a community of support for the lifetime of your pet. Animal welfare volunteers will give you all you need to know to support your pets in a long, happy life. You’ll also be supporting a great cause by giving an unwanted guinea pigs a second chance at a new home.

Davina McCall chose to get support from the pet shop where she purchased Harley. It appears they offered her a “speed dating” session as well. She tweeted to her followers on April 7, “I love our guinea pig sooo much. Have spoken to the store and am going to “hutchmate” him with a few boys. See how they get on in the store.” The pet store suggested getting another guinea pig of the same sex. The Daily Mail reports, “Davina didn’t want a small army of guinea pigs roaming the house but, happily, the professional advice was that Cavia porcellus prefer to be coupled with a member of the same sex.”

Harley now has a younger step-brother and her Twitter followers have settled down. Are they happy with her decision? Jackie Burlison posted a comment on The Daily Mirror that read, “Shame she didn’t go for rescued guineas. There are scores out there in sanctuaries wanted homes. Don’t encourage breeders.”

We don’t know the reasons behind the decisions she made, however we’d like to know what you think of Davina McCall choice. Let us know in the comments below.

If you have a great idea for an article about guinea pigs, please let us know. Guinea Pig Today is a network of guinea pig lovers and we’re always looking for the next great story. View our submissions page for more information on how to submit your idea.

Angela, Editor-in-Chief, GPT

Angela founded Guinea Pig Today and guest writes for CavyMadness. She volunteers with Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue and supports the ROUS Foundation. Her guinea pig, Papua, is the star of WHEK-TV/DT.

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5 Responses to “The Biggest Loser’s Davina McCall Makes Decision Over Second Guinea Pig”
  1. Pam says:

    Rescue gpigs from proper sanctuaries. Buying from pet-stores only perpetuates the abuse and condones pet mills.

  2. Melisa says:

    She was ill informed, as I’m sure all of us have been at some point, before making her decision. Lesson learned. I would make different decisions today because of what I’ve learned from rescue organizations.

  3. Ginger from MD says:

    Sadly so many rescues are now at capacity that Christmas and Easter have passed and parents are realizing that cute little pet is now actual work to care for daily. I wish she’d known about rescues and done her research first before she left her home.

  4. Stephanie Umbro says:

    I went to the pet store for all but 2 of my guinea pigs. My mother remarks that my current boar lives in a palace compared to my previous piggies. I didn’t know any better before. Now that I know better, I do better. Its sad to know there’s another mom out there who may not have researched this “purchase” better, but hopefully her piggies will be happier now that they’re home and loved.

  5. Sally says:

    So many people have no idea guinea pigs are dropped off at shelters like any other pet. It seems to be so hard to get the word out. It’s great she went for another pig. I wonder if she was informed about boars and possible fall-outs when they hit adolescence? Given she’s relying on her pet store as her primary source of information, I hope she’s not discouraged or disappointed if they don’t get along and ends up contributing to the shelter overpopulation.

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