Pets' corner: Are dogs and pigs compatable and how much space is needed for a llama?

Your questions answered by Chamois Rose-Wood

Is it true that male guinea pigs smell more than female ones? And is it OK to introduce a dog into the mix? Anthony Harrington, High Barnet

Males do smell more than females because of their urine. Keeping your guinea pig's living quarters clean will help. Don't put two males together because they are liable to fight. Two females can happily live together and if you have a couple, they will have lots of babies. Introducing dogs to families with small pets can be difficult. Initially, socialise them when the guinea pig is in a cage. If the dog becomes overexcited and starts barking and scratching at the cage, they probably won't get along. Remember you should never leave dogs unsupervised with small pets.

Can I keep llamas in my garden, and if not, what size of paddock is needed? Elie Thomas, Reading

I would not keep a llama in a normal-sized garden, because they will ruin your flowers. However, if you have a large paddock or field, llamas will make great pets. They need a minimum of 3/4 acre to live comfortably and an acre will support four llamas. They do much better in groups. They can be kept on their own but need to be fully grown adults. Llamas live happily with horses, donkeys and goats, too. You can also use them to protect sheep or goats from foxes, but be aware that these llamas must be selected carefully. Another advantage about keeping llamas as pets is their hair. If you shear them you can use their luxurious wool to make jumpers.

Send your queries to The Independent Magazine, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or email petscorner@independent.co.uk

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