One of the most cherished pets in the world is the guinea pig. They require regular social engagement and care since they are very engaging, friendly, cuddly, curious, and gentle animals.
Although they don’t live as long as cats or dogs, they are usually highly resilient and disease-resistant. The breeding, feeding, housing, and medical care of the Guinea pig are only a few of the numerous variables that affect its lifespan. But occasionally, elements that are beyond anyone’s control could also be at play.
What you need to know about extending your pet’s life expectancy will be covered in this post, so you can hopefully enjoy their companionship for many years to come. Find out how long Guinea pigs live by reading on.
Guinea Pig Lifespan and Ageing
What is the lifespan of guinea pigs? If you’re thinking about taking one of these tiny furry companions home, it’s only reasonable to wonder that. Genetics, dietary habits, and environmental variables all have an impact on guinea pig longevity.
How long, on average, can you anticipate your guinea pig living? According to estimates from animal welfare organizations, guinea pigs have a four to eight-year lifespan. According to others, the majority will only survive for a maximum of seven years.
The enormous range of genetic and environmental factors that different guinea pigs experience may be the cause of this variation. Contrary to bigger pets, they do often have shorter lifespans. However, an eight-year lifetime appears fairly generous when compared to other smaller pets like pet rats.
The Lifespan of a Guinea Pig
The usual lifespan of a contemporary domesticated Guinea is five to eight years. The Guinea pig is really capable of lasting a few more years if it’s fortunate enough to escape difficulties from any age-related disorders, but there’s a natural limit to its lifetime that it almost definitely won’t exceed.
Although it is challenging to pinpoint the precise nature of that limit, based on the data of the longest-living pigs (which will be discussed below), it is most likely in the region of 15 years.
Your Guinea pig will be at the prime of its life starting around the time it reaches adulthood, which happens to be around six months old. But like any animal, it will soon start to exhibit clear indications of deterioration. Its energy level will start to drastically decline by the time it is four or five years old.
Your Guinea pig may start to show less interest in play and exercise. Particularly near the nose and mouth, the fur will start to turn gray or white. The toes may ultimately seem thick and twisted as they begin to curl up from the outside toe toward the inside greatest toe.
Additionally, as your pig ages, it is far more likely to develop a variety of age-related conditions, such as cataracts, arthritis, heart disease, strokes, cancer, and even dementia, all of which can have an impact on behavior.
Apart from a small feral population, domesticated Guinea pigs are no longer seen in the wild, but some owners still allow them to roam freely in a bigger walled yard. The benefits of giving your pet some much-needed space and fresh air are evident, but free-roaming Guinea pigs are considerably more vulnerable to predators and illness.
They are further susceptible to inclement weather and low temperatures. This should only be done if you are confident in your abilities and prepared to take a chance.
How Long Do Guinea Pigs Live As Pets?
The longevity of guinea pigs kept as pets, however, may be an entirely other matter. They can live anywhere between four and eight years on average, according to sources like those previously stated. That spans a rather large spectrum, of course.
The length of a guinea pig’s life can be influenced by a variety of elements, including its diet, genetics, and living circumstances. Later, we’ll go into greater depth regarding those.
However, generally speaking, domesticated animals live longer than their wild counterparts. Regular feeding, veterinary visits, and the absence of predators are frequently to blame for this.
What Affects the Lifespan of Your Guinea Pig
Genetics is one of the main determinants of your pig’s health and overall well-being. Many health disorders (or at least the increased chance of certain health conditions) can be transferred from parent to offspring, just like it is true for any other species, including humans.
A breeder can have a significant impact on your pet’s health in this situation. Breeders of the highest caliber will only select from the greatest stock. When pigs have severe inheritable health issues, breeders will not allow them to reproduce. To guarantee that their pigs are healthy and disease-free, many testing are conducted.
Having saying that, breeding will only take you so far. Diet and general maintenance might also be quite important once you’ve bought a pig. The next section will provide advice on how to keep your pig safe and healthy.
Occasionally, despite your best efforts, a pig may not survive as long as you anticipate. Its longevity is undoubtedly greatly impacted by “luck,” or random or unpredictable causes.
A concealed genetic risk that pigs inherently carry or an unforeseeable sickness might both shorten a pig’s life. Nevertheless, owners have a lot of influence over their pet’s health, excluding some unforeseeable circumstances.
Guinea Pigs Life Expectancy
It’s important to understand a few things about guinea pigs right away before obtaining one as a pet. The longevity is one key factor. What is the lifespan of the guinea pig? Many pet owners are curious about how long they will enjoy keeping their animals in the house.
Guinea pigs typically have a lifespan of five to seven years. But lifespan varies according on a few things. They may survive for up to 10 years under ideal conditions. Guinea pigs frequently live longer, providing the entire family happiness and memories.
However, as a pet owner, you must be dedicated to providing for it from the very beginning. A longer lifetime is the benefit under ideal conditions.
Guinea Pig Life Cycle
The gestation time for guinea pigs is two months or somewhat longer. There might be one baby present at birth or as many as six or seven. A litter typically contains three infants. At birth, guinea pigs have up to twenty teeth and are completely covered in hair. Soon after birth, their eyes open.
It’s time to segregate the males from the girls at three weeks. The guinea pig females, who were formerly infants, are now sexually mature. Guinea pigs attain adulthood and achieve their full size and weight somewhere between nine months and a year.
Common Guinea Pig Health Problems
Owners should be aware of (and ready for) significant, life-threatening conditions that might shorten your pet’s lifespan by many years. Infections of the urinary tract or the respiratory system are particularly common in young guinea pigs because of their immature immune systems.
However, even adults are susceptible to it; environmental factors such as psychological stress, poor nutrition, insufficient ventilation, and crowded environments all have the potential to lead to an infection.
Due to the extra work required to properly digest their high-carbohydrate diet, Guinea pigs also frequently have digestive issues.
Your pig may have a more serious digestive issue, such as inflammation, bacterial infections, or parasites, if it has problems absorbing nutrients or if food leaves its system fast. Weakness, diarrhea, abrupt weight loss, and changes in appetite can all be symptoms.
A lack of nutrients is another issue that is connected. Guinea pigs are susceptible to scurvy because, like people, they cannot produce vitamin C on their own and must get it completely from food. Rough hair, diarrhea, inflamed joints, lethargy, and gum ulcers or bleeding are some of the signs of this illness.
Fortunately, this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re giving the pig the right, well-balanced food indicated previously.
The symptoms of cancer should also be recognized by owners. You should be on the lookout for any unexpected lumps or growths on your Guinea pig’s body since tumors seem to be occurring more frequently.
Similar to people, the best chance of survival always requires early discovery. As the Guinea pig ages, the danger of cancer rises and more regular examinations are necessary.
Ways to increase a guinea pig’s life expectancy
Food that is fresh: As with any living thing, feeding your guinea pig fresh food is one of the greatest methods to lengthen its life. To prevent your guinea pig from consuming food that is no longer fresh, make sure uneaten food, such as greens, is removed from the cage within 24 hours.
Invest in a cozy cage since, like people, guinea pigs like feeling at ease. It is advised to give each guinea pig at least 7.5 square feet of living area and two guinea pigs at least 10 square feet. Your guinea pigs will be happy the more space you provide them.
Kiln-dried pine shavings, paper bedding, or fleece are a few good alternatives for absorbent guinea pig bedding. In order to avoid ammonia or smell buildup, it’s also crucial to regularly replace the bedding of guinea pigs. It is advised to replace the bedding for guinea pigs at least once every week, but every three to four days is preferable.
Give your pet things to chew on: Guinea pigs need to have their teeth ground down to be healthy. Buy chew toys or pet-safe wood blocks for your guinea pigs as a result.
Avoid letting female guinea pigs get pregnant since it is difficult for them to give birth. In reality, problems during pregnancy or childbirth claim the lives of one in five bred females.
Find a reputable vet: It’s critical that you take the initiative and do this before your guinea pig experiences any medical problems. Even though guinea pigs don’t need any shots, it’s still advised that you take them to the doctor at least once a year.
Don’t mix pairs: Guinea pig lifetime can be greatly increased by purchasing more than one. Guinea pigs are gregarious creatures who value being part of a group, just like people.
However, be sure to keep pairs of guinea pigs who have previously undergone spaying or neutering or guinea pigs of the same sex together. A guinea pig pregnancy that wasn’t intended is bad, as we’ve already explained.
Ensuring Our Piggies Live a Happy and Full Life
A guinea pig’s diet should consist mostly of fresh vegetables every day, vitamin C-fortified pellets, and an unrestricted supply of hay. Guinea pigs can reduce their risk of developing scurvy, which is brought on by a lack of vitamin C, and even enlarged molars by giving them these simple, necessary meals.
Providing guinea pigs with enough space to grow is another essential requirement. The majority of pet store cages fall short of the guinea pigs’ absolute minimal room needs. If you decide to first start with a store-bought cage, be prepared to immediately purchase a much larger cage.
To clarify, guinea pigs are sociable animals that require the presence of other guinea pigs. According to the Humane Society, guinea pigs should be housed in pairs and receive plenty of human contact. Your guinea pigs are more likely to live longer if you provide them at least these.
Wild Guinea Pig Lifespan
Guinea pigs were domesticated long ago in South America, where they were born. The initial domesticated cavies were raised for food on farms.
The guinea pig kind we are acquainted with no longer exists in the wild, although they are still raised for the same purpose in many places. In South American grasslands, several relatives that are closely related still exist.
These cousins of the wild guinea pig are rather widespread. However, guinea pigs in the wild often live from one to four years less than those in captivity.
The Guinea Pig That Broke Records
A pet named Snowball from Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom, holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest confined Guinea pig. At the age of 14 years and 10.5 months, he passed away on February 14th, 1979.
Although a Guinea pig by the name of Bear is said to have lived to be 13 years old as of 2019, other guinea pigs have come close to breaking this record. Of course, the difficulties of actually verifying a pig’s age adds to the complexity of this. To be eligible for the record, the pig’s birth must be verified.
How To Tell If Your Guinea Pig Is Getting Old
It is not always simple to judge a guinea pig’s age only based on how old they are. Here are a few potential indicators that your guinea pig is approaching middle age. He might become less active overall and lose weight. The tone of the muscles might also alter. He might sleep a lot more than he did previously.
And health issues would appear to be more prevalent. As your guinea pig ages, it becomes more crucial than ever to monitor their health. It becomes more difficult for people to recuperate from health problems as they age.
The life of everyone willing to devote time and effort to guinea pigs will undoubtedly be improved by these charming sociable animals. These creatures are far from being suitable as beginner pets, contrary to popular belief, as they need daily care and attention in order to live healthy, happy lives.
Therefore, before choosing a choice, be sure you are fully informed of the commitment you will need to make. If you’re certain that you want a guinea pig, check out our other blog entries for advice on how to create a strong relationship with your pet!