The major concern for pet owners while adopting a new pet is always about the lifespan. They want a pet with a reasonable lifespan so that they can enjoy each other’s company and be able to take proper care of them. Luckily, guinea pigs are one of those animals and that’s why they always are a great choice. So if you have decided to adopt a guinea pig, then you have made a perfect decision which you won’t regret.
Now coming to main the question i.e. How long do guinea pigs live? The answer to this is 4-8 years on average which is longer than any other popular rodents. However, there are a number of factors that can affect how long a guinea pig can live. Some don’t live long enough and some make it to a much riper old age. Factors that can affect their life can include diet, breed, genes, and medical conditions.
Guinea Pig Lifespan – Important Factors
As we discussed earlier, guinea pigs can live a reasonably long life and there are many factors affecting the same. Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
As there is not enough data of breed factor affecting guinea pig lifespan, no predictions can be made around this. However, some breeds tend to live longer than others. For instance, skinny pigs tend to live longer (7-8 years) than other haired breeds. Let’s take a look at the average lifespan of every breed.
- Abyssinian: 5-7 years
- American: 4-8 years
- Cuy: 4-8 years
- Himalayan: 5-8 years
- Peruvian: 5-8 years
- Sheltie: 5-8 years
- Silkie: 5-8 years
- Skinny: 7-8 years
- Teddy: 4-5 years
- Texel: 4-7 years
- White Crested: 5-8 years
Here we would like you to understand that these are just numbers and nothing more. How you take care of your pet will have more impact on its lifespan.
Diet and Care
Now diet plays an important role and has a big impact on guinea pig lifespan. Guinea pigs are exotic animals so they require special care and attention. They need a specific diet for their development and overall health. For instance, timothy hay or orchard grass is best for adult guinea pigs and alfalfa-based pellets are great for pregnant or juvenile guinea pigs. Now you can not feed alfalfa-based pellets to an adult cavy otherwise it will create health problems.
Similarly, Vitamin C is very important for guinea pigs since they can’t produce it. Vitamin C deficiency can cause problems like lethargy, loss of appetite, rough coat, weight loss, or scurvy disease. Make sure you give your piggy the right amount of vitamin C (10-30 mg daily) to keep health problems at bay.
The premium quality of Hay and pellets are the best choice for your guinea pig. Give fresh vegetables and fruits occasionally to add other nutrients in their diet.
Genetics: This is a very common factor affecting the lifespan of a guinea pig. If your piggy’s parents lived to a good age, then it is more likely that your pet will also live up to much riper old age.
Mental and physical health: Your piggy’s overall health is very important for his good, happy, and longer life. Make sure you provide your guinea pig a big cage that has an ample amount of space for their physical activities and mental health.
Living Environment: Cavies should be kept in a quiet environment with places where they can hide. Guinea pig cage should be clean and germs free for the sake of their health otherwise they can get infections and allergies.
Regular health checkups: It is advisable that you should maintain a good relationship with a vet who treats guinea pigs. Staying in touch with a vet will help your piggy in case of any illness or injury as your vet can notice minor signs which you may ignore.
Guinea Pig Age in Human Years
Guinea pigs are old in human years. Let’s see how old your guinea pig is in human years below.
|Guinea Pig Age||Human Age|
|1 Year||12 Years|
|2 Years||24 Years|
|3 Years||36 Years|
|4 Years||48 Years|
|5 Years||60 Years|
|6 Years||72 Years|
|7 Years||84 Years|
|8 Years||96 Years|
How Old Should a Guinea Pig Be When You Buy It?
As you know Guinea pigs mature quickly so if you are looking for a baby guinea pig then it should be at least 4-6 weeks old. You should wait to separate a guinea pig from its mother until the cavy has finished nursing and begun to eat solid foods. However, many shops and breeders refrain from selling a guinea pig which is too young, so you don’t need to worry about it that much.
Tips for Increasing Your Guinea Pig’s Lifespan
Every owner gets attached to its guinea pig, understandably. They want their pets to live a healthy and longer life. Although you can not change the fate of your pet there are some things you can do to increase your piggy’s lifespan.
As we have mentioned earlier, we cannot emphasize this enough that giving your guinea pig a healthy and quality diet is extremely important. It’s also necessary to keep a check on your pet’s stress and behavior as stress can lead to many health issues.
Here are some of the things you can do for your pet’s to live a long happy life:
- Always keep 2 or more guinea pigs together and not single as guinea pigs need a companion to live a happy life.
- Keep them away from loud noises as it can frighten them.
- Take proper safety measures if you have other pets in your house to avoid any kind of accident.
- Give your piggy proper floor time for its exercise.
- Do not travel with your guinea pig frequently.
- Keep their houses or cage clean and germs free to avoid any illness.
Guinea pigs are such a cute and adorable kind of pets. But you must take good care of your guinea pig to help them enjoy a happy long life. Just follow the above tips carefully so that your piggy can be with you as long as possible.