How old do guinea pigs live? Well, guinea pigs have an average lifespan of 5 to 7 years.
Although guinea pigs don’t live that long like cats and dogs do, having one can be a long-term commitment.
On my part, it was like yesterday that I first had my own pet. It’s a male guinea pig. He has orange fur and a white stripe at the top of his head. His name is Ginger.
I didn’t know what to do or how to raise him, but I was so excited about the responsibility of taking care of him. Just like you, I keep on learning the proper ways to keep him healthy- including his meal plan, habitat, and more.
So, if you’re new to raising these kinds of pets, you’ve come to the right page. (Please read here How to train Guinea Pig)
Here are some things to expect in their lifetime, and some tips on how to enjoy your long-term dedication to your cavies.
But before that, we’ll talk first about guinea pigs.
What Are Guinea Pigs?
“Cavia porcellus,” or most commonly known as a guinea pig, is a domesticated rodent species that belongs to the cavy family.
Guinea pigs no longer exist in the wild; therefore, reproduction and mating systems are done domestically.
This type of animal prefers close contact and interaction with others. So it is a very suitable animal as a pet.
Factors Affecting The Lifespan of Guinea Pigs
The expectation is always present at first. If you are about to do something, you already have your expectations.
But don’t get those expectations too high, or it will only drag you down.
Here are some of the things that affect the lifespan of your furry pet:
#1. Life span
The question is:
How old do guinea pigs live?
Among other rodents, guinea pigs have a longer life span.
While hamsters and mice only live for a couple of years, guinea pigs could live around for an average of 5 to 7 years.
A longer life span means longer commitment and responsibility if you want your guinea pigs to live a happy life.
Although a guinea pig’s life span has no definite expiry date or ‘best before’ tag, there are some factors that could either shorten or lengthen your guinea pig’s life.
#2. According to breed
There are some breeds of guinea pigs that have a longer life span compared to others.
For example, hairless guinea pigs have a longer life span, an average of 7 to 8 years. Long-haired ones have 5 to 6 years.
How well you take care of your guinea pigs can affect your cavies’ life span.
Having a balanced diet can do miracles and lengthen your pet’s life.
I mean, if you would only eat nutritious foods wouldn’t you have a longer life?
#4. Other factors affecting life span
We can’t always be healthy, and we should accept that. The same goes for your cavies.
They can suffer from several health conditions as time passes. These conditions may be overcome when treated in the early stages.
#5. Guinea pigs are social animals
Guinea pigs are very social animals. They are happy to live with the same kind too.
However, you should first try to pair same-sex guinea pigs if you don’t want to have unexpected multiplication of expenses.
It is best to introduce a pair while they’re still babies, or they won’t get along that easily.
#6. Easy to tame
Guinea pigs are one of the animals that are easy to tame.
If handled with constant care and given an adequate amount of attention, the bond between you and your pet will indeed be strong.
#7. Nutrition is a must
Like any other living thing, guinea pigs need their dose of nutrition too. Prepare their meal plans or plan their food.
Please make sure they are nutritious and not toxic for them.
Preparing hays and vegetables is an excellent way to go.
Some fruits like apples, strawberries, oranges, and bananas are good for them but overeating must be controlled. Or else, unwanted diseases may start to rise. Instead of giving them a longer life, it could shorten it.
If you plan to have more than one guinea pig, it is best recommended to build a larger cage.
Unlike the typical ready-made guinea pig cages available in the market, which are smaller in size, guinea pigs tend to need a more massive floor to play on.
The cleanliness of their cages could also affect their health. The cleaner, the better.
The pens must be spacious enough for them to exercise their bodies and enjoy their life.
Anyway, if you don’t have time to build one for your furry pet, you can always find a durable, high-quality, and spacy home on sale. Opt for a double-story cage for guinea pigs; my pet, Ginger, is very comfortable with this kind of home.
#9. Where to get one?
If you’re confused and want to get one yourself, guinea pigs are often available at shelters.
Some guinea pigs are available at your local shelters. But not all covers have them, okay?
Just try your local shelters first before heading out and buying one. It can save you some money, for sure.
Things To Consider Before Getting A Guinea Pig
Before deciding to get guinea pigs as your pet, check this list of what it would require you to have one.
Having a pet requires time, effort, care, and attention. You need to interact with your pet to strengthen your bond with it.
Having an extra part of your family requires expenses too.
You’ll need to buy a cage, a tiny little house, food, toys, and beddings. Their needs might cost you, including their medicals, so it’s best just to be prepared.
One we can’t compromise is our health. If you are allergic to guinea pigs, please don’t even think of having one.
A longer lifespan means longer commitment, as mentioned above. This means that you should consider the term of your responsibilities as a pet owner.
Having guinea pigs as a pet could entertain you by just looking at them.
I still remember playing with Ginger when I used to arrive from school. I used to teach him tricks and make him jump hoops, then give him a treat for that.
So play and have fun with your pet while it is still alive and well.
How old do guinea pigs live? They could live 5 to 7 years on average depending on how you raise them. Having an average means, they could live longer or shorter.
The factors like their breed, the food they eat, and other factors could affect their life span. Routine visits to the veterinarian help in the early diagnosis of possible problems. This can elongate the life span of your lovely pet in some cases.
Taking good care, establishing strong bonds, and having time for them, is the way to enjoy life as a pet owner.
I hope the information from this article will help you take better care of your guinea pig.
Thank you for reading!
Delbert Curtis is a senior writer at Petcosset, a leading online resource for pet care information. With over 10 years of experience in the pet industry, Delbert is passionate about helping pet owners provide the best care possible. He has written extensively on pet health, nutrition, training, and behavior. Delbert is dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the pet industry to provide the most accurate and helpful information to Petcosset’s readers. Delbert enjoys spending time with his pets and exploring the great outdoors when he’s not writing.