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Guinea Pig Lifespan – How Long Do they Live? (7 Facts to Know)


What is the average lifespan of a Guinea Pig? How Long Do Guinea Pigs Live?

Guinea pigs are among the most cherished of all domesticated animals on the planet. They’re extremely curious, gentle, cuddly, humorous, and highly engaged animals who require a great deal of social engagement and care on a consistent basis.
Guinea pigs have a shorter lifetime than a cat or a dog, but they are generally more durable and illness resistant than either of those animals.
There are a variety of elements that determine the lifetime of the Guinea pig, including its breeding, nutrition, living environment, and medical care and attention.
However, there are some elements that are out of anyone’s control that can play a part from time to time as well.
For those who have never had a guinea pig as a pet, here are some benefits of having a guinea pig as a pet.
This article will cover everything you need to know about maximizing the potential longevity of your pet so that you can hopefully enjoy its company for many years to come.
Continue reading to find out how long Guinea pigs may survive in the wild.

Guinea pigs live for five to seven years on average.

This is far longer than the lifespans of many other small pets, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats, which all survive only a few years.

Modern domesticated Guinea has an average lifespan of five to eight years, depending on the environment.

Depending on whether or not it is fortunate enough to avoid difficulties from any age-related disorders, the Guinea pig is actually capable of living for several years longer; but, there is a natural limit to its lifespan that it will almost definitely not exceed.

Exactly when that natural limit occurs is difficult to determine, but evidence from the longest-lived pigs (which will be discussed further below) indicates that it is likely somewhere between 15 and 20 years.

How Long Do Guinea Pigs Live?


Your Guinea pig will be in the prime of its life from the time it reaches adulthood, which will occur around the age of six months.

However, just as with any other animal, it will eventually

begin to show noticeable indications of ageing and degeneration. By the time it reaches the age of four or five, its energy level will have dropped significantly.

You may find that your Guinea pig is less likely to participate in physical activity and play as time goes on.

Grey or white fur will begin to appear around the nose and lips, particularly in the winter.

As your Guinea pig grows older, its toes will curl inward, beginning with the outside toe and continuing inside toward the inner greatest toe; the toes may finally appear thick and twisted.

Your pig also becomes considerably more susceptible to a variety of age-related maladies, including cataracts, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and even dementia, which can have a negative impact on its overall health and behavior.

Despite the fact that domesticated Guinea pigs no longer exist in the wild (with the exception of a small feral population), some owners let their animals to roam freely in a bigger fenced yard.

Although this certainly provides your pet with much-needed room and fresh air, Guinea pigs that are allowed to wander freely are considerably more prone to fall prey to predators and disease.

They are extremely vulnerable to adverse weather conditions and freezing temperatures. The use of this method is not recommended unless you are well-versed in the subject and prepared to incur the risk.

The Guinea Pig Who Broke All the Recorded Music

Snowball, a caged Guinea pig from Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom, holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest known caged Guinea pig.

Snowball is the oldest known caged Guinea pig. He died on February 14th, 1979, at the age of 14 years and 10.5 months, leaving a legacy of love and sacrifice.

There have been some close calls to this record (one Guinea pig named Bear was reportedly 13-years old as of 2019), but no one has yet managed to break it.

It’s made more difficult by the fact that it’s difficult to determine the age of a pig, which is a known fact.

The pig’s birth must be documented in order for it to be eligible for the record attempt.

What Factors Influence the Lifespan of a Guinea Pig

Genetics is one of the most important variables influencing the health and overall well-being of your pig.

Many health disorders (or at least the increased chance of certain health conditions) can be handed down from parent to child, just as they can be passed down from any other species, including humans. This is where a breeder can make a significant difference in the overall health of your pet.

Breeders of superior quality will only select from the greatest available stock. Porks that exhibit indicators of major inheritable health concerns will not be allowed to be bred.

It is necessary to conduct frequent testing to guarantee that their pigs are healthy and free of sickness.

Having said that, breeding will only bring you so far in life. Once you’ve obtained a pig, the feed and general care of the animal might play an important part as well.

Keeping your pig safe and healthy will be discussed in greater detail in the following section.

However, no matter how careful you are, it is possible that a pig will not live as long as you would like. “Luck” (which refers to random or uncontrollable variables) has unquestionably had a significant impact on its lifespan.

A pig’s life could be cut short by a hidden genetic risk that the pig possesses naturally, or by a sickness that cannot be predicted in advance.

In the absence of these unforeseen circumstances, however, pet owners have a great deal of control over their pet’s health.

Tips for Extending the Life Expectancy of Your Guinea Pig

It is possible to ensure that your Guinea pig has a long and healthy life by following a few simple steps:


When you initially go out to get a Guinea pig, the health of the animal should always be your top priority.

Your best bet is to find a devoted cavy breeder that has a stellar record for breeding from healthy, high-quality stock and who is willing to travel to you.

Trust no breeder or pet store that cannot produce documentation that the animals they sell are from a healthy, well-bred lineage.

However, while good breeders do tend to command higher prices, you will be less likely to incur medical expenses in the long term as a result of their animals’ health problems.

Breeds & Genetics:

The breed of the Guinea pig has been shown to have a significant impact on the length of its life.

According to popular belief, Peruvians or Shelties have the longest lifetime, whilst hairless breeds like Baldwin and the slender pig are supposed to have the shortest life expectancy.

Food & Diet: 

Consumption of pellets, hay, and fresh fruits and vegetables will be required by all Guinea pigs (regardless of age, breed, or sexuality) in order for them to remain healthy.

Every day, owners should offer 1/8 cup of pellets that are high in fortified vitamin C and fiber and contain lots of fiber.

Additionally, unlimited quantities of hay (typically timothy), around one cup of fresh food (such as lettuce or parsley), and a few slices of seedless fruit should be provided (such as apples, oranges, kiwis, etc).

Try to stay away from grains, cereals, seeds, nuts, dairy products, and extremely sugary foods that are high in calories but have no nutritional value

. You should also stay away from meats. Guinea pigs are strictly herbivores, and they do not eat meat.

Dietary fiber from fresh vegetables is essential for the well-being of Guinea pigs.

Housing Care: 

To maintain the pig’s healthy, owners will need to clean up the pig’s bedding at least once a week, remove uneaten food from the pig’s diet every day, and make every effort to keep the food and waste separated.

guinea pig housing

The temperature of the room should be kept between 65 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit, with no drafts.

Regular Exercise: 

The benefits of exercise for your pig’s mental and physical well-being are widely documented.

A properly sized cage to run around in, as well as daily playtime with its owner, should be sufficient to provide sufficient exercise every day.

Exercise wheels and balls are not suggested for pigs and may even be harmful to them in rare cases.

Treatment at the veterinarian’s clinic:

A routine examination with the veterinarian at least once a year is recommended for your Guinea pig.

If your pig begins to exhibit any acute signs of illness or suffering, you should take him to the veterinarian as soon as you can.

Pet insurance may be able to protect you from unexpected medical expenses, but it may not be appropriate for everyone..

Guinea Pig Health Issues That Are Frequently Seen

Owners will want to be aware of (and prepared for) significant and life-threatening disorders that could shorten their pet’s lifespan by several years.

Young Guinea pigs, who have underdeveloped immune systems, are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses and urinary tract infections than their older counterparts.

Even adult Guinea pigs are at risk of contracting the disease; psychological stress, poor nutrition, inadequate ventilation, and overcrowding of habitats are all factors that could contribute to an infection.

Guinea pigs are also prone to gastrointestinal disorders, which are caused by their carbohydrate-heavy diet, which necessitates extra work to effectively digest the food.

Having difficulties absorbing nutrients or passing food rapidly through your pig’s system could be a sign of a more serious digestive disease such as inflammation, bacterial infections, or parasites in the system. Weakness, diarrhea, and abrupt weight loss or changes in appetite are all possible symptoms of this condition.

A nutritional deficit is another issue that is connected to this one. Guinea pigs are susceptible to scurvy because, like humans, they are unable to produce their own vitamin C and must rely on their diet for the majority of their vitamin C requirements.

Rough hair, diarrhea, inflamed joints, lethargy, and ulcers or hemorrhaging in the gums are just a few of the symptoms associated with this disease.

If you’re feeding the pig a proper, well-balanced diet, which we discussed previously, this shouldn’t be a major problem for you.

In addition, owners should be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer.

Tumours are becoming more common in Guinea pigs, so keep an eye out for any unusual bumps or growths on your Guinea pig’s body as a precaution.

Early discovery is always required, just as it is with humans, in order to have the best chance of survival.

As the Guinea pig grows older, the danger of cancer increases, necessitating more regular examinations.

Additionally, owners should look out for general indicators of illness or disease, such as lethargy, despair, and unsociable behavior.

Other signs to watch for include skin sores, ear irritation, excessive napping, and soreness and swelling in the joints.

If you detect any of these signs, you should consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible to evaluate how long your Guinea pig may be able to survive with these potential health problems.


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