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Getting a pet for yourself represents a significant financial and time commitment for all of us. In addition, when we think about entering into a commitment of this nature, we want to know up front how long we will be expected to bear the responsibility.So it was a few years ago, when I was at the same point in my life. Was thinking about getting a Guinea Pig for myself and was curious as to how long do Guinea pigs live as pets? And here’s what I discovered as a result. 

Guinea pigs can live anywhere from 4 to 8 years on average, depending on their health. However, some guinea pigs were found to have lived for more than ten years in the same place. The lifespan of guinea pigs is affected by a variety of factors, including the care you provide for your pet, the living environment, the breed, and genetics.

Guinea pigs are hardy creatures that can survive for an extended period of time in even the most adverse conditions.

However, while they are in captivity, they are completely reliant on us for their survival. The length of time that our Guinea pig will live will ultimately be determined by us.

It is our responsibility to provide our Guinea pig with the best possible care and living conditions in order for it to live a long and healthy life.


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Guinea Pig Lifespan

When compared to other rodents, guinea pigs have a significantly longer life expectancy. While other small rodents, such as mice and hamsters, live for an average of 1-3 years, hamsters live for an average of 3-5 years.

When given proper care, a guinea pig can live for an average of 5-7 years on average.

Guinea pigs have been known to live for more than a decade, but it is a rare sight to see one in such a long life. The commitment that comes with keeping guinea pigs as pets is one that is likely to last for at least 4-5 years, at the very least.

As a result, you must be well prepared for the situation. Keeping in mind that your pets will require fresh food and water every day, as well as routine maintenance, would be the best course of action.

If this appears to be a significant time commitment for you, you might want to consider other types of pets, such as hamster mice or other small rodents, which have a shorter lifespan.

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What is the life expectancy of guinea pigs living in captivity?

If we can provide our Guinea pigs with the proper care and attention, and meet all of their basic needs, these furry little companions can also live for up to eight years.

Although some guinea pig species live longer than others, genetics is also a factor in determining the lifespan of a particular guinea pig species.

Here are some of the most common guinea pig breeds, as well as their average lifespans in captivity, to get you started:

It’s important to remember that, while in captivity, Guinea pigs are relatively reliant on us to meet all of their needs.

We are the ones who will determine what food they will eat and what living conditions they will be subjected to in the future.

As a result, if we provide them with the proper balance of everything, they will be content to live a long and happy life.

How long do guinea pigs live in the wild?

According to the captive breed, Guinea pigs have a shorter life span in the wild than they do in captivity. They have a lifespan of approximately four years.

But why is there such a significant difference? The guinea pigs we buy today have all been raised in captivity.

They were bred in such a way that their genetic makeup is significantly different from that of wild animals.

In the wild, you will not come across any of the species that we keep at home. A significant contributing factor to guinea pigs’ shorter life span in the wild is their exposure to predators in their environment.

Does the lifespan of Guinea pig depend on its breed?

To be sure, the breed of a Guinea pig has an impact on the length of its life expectancy.

Hairless guinea pigs and other exotic breeds of Guinea pigs have a shorter life span when compared to other species, according to research conducted by various institutions.

Breeds such as the Skinny Guinea pig, Teddy Guinea pigs, and Rex Guinea pigs have shorter lives on average when compared to American guinea pigs, Abyssinian guinea pigs, and other closely related Guinea pigs.

They are more susceptible to disease as a result of the altered genes in their DNA, which frequently results in them living lives that are significantly shorter than expected.

They also have a low immunity power when compared to the other characters, so they should be given more consideration.

Do male Guinea pigs live longer than female Guinea pigs?

In fact, some studies have found that male guinea pigs have a significantly longer lifespan than female guinea pigs.

For the most part, this is dependent on a variety of factors such as the breed, how well they are cared for, genetics, and so on.

According to some studies, a female who is bred more frequently will live a shorter life span. This is primarily due to a number of factors, the most important of which is that proper nutrition and living conditions were not maintained during and after pregnancy.

There could be a slew of other factors at play as well, but that’s something I came across while doing some research on them.

How can you tell how old your guinea pig is?

How to Determine the Age of a Guinea Pig

It is extremely difficult to determine the exact age of your Guinea pigs unless and until you have bred them from the beginning yourself.

To put it another way, determining how old the guinea pigs are in general can be a difficult task. But I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that will come in handy if you need them.

  • Nails: Young guinea pigs typically have nails that are short and pointy in shape. By the time they reach the age of one year, their nails have a tendency to become longer, thicker, and more rounded in diameter. They will also have transparent nails at a very young age, which will typically become tinted yellowish when they reach the age of one year or more after they have been growing.
  • Toes: Guinea pigs’ toes tend to roll as they grow in size. This roll is typically performed starting from the front toes and ending with the back or larger toes rolled inward. The toes are more likely to become twisted to the outside of the feet and to thicken as a result of this twisting.
  • Teeth: An average-sized guinea pig is born with a small set of teeth that are white in color and are relatively small. With time, the teeth begin to yellow, develop ridges, and occasionally even break partially as a result of wear and tear.

Recommended Supplies For Guinea pigs: Our Top Picks!

Before you learn more,here are some hand-picked supplies for your guinea pigs that you must add to your wishlist today:

How can we help our Guinea pigs live longer?

Now, I’m sure you’ve already discovered that guinea pigs can live for an extremely long period of time.

But, as a pet owner, what does this entail for you personally? Is it really that difficult to take care of a guinea pig and keep it happy?

What can we do to make life a little easier on you and your pet snake? How can we meet their needs to the greatest extent possible while also assisting them in living a healthy lifestyle?

Don’t be concerned; I’ve learned a great deal about them and am happy to share my knowledge with you.

Aside from the feeding and cleaning schedules, there are numerous other considerations to consider when you acquire a guinea pig of your own.

You’ll need a large cage, a proper diet, toys, and other accessories.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what you should be doing to ensure that your guinea pig lives a long and healthy life.

Right Habitat for Guinea Pig

Let’s start with the most important thing you’ll need for your Guinea pig: food. Let’s pretend you’ve made the decision to purchase a guinea pig and keep it as a companion animal.

The first and most important thing you’ll need is a suitable environment for your Guinea pig to live in.

Getting the proper cage for your guinea pig would be the first thing you should think about doing.

First and foremost, when purchasing the pen, you must take into consideration the fact that you will be purchasing a cage that will be the appropriate size for them even after they reach their adult sizes.

Guinea pigs grow at a rapid rate, and many newcomers purchase a cage that is far too small based on their size as a young child.

However, it would be preferable if you actually purchased an enclosure that was at least 5-6 square feet in size.

If you do this, you will not have a problem with running out of space as your guinea pigs grow older.

After you have purchased the cage, you will need to locate a suitable location for it to be installed.

Place the cage in a location where the temperature will remain stable at all times.

When the temperature fluctuates, guinea pigs are more susceptible to a variety of diseases.

In addition, you will need to purchase appropriate bedding for the cage. Select the one that will assist you in controlling the smell.

After you’ve completed the initial setup, you’ll need to provide adequate food and water dishes/bottles, as well as a few chewing toys. Guinea pigs have an insatiable appetite for chewing on things.

You’ll also need to provide them with some form of shelter or hiding place where they can relax and take a nap every now and then to keep them safe.

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Quick tips:

  • Purchase a cage that is simple to clean, as you will be performing maintenance on it on a daily basis.
  • Make certain that the cage is both light and sturdy enough to keep your guinea pigs safe and secure.
  • If possible, provide your guinea pig with some play space in the cage so that it can exercise and run around.
  • Allowing them to run around the house or in a play area for an hour or so every day would be ideal. This will ensure that they get an adequate amount of exercise to keep them fit and healthy.

A Balanced diet for Guinea Pigs?

Guinea Pig Diet

For the first few weeks, it may be difficult to feed your guinea pig a nutritious diet that is well balanced.

It is necessary to achieve a healthy balance of calcium, vitamins, and fiber in your daily diet. In general, the calcium content of a Guinea pig’s diet is higher when it is young, and the calcium content of the food decreases as the Guinea pig grows older.

The ability to maintain the proper balance is extremely important. A well-balanced Guinea pig diet should include the following ingredients in general:-

  1. Hay: Depending on the age of the guinea pigs, they are fed either timothy hay or alfalfa hay to supplement their diet. Hay makes up approximately 80% of their total caloric intake. It aids in the maintenance of the proper amount of fiber in their bodies, the regulation of their digestive health, as well as the prevention of tooth wear, which appears to be on the rise in the population.
  2. Fresh Vegetables and herbs: For most people, fresh vegetables and herbs account for the remaining 10-15 percent of their daily caloric intake. When we serve them vegetables and herbs, we often think about how to achieve a good balance of high vitamin C and low calcium and phosphorus levels. Because guinea pigs are unable to produce vitamin on their own, it is extremely important that they receive it.
  3. Pellets or fresh fruits: Fresh fruits and pellets are frequently used as a nutritional supplement to provide guinea pigs with an extra boost of vitamin C in their diet. They typically account for 5-10 percent of the guinea pig’s total caloric intake. Some people prefer to serve pellets, whereas others prefer fresh fruits as a side dish. Whatever we do, we must ensure that our Guinea pigs are fed a nutritious and well-balanced diet.
  4. Water: It is necessary to ensure that guinea pigs have access to fresh and clean water at all times. The amount of water consumed by each Guinea pig varies from one to the next.

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Health Problems

Your Guinea pig has arrived, and you probably want to ensure that it lives a healthy and long life with it.

Anyone who loves their pet doesn’t want to see him or her in poor health or suffering from illness. It has the potential to shorten the lifespan of your guinea pigs by a significant amount.

So, let us take a look at some of the most common diseases that are diagnosed in Guinea pigs today.

Respiratory Infection

Pneumonia, also known as a respiratory infection in guinea pigs, is one of the most commonly encountered diseases in this species.

Bordetella and streptococcus bacteria are the most common bacteria that cause it. Direct contact, airborne transmission, and infected touch are the most common modes of transmission for this bacteria.

Atypical eating habits, discharge from the eyes and nose, and difficulty breathing are the most common signs and symptoms of asthma.


The digestive system of guinea pigs is highly susceptible to infection. Good bacteria and harmful bacteria are in an appropriate proportion in their digestive system.

If the balance is upset as a result of a poor diet, frequent diet changes, or a specific bacterial or parasitic infection, the harmful bacteria will take over and cause damage to their digestive tract.

Another symptom of diarrhea is a low body temperature, a strange diet, and dehydration, among others.


Guinea pigs are frequently diagnosed with scurvy, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C. The most common cause of this disease is a deficiency in Vitamin C in the guinea pig’s diet.

In addition to swollen feet and a rough hair coat, the most common symptoms of scurvy include diarrhea and the inability to walk correctly.


Tumors are another common disease in Guinea pigs that are diagnosed. This disease is characterized by the presence of an unusual bump on the skin or on other parts of the body.

Urinary problems or bladder stones

In addition to kidney stones, guinea pigs are frequently diagnosed with bladder stones. Typically, stones form in the kidneys or bladder of the patient.

Most of the time, it is caused by the calcification of excess calcium in their bodies. Because of this, guinea pigs should be fed a diet that contains a low calcium content.

Bladder stones are characterized by symptoms such as difficulty urinating, blood strains in urine, and so on.

These are some of the most common health problems that Guinea pigs suffer from.

If you notice any of these symptoms persisting for more than 24 hours, I personally recommend that you seek medical attention from your local veterinarian.

Guinea pig health can quickly deteriorate, going from good to bad in a matter of hours. Getting the appropriate treatment is therefore something to think about.

guinea pig vet

Related Questions

Can a guinea pig die of loneliness?

In certain circumstances, a guinea pig can succumb to loneliness and die. Guinea pigs are generally considered to be social animals.

It’s important to think about whether we should get a pair or whether we should be a good companion by giving them plenty of attention.

What I mean by this is that you should spend time playing with and communicating with your guinea pig. Loneliness can have a negative impact on a person’s psychological health and may even result in death.

What’s the oldest age a guinea pig has ever lived?

For the record, the longest living guinea pig lived for 14 years and 10.5 months, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Snowball, who passed away in 1979, was the name of the creature. In general, a Guinea pig has a lifespan of 4-6 years on average, with some individuals living as long as 8 years on the higher end of the spectrum.

Sources: Guinea pig, Guinea pig aging, Diseases in pet guinea pigs, Biology of the Guinea Pig, The Domestic Guinea Pig