Guinea pigs are adorable rodents that make great pets and are quite low-maintenance. However, if you want to make them happy and help them live a long life, make sure to purchase the right Guinea pig supplies, including high-quality Guinea pig bedding for their cages.
So, exactly how long do these rodents live? Find out this and many other interesting facts in the following lines.
Are Guinea pigs the right pet choice for you?
As we’ve previously mentioned, most rodents make great pets as they are kind, loving, and quite low-maintenance, so they can be looked after by your kids as well. They don’t require too much space and, unlike dogs, they won’t have to be taken out for walks regularly.
Most adults adopt or buy small rodents like hamsters and Guinea pigs in an attempt to make their children more responsible and improve their socializing skills. However, these small creatures need your love and affection to live a long and happy existence, so make sure you are up for the challenge before adopting.
One concern regarding rodents is that they are mainly active during the night, which might interfere with your child’s sleeping schedule if they live in the same room. However, Guinea pigs are very sociable and can learn to adapt to your child’s schedule and become more active during the day.
How long do Guinea pigs live?
There are numerous factors influencing the lifespan of your Guinea pig pet so you can never tell for sure how long it is going to live. However, if you want to have an idea about the topic, researches have shown that the average lifespan of these creatures is around 4 years.
However, domesticated Guinea pigs tend to live even longer and, depending on how well they are being looked after, it is not uncommon to hear that one individual celebrates its 8th birthday.
As opposed to other rodents, Guinea pigs live longer, so make sure they can grow up in a healthy and welcoming home.
Exceptions do exist and, in this case, we’re talking about one Guinea pig that outlived many other animals with a higher lifespan. The world record in this field is held by a pet that lived 14 years and a half, even more than some dogs and other large animals.
How can you tell if your Guinea pig is healthy?
A strong appetite and lots of energy are the main characteristics of a healthy rodent, so make sure you choose the right food and offer various entertainment methods to your pet.
At birth, a baby Guinea pig weighs around 100 grams or 0.22 pounds but it reaches full adulthood at the age of eight months. By that time, your pet can weigh anywhere between 1.5 pounds and 2.7 pounds, depending on its diet and individual characteristics.
However, if your pet is skinny and weighs below the minimum recommended weight, this is a sign of malnutrition or poor health. Studies in the field have shown that longevity in these rodents is often connected to their diets, so, in other words, if your pet looks a bit chubby, chances are it is also healthier.
How to improve your pet’s health and lifestyle?
There are various ways through which you can make your rodent feel more at home and happier when living with you. First of all, you need to show it as much love and affection as possible, without interfering with its personal space.
Although many individuals get easily attached to their human owners, others will show clear signs of affection in time. It is important to learn more about your pet’s personality by observing it and acting accordingly.
If the Guinea pig looks shy and doesn’t want to be held or cuddled, it may have suffered traumas from its previous owners (if we’re talking about adopted animals). However, sometimes your pet may only need more time to get used to its owners, so we suggest you warm up to it gradually.
When they feel safe, Guinea pigs can become extremely affectionate and loving, and they enjoy spending as much time with their owners as possible. Cuddles and snuggles are their favorites, so, whenever possible, take your pet out of its cage and spend quality time with it by playing or simply holding it.
They also love being petted and groomed, so it would be best to purchase some accessories like brushes to comb their fur – it will relax them.
Another way to look after your animal’s health and wellbeing is to ensure it has an active lifestyle. All rodents, including Guinea pigs, tend to get easily overweight and eat a lot, so one way to prevent this and all health affections correlated with obesity is to help them exercise more.
Install exercising wheels and running balls in their cage to help them burn more calories and become more active. If this doesn’t work, you can always spend more time with your pet and play small games that include exercising and delicious rewards.
How to look after your Guinea pig?
A well-groomed rodent is a happy rodent, so bear that in mind. As we previously mentioned, most of these pets enjoy being groomed by their owners as this practice relaxes them.
Guinea pigs have long and thick fur that must be properly attended with the help of special combs and brushes. Comb their fur at least once a week to remove all dirt, debris, and excess oils, and keep it untangled. This will also stimulate fur regeneration so your pet’s coat will look shinier and healthier.
Keep in mind that their teeth grow constantly, so provide them with enough chewing toys and delicious treats to prevent cavities and dental problems.