How long animals can live or more exactly certain pets is always a topic of discussion, as it is very hard to find these answers. Also, there is a big difference between wild animals and animals that people have as pets. Pets are protected, they have regular food, attention, owner’ and medical’ care in comparison with wild animals.
It’s expected that our pets will live longer than the animals in the wild and everyone wants to know how long their pet is going to live for. Before even adopting our pets we all assume that the longer the animal lives, the higher are the chances that it will become a real family member.
How long do guinea pigs live? The average life span of a guinea pig is around 4-8 years. However, depending on certain factors, guinea pigs can also live a few years longer or shorter than that time span. How long will a guinea pig live is directly connected with the following factors such as type of the guinea pig breed, diet, environment, level of exercise, living arrangements, and many others. For example, a skinny guinea pig will live longer than a long haired guinea pig. Also, guinea pigs that live in good living conditions and have a proper diet can reach a higher than average lifespan.
What we said for guinea pigs it’s the same for people, their lifespan depends on their lifestyle. As an owner of guinea pigs, you need to take proper care of them in order to ensure that your pet lives a long and happy life.
In the following sections below, we are going to talk more about how many years do guinea pigs live and about the main factors that affect their average lifespan. So, let’s start!
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How Many Years Can a Guinea Pig Live?
As we have said the average life span of the guinea pig is approximately 4 to 8 years or in some cases an even longer time span. The oldest known guinea pig was called Snowball. This guinea pig lived for 14 years and 10 months! Of course, this guinea pig was placed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
So, the maximum lifespan of the domestic guinea pig is around 10 to 12 years (when we take into account the longest recorded lifespan of the guinea pig). When we compare this to the guinea pigs in the wild, the difference is quite high. Before becoming domestic animals, guinea pigs would run free in the wild. However, at that time their lifespan was drastically shorter.
The majority of these small animals in the wild couldn’t even reach a year of age, as they are prey animals. However, some managed to live up to 6 years. Certainly, things have changed a lot since then because now some guinea pigs live even longer than dogs!
Of course, guinea pigs have a shorter life span than the one that we would want for them to have. Still, we shouldn’t forget that they are rodents and guinea pigs have a really long life span if we take a look at the rest of the rodents!
Do Guinea Pigs Live Longer Than Hamsters and Other Rodents?
But, there are also rodents that tend to live longer than guinea pigs. Capybara has the longest lifespan among rodents of 10-15 years. Also, the average lifespan of a chinchilla is 8-12 years. Some chinchilla owners have reported that some of their chinchillas have lived over 20 years.
How to Find out the Age of Your Guinea Pig?
Take a look at the guinea pig’s feet. If the outside toe of your guinea pig started to roll or curve towards the ‘base’, that means that the little guy is starting to age.
Surprisingly, the average lifespan of a guinea pig really does depend on the breed. Frankly speaking, scientists still fail to explain why skinny pigs, for example, tend to live longer than the breeds that have long hair.
The difference in the estimated lifespan is relatively small and might not become the most important factor while choosing the breed. However, you can still take it into consideration.
Which Breed of Guinea Pig Lives the Longest? | Breed Comparison
Main Factors That Affect the Guinea Pig’s Lifespan
Of course, you would want your pet to have a long and happy life and the great news is that you can totally affect your guinea pig’s lifespan. Proper care is crucial and if you learn how you can be a great owner to your guinea pig, then the fluffy ball will be able to make you happy for years and years to come.
Diet and Nutrition
Your guinea pig’s menu is something that you can easily change. By the way, it is one of the most important factors, when it comes to lengthening the lifespan of your precious guinea pig, so do spend some time to come up with the perfect nutrition plan.
The following are the things that you should take into consideration when feeding your guinea pig:
Unfortunately, guinea pigs can easily develop bladder stones throughout their lives. If this condition goes untreated, it can become life-threatening. That’s why it is important to make sure that your guinea pig does not eat foods with too much calcium.
However, bear in mind that calcium deficiency is also a dangerous condition. It is crucial for the formation of bones, for example. So, balance is the key.
• Water and Hay
You should feed your guinea pig once or twice a day (whatever works the best for you) with dry foods and fresh fruits or vegetables. However, there are things that should always be present in the cage.
The main problem with fresh fruits and vegetables is that the majority of them contain a lot of sugar. Some might be too acidic and others simply poisonous for guinea pigs. So, make sure to do your own research (or just search anything you want to know on our site).
Remember that your beloved pet should have something fresh to eat once a day. The fruits and vegetables will help your guinea pig get enough vitamins and other important nutrients.
Guinea pigs require a lot of fresh water because they eat a lot and they are very active animals as well. You will see that your guinea pigs drink water very often and it would be hard for them to stay happy if they don’t have a sufficient amount of water in the cage.
There is no special period of time that guinea pigs can survive without the water, but we recommend not to leave your little pet longer than 24 hours without the water. If you need to let them alone for more than one day, be sure to put more water bottles with fresh water in their cage.
When it comes to the health of your pet, there is one simple rule that you have to make sure you follow. If there are any changes in the behavior of the guinea pig, in the amount of food that it eats or even in the way that your guinea pig urinates, it is always better to pay a visit to the vet.
By keeping track of these things, you will be able to spot diseases at an early stage and, hopefully, cure them for good. Always wash your hands before and after handling your guinea pig.
Yes, guinea pigs love to eat but thankfully, they are also curious and they love to play around. In case they have enough room and toys to play with, they won’t get obese, which can also be a big health problem.
Exercise wheels are not designed for guinea pigs, but there are so many other cool things that you can offer to your beloved pet. By the way, you can totally make a few toys all by yourself! Make sure to switch toys a few times per month, so that your little guinea pig doesn’t get bored.
In case you can’t have a second guinea pig, make sure to spend at least 1-2 hours per day playing with your pet. Talk to it, give it treats and new toys. By the way, guinea pigs are real chatterboxes!
The guinea pig lifespan is relatively long (4-8 years) in comparison to other rodents and pets. However, there are so many different factors that can affect the length of the guinea pig’s life and its overall well-being.
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