What to do when a guinea pig passes away

What to do when a guinea pig passes away

The unimaginable has happened, and now you’re looking for guidance on what to do next. You may have not expected this to happen, and it can be shocking especially if it’s sudden.

Death is natural and inevitable, even if we don’t really realize it until we lose the ones we love.

We’re sorry for your loss, and it’s important that you allow yourself and your guinea pigs to properly grieve in a healthy way.

Allow your guinea pigs to grieve

Just like humans, guinea pigs have their own personalities and their own reactions to different things, even with things like grief.

In general guinea pigs are herd animals that enjoy companionship, and they need piggy friends in order to thrive.

It’s important for them to understand what has happened to their friend, and to know that they are gone.

When a guinea pig has passed, allow the other piggies to cuddle up to them if they want to and give them at least 30 minutes with the piggy’s body, or however much time it takes for them to realize and understand.

Does your guinea pig need help?

During a difficult time like this, your guinea pigs need all the support and attention they can get. 

It’s important to keep an eye on them and be observant of their personalities and their eating habits in the days following the loss of your other piggy.

The personalities of the remaining guinea pigs may even change a bit in light of the loss, and they may even be less active than usual. 

Reduction of appetite can be normal, but if they stop eating completely, this is cause for concern and you should consult your vet at this point.

What else can you do for your guinea pig?

If your guinea pig had been part of a herd of piggies, then this next bit of advice may not apply to your situation.

For others who only had a close pair of guinea pigs, losing their friend can be quite hard on them. We always like to make sure this is emphasized, but guinea pigs are herd animals. They need each other to live well and happily.

If you’re not in a position where you’re able to adopt another guinea pig, it’s important to give your remaining one extra attention, whether it be in the form of cuddles, extra treats, or even more bonding time with you.

Cremation or Burial

Ultimately, it’s up to you and which you prefer to do with their body. Just be aware of the pet burial laws in your area. For example, in California, you’re not able to bury pets in your own backyard, and especially not close to water sources.

If you want a pet burial, it has to be in a cemetery of some sort. If your pet was euthanized at the vet’s rather than dying naturally, you usually won’t be allowed to bring their body home for burial. Many vets also offer cremation, you just have to ask them for more information on their services in that regard.

There are two kinds of cremation services when it comes to pets. One involves other animals being cremated with yours, and you’re not able to keep the ashes. The other is just an individual cremation, and you’re able to have the ashes sent to you.

How to help yourself

Grief is very real and it takes a toll on your body, no matter who you lose. It’s important to allow yourself to grieve properly and feel all the emotions that come with it. You’ve created this bond and attachment to your piggy, and being sad about your loss is understandable and expected.

Try to stay positive and remember all the good times you had with your piggy, and try to focus on the moments where they were happy and healthy.

What now?

Again, it’s important for both you and your guinea pigs to grieve the loss of your friend. With time it will get easier, but don’t be afraid to reach out for help, whether it’s for you or your guinea pigs.


1 comment


  • Paula

    Thank you for this! I just lost my Guinea pig yesterday, it was so unexpected. I loved him so much and I don’t know how to cope 😭 we were on the way to the hospital when he passed away, I didn’t get the chance to let his cage buddy mourn or smell him (as you suggested above). 🥺 I’ll definitely keep an eye on her and give her more cuddles. Thanks for all you do!


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