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.

Back to blog

32 comments

My guinea pig Ace died on the 9th of February 2024 and I can’t stop thinking about him, he was my best and first friend I’ve ever had

Sergio

Hello Dani,

I’m truly sorry to hear about the loss of Nibble. Losing a pet can be a deeply emotional experience, especially when it’s a family’s first pet. It’s normal for both you and your boys, particularly Alex, to feel a profound sense of grief.

Regarding the idea of getting another guinea pig, it’s important to consider a few factors:

Companionship for Munch: Guinea pigs are social animals and often thrive in the company of other guinea pigs. If Munch seems lonely or depressed, a new companion could be beneficial. However, it’s crucial to introduce them slowly and carefully to ensure they get along.

Grieving Process: Everyone, including children, needs time to grieve the loss of a pet. Getting a new pet too soon can sometimes be more distressing than comforting. It’s important to ensure that Alex has had enough time to process Nibble’s passing and understand that a new pet is not a replacement but a new friend.

Responsibility and Care: Adding a new pet to the family also means additional responsibilities. Ensure that you and your boys are ready for the commitment of caring for another guinea pig.

Talk to Alex and Lucas: Discuss with your sons the idea of getting another guinea pig. It’s important to include them in the decision-making process and gauge their feelings on welcoming a new pet.

Health Concerns: Since Alex is worried about Nibble dying from a cold, it might be helpful to talk to a vet or a professional to understand what could have caused Nibble’s death. This might provide closure and alleviate any unfounded worries about the health of your other pets.

Remember, it’s a personal decision, and what works for one family may not work for another. Take your time to think it through and do what feels right for your family.

Wishing you peace and comfort during this time.

Paula

Hi, we had 2 guinea pigs since 2021 Nibble and Munch. I bought them for my boys respectively for Alex and Lucas. They brought us lots of joy and peace after the covid time where things were a bit unsettled.Sadly, the 20th of December Nibble died.It has been heartbreaking, nothing experienced before as these guinea pigs were our first pets ever apart from a little goldfish. The pain is real especially for Alex who struggles to accept it. He thinks that Nibble died because she contracted a cold from a member of the family. Nibble did not have a cold! It is hard to tell why she died.
I was wondering if it is a good idea to buy another female guinea pig to help Munch not to be alone and my son Alex to fill the emptiness in his heart.
Please, could you advise me on what to do? I am truly grateful, Dani

Dani

My daughter Sara just lost her piggy Pip Squeek early this morning, and it has been such a traumatic experience for her. My daughter is 16 years old and this was her first pet of six years. We have all been affected by this. Pets are like family. Our Pip will be greatly missed.

Christy

Hi Nim,

I am truly sorry to hear about the passing of your beloved guinea pig, Puffy. Losing a pet is never easy, and my heart goes out to you during this difficult time. Puffy was undoubtedly a cherished member of your family, and the bond you shared was special.

If you need someone to talk to or share memories with, I’m here for you. Take all the time you need to grieve, and remember that Puffy will always hold a special place in your heart.

Sending you comfort and strength,

Justine

Leave a comment