Health Essentials

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. 
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.

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We got 2 piggies mid way through this year, from then till now we decided to get more, but one i decided to take on as my own, Sheldon, he passed away yesterday, one of the few animals ive allowed myself to fully bond with, but atleast he is in a better place now


Hi Juliana, I’m truly sorry to hear about the passing of Remy. Losing a pet is incredibly difficult, and my heart goes out to you during this sad time. If you need support or someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Remy will be remembered fondly.


My piggy passed away yesterday and I’m so sad that my piggy died his name was remy


Hello Michelle,

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet Oreo. It sounds like she had a wonderful two weeks with your family, and I am sure she is grateful for the love and care that you gave her.

It is perfectly normal to worry about Fluffy now. Guinea pigs are social animals, and they thrive in pairs. However, it is important to give Fluffy some time to grieve the loss of his friend before introducing him to a new companion.

The SPCA is right to recommend that you monitor Fluffy first. He may be perfectly happy on his own, especially if you are able to spend a lot of time with him. However, if you notice that he is becoming lethargic, withdrawn, or losing weight, then it may be time to consider getting him a new companion.

If you do decide to get Fluffy a new companion, it is important to introduce them slowly and carefully. Here are a few tips:

Choose a companion that is the same age and sex as Fluffy.
Introduce them in a neutral territory, such as a bathtub or backyard.
Start by letting them sniff each other through a wire mesh barrier.
Once they seem comfortable with each other, you can remove the barrier and let them interact.
Supervise their interactions closely at first, and be prepared to intervene if there is any fighting.
The introduction process can take several days or even weeks. Be patient and don’t rush things.

In the meantime, make sure that Fluffy is getting plenty of love and attention. Spend time playing with him, talking to him, and giving him treats. You may also want to consider getting him a new toy or hiding place to help him cope with the loss of Oreo.

My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.


We adopted a pair of guinea pigs from SPCA, and they were my kids’ first ever pet. We named them Oreo (female) and Fluffy (male). Out boys were so excited, we gave them treats, took them to our backyard to explore, and guineas loved the grass, sun and the breeze as they were usually in a cage before. But only after two weeks, Oreo wasn’t eating, took her to vet twice but she passed away today. I still remember her face when nursing her, I could feel she was trying to hold on. I keep thinking if I could have done anything different. My seven year old boy is heart broken, how brief this was. I told him she probably had the best two weeks of her life being loved so much. Fluffy is still eating well and active but worried about him. Should we get him a companion to replace Oreo? How soon? After a sudden death, I’m so worried about Fluffy now. SPCA says to monitor him first and he may be okay himself but everything I read recommends adopting a new one so he can be in a pair. Any advice would help. May our sweetest Oreo rest in peace


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