What To Do When One Of A Pair Of Guinea Pigs Dies (Find Out Now)

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When one of your guinea pigs dies, it is a difficult time for you and the remaining guinea pig. You might not know what to do. What should you do when one of a pair of guinea pigs dies? Don’t worry, we will help you through this tough time.

When one of a pair of guinea pigs dies, help the surviving guinea pig come to terms with the death of their guinea pig friend. Give them lots of attention and, if possible, get them a new friend. Otherwise, the death may leave them feeling isolated, anxious, and depressed – leading to their death.

a guinea pig wondering what to do when one of his pair dies

Guinea pigs are social creatures by nature, so the death of a cage mate can be devastating. Even so, there’s a way you can help your little friend through this tough time. Keep reading to know how to act at such a time.

What To Do When One Of A Pair Of Guinea Pigs Dies?

a tip about what to do when a one of a pair of guinea pigs dies
The death of a beloved pet is never easy. You need to remember to be nice to your surviving piggie AND to yourself.

When one of a pair of guinea pigs dies, there’s main three things that need to be done when one of your guinea pigs dies: help the surviving guinea pig, lay your little friend’s body to rest, and be kind to yourself.

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Let’s look at each one in a bit more detail:

1. Support Your Surviving Guinea Pig

During this time, try to spend as much time as possible with your surviving guinea pig. Play with them, pet them, and just let them know that you’re there for them (more details about this later).

Your piggie is going to feel the loss deeply and will need your help and support to get through this tough time.

Loss of appetite is common among guinea pigs who’ve lost a cage mate. Try offering them their favorite foods to tempt them to eat. If they’re still not eating, you might need to start syringe feeding them. Or contact your veterinarian.

2. Lay Your Little Friend’s Body To Rest

Once your guinea pig has passed away, you’ll need to decide what to do with their body. If the laws in your state allow it, you can bury your little friend in your backyard.

Or you can bury them in a potting container with a plant and let your deceased piggie help nourish new life.

If you’re not able to bury your guinea pig, you can always cremate them. This is a process where their body is burned and turned into ashes. It’s best to get a professional to do this for you. A memorialized urn can be used to hold your guinea pig’s ashes.

3. Be Kind To Yourself

It’s okay to be sad when your guinea pig dies. They were a part of your family, and it’s natural to feel sadness and grief at their loss. Take the time to mourn them in whatever way feels right for you. Remember, there’s no

The first thing you should do is take a deep breath and try to relax. It’s okay to be sad and even to cry. You lost a friend, after all.

Will My Guinea Pig Be Okay If One Dies?

a tip about what to do when a one of a pair of guinea pigs dies

Your guinea pig can be okay if one dies if you take the necessary steps to help them through this tough time. This includes spending extra time with them, offering their favorite foods, and getting them a new friend (if possible and if necessary). You should also watch their health closely and contact a piggie-friendly vet if they stop eating or seem depressed.

If you take these steps, your guinea pig will likely adjust to the death of their cage mate and live a long and happy life.

Most guinea pigs are social creatures by nature, so the death of a cage mate can be devastating. Even so, there’s a way you can help your little friend through this tough time. Keep reading to know what to do if you have a grieving guinea pig on your hands.

How To Comfort A Grieving Guinea Pig 

a graph about what people did when one of a pair of guinea pigs died
Seems like getting a new piggie might be the best thing to do…if you can find the right match for your fur baby.

To comfort your grieving guinea pig, spend more time with them. Play and find moments to cuddle them. Either of these will do your guinea pig a world of good.

Most pig owners opt to get their bereaved pet a friend. But is that a good move?

Well…you know me. I LOVE social proof.

So, I surveyed 300 people who had lost one of their guinea pigs to find out what they did to look after their surviving piggie after one passed away.

My main goal was to find out if they had found a new friend for their bereaved piggy, and if not, why.

Take a look at the highlights from the survey:

  • Most pet parents had introduced new guineas to their bereaved piggies, and for the most part, it was good. Some people had tried to give their fur babies more attention. But it didn’t make much difference until they brought in a new piggie.
  • Some guinea pigs weren’t willing to settle for just any friend. 
  • Other respondents took their guinea to the rescue to meet and choose a friend for themselves.
  • Bringing in a younger guinea pig worked best for the most part. 
  • The personality of the two pigs determined whether they would get along well. 

From the survey, 87% of guinea pig owners resolved to find a friend for their remaining guinea pig. Only 13% didn’t consider getting their grieving guiena pig a piggie friend.

Of those who got a new pet, 78% of them wanted the new pet to give the bereaved pig company. 69% of respondents wanted the new friend to help their bereaved pets overcome the loss. 63% understood that piggies are naturally social creatures. So, they needed a friend.

As for those who didn’t find a new pet, their reasons were diverse. The most popular reason (38%) was that they couldn’t find a good match for their surviving guinea pig. They had tried introducing new guinea pigs but in vain. So, they’d given up at last.

Other reasons for not finding a friend pet included:

  • Lack of time or money – 24% 
  • Lost interest in keeping piggies – 15%
  • Used bunnies instead – 12.5%
  • Bereaved pig being the non-dominant – 10%

Some respondents had more than one reason for getting (or not getting) a new friend for their pet. That explains why the percentages don’t add up to 100%.

5 Things To Do When One Of Your Guinea Pigs Dies 

After the death of your guinea pig, what you do will impact the life of the remaining pet guinea pig.

Here are 5 things you should consider doing;

1. Let Your Guinea Pig Say Goodbye

It ‘ll definitely hurt. But remember that your guinea pig just lost a friend they held so dearly in their hearts. Allow your surviving guinea pig to say goodbye – in their own way.

Give your pig some time with the body of their friend. Some guinea pigs will sit there, looking confused. That’s fine. It could be their way of processing what happened. Others will start to nudge and sniff their friend’s corpse.

Warning: If the fur baby that passed away had a contagious disease, don’t allow your living guinea pig to interact with the body. Dispose of it immediately to avoid exposing your remaining guinea pig to the infection.

2. Monitor Your Piggie’s Health

Your guinea pig will most likely be in a state of shock after losing their cavy friend. This means they’ll be more susceptible to stress and diseases. So, watch their health during this time.

You’ll want to look out for signs like;

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased sleeping
  • Hiding away
  • Lethargy

Lack of appetite and looking withdrawn for several days after the death of their piggie friend are normal. Make sure that your fur baby has enough food and water, otherwise they might become dehydrated or malnourished.

We recommend that you track the weight of your guinea pig daily. If you notice significant loss (>2oz.), put serious measures into place. You can think about syringe feeding or taking the pet to the vet.

Syringe feeding involves using a syringe to feed your guinea pig food or water. It’s messy and time-consuming but it’ll tide your guinea pig over until they’re ready to eat and drink again on their own. Sometimes syringe feeding will motivate the cavy to eat by themselves.

In case of severe signs, bring in a vet. The same applies if the dead guinea pig suffered from an infectious illness. A check-up will determine if your pig might have contracted anything.

3. Let Your Surviving Piggie Grieve

They won’t grieve as we do. But guinea pigs will mourn the loss of their friends. So, give them time to adjust and get over the loss.

The grieving process could last for days or weeks. You can allow your piggy to have a fleece that carries the smell of their friend. This will provide some form of comfort for them.

Signs of grieving guinea pigs include:

  • Going off their food: Your guinea pig won’t show the same interest in food as they did before. Not even when you offer them their favorite foods.
  • Preferring to stay alone: A grieving guinea pig will spend more time hiding away. They might also resist you picking them up.
  • A general change in character: Your pig might become more aggressive than usual.
  • Licking: Some guinea pigs will start to lick their fur as a way to self-soothe.
  • Decreased activity levels: Your guinea might move around less. You may also notice them sleeping more than usual.

All of these behaviors are normal for a few days, but if they persist, consult a vet.

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4. Get Your Piggie A New Friend 

If your guinea pig is feeling down, you can help them feel better by getting them a new friend. Most guinea pigs are social animals, so they need companionship to stay healthy.

When your pet dies, it can be very lonely for your surviving fur baby. This can cause mental and physical health problems in guinea pigs. To avoid this, get your mourning piggie a new, close friend.

Even so, don’t bring in any guinea pig. Find a pig that can fill the gap left by the deceased.

It’s important that their personalities be compatible. Otherwise, they might not get along and could even attack each other.

It can be hard to figure out a compatible match. I recommend getting some help. See if there’s a guinea pig rescue near by. Sometimes, they’ll help you find the perfect match for your piggie from their adoption center.

5. Spend More Time With Your Guinea Pig 

Make an effort to spend more time with your pocket pet. And by “more time”, we mean you should give your pig more attention than ever. Your guinea pig will look to you for companionship and support.

Cuddle your pig, play with them, and give them more attention. That will ease their fears and loneliness. It will also provide the physical and emotional connection your guinea pig needs.

More time with your guinea pig helps them understand that you are there for them. They will appreciate your presence and feel more secure. One thing, though – don’t overdo it. Remain sensitive enough to know when they need their space.

Should I Get Another Guinea Pig If One Of My Guinea Pigs Dies? 

It may look like a straightforward question with a simple answer. But it isn’t that easy. The decision to get another guinea pig will depend on different factors. These include:

  • If your guinea pig is in deep grief. Intense grief can lead to health problems in guineas. So, if your guinea pig isn’t coping well, it might be best to get another one ASAP.
  • Availability of other guinea pigs around the house. Sometimes you don’t need to get new friends from the rescue. If you have other guinea pigs at home, you can introduce the grieving one to them – or move them into the same room.
  • Whether you’re ready for a new pet: Dealing with the death of a pet is hard. It will take an emotional toll on you. So, before getting another guinea pig, make sure you are ready for it.

Bottom line?

The decision to get another guinea pig is a personal one. It all depends on what you are comfortable with and what’s best for your guinea pig.

Do Guinea Pigs Know When Their Friend Dies? 

a tip what to do when a one of a pair of guinea pigs dies
Guinea pigs feel loss. Your job is to make sure that it doesn’t kill them.

Yes, guinea pigs know when their friend dies. When they notice that their friend isn’t moving, they will try to push, lick, or nip them. Some surviving guinea pigs will make a chirping noise. Some pet parents think that it’s a way of calling out to their deceased friend or grieving.

Can Guinea Pigs Die From Grief? 

Guinea pigs can die from grief. Sometimes loneliness from grief can lead to a decrease in appetite and weight loss. And if a guinea pig stops eating, then he’ll become malnourished and die.

Finally, grief can weaken their immune system. When the immunity is weak, your pig is more susceptible to infections and health problems.

When your guinea pig loses their friend, they will feel deep sadness and loneliness. If you don’t take appropriate action, these emotions can lead to health problems.

Typically, the health problems stem from the stress of being alone – without their friend. Your surviving piggie will stop eating and…well, waste away.

To prevent this from happening, take steps to help your guinea pig cope with grief. That way, they can continue living a happy and healthy life.

That’s especially true if they were half of a pair. So, do what you can to help your piggy overcome the loss and prevent them from getting depressed.

Grief and loneliness goes beyond making your pig appear withdrawn. That’s why you have to ensure that you play your role in cheering your pig up.

Signs of loneliness include:

  • Nervous behavior (like bar chewing)
  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Lack of interest in daily activities
  • Lethargy (sluggishness)
  • Behavioral changes

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Final Thoughts About What To Do When One Of A Pair Of Guinea Pigs Dies

Losing a guinea pig is never easy. But, it’s an unfortunate reality that you have to deal with as a pet owner.

The key is to take things one day at a time. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Just focus on taking care of your surviving guinea pig and giving them the love and attention they need.

In time, you can introduce a new guinea pig into the home. But make sure you are ready for it emotionally. You also need to ensure that your surviving guinea pig is ready for a new friend.

Do you have any tips on how to deal with the loss of a guinea pig? Share them in the comments below.

Andrea, S. (2020, May 7). Grief and Guinea pigs – helping your child navigate change and loss. SU QLD. https://www.suqld.org.au/grief-and-guinea-pigs-helping-your-child-navigate-change-and-loss/ 

Bereavement. (n.d.). shropshireguineapiggery. https://www.shropshireguineapiggery.co.uk/caring-for-your-guinea-pig/bereavement 

Can I keep Guinea pigs and rabbits in the same enclosure? (n.d.). RSPCA Knowledgebase – Let Australia’s most trusted animal welfare charity help you answer the big questions. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/can-i-keep-guinea-pigs-and-rabbits-in-the-same-enclosure 

Garcia, M. E. (n.d.). Death of a Guinea pig | Environmental humanities | Duke University presshttps://read.dukeupress.edu/environmental-humanities/article/11/2/351/140782/Death-of-a-Guinea-PigGrief-and-the-Limits-of 

Guinea pigs: The right pet for you? (n.d.). The Humane Society of the United States. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/guinea-pigs-right-pet-you 

Housing and husbandry: Guinea pig. (n.d.). NC3Rs. https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/3rs-resources/housing-and-husbandry-guinea-pig 

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