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Guinea pig's lifespan
The average lifespan of a guinea pig is between 5 and 7 years. Many things can affect it, including diet, exercise, and overall health.
Guinea pigs have been domestic animals for thousands of years, and nowadays, they don't exist in the wild. Otherwise, the life span of the wild species would be several years shorter because of the predators and diseases.
Like any pet, with proper care and enough attention guinea pigs can live almost twice their lifespan. For example, the oldest guinea pig lived for over 14 years!
What affects a guinea pig's life expectancy?
Factors that affect a guinea pig's lifespan range from the breed to living conditions. Let's take a look at some of them:
- Guinea pig's breed. If you choose to get a Skinny guinea pig, this breed's lifespan is usually around 7 to 8 years. Whereas Abyssinian guinea pigs tend to live a shorter life of 6 years on average.
- Genetics. Guinea pigs are prone to quite a number of illnesses, like vitamin C deficiency and tumors. They also have sensible digestive and respiratory systems. It's not something you can completely avoid, but providing good living conditions and proper nutrition can minimize the risks.
- Nutrition. What you give your guinea pig to eat and how often can affect the lifespan. Without proper nutrition guinea pigs will lack necessary minerals and vitamins, become weak, and catch diseases.
- Living conditions. The cage, temperature, activity, and stress level - these factors also play an important role in a guinea pig's life.
- Care. Learn as much as you can about caring for your guinea pig. From food to cleaning its cage and playtime. Pay attention to health and changes in behavior.
How to extend the lifespan of a guinea pig?
There are several things you can do to help your guinea pig live a longer and happier life:
- Proper diet. Guinea pigs need to eat fresh vegetables and fruits, along with Timothy hay and oat hay. They should also be given food pellets containing all essential vitamins and minerals to live their best lives possible!
- Spacious cage. Another way you can extend your guinea pig's life is by providing an enclosure that has lots of room, so they aren't cramped up all day long. This will ensure they get plenty of space when playing and exercising.
- Cage hygiene. Regularly clean your guinea pig's cage and pay extra attention to a place where guinea pigs urinate. Good hygiene helps to avoid diseases.
- Toys and activities. Your guinea pig will love them. From chewing toys to tunnels, anything that can entertain will make your guinea pig's life happier - and longer.
- Guinea pig friend. Guinea pigs are social rodents and enjoy each other's company. So if it's possible for you, adopt two guinea pigs at once. Introducing a new guinea pig at an older age might be more difficult. Make sure the guinea pigs are of the same sex if you don't want them to mate.
- Regular visits to the vet. Even if there are no visible health issues, take your guinea pig to a vet. This might help to notice diseases in their early stages and treat them more effectively.