My guinea pig died – How To Cope
It is a sad time when your guinea pig dies, you have got so attached to them. Especially when you are looking after them everyday for all the years of their life. They feel like a member of the family and boy is it hard to have to say goodbye to them. So how do you cope with their loss at this difficult time, how do you get through it. I will try to help, so please read on.
How can I and my guinea pigs cope?
It may sound cliche, but remember all the good times you had with them and that they are now out of any pain they may have been in. Of course it’s not easy when a guinea pig may have died at a young age. But the best medicine is to talk to someone about it, be it your family or friends. They will understand how you are feeling. Make a little book and place all the photos together of your cherished friends, this will help, to look through them and remind you how special they were in your life. Give yourself time to greive and reflect, getting a new guinea pig straight away may not be the right thing for you.
If depression is setting in and disrupting your life too much, then talk to a professional about how you are feeling and they can assist. You must think you gave them the best life possible and they had such a happy time, maybe not all the time, because of illnesses. Give them a burial, maybe in the garden or at a pet crematorium.
The guinea pig that has died may have left others behind. If they were all in the same room or homes, they would have realised what had happened. It makes it an easier process for them to move on. If the dead piggie wasn’t in the same room as the others when it died, but in the same house, then move the body over to them. They may pick up the scent if buried in the garden when they are out there and they will still pick up their passing.
Check to see if the guinea pig is actually dead?
Feel and hear for a heartbeat. If it is dead then either bury within three hours or place in a container until it can be and in the freezer. Rigor Mortis can set in, basically a strong smell will occur because of the muscles. Place the body in cloth and in a cardboard box for example. They may move slightly after death, but that is just nerve spasms and may give out a gasp of air, which will be the lungs emptying out the last bit of air. Bodily fluids could be passed after to. Its not nice to see all of this, but they have gone to a better place.
What to do after they have died?
You can choose to bury them in a garden, but to at least three foot deep and put a heavy stone on top of the coffin, so they will not be dug up. They can be placed into a wooden or thick cardboard box. Pets at Home UK actually sell a Rest in Pets Coffin made from cardboard and it includes a frame to put a treasured photo in along with a few other items. There are three different sizes of cardboard caskets to choose from.
If they had controlled drugs then unfortunately it’s not safe for your health to be buried at home. Also it is illegal to bury your pet in a park or public space and another persons garden. It should only be the garden of the home that it lived at, but not a rented property. Make sure that its buried way away from water sources.
There is another option and that is to go to a pet crematorium or by going to the vet, they will help you with this. But this option is a bit more expensive, but if you are able to afford the cost, then go for it. They will make a wooden coffin up or their bodies will be turned to ashes if you want and placed into an urn. These can be spread or with a plot at the crematorium. Whatever you decide, it is something that you can remember them by and help in the grieving process, that they are still with us in our hearts and minds. They will be looking down at you from guinea pig heaven munching on luscious grass and chumping on tasty veggies.
When should I get a new guinea pig?
I don’t want to be disrespectful, but there may be people that will want to get a new guinea pig as another one may have been left on it’s own, when that one died. Other people just want time to grieve and think. But if it’s going to be of some comfort and take your mind off it somewhat, then yes get a new guinea pig, waiting for a bit of time to pass. Doesn’t mean you will ever forget the guinea pig that has gone.
Its never easy and helping children
Death in general is not always a topic that is easy to think or talk about, but unfortunately life has to go on. We all have to go at some point. Guinea pigs are such cute and soft creatures, that they form great bonds over time with their owners.
If you are a parent, let your children be involved in a burial and also tell them straight away that the guinea pig has died, if they were not there. It is always best to tell them the truth. They could make a little grave sign and add flowers.
Thank you for reading and if you want to ask me a question, then please leave a comment below and I will respond as soon as possible.