My guinea pig died – How To Cope

flower guinea pig
Photo by Pezibear on Pixabay

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?

Graves and little girl
                Photo by tazzanderson on Pixabay

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.


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14 comments found

  1. Hey Eden.
    My dog died over two years ago. It was very hard to deal with because there were a lot of good times that I had with her, but there were also a lot of things that I regret. I found that animals are very forgiving and don’t stay mad at you when you did something bad to them. So I started focusing on the good more than the bad and took it as a learning experience. It was real tough to get over but I am over it now. For anyone reading this that is dealing a similar situation, just know time will go on and you will feel better. Hope this helps

    1. Hello James, yes thinking about the good times really helps. That is very true that animals are forgiving and you are right about the learning experience. Thank you for stopping by and saying about your experiences with your dog that died.

  2. My brother’s guinea pig died a while ago and he really does not know what to do. I will suggest to him to bury his animal in the garden. I hope that it will help him and he can have some closure.

  3. Thank you Eden. It’s never easy losing any pet, and Guinea pigs are no exception. They’re very cute little creatures. I have several grandchildren with Guinea pigs, so far we’ve been fortunate enough not to have lost any. But we’ll certainly know what to do now, that we’ve read your article. Your article is so sensitive and compassionate. Thank you for your kind heart. Jim

    1. Thank you Jim, I have still got my guinea pigs to and hopefully for some time to come, but I did loose a hamster last year. It is sad when a pet dies and I am pleased you liked my article.

  4. Thanks Eden,
    I knew nothing about guinea pigs but at least I’ve learnt one or two things from your site.
    It’s great.

  5. It’s so hard to lose a furbaby. Sometimes when it happens people don’t quite know what to do and you did a very nice job of explaining things.

  6. Hi Eden, thanks for addressing a sensitive subject. Any time one loses a beloved pet it is difficult, and especially hard to explain to young children.
    You must have a wonderful way with many different types of animals based on the pictures throughout your site.
    I enjoy learning more about the different pets people have experienced.
    I look forward to reading more in the future.

    1. Hello Kyle, yes loosing a pet is a difficult time. I have had a few different pets in the past and like you I enjoy learning about them. Thank you for your comment. All the best.

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