The first question many new guinea pig owners ask is how long do guinea pigs live for? Afterall, this is one of the most relevant guinea pig facts a potential pet owner would want to know.
So, how long do guinea pigs live on average?
The average lifespan of a guinea pig is between 4-8 years, with the longest living guinea pig recorded living for 15 years. However, guinea pig life expectancy is largely determined by the health of the guinea pig, and the care it receives. Proper care and correct nutrition will go a long way to increasing a guinea pigs life span. While some may consider the lifespan of a guinea pig rather short, and may be put off ownership due the limited lifespan of a guinea pig, they are relatively long-lived as far as small pets go. The life span of a guinea pig is more than twice as long as a hamster or rat, for example. Guinea pigs are endearing little creatures that enjoy attention, and will provide their owners with much pleasure throughout the entire guinea pig life cycle.
There are a number of health issues that can reduce the lifespan of a guinea pig. Guinea pigs are sensitive to excessive heat, and may suffer from heat stroke if their hutch is left in a sunny spot on a hot day. Open wounds may become infected if left untreated. Flaky skin or hair loss in guinea pigs may stem from a number of issues, such as a vitamin C deficiency as a result of an imbalanced diet; parasites, such as mange mites, lice, or fleas; or from ringworm. Death from disease and bacterial infections, such as pseudotuberculosis, salmonellosis, and respiratory infections that can lead to pneumonia and death, are common. Constipation and diarrhea are common problems that can affect the health of your guinea pig, and ultimately guinea pig life expectancy, and are very often associated with diet.
So if you want to know how long do guinea pigs live as pets, the answer depends on how well they are cared for – disease prevention is far better than cure and will greatly increase guinea pig life expectancy. Check you pet guinea pig daily for signs of ill health, check that your pets teeth are not overgrown, that his skin and hair are soft and shiny, that the eyes are bright and free of discharge, and that there are no signs of constipation or diarrhea. By paying attention to these details you will surely increase your pet guinea pigs lifespan.