Average Guinea Pig Lifespan: How Long Do They Live?

guinea pig at doctor

Before you get a guinea pig, it is important that you learn about how long these animals live. 

This article will help you to care for your fluffy friend in a way that will extend their life as much as possible. There are lots of different things you need to know about their lifespan.

Average Lifespan of a Guinea Pig

A guinea pig’s average lifespan is anywhere from 5 to 7 years. They live significantly longer than most hamsters and other rodents that many people keep as pets. It is not altogether unheard of for these animals to live upwards of a decade, though it is uncommon.

Factors That Affect a Guinea Pig’s Lifespan

There are numerous factors that can have a profound impact on the lifespan of a guinea pig. You will have control over many of these factors.

1. Diet

The food that you give your guinea pig each day will have a tremendous impact on your guinea pig’s life expectancy. The healthier and more nutritious their diet is, the more likely it is that they will live a long time.

Guinea pigs need a daily diet that is high in calcium, especially while they are still growing before reaching full maturity. It is crucial that you look for pellets that are specially formulated for these animals. The pellets you give your pet should have high quality ingredients to keep them healthy over the long term.

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It is also crucial that you provide your guinea pig with plenty of vitamin C on a daily basis. Make sure that the pellets you give them are packed with this vitamin and others.

2. Breed

The specific breed of your guinea pig is something else to consider when it comes to their lifespan. Skinny pigs live around 6 to 8 years, whereas long haired pigs life 5 to 6 years at the most. You should be able to tell the breed of your pig by its appearance alone.

Some other guinea pig life expectancies include:

  • Himalayan guinea pig: 5-8 years
  • Sheltie guinea pig: 5-8 years
  • Teddy guinea pig: 4-5 years
  • American guinea pig: 4-8 years
  • Texel guinea pig: 4-7 years
  • Cuy guinea pig: 4-8 years
  • Silkie guinea pig: 5-8 years

3. Health Problems

Some guinea pigs are born with serious health conditions that can significantly reduce their life expectancy. This includes a condition known as “tongue entrapment”, which results from the overgrowth of the animal’s teeth. 

These animals can also develop bumblefoot, which is essentially ulceration of their feet. This can make it difficult for them to walk.

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Tips for Extending Your Guinea Pig’s Lifespan

There are a number of tips that you’ll want to keep in mind when it comes to extending your guinea pig’s lifespan.

1. Make Sure They Have an Adequate Cage

It is also important that you get an adequate cage for you guinea pig. If they don’t have enough space to roam around, they can become easily stressed. Your pig’s mental health can have a big impact on its physical well-being.

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You should make a point of getting a cage that offers at least ten square feet of space. If you are going to keep two of these animals in the same cage, you’ll need to get a bigger one. Also, remember to keep the cage in an area of the house that isn’t drafty. It is crucial that you maintain a stable temperature for your pet’s sake.

2. Keep Them Stimulated

A lack of stimulation can have a tremendously negative impact on your guinea pig’s mental and physical health. You will need to provide them with a variety of fun toys to check on and play with. This will go a long way towards keeping your fluffy friend happy and healthy for years to come.

There are lots of different hamster toys to choose from. These animals are usually perfectly content with a block of wood. They also like plastic balls they can roll around their cage. Take some time to see what your options are like at your local pet store.

3. Get Them a Companion

It may be possible to extend your guinea pig’s lifespan by getting them a companion. These animals can usually be kept together in the same enclosure without any issues. Just make sure that you introduce the new guinea pig gradually so they don’t get overwhelmed.

You’ll want to keep a close eye on both guinea pigs to see how they interact with each other. If you notice them fighting a lot, it might be necessary to separate them. The last thing you want is for one or both of them to get seriously injured.

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4. Avoid Pregnancy

Because there are many potentially fatal complications associated with guinea pig pregnancy, you should do everything possible to prevent mating. The best way to go about doing this is to keep only pigs of the same sex together.

If you want to have guinea pig babies, you’ll want to discuss it with your veterinarian. You’ll need to find a vet that specializes in exotic animals.


  • Guinea pigs have an average life expectancy of 5 to 7 years.
  • The lifespan of a guinea big depends heavily on the breed.
  • Skinny guinea pigs can live up to eight years, while the long-haired variety only lives up to six.
  • The diet of your pig is very important and also plays an important role in determining their lifespan.
  • It is crucial that you feed your guinea pig a balanced diet that consists mostly of high-quality pellets.
  • Certain health problems like bumble leg can significantly shorten a guinea pig’s lifespan.
  • Make sure that you keep your pig in a cage that is at least 10 square feet. This will help to ensure a long and happy life for your pet.
  • Getting your guinea pig a companion can also extend its life, provided they get along well together.
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