What to Do When Your Family’s Guinea Pig Dies?

Unfortunately, guinea pigs don’t live as long as humans. 

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There will come a day when we must say goodbye to our furry friend and send him or her to the great beyond. To do that, you must find a shoebox, find a shovel, and bury them in the backyard.

When the Guinea Pig Is First Discovered

When you go and check on your guinea pig, you should pet him or her. If they do not move around and their body is cold, then you know they are dead. Most guinea pigs that are loved and cared for do not feel the need to crawl into a dark space and die. They are quite happy dying in their sleep in their comfortable little bed that has been given to them. When you realize that the guinea pig is dead, you should cover up its body with a small cloth. This shows that you respect the guinea pig and its role as a family pet.

Notify Everyone Who Loved Them

Unfortunately, since you were the one that discovered the guinea pig has died, it is not your responsibility to tell everyone who cared about guinea pig about its passing. For adults, you don’t have to be so sensitive. You can tell them that the guinea pig has died, and you just discovered its body right now. If anyone is at work or school, wait until they get home. Do not text them while they were out of the house. Since they loved the guinea pig, then it will make their workday or school day harder.

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How to Tell a Child that Their Guinea Pig Is Dead

For children, however, you will have to be a lot more sensitive. This is especially true if a child that you are telling has not had a pet die before. First, you must call the child or children into a room. Then you must sit them down and tell them that something has happened to the guinea pig. They will be shocked or scared and asked what happened. This is when you tell them that the guinea pig has died, and it is no longer with the family anymore. More likely than not, the children will start crying, and you will have to have them and let them be sad. If they ask why it died, tell them that all beings, not just guinea pigs, reach a certain age, they must die. 

sad family

After the Death Talk

After the death conversation is done, do not expect questions about death to go away. Now that children have been introduced to it, they will ask you many more questions about a concept they know nothing about and just learned recently.

What to Do If the Guinea Pig Died of Another Cause

The text above assume that the guinea pig died of old age. But unfortunately, old age is not the only reason why our pets die. They could have had a disease, they could have been poisoned, or another pet or an outside animal could have killed them. If this is the case, then the guinea pig’s passing will be harder on everyone, and especially on the children. 

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When You Discover the Body

If the guinea pig was attacked by an animal, quickly pick up its remains and remove them from the sight of everyone. If the body was severely injured, don’t let anyone see it. Find a shoebox or paper bag and put the remains of the guinea pig inside.

Poisoning

If the guinea pig was healthy yesterday, and you found it dead today, then it is likely to have been poisoned by something. Guinea pigs are susceptible creatures, so it could have been its food, cleaning supplies that were used around its cage, or too many pesticides in its hay.

Pneumonia

Try your best to investigate what happened and see if there are any changes from its usual routine in the last few days or weeks. Most likely, the guinea pig died from pneumonia. It is the leading source of death in guinea pigs. There are two ways guinea pigs could get pneumonia. If the cage wasn’t playing correctly or the guinea pig got a wound, and it became infected with bacteria.

How to Have a Funeral

Performing a small funeral for the guinea pig will give people closure. You do not need much to do this. When you were outside, place the guinea pig on the ground, and everyone will stand around it. Each person should take turns saying what they loved about the guinea pig and what they will miss. 

pet cemetery

How to Bury a Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs may not be large creatures but digging a hole will be very tiring. You must dig a hole two feet in depth so that the guinea pig’s decaying body does not smell up the backyard. Make sure to dig a hole large enough that the shoebox or paper bag the guinea pig’s body is in can lie down without needing to be stuffed or forced into the hole. 

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When you play the makeshift coffin into the hole, then you should perform the funeral. After everyone’s peace has been said, it is now time to place the dirt back in the hole. There will be extra dirt leftover from the hole when you are done filling it back up, so flatten down the soil as much as you can.

What to Do With Its Cage and Supplies

Despite what you may think, many people do not want to get a new animal after their first one dies. So, it will not be a good idea to go to the pet store and get a new guinea pig immediately. Give time for everyone, especially children, to grieve. About a month is good. Then open up the conversation and see if the family wants to get a new guinea pig. Do not call it a replacement guinea pig.

Conclusion

  • All guinea pigs must die, and hopefully, it is from old age
  • But that is not always the case
  • When you find the body, cover it up 
  • Inform people that the guinea pigs have died
  • Explain to children that the guinea pig died and what death is
  • If it died of unnatural causes, do your best to figure out why.
  • A shoebox or paper bag is a good coffin.
  • You can perform a funeral.
  • Bury the guinea pig about two feet deep

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