Dealing with a guinea pig death

Guinea pigs are sociable animals who are aware of their friends’ presence. Therefore when a guinea pig that is in their community dies they are aslo aware of this.

Guinea pigs are quite sensitive about death but not to the point where it will affect their own well being; that is providing a few things are respected and observed.

When a guinea pig is ill seperating him/her from cage mates is not necessary and will often cause disruption. Where it is necessary ( for example after an operation when space is restricted to allow healing) a friend from the group should be moved to the hospital accomadation too.

Should said guinea die the other members of the group should be allowed to see the body too so they are aware of what has happened and can move on with their lives. Guinea pigs that are allowed to  acknowledge death can move on with their lives incredibly quickly.

Similarly if said guinea is put to sleep then the body should be returned to the group so they are aware of what has happened and can acknowledge the death. This is anything from a sniff to a full grooming of the dead body. Eventually everyone will move away from the body.

Often where a guiinea pig has died in its cage the acknowledgement process will have begun, sometimes even before the guinea pig has died the others will have paid their final visit, and will not go near a dying guinea pig.

The main thing to remember is to give the body back for the others to acknowledge so that they can move on with their little lives, guinea pigs do have a level of understanding about death. Where one of a pair has died another compatible friend should be found, if the death of a previous friend has been acknowledged the whole process of finding a new friend is so much easier.