Dealing With the Loss of Your Guinea Pig

As youngsters, we all learn about the cycle of life. Movies like The Lion King and Old Yeller teach us about the sad expectation that one day the beloved animals in our lives will die. Nevertheless, it’s difficult dealing with the loss of your guinea pig. If you have children, you also have to help them find a way to adjust to this passage.

Barry the Guinea Pig eating Grass

Barry the Guinea Pig

Born 1st Jan 2008,  Passed Away 7th May 2013 – RIP Mr Barry

Children and the Truth

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can tell your children the guinea pig ran away or otherwise got lost. When you do that you are leaving your children with the expectation that their beloved pet will turn up again. They may wonder what they did to cause him to run away. By being honest with them and telling them that their pet has died, you are helping them to deal with this life cycle event and teaching them to find a way to channel their grief.  The death of a pet also prepares youngsters for the fact that someday their beloved parents and grandparents will also pass away.


If your pet is ill in the days leading up to his death, you can ask the vet—make certain this is an exotic vet that treats guinea pigs—if he will euthanise your pet if it becomes necessary. It’s very emotionally painful to watch a pet slowly deteriorate and know that you’re incapable of making him feel any better. You will want to know ahead of time what hours you can contact the vet for this purpose and what it costs. The normal life expectancy for guinea pigs, by the way, is from 4 to 8 years.

If your pet dies suddenly, tell the children in your family right away. Whether or not the death has come unexpectedly, let them see the pet and address his passing against the context of your own afterlife beliefs.

There’s nothing wrong with telling them that their pet has gone to heaven and that they will see it again one day.

Finding Your Piggy’s Forever Place

To bury your pet, you can ask your vet about cremation, either with or without an urn. If you choose to accept the cremains of your pet without an urn, consider placing them in the earth and then planting a garden over them.

If you want to bury your pet yourself, it’s best to include any member of the family who wants to assist. Wrap your pet in a biodegradable plastic bag or in a biodegradable box. If you like you can wrap the biodegradable bag in his favourite piece of fleece. You will then need to dig a hole in your yard about .6 meters (two feet) deep. That will prevent any scavenging animal from digging up the grave or from the grave becoming exposed due to soil erosion. Be certain the gravesite is away from any well or public water line.  Cover the grave with plenty of soil, creating a mound. The earth will sink into the ground, so if you overfill the grave initially it will sink to a level that’s more even with the surface.

If your children want to cry over the pet, let them. Everybody grieves in his own way. It’s good to share stories about the pet. You might even want to write a poem about your guinea pig or encourage the children to do so.

The Rainbow Bridge

One way to gain some comfort from the death of your pet—and a good way to discuss this passing with your children—is to take a look at the Rainbow Bridge poem about a pet’s death.

With this poem, We can take comfort from the knowledge that one day we will reunite with our pets.

The poem begins with a description of Rainbow Bridge, a place where pets go that’s warm and cosy with plenty of sunshine. It’s wonderful to imagine them cavorting playfully with aches and pains gone from their little bodies and the traces of illness washed away from their tiny faces. They are happy and content, but despite the time they spend playing together and basking in the sun, they miss us as much as we miss them.

Then comes the day when they stop amidst their playtime because they sense someone they love is nearby. This will be the day when the two of you are reunited on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

Rainbow bridge poem

Source –

This poem may contradict your own beliefs, but it’s a wonderful thought anyway :)

Interesting Research

James Van Praagh, a psychic medium who has published many books and whose life was featured in a TV movie called Living With the Dead, tells the story of his reading for a young deaf woman. He had visions of various aspects of her apartment but from a very low angle, and then he kept seeing the refrigerator door covered with many photos of a dog. Then he blurted out the name Charlie, which turned out to be the name of her service pet.

Charlie was communicating through the medium that he was waiting for Susan on the other side. Another interesting study and what could happen in the afterlife.

As one pet lover has said, we must treasure our pets each and every day, because their lives are so short. Nobody wants to deal with the loss of a beloved guinea pig, but when the time comes it’s best to be prepared.

You can also post a photo on our Facebook Page Timeline in memory of your piggy…

Or check out this Group on Facebook which is a Guinea Pig Memorial Group run by Gill Thompson

There’s also a good video here to help

We’d love to hear about your experiences dealing with the loss of your pet guinea pig. What made / makes it easier? Leave you comments below…

  1. Porsha

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