ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guinea Pig Life Expectancy Skinny Pigs Care for Life Expectancy

Updated on June 22, 2016
Webkinz Guinea Pig
Webkinz Guinea Pig | Source

The Guinea Pig Guide to Extending the Life Expectancy of Your Pet Guinea Pig! Palm sized Baby Animals

How long do Guinea Pigs live? What is a skinny pig's lifespan? Are Guinea pigs (aka Cavy) all the same? What are Skinny Pigs? Are Skinny Pigs Skinny? Do they need special feeding? How large does a Guinea Pig cage need to be? How much exercise do they need? What sounds do palm sized baby animals like guinea pigs make? Who knows what Guinea Pigs can eat? Can you make a difference in a Guinea Pigs life span? Read on to get the answers to Guinea Pig Life Expectancy and many other questions. Some wonderful products for Guinea Pig care are shown below.

Pet Guinea Pig/ Cavy Facts and background

Great easy care pets for Every one- best gifts

Guinea pigs(actually rodents originally from South America) were domesticated long ago and have variously been used in cultural activities, in folk medicine, more recently (but no longer used) in medical research, and even as food sources. But we know them best as gentle cuddly pets. Although many breeds exist, only a few are kept as pets. Some of them include:

Short Haired (aka American or English)

Abyssinian- (short coat originally form Ethiopia)

Silkie or Sheltie- has long hair

Rex - short, fuzzy hair

Teddy - thick dense fuzzy coat

Texel -similar to Silkie with curly hair

Skinny Pigs

Skinny Pigs Life Expectancy| Best Guinea Pigs for Some |Skinny Pigs Care

Skinny Pig refers to both my daughters first pet (a haired guinea pig named Skinny) and a predominantly hairless breed of Guinea Pig. Skinny pigs and Baldwin guinea pigs are both nearly hairless. The Skinny pigs are quickly growing in popularity, and many are saying that they are more gregarious breeds. Skinny Pigs are good choices for those with allergies or sensitivities to animal fur.

The Skinny pig, as a separate breed, began after a spontaneous genetic variation (identified in a Montreal lab). This genetic variation is similar to those causing hairless cats or hairless dogs. Originally used for laboratory work (in dermatological testing), Skinny Pigs were quickly found to be favorites among people who experienced them. Skinnies, as they are called, are more sensitive to temperature. Lacking a coat of fur, they should be housed in a habitat kept at approx 75 degrees F. Skinny pigs habitat should be prepared to contain extra protection for heat preservation( with a cloth blanket or similar cloth which is compatible with sensitive skin). Skinny pigs are also more sensitive to sunlight. When bathing them (monthly), care must be taken to dry their skin completely (especially between folds of skin) to prevent skin problems.

Skinny Pigs are said to have slightly shorter life spans, though Skinny Pigs living 4 to 5 years are common.

My Childs' First Pets or "The Adventures of Skinny and Squeeky".

First Animals for Children -Guinea Pigs make Unique First Pets

Guinea pigs are also called Cavy. Docile in nature, they usually live about five years (though the longest lifespan was 15 years according to the Guinness Book of World Records)

They are social, herd animals, which are also prey for many other animals like dogs, cats, birds, snakes and more. They require social interaction, lots of exercise, ample living space (perhaps 30" by 50" or larger for two guinea pigs). Their natural diet includes insects,fruits, and .vegetables Commercial bagged food is not complete, and must be supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables(with the exception of iceberg lettuce,cauliflower, kidney beans, nuts and seeds.There are more exceptions. I suggest reading a great reference "What guinea pigs can and cannot eat"). They are great first pets for kids, (teaching them about animals and nature), and also are good choices for seniors who want easy to care for pets.

"The Adventures of Skinny and Squeeky" is my reference to my daughter's first pets. Skinny, a svelte calico cavy who was soon joined by , you guessed it, Squeeky, a rather vocal black and white male cavy. Squeeky was so named because that describes the sound that guinea pigs make.My daughter, (known to her cousins and friends as 'Chelle' or 'Shelly belly') played with Skinny and Squeeky endlessly. It brings a smile to my face and a feeling of warmth even now, when I think back to those special times, and remember the look on her face as she experienced love for other creatures for the first time. To see your child caring for and nurturing those furry little docile animals is something special indeed. I believe that the life expectancy of a guinea pig also impacts the expectancy of life in those who care for them. Having been mature when we met them, both Skinny and Squeeky left us barely two years after they arrived.

In case you are interested, domestic guinea pigs (though originally from South America), are also known by their scientific name which is Cavia Porcellus.

Please be sure to watch for our upcoming feature film intitled "You're in the Cavy now" or "Skinny We hardly Knew Ye"

Guinea Pig Tips

Cavy Care from the piggies mouth

This advice is directly from the Humane Society-

If you had to eat oatmeal every day, three times a day, you'd get sick of it. Though a guinea pig's basic diet is commercial pellets, keep your guinea pig coming back for more by rotating a mix of fruits and vegetables. Guinea pigs need vitamin C supplements as their bodies do not produce Vitamin C. Fruits and vegetables can be a good source of vitamin C, but it is important that adult Guinea pigs get approx 50 mg/ day. Cruciferous vegetables should not be included in their diet. Avoid Iceberg lettuce, starchy vegetables, and all grasses hay or vegetation that may be contaminated with pesticides. Spinach, parsley, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens and kale are good ingredients in a guinea pig's diet. For growing guinea pigs, alfalfa is a good ingredient in a guinea pigs diet. For adult guinea pigs, timothy hay or orchard grass is better. Fruits such as apples grapes oranges strawberries and cantaloupe can be added as a healthy part of a guinea pigs diet. Guinea pigs digestive systems are sensitive, so slowly adding new foods to their diet is a good idea to prevent problems associated with sudden changes.

Most Guinea Pig cages sold for pet guinea pigs are too small. Provide your Pig with room to roam.

Important Tip: Guinea pigs cannot eat hamster food, rabbit food, gerbil food, etc. Please ensure you feed only what is recommended for this type of pet.

Barron's Guinea Pig Handbook - Barron's Comprehensive Guide to Guinea/ Skinny Pigs-Best Reference

Barron's has included complete information on the care and feeding of Guinea Pigs, including the very special Skinny Pigs. It has tips on the usual care and feeding subjects, but even more importantly, it has essential content available on easy to read charts, for disease detection, behavior and problem behaviors. The author is a veterinarian and shares much high quality information including great photographs and illustrations to enhance the value of the charts, graphs and checklists which make this book a must have for anyone with an interest in Guinea Pigs and Skinny Pigs.

Pet Guinea Pig Habitat
Pet Guinea Pig Habitat | Source

Guinea Pig Guide- Its All About Activity

Guinea Pigs (like People) need exercise to Thrive!

One of the surprising things I learned is that Guinea Pigs can suffer similar consequences to Humans from inactivity.

For Example- Guinea Pigs can suffer from developing heart disease, diabetes, and even constipation.

Most active during the morning and evening, guinea pigs need exercise opportunities during those times Crowded cages can cause anxiety levels to increase. Providing a guinea pig cage with ample space promotes peaceful living for these social creatures and it is best when they live together. Promote Guinea Pig health and guinea pig life expectancy through allowing plenty of exercise amongst themselves and with people.

Guinea Pig Bedding

Cedar and pine shavings have chemicals which are harmful to Guinea Pigs. Instead, use bedding made from paper that it is 2-3 inches deep, for maximum absorption.

Ideal quarters should be:

away from food preparation or bathrooms; where temperatures can be mild (between 65-75F); away from drafts; dry ;quiet; and

remember Guinea Pigs can suffer from heat stroke easily since they cannot sweat like people to cool themselves.

Cavy reproduction -Guinea Pigs Families

How Many Litters of Pups can a Guinea Pig have?

After giving birth to a litter of pups, a mother guinea pig can become pregnant the same day. In fact, most recommend that a Boar (or Father) Guinea Pig be removed just after the birth of a litter of pups for that reason. The mother cavy will regain her strength and resistance to illness sooner if allowed some time before mating activity occurs. Litters range in size, with the first usually being smaller in number of pups. Litters of eight pups have been reported

Improve Pet Guinea Pig Care

Buy Guinea Pig Supplies Which

have a positive impact on the lifespan of our pet guinea pigs. With proper care, nutrition, exercise, habitat, and social interaction (both with people and other guinea pigs), these animals can live long and be very satisfying, 'easy care' pets for all members of the family. You can improve Guinea Pig health with a little love and care.

We end with a message from Skinny's great uncle Porky.....

What about Guinea Pigs do you like? How many Guinea Pigs pets have you had? - Add Your Best Guinea Pigs Tips

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Mamabyrd profile image


      6 years ago from West Texas

      Yikes I dread the day one of my children wants to bring a guinea pig home. They are really cute but I think I would prefer a puppy.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Guinea pigs are really cute. I much prefer them to (say) cats and dogs.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love guinea pigs. They show a lot of affection if you pay attention to them.

    • BeaGabrielle1 profile image


      7 years ago

      I love guinea pigs and have about eight in my backyard. I used to have more than 20 at one point though. :-)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Our guinea pig, Sugar, is going on 7 years old and she's just as frisky, sweet and lovable as when she was a wee pup. Thank you for a lovely lens that was a joy to read!

    • profile image

      Onemargaret LM 

      7 years ago

      Guinea pigs are so adoreable. They have their own personalities.

    • profile image

      OliviaDaughter LM 

      8 years ago

      What cute lil animals. Great lens.

    • profile image

      PristeamDetail LM 

      8 years ago

      1, and it didn't work out too well

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i have 22 guinea pigs most of which i have rescued..The have an 8ft x 8ft run in the garden. All my piggies have the freedom they need, each and every day without fail they all have the use of the run, i hate seeing guinea pigs stuck in cages for all their life, thats why i started to rescue. They have hay every day plus fresh food and nuggets etc....i made tunnels in the run and also have an area where they can climb...i love to see them run and jump which means they are happy....i adore each and every one, they all have their own little personalaties....

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I had a guinea pig named snuggles

    • dahlia369 profile image


      8 years ago

      Me and my sister had a guinea pig each when we were children, They were adorable and easy to care for. Nice tips! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Guinea pigs are great pets. They are easy to care for, friendly, and cute. And you don't have to walk them in the rain.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens, I used to have two guinea pigs R.I.P buttercup and squeaky. Anyway nice job

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great job on the lens! I've never had a guinea pig although i really wanted one when i was a child. I ended up getting into rats instead.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have 2 guinea pigs at the moment, but had many during the years. one of them is 6 now and you can't tell. she still runs around like a baby pig :-). I hope she'll keep going forever!

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 

      8 years ago

      Beautiful lens, Thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      serenity4me lm 

      9 years ago

      Very helpful, my grand-daughter recently got her first guinea pig, it's helpful to me to know this info for when she brings it to my home. I was totally unaware of some ot these things that you've pointed out. thank you!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      One grandchild had it and it is a great pet.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      We have a pair, 6 1/2 and 4 1/2 years old respectively, who live in Pandora's Palace for Guinea Pigs. Pandora is an Abby and Xena is an Abby cross. Pandora says she likes your lens.

    • jojokaya lm profile image

      jojokaya lm 

      9 years ago

      they are so cute. Great lens

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      9 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      We had a guinea pig when the kids were little. It was a nice pet and I enjoyed feeding it veggies!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Cute lens!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)