How to Help Your Guinea Pig Get Over The Death of Its Friend

Pigs, yes I do call ours a pig, not as an insult but rather in a more loving way as I am actually quite fond of him and I can’t remember what the children called him but I do know I was pained to see him looking so down in the mouth when his buddy died last week.

Guinea pigs, sometimes known as Cavy for one, Cavies for two or more or even just pig or pigs are wonderful little mammals. They belong to the rodent family Caviidae but unlike true rodents they are slower (don’t let this fool you they can actually move very fast when the need arises!) and they are very vocal. They communicate with a series of whistling, purring, chattering, chirping or shrieking noises.

*Our little pig coming coming out of his new ‘pigloo’ hope I didn’t embarrass you piggy by snapping your picture? The pigloo is a large round plastic plate filled daily with clean shavings, he only finds it in his heart to pee in there, he drops his poop everywhere and anywhere!*

Pigs, yes I do call ours a pig, not as an insult but rather in a more loving way as I am actually quite fond of him and I can’t remember what the children called him but I do know I was pained to see him looking so down in the mouth when his buddy died last week.

*pig playing with a found strawberry*

He was living outside in a hutch and run in the garden when his friend died. I knew the right thing to do was to bring him back indoors but thinking a change of place and the noise of the house may be enough to perk him up was a disappointment, he was still sad. Guinea pigs are herd animals and very sociable and I thought long and hard about getting another to be his friend, which definitely in some cases is the way to go but you also have to consider that they may hate each other and fight so bad, even to the death. It could all end in tears and you could end up with two unhappy pigs on your hands or in a year down the line one of the new pair would die and you would be back to square one.

After some mind and soul searching and coming to the decision that I would not try to humanize him but would instead try to find a solution to the situation we had found ourselves in. Firstly I read up on the history of the guinea pigs and a couple of words stuck in my mind. 

The words were ‘Grazing animals’ and ‘herd animals.’ We can all from memory name some of the many grazing, herd animals. Horses, cows, etc, they roam large areas of grassland picking out all the different plants and grasses that they need to survive.

* sometimes the world is a scary place *

I can’t let this pig roam free for his own safety but what would a herd or grazing animal be doing with its day?

Well it wouldn’t be stuck in a small cage with a pile of rich food in the corner that’s for sure. No, like naturally kept horses (who wouldn’t choose be stuck in a stable for 14 hours a day either) I decided I had to find a way to make the pig use his mind to live again because there was only us humans and the dogs around now and we probably were a poor consolation for the friend he had lost.

* A little “hello how are you?” kiss on the nose from Alfie dog *

Firstly the old dog crate was dragged out, it is strong and safe and has a good amount of room both in width and height but just running around floor space wouldn’t be that stimulating would it? And pigs don’t climb, well not like other rodents anyway, they can get up onto platforms or run up ramps but they won’t be doing the monkey bars at the jungle gym.  So I had to think of a way to make a mini adventure park for the pig, somewhere he could have a hidey hole, a pigloo, some kind of receptacle he had to get his own hay out of, some way to get up a ramp to hidden food that he would have to find and graze, a large drain pipe tunnel and a large branch to climb on or over and nibble.

* Discovering the ramp that leads to yummy food and a bark branch *

Guinea pigs have been known to learn and follow complex paths to find their food and they can jump small obstacles so there is lots of scope to keep your pig entertained if you cannot re-home him with a suitable friend. They are also supposed to be exceedingly good swimmers but I have yet to observe this statement.

* Hay left in a tub with holes cut in various places. It took him no time at all to work it all out *

Did it work?

Well I think so, the pig is now vocal again and the sounds are happy whistles of excitement and pure, purring, bubbling sounds of happiness, especially when he smells a hidden carrot or strawberry. He is quite happy to rub noses with one of the dogs and is happy when we go in to see him.

Obviously you are the judge of your own pig plight and you would need to assess your own piggy needs but there are other ways if it is not possible to replace your pig’s special friend, just make sure you take every step you can to make sure your pig lives a calm and happy life to the best of your ability

All photographs are authors own ©

 6/7/11 written by lillyrose ©

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User Comments
  1. Emancipation

    On July 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Lovely write up and pictures Lilly, but why have Triond published this under music? Are they lined up for the X-Factor?

  2. LoveDoctor

    On July 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Animals can feel just as much emotions as humans. I’m sorry to hear this. I was wondering why this was published in music? Glad to see you back writing.

  3. Jimmy Shilaho

    On July 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    An amazing write, good to see you post again though I think I am on my way out.

  4. Francois Hagnere

    On July 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    A really touching read, Lilly. Animals deserve the best, they give us so much love. Glad to see you back my friend.

  5. SharifaMcFarlane

    On July 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    This was a well-designed area, and obviously he appreciated it.
    Welcome back Lisa.

  6. lillyrose

    On July 8, 2011 at 2:06 am

    thanks for the comments and support, I have no idea why it has been published in music but I will sort it out.

  7. lillyrose

    On July 8, 2011 at 4:22 am

    I have tried to get this article put in the right category (pets) hopefully it will happen later to day.

  8. Atanacio

    On July 8, 2011 at 7:59 am

    a very good share and I too was wondering why this was placed in Music :) Frank

  9. Phoenix Montoya

    On July 8, 2011 at 9:02 am

    So adorable, Lisa and good info. Its me Phoenix (not logged in, too lazy) I found this one on FB xx

  10. Brenda Nelson

    On July 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

    People need to realize that pets do get attached and do mourn the loss of their buddies.

  11. webseowriters

    On July 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

    thanks 4 sharing

  12. yes me

    On July 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Hi Lilly long time no read anywise that was captivating… pardon the wee pun not meant honest, but maybies you could, buy him a wee bud or two, and separate them by bridges, suspended above water with wee isle… with treats on it sweet treats for piggies. just a wee thought cheers liked it

  13. TwiKnight

    On July 9, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Ooh, swinging axes would make a wonderful if brutal part of the little critter’s obstacle course too. On a more humane note, maybe you should get it a little pool, see if it does know how to free-style or do a backstroke. Great article, mate. Truly tragic about its loss, though. :(

  14. lillyrose

    On July 9, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Hahaha…some great points made. You now have my mind doing somersaults Twiknight swinging axes! you have been reading to many comics again but the little pool is something I am mulling over.

    Yes me, I love your idea. I may build a big aviary type structure with platforms on one wall in my pet room that way it would be big enough to make two separate piggy houses.

  15. wonder

    On July 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    A write up full of love and softness, it was interesting to read on.It touched upon the emotion not unlike pigloo.Now he is ok I’m glad, absence of dear ones in life should spell out a stronger presence if we are able to make it.

  16. oldster

    On July 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Welcome back to the pen or should I say sty.
    Your usual good sound advice about caring for our furry friends.
    I’m sure if he watched you all day he’d be puzzled and as amused – as you are watching him. ;-)

  17. Poeta Nascitur Non Fit

    On July 10, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Equadorian Fried Guinea Pig (Ayacucho-style)

    1 guinea pig, de-haired, gutted, and cleaned
    1/2 c. flour
    1/4 – 1/2 t. ground cumin
    salt and black pepper to taste
    1/2 c. oil
    Pat dry the skin of the guinea pig and rub in the cumin, salt, and pepper. Preheat oil. Dust the carcass with the flour and place it on its back in the oil, turning to cook both sides. Alternately, the guinea pig can be cut and fried in quarters.
    Serve with boiled potato or boiled manioc root, and a salad of cut tomatoes and slivered onions bathed in lime juice and a bit of salt. Have cold beer on hand.

  18. lillyrose

    On July 10, 2011 at 4:14 am

    Thanks oldster, I am not sure what he would make of me if he watched me all day… he would probably be bored :-)

  19. lillyrose

    On July 10, 2011 at 4:26 am

    Poeta Nascitur NonFit

    I don’t think many people would eat guinea pig in my Country, like they wouldn’t eat rabbit, dog, cat or horse because they think of them as pets only but thanks for the recipe. I haven’t eaten meat for 34 years but if ever I do start eating it and fancy a bit of pig I may try it.

  20. UncleSammy

    On July 10, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Nice share

  21. Jeff Powers

    On July 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Interesting. Animals are a lot like people

  22. Marie Milton

    On July 11, 2011 at 10:21 am

    AWWWW!!! you know, I CAN’T BELIEVE I missed this one! It is sooooo adorable! Little Piggy is so cute!
    It is so painful to see animals sad. Their little faces show so much emotion, it’s amazing. I’m so glad that you managed to find a nice way to help Piggy become happy again :)
    We used to have two chinchillas but when Freddy died, is lady companion Lady, couldn’t stand bein,g alone and so she died 10 days later. We were all heartbroken since we had had them for 9 years.
    I’ve never seen little Piggy, but give him my regards anyway. lol.
    That picture of Alfie Dog and Piggy is soooo adorable!! Such a great shot!

  23. lillyrose

    On July 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    LOL Marie I am glad you liked it and my piggy!

  24. sambasivarao

    On July 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Very great one.

  25. asd668768

    On July 28, 2011 at 2:38 am

  26. Katien

    On August 6, 2011 at 10:49 am

    A lovely report on your efforts to make your guineapig happy again! I think its lovely that you have put so much thought into this – so many people just put them in boring cages and think that all they need is food and water.

  27. beingwell

    On August 11, 2011 at 9:28 pm


  28. ahmad joko setyawan

    On October 14, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Very well written,informative article taking a look into something that is not often written about..great advice Lis,I wish this had been written 2 years ago! Lol My daughters pig died and her little friend was left lonely…

  29. Margaret Boseroy

    On October 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Aww, so cute! Your adorable pets are lucky to have such a thoughtful owner.

  30. gaby7

    On October 24, 2011 at 10:28 am

    A truly homely environment for the pig!

  31. bryeunade

    On October 30, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Great efforts spent to make your pig happy. I’m sure she appreciates what your doing. Thanks for sharing.

  32. girishpuri

    On November 28, 2011 at 3:04 am

    very careful owner , very rare

  33. qncai

    On July 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Good image, like it

  34. elee

    On November 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    excellent work Good useful info Congrats, to you *

  35. afaceristonline

    On November 14, 2012 at 11:23 am

    very interesting post .thanks for share

  36. gorenganking

    On November 22, 2012 at 10:43 am

    very interesting post .thanks for share

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