Table of Contents Hide
- Tell Your Guinea Pig’s Age Using These Simple Steps!
- Other Ways of Telling the Age of a Guinea Pig
- The Different Life Stages of A Guinea Pig
- Conclusion: How To Tell How Old Your Guinea Pig Is
Guinea pigs are the perfect pets for children, as well as first-time pet owners. They’re small, playful, and budget-friendly additions to any family. A guinea pig typically lives anywhere between four to eight years. Have you ever thought about how to tell how old your guinea pig is?
That makes guinea pigs a long-term commitment for anyone who wants to bring one home. Guinea pigs also need companionship, so consider getting two guinea pigs, so they can socialize. If you choose to keep a male and a female guinea pig, then be careful if you don’t want frequent litters. Consider spaying one, or both of your guinea pigs, to ensure that you don’t get new additions. It takes around four months for a male guinea pig to become sterile, after it’s been operated one.
After you bring your guinea pigs home, you’ll need to take care of them, and help them feel at home. Since the needs of a guinea pig will change as they grow older, you’ll need to know their age in order to take care of them. Here is everything you need to know about how to tell how old your guinea pig is.
Tell Your Guinea Pig’s Age Using These Simple Steps!
The simplest way to tell a guinea pig’s age is to take them to the vet. A veterinarian can perform the necessary physical examinations and tests, and let you know for sure, what they’re age is. A vet will also know what to look for when it comes to telling a guinea pig’s age.
Unfortunately, pet shops don’t often have information on the exact birth date of the guinea pigs they sell. This means that short of taking your guinea pig to a vet, you’ll need to try to estimate their age for yourself.
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to get an estimate on what your guinea pig’s age is. With the help of this guide, you’ll not only be able to tell your guinea pig’s age, but also care for them age-wise.
Whe you’re wondering how to tell how old your guinea pig is, you’ll be looking at three core factors:
1) Using Their Nails to Tell Their Age
The nails of a guinea pig change size, color and texture, as they grow older. Younger guinea pigs, that is, up to a year old, have pointy, sharp, and sometimes translucent nails. This texture becomes harder with age, so that the nails appear yellow by the time the guinea pig is around four years old.
Around this time, the guinea pig’s nails will have lost all their translucent texture, and have become yellow and opaque instead. As the guinea pig grows older, these nails can even become brittle, and start to break off.
2) Using Their Teeth to Tell Their Age
All guinea pigs are born with a set of well-developed teeth. These are pointy, sharp, and capable of helping the guinea pig feed during their early years of life. A guinea pig’s teeth will continue to grow and develop throughout the course of their life.
Over time, their teeth develop ridges, can turn into a shade of yellow, and become brittle as well. That’s why you need to provide your pig’s with grass to chew on. This grass contains abrasive silicates, that help your guinea pig wear their teeth down.
3) Using Their Body to Tell Their Age
The final way to tell how old your guinea pig is, is by looking at their body. The rear end of a guinea pig continues to grow wider as they age. This is especially true for female guinea pigs, also known as sows, after they’ve given birth. You can also notice that the skin of a guinea pig saga more with age.
This can lead to them developing a rotund appearance around their stomach, while their back appears bony. Although this is usually normal, if you think something is wrong with your guinea pig, then don’t hesitate to take them to the vet.
These are the main ways of answering the question, ‘how to tell how old your guines pig is’.
Other Ways of Telling the Age of a Guinea Pig
Another way to tell the age of a guinea pig, is by how much they weigh. A guinea pig that is around three months old will usually weigh around 18 ounces. These figures rise to anywhere between 24 ounces to 42 ounces, by the time the guinea pig is one year old.
A guinea pig’s needs will change as they age. The good news is that you can also tell what a guinea pig’s age is, by looking at their life cycle!
The Different Life Stages of A Guinea Pig
Knowing how old your guinea pig is can prove invaluable when it comes to taking care of it. A guinea pig, as they grow older, will need more care and attention from your part. This is why knowing when your guinea pig is approaching their twilight years, can help you care for your pet.
Guinea pigs, or cavies as the species is called, originated in South America. There are around eight varieties of cavies that have been discovered, though only one is kept as domesticated pets.
Here is how to tell how old your guinea pig is, according to their life cycle:
1. Between 1 Month to 11 Months
This is the time when you’ll be witnessing the most rapid growth in your guinea pig. Young guinea pigs age fast, and you can see noticeable changes in their size nearly every month. This growth will start to plateau once a guinea pig reaches one year of age.
A young guinea pig should have pointy, white, sharp teeth, as well as white and translucent nails. During the first year, you’ll find that their nails and teeth are both sharp, and stay that way. The back side of your guinea pig should also appear thin, a reflection that your guinea pig is young and healthy.
2. Between One Year to Five Years
These are the years when your guinea pig is living their young adult and adult life. You won’t notice any significant changes to your guinea pig’s weight, after they turn one year old. This is as guinea pigs stop gaining weight around that time. Five years is the time when guinea pigs start to enter their twilight years, and need extra care and attention. But until then, you should only notice subtle changes in your guinea pig’s size and shape. The most prominent changes you’ll come across involves the color of their nails and teeth.
These will start to become more yellow with each passing year. Another way on how to tell how old your guinea pig is, is by checking their back side. A guinea pig that is either one or two years old, should have a lean and thin back side. This is unless the female guinea pig has already given birth.
But as a guinea pig approaches the age of five and beyond, irrespective of their gender, their back sides will widen. This is a tell-tale sign that a guinea pig is getting on in their years.
3. Between Five Years to Eight Years
These are the twilight years in the life of your guinea pig. During this time, you can start to notice their nails and teeth becoming more brittle. These can get chipped as well, or fall out altogether. That’s why it’s important to care for the nails and teeth of an older guinea pig.
Your guinea pig may also become more lethargic, and not play with their toys as much as they used to. You’ll also find them spending less time getting exercise, and they may even start to eat less as well. Please note that these signs can also indicate that your guinea pig is sick. Any time you feel that your guinea pig may need medical attention, consider taking then to the vet immediately.
A guinea pig’s older years may also see their skin sagging, so that their back bone is visible while they also appear to have a tummy. You may also find that the hair on your guinea pig is starting to fall out. These are all signs that indicate that a guinea pig is growing older.
Conclusion: How To Tell How Old Your Guinea Pig Is
With this guide, you should now be able to tell how old your guinea pig is. Knowing a guinea pig’s age is important in helping you take care of them. An older guinea pig will require much more attention and care, than a guinea pig in the prime of their lives.
However, a guinea pig in their prime will instead need to be given toys, and options to exercise. They’ll also need good quality food, and a warm safe place to sleep in. Young guinea pigs, that is, those that are less than a year old, tend to grow really fast. With each month, you’ll notice significant changes to the shape and size of a baby guinea pig. These changes become more subtle by the time a guinea pig reaches the age of one.
By the time a guinea pig reaches the age of five, they are considered to be old. As your guinea pig grows older, you may find that they are more lethargic. Their teeth and nails may also become more yellow, as well as brittle.
No matter what their age, with the help of this guide, you now know how to tell how old your guinea pig is, from when they’re infants to their old age.