As your guinea pigs “get older,” they become calmer and more prone to illness. Housing and care must be adapted to the needs of the “seniors”.
Guinea pigs live for about 8 years, some even much older. Of course, the rodents only reach such age if they have been optimally kept and fed from the start. As the animals get older, the ability to see and hear decreases. The fur often becomes shaggy and lighter. Behavior also changes. “Seniors” sleep more, become calmer, and show less interest in new furnishings and going out in the apartment or garden.
The enclosure should now not be redesigned if possible. Because older guinea pigs no longer get used to changes in their environment so easily. It is also particularly important that the facility is designed to be senior-friendly and that the animals cannot fall from great heights. Because older guinea pigs exercise less, they often gain weight over the years. An increase in weight of about 10-20% is normal, as long as the weight gain is not sudden.
Obesity in animals must be avoided at all costs. Therefore ensure a healthy diet based on hay and greens. It is best to clarify with your veterinarian whether your rodents need more vitamins and minerals (in the form of food supplements) due to their age. Vet visits may be needed more frequently as they get older. Because the immune system is weakened with age, the risk of infection and cancer increases. Above all, guinea pigs become more susceptible to colds. Therefore, make sure that the animals are always protected from draughts, cold, and strong temperature fluctuations.