If you are in the unfortunate position where your Guinea Pig had died, or you’re preparing for their death, then it is good to know what you can do with them. Its a sad subject and time, but its one that is always good to prepare for when the time does come around. Having owned several Guinea Pigs over the years, I’ve come to realize that you have several options. I’d like to share them with you here today.
So, what can you do with a dead Guinea Pig? Burial and Cremation are the two main options available to you. You can bury your Guinea Pig in your own garden or a place that is special to you/your Guinea Pig with permission from the landowner. Alternatively, if you are looking to get your Guinea Pig cremated you should talk with your vet.
While this is a sensitive subject, let us know take a look at your options in greater detail so that you know exactly what you can do at this sad time.
Is Your Guinea Pig Definitely Dead?
The first thing we need to address is that you need to be 100% and entirely sure that your Guinea Pig has actually died. There are a lot of reports from Guinea Pig owners whereby they suspected their Guinea Pig had died but in actuality, it wasn’t.
Guinea Pigs can go into very deep sleeps whereby they do not wake up like they normally would. In this case, they may require extra time to waken, or you may even need to gently but firmly prod them several times to see if they surface.
Shock can be another false alarm. Guinea Pigs can stiffen up and appear dead if they have been shocked by a particular event. For example, this can happen if your Guinea Pig came into contact with a much larger animal like a Dog or a Cat when they were let out to play. In this situation you would need to place your Guinea Pig in a calm, relaxed environment, like their cage and give them plenty of time to come around.
So before you go ahead and start planning for their death, you need to ensure that it is not in fact alive.
How Do You Dispose Of a Dead Guinea Pig?
If you are certain that your Guinea Pig has passed, then there are are couple of options open to you. Burial and Cremation are the most popular and are some respectable ways to dispose of your Guinea Pig. Others that are often cited by Guinea Pig owners are to simply place them in the trash (although if you are going to do this you will want to check with your local authorities to ensure it is okay to do so).
Either way, immediately following the death of your Guinea Pig, you are going to want to cover them up and place them in an airtight container of some sort. Paper bags/food bags, towels shoe boxes work well and you can used a combination of these together to eliminate exposure. This will prevent any flies and other unwanted visitors from getting to the carcass. It will also help to contain any smells and prevent early onset decomposing. It also prevents you from having to look at your Guinea Pig during this phase of its life.
If you are not sure how you would like to dispose of your Guinea Pig, you can always leave them covered up for a few days; so long as it is in fact airtight. It gives you time to consider your options, identify a suitable burial place, get the items you may need or even contact the vet.
Let us now look at the main options that offer dignity which you can consider. These are particularly useful for those of you with young children.
Option #1: Bury Your Guinea Pig In The Garden
If you have space within your own garden, or have access to a garden/area of land (with permission) you can bury your Guinea Pig.
If you decide to do this, you will want to ensure that you dig a large and very deep hole (50cm +) into the ground.
The budget-friendly way is to wrap your Guinea Pig tightly in blankets/towels/old clothing. You would then place them down into the earth and cover them back up.
However, one of the most worrisome things that can happen with a burial like this is that a neighborly pet (like a cat) or other wild animal acquires the scent of your Guinea Pig. This can lead to them being dug up and their remains eaten. It happens a lot and can be disturbing.
This is why I always personally purchase the small Pet Memory non-biodegradable casket from Amazon. This ensures your Guinea Pig remains are protected from all types of scavengers. It is also more environmentally friendly if your Guinea Pig was on a course of treatment with drugs prior to their death as these cannot leach into the soil.
I find that a casket like this gives me the peace of mind to know that my Guinea Pig can compose peacefully and I will never have to see the burial ground being dug up.
Alternatively, if this specific casket is out of your budget, the Paw Pod Casket is another great and more affordable option from Amazon. You also get a sympathy card and seeded leaf designed for planting with the pod which makes the whole ceremony that much more special.
Regardless of how you choose to bury your Guinea Pig, it is always nice to leave flowers or a stone memorial on top of the burial grounds. The Orchid Valley Pet Memorial Grave is ideal for those of you who want something more special.
Option #2: Get Your Guinea Pig Cremated
Getting your Guinea Pig Cremated is one of the more expensive options, yet it can be a nice way to let your Guinea Pig go.
If you are looking to get your Guinea Pig cremated then there specific Pet Crematories that may be able to offer the service. Its always best to run a Google Search with the text string “Pet Cemetry + Your Location” (swapping your location with where you live. This way you can find out what is available in the area.
From there you can contact each crematory to get a quote. Most of the time these crematories charge between $50-$200 depending on where you go and the service you choose, but you will likely need to pay a little bit extra to get the ashes returned. The more expensive options will generally include individual cremations and tributes. Whether or not you want to do this will be down to personal preference.
Contacting your Vet is also a good way to get a cremation scheduled. They will often know of good local pet crematories or may even be able to conduct this on site Again, this will depend on your vet and the facilities that they have on hand.
The best thing to do is to contact multiple pet crematories and get yourself a number of quotes before you commit. Also be sure to specify exactly what you are getting for your money and what is involved.
There are also a number of beautiful urns that you can get on Amazon if you wanted to take these to the crematory. The Near and Dear Urn is one of the more elaborate designs, whereas the Ara Woodgrain is more subtle.
Option #3: Add Your Guinea Pig to Compost
Another options that Guinea Pig owners have reported, is by adding your Guinea Pig to a compost heap to naturally compose.
For this, all you would need to do is place your Guinea Pigs body within a heap of compost and cover the body with 2/3 paper bags (to prevent creatures from accessing your Guinea Pigs Carcass). You can also place grass lawn clippings over the top as an extra sealant and to keep them well hidden.
This is a good option if you are too busy with personal commitments/responsibilities, do not have the ability to bury or you are looking for a more low-key way to dispose of your Guinea Pig.
The death of a Guinea Pig is never a nice time; in fact it can be a very sad and upsetting one that catches you off guard.
One of the best ways to honor your Guinea Pigs life is to give them a proper burial, and this will ensure that you are not faced with an alarming site of another animal trying to eat or get at your Guinea Pigs remains.
If you have the budget, a cremation is also another option to you and this is perhaps the most dignified way of them all.
I hope this article has given you some ideas and an awareness of the options available to you.
Ultimately, disposing of your Guinea Pigs is up to you and how you approach it is going to be very individual depending on how long you have had your Guinea Pig, how close you were to them and if you have any young family members.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.