Can Guinea Pigs Die From Being Scared?

Guinea pigs are great pets, but what most owners realize is that their guinea pigs are very timid.

Because of that, some owners find themselves asking can guinea pigs die from being scared?

Unfortunately, guinea pigs can die from being scared. A sudden, quick change in their environment can lead to their death in almost an instant.

And it is not an uncommon thing either, there are plenty of cases and scenarios where a guinea pig tragically died because of a surprise or an event that scared it to death.

Guinea Pigs Dying From Being Scared

That being said, not all guinea pigs die from being scared the moment they get surprised or you change something in their life.

Instead, you have to think about guinea pigs as you would elderly people, like someone with a fragile heart.

They can handle most things if you eased them into it. They can’t handle a sudden change, no matter how small you think it is.

You shouldn’t prevent your guinea pigs from interacting with each other, moving outside their cage or any other possible change, because a diverse life is a happy life for a guinea pig.

But you should take your time whenever you are introducing a change into your guinea pig’s lives.

As long as you make sure your guinea pigs are living an easy-going, relaxed life, there’s nothing to worry about.

Guinea pigs thrive in a stable environment, one where they know what’s going to happen next.

Making sure a stable environment exists for your guinea pigs is as important as their nutrition, cage, and overall safety.

Recommended: 13 tips for keeping your guinea pig calm

Why Would A Guinea Pig Die From Being Scared?

Guinea pigs are prey animals. Most prey animals are small and weak and because of that, they cannot defend themselves when they are being attacked by a larger animal.

Instead of using force to protect themselves from predatory attacks, prey animals run away and hide.

In a natural setting, when a prey animal faces a predator and cannot escape, nothing good or pleasant awaits it.

When they’re filled with fear and stress, their heart can give out and they can die out of fright.

That’s the main reason why most guinea pigs die from being scared. Because their heart gives out when there’s nothing they can do to escape.

Guinea pigs do not know the difference between a friendly change in their environment and a violent, predatory one.

That’s why they can die from being scared even when they are in their cage, one of the safest places in the world for a guinea pig.

They also do not know whether your dog is friendly or foe, facing your dog might cost your guinea pig their life, out of sheer fear.

Simply put, guinea pigs can die from being scared because their heart gives out when they think they’re facing a shocking scenario.

This comes from guinea pigs being prey animals who cannot handle extreme situations in nature in any other way.

Recommended: Why is my guinea pig always scared

Can All Guinea Pigs Die From Being Scared?

Dying from being scared is a possibility all guinea pigs can face. As you probably know, all guinea pigs are different.

Each one has a distinct personality and different features that make them unique in their own way.

But they all share certain things as a species. Unfortunately, dying from being scared is one of them.

While some guinea pigs might be able to stand more change than others and survive scary situations that might bring other animals over the edge, all guinea pigs can die from being scared.

You shouldn’t bet your pet’s life on its toughness. Instead, you should make sure your guinea pigs live a stable, happy life every day that they can.

Keeping Your Guinea Pigs Calm So They Won’t Die From Being Scared

The first thing you have to think about is your mindset. We might not notice it, but we are giants to guinea pigs. Most things we consider small are big for a rodent.

Suddenly bursting into a room, shouting at your pets, or suddenly grabbing your guinea pig can all scare them.

All of these things might seem unimportant to you, but they are terrifying for your small friend. Keep the size differences into consideration, not only for physical matters but for sound levels as well.

Loud sounds are terrifying to guinea pigs. They cannot stand them, literally. And this kind of sound can come from anywhere:

  • Music speakers.
  • Outside sirens.
  • Heavy traffic.
  • People shouting from the streets.

The very same thing applies to other non-rodent pets. Dogs, cats, and birds might look like harmless balls of fur to us, but they look like predatory animals to guinea pigs.

Slowly Introduce Things To Your Guinea Pigs

You can try to slowly introduce all your pets to each other, but this should only be considered if you cannot keep them apart at all times. It is best to keep guinea pigs away from other animals.

Introducing something to your guinea pigs cage should be done slowly too. No matter what it is, a toy, new food, or anything at all.

Do it little by little and watch how your guinea pig reacts. As long as there are no bad symptoms, keep going.

If they react poorly, cancel everything and try it again later on. Do not force anything onto your guinea pigs.

Making sure your guinea pigs avoid all of these things is a must to keep them calm, happy, and alive.

Keep Your Guinea Pigs Away From Loud Noises And Other Pets

The best thing you can do to keep your guinea pigs safe is to have a room exclusively for them, or at least off-limits to other animals and loud sounds.

Whenever you are inside a room with your guinea pigs, keep noises to a minimum, music volume as low as possible, and absolutely no shouting.

Keep in mind this applies to everyone, including kids. Even though they mean no harm, they can endanger your guinea pig’s life if they are not careful enough.

A guinea pig might die from being scared if a kid does not take the necessary precautions to deal with them.

If you cannot afford a room for your guinea pigs, try to keep their cage away from other animals. Do not have it laid on the ground, where anyone or anything can reach it.

Do not put it next to a window. Loud noises and unexpected animals like big birds and other things can frighten your guinea pig.

Keeping your guinea pigs cage out of reach of anything that they think might be a threat is a must for their well-being.


Hey, I'm Guliana. I really love animals, especially small ones. I grew up having gerbils and guinea pigs as pets and know a lot about them. That's why I'm passionate about writing everything I've learned about them over the years.

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