When Are Guinea Pigs Too Old To Breed? Let’s Find Out

Guinea pigs are wonderful pets that bring joy and brighten our days. Many owners purchase two guinea pigs, one of each sex, and raise them together, allowing them to breed.

When are guinea pigs too old to breed?

Guinea pigs are considered too old to breed once they reach two years of age. Breeding after two years is risky as it may lead to dystocia and the inability of the mother guinea pig to safely deliver babies.

In today’s article, you’ll learn about when guinea pigs are too old to breed and other related breeding issues.

When are guinea pigs too old to breed?

Guinea pigs can begin breeding at two months old, but it’s best to initiate breeding after they reach six months and cease breeding by 24 months.

While guinea pigs or mother guinea pigs may give birth after two years, it poses a risk and is not advisable. As guinea pigs age, especially after two years, health risks for both the babies and mothers increase.

After two years, the mother guinea pig may experience dystocia, meaning she will have difficulty giving birth to the babies.

It’s best for a female guinea pig to breed before the pubic symphysis calcifies, which occurs around 6-7 months old.

What signs indicate that a guinea pig is too old to breed?

Certain signs indicate when guinea pigs are too old to reproduce. Recognizing these signs is important because some guinea pigs may age faster than others due to their living conditions.

Here are the signs to watch for:

– Reduced activity: Older guinea pigs tend to move and play at a slower pace than when they were younger.

– Weight loss: Elderly guinea pigs eat less and start losing body weight.

– Dental problems: As they age, guinea pigs may encounter increased difficulties with chewing due to overgrown teeth and similar issues.

– Breathing problems: Older guinea pigs may experience difficulty breathing, leading to heavy or rapid breathing.

These signs indicate that your pet is aging and may no longer be capable of reproduction, though these symptoms could also signify health problems or diseases.

Can guinea pigs breed after 2 years of age?

Guinea pigs can breed after two years, but this is not recommended due to the potential complications and risk of death for both the babies and the mother.

If the female guinea pig did not breed before turning two, it’s best not to attempt breeding at all.

As guinea pigs age, the birthing process becomes riskier for their lives.

How do I know if a guinea pig is pregnant?

Pregnancy in guinea pigs is noticeable through weight gain and increased appetite.

Pregnant guinea pigs appear wider, making the difference noticeable. However, it’s best to consult a veterinarian to confirm pregnancy when you notice your pet is larger.

Can guinea pigs breed at any time of the year?

Guinea pigs can reproduce at any time, as they lack a specific breeding period like some other animals. Therefore, careful attention is required if you wish to control or encourage breeding.

Is it advisable to breed guinea pigs as a hobby or for profit?

Breeding guinea pigs should be approached as a hobby, prioritizing their proper care and well-being.

Ethical and humane breeding practices should be emphasized.

Breeding should primarily be for the well-being of the animals, with profit as a secondary consideration.when are guinea pigs too old to breed

How to properly breed guinea pigs?

Before male and female guinea pigs begin breeding, they should spend time together to become familiar with each other’s scent. While conflicts occasionally arise, they usually get along well during mating.

Female guinea pigs are fertile every 16 days, allowing for multiple chances to conceive if they cohabitate with males for about 50 days.

Once a female guinea pig becomes pregnant, separating her from the male allows her to prepare for birthing.

How long is pregnancy in guinea pigs?

Gestation in guinea pigs lasts approximately 60-72 days. If the female remains pregnant without giving birth after 72 days, it may indicate health issues or a potential miscarriage.

A calm and stress-free environment is crucial during pregnancy to avoid complications.

Female guinea pigs typically have 2 to 3 babies, though occasionally they may have up to 8. They can breed up to 5 times per year, and larger litters tend to yield smaller offspring.

How to prevent guinea pigs from breeding?

The easiest method to prevent breeding is to house only female guinea pigs.

They typically cohabitate well and prevent breeding simultaneously.

If keeping a male and female together, breeding risks are high, resulting in potential offspring. Consider being prepared for baby guinea pigs.

What should be considered before deciding to breed guinea pigs?

For guinea pigs to breed responsibly, future care conditions should be a priority. Guinea pigs with health problems, genetic issues, or congenital problems should not be bred.

Unethical breeding may result in detrimental consequences for the babies.

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Do guinea pigs stop being fertile?

Guinea pigs usually lose fertility after 3 years of age. However, some may remain fertile past this age.

Breeding after 3 years is discouraged due to potential risks for the mother’s and babies’ health.

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What causes infertility in guinea pigs?

Guinea pigs can become infertile if infected with Bordetella bacteria, which is transmitted during mating.

This infection can lead to infertility in guinea pigs or the death of the unborn offspring.

Infertility in guinea pigs also causes dystocia or birthing problems because their pelvic bones fuse after 6-7 months without reproducing.


Guinea pigs are old enough to breed by two years of age. The ideal breeding period ranges from 6-24 months, although breeding beyond two years poses substantial risks for both mothers and babies.

If a female guinea pig hasn’t started breeding by eight months, attempting to breed her is unadvisable due to the fusion of her pelvic bones, preventing childbirth.

As female guinea pigs age, their reproductive capacity declines, so caution is needed to avoid life-threatening risks.

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