How Long it Takes for a Dead Guinea Pig to Begin to Smell

People can get just as attached to their guinea pigs as they can to cats, dogs, and other pets which means it’s just as hard when their guinea pig has passed away. When a pet dies, it’s imperative to get them buried or disposed of as soon as possible so its remains don’t start to smell bad. How long do you have before that starts to happen?

It can take up to 3 days before a dead guinea pig begins to smell. However, the decomposition process technically begins as soon as death has occurred which means the smell could develop even sooner. Arrangements for disposal should be made as soon as possible following the guinea pig’s death.

It’s hard to dispose of dead pets, but it’s best to do it quickly because you want your last memories of them to be pleasant. You’ll need to plan accordingly so you can get them taken care of as soon as possible but still be able to memorialize them if you wish. Here are a few key tips that should help get you started.

How Long Before the Smell Arrives?

As mentioned earlier, you should have about 3 days before you can really tell that there’s a dead animal in the house. Of course, you should probably not wait that long before you dispose of your guinea pig’s body anyway, but if you’re making special arrangements (burying at a pet cemetery, cremation, etc.) then it might take you a while to finally lay it to rest.

Now, keep in mind that the decomposition process is different for all animals. Bigger animals tend to smell bad faster because there’s a lot more of them to decay. Guinea pigs are on the smaller end of the spectrum which means they might not start to stink nearly as quickly as, say, a dog or cat would.

The temperature will also have a bit of say in how fast your guinea pig starts to smell. If your pig dies during a hot summer month, the heat will certainly speed up the decaying which means the smell will probably arrive sooner. However, if the death were to occur during the fall or winter when the temperatures outside are cooler, the cold will preserve the body and significantly slow the decomposition process.

No matter how or when your guinea pig dies, you should make a point of disposing of their remains sooner than later so you can avoid any sort of unpleasant smells. So, how do you go about disposing of a dead guinea pig?

Disposal of Dead Guinea Pigs

There are a couple of options available to you when it comes to disposing of dead pets (including guinea pigs!). The route you go with should be determined by your individual needs and desires for the remains of your pet, so make sure you choose wisely.


You will need to check the laws and regulations surrounding your area, but generally, small rodents can be disposed of in the trash bins. You’ll need to double-bag the guinea pig and place it gently into one of your outdoor garbage cans. This might not seem as personal as you might like, but it’s the easiest and most inexpensive way to dispose of a guinea pig. Plus, you can always add a stone or marker to your garden in memory of your pet.


Cremation is easily the most expensive option here, but it’s also one of the most popular. Cremation is an easy, safe way to dispose of a dead animal. Plus, once the cremation process is complete, their ashes will be put carefully and neatly into an urn or box and then you can do with those whatever you choose.

You can keep your guinea pig’s ashes on a shelf in your home, on a pedestal out in the garden or yard somewhere, or you could even sprinkle the ashes in some other meaningful place. The point is that cremation is a good option if you want to keep your pet as “close” to you as possible.


If you’re more traditionally-minded, burial might be the best choice. The nice thing here is that you have two options. You can either purchase a plot at the nearest pet cemetery or if the regulations in your area allow, you can bury your guinea pig right on your property. Plots at pet cemeteries can be pricey but they can be a great way to memorialize your guinea pig.

If you’d prefer, you can bury your pig right on your property which means you can visit them anytime! Double-check the rules and regulations surrounding this kind of thing, but guinea pigs are small enough that there should be no danger of leaching. Wrap the body gently in a clean cloth and put them inside a bin of some sort before burying them to prevent the spread of odor and bacteria.

Removing and Preventing Odors

You should, of course, take the time to bury/dispose of your guinea pig in a way that’s meaningful to you and everybody else who loved it. But what if that means you’ve left it long enough for a bad smell to develop? Well, this might be shockingly unpleasant and difficult to deal with at first, but the good news is that there are ways to get rid of odors.

First, you can try a DIY approach. Using materials such as salt, vinegar, baking soda, lemon or lime juice, and dawn dish soap can really make a difference. You can use these things (or a combination) to scrub any affected areas down. If the smell is simply lingering in the air, you can try air fresheners and perhaps a bowl of lemon juice or vinegar to soak up the odor.

There are also some professional products you can try. There are countless odor killers, odor repellants, and other products that you can use to dispel unpleasant smells. For instance, you could place an odor sponge in a room with the smell to help absorb any residual stench. For further guidance and suggestions, you can contact animal control, pest control, or a vet.

Carolina Pieters

I'm Carolina and created this blog, to provide practical advice and emotional comfort for those dealing with pet loss.

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