Today we are examining Cold Weather Care for Guinea Pigs otherwise known as “Can my Guinea Pig live outside in winter?”.


Location:

  • Guinea pigs die in cold weather PLEASE bring them inside. Whereas you may hear that other pets can sometimes tolerate the cold; Guinea Pigs simply cannot,  and will freeze to death.
  • Anything under 15 degrees is considered too cold for them.
  • If you really cannot house your Guinea pigs inside over winter; a secure car-free, draft-free garage or shed can be a good compromise.

Safety:

  • Check hutch regularly for dampness and drafts.
  • Repaint with pet friendly waterproof paint/varnish before the bad weather sets in.
  • Clean out frequently.
  • Exhaust fumes kill so any garage MUST be car free.
  • Check for rat, mice, fox and badger damage, these wild predators are also cold and looking for food (mmm Guinea porkchops…err maybe not eh?).


Insulation:

  • Line the bottom of the hutch with multiple sheets of newspaper.
  • Although straw is good insulation it is generally regarded as being too hard for Guinea pigs and can cause eye-poke injuries.
  • Extra hay is essential, fill the sleeping compartment with as much hay as possible.
  • Adding hay filled cardboard boxes for insulation also helps keep your piggies warm, whilst also making them feel secure, chewing them up will also give your pet an important boredom breaking activity.
  • Blankets or fabric pet beds add comfort and warmth.
  • Snugglesafe (or alternative) pet safe heat pad can be added in the bed area to help keep your piggies warm.
  • Carpet or blanket can be laid over the hutch for extra warmth but ensure this does not block ventilation. 
  • Specialised hutch covers are also available but the plastic ones can cause condensation dampness if left on too long.
  • A warm snuggly friend is a great way of staying warm.


Squidgypigs - Winter Cold Weather Care for Guinea Pigs
Squidgypigs – Winter Cold Weather Care for Guinea Pigs


Food:

  • You may discover your Guinea Pig requires more food in the winter, regular weighing will ensure you notice any weight loss. 


Water:

  • Check water bottles at least twice a day to ensure the water hasn’t frozen.
  • Specialised water bottle covers are also available (an old sock, glove or bubble wrap could also work) but you must still check for freezing.
  • A heat pad under a water bowl may prevent freezing, I also believe that a ceramic bowl holds heat longer than any other materials.


Do Guinea Pigs Hibernate?:

  • No.
  • Guinea Pigs never hibernate. If your Guinea Pig shows any such signs get them to a vet ASAP.


Illness:

  • Handle your piggies daily to check for signs of ill health and injury (as well as strengthening your bond with your pet of course…).
  • Guinea pigs don’t regularly catch colds like humans. If your piggies look lethargic, or have signs of illness please get them to a vet ASAP.

Squidgypigs - Cold Weather Care for Guinea Pigs
Squidgypigs – Cold Weather Care for Guinea Pigs


What steps have you taken to keep your pets warm this winter? Please feel free to share any tips below in the comments section.


Not winter in your hemisphere? See our Guide to hot weather Guinea Pig care.Facebook 

Hot weather guinea Pig care
Hot Weather guinea pig care


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