As we approach our summer in the UK we bring you the Squidgypigs guide to Hot Weather Guinea Pig Care AKA: how to keep Guinea Pigs Cool In The Summer.
Outside Hot Weather Guinea Pig Care:
- The best course of action if the outside is VERY hot is to bring your pigs inside. The theory being that inside your home is usually kept at a stable “livable” temperature.
- I do appreciate that this isn’t always possible…
- Place your hutch in the shade.
- Or create shade….
- A parasol or umbrella can be used to great effect to provide shade in a run.
- …but remember that the sun moves during the day and what is in shade in the morning will not be by the afternoon.
Inside Hot Weather Guinea Pig Tips:
- Open windows but close curtains. This allows a cool breeze without letting full light in.
- You could use a fan but do not place the fan directly facing the caging unless it’s an oscillating fan. Instead point the fan at an angle that creates a cool air current but not direct contact.
- C&C cages offer the best air flow. Plastic fronted cages can become very hot with nowhere for the heat to escape.
General Hot Weather Tips:
- Always ensure water bottles and/bowls are topped up.
- Frozen bottles of water wrapped in a towel/fleece or even a sock provides a lovely cool treat for your piggies to lay next to.
- Alternatively cool blocks (for picnics etc) could be used.
- A large tile, slate, brick or even just a sheet of newspaper will also provide a cool spot.
- Plastic ‘pigloos’ are great but can become saunas during hot days due to their limited ventilation. Consider drilling extra holes in the top or replacing with wooden hideyholes during hot days.
- Feed lots of water dense treats like cucumber and melon (in addition to their usual diet) to keep piggies well hydrated.
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- Consider giving long haired piggies a new haircut. A trim can make a piggy feel considerably more comfortable and help avoid fly strike.
- View your guineapigs as often as you can to check for signs of distress and heat stroke.
Signs of Heatstroke in Guinea Pigs: (call a vet immediately).
- Panting or generally laboured, heavy breathing.
- Feels hot to touch.
- Watery poop / diarrhea.
- A change in behaviour – lethargy or agitation.
- Seizures / fits (guinea pig will lie on side and spasm / twitch.
- Heat stroke is often fatal if in doubt consult a vet.
- See our Guide to Heatstroke in Guinea Pigs.
Hot Weather Guinea Pig Questions:
- Can Guinea Pigs sweat?:
- No. Guinea Pigs are unable to sweat and suffer from heatstroke when they get too hot.
- Do Guinea Pigs Pant?:
- A healthy Guinea Pig shouldn’t pant. Guinea Pig lungs are relatively small for the size of their bodies so any form of panting is a sign of respiratory distress and in hot weather should be treated as a sign of heat stroke. Get the pig to the vet.
- What temperature is too hot for Guinea Pigs?:
- A temperature of above 26° / 78° can lead to heat stroke.
Not summer in your hemisphere? See our Cold weather Guinea Pig care guide.