Is it the winter season, and you do not know how to keep guinea pigs warm? It is not a problem because there are specific steps that will help you heat your cavy.
If it is too cold outside, it would be nice if you keep your pet inside the house. Make its hutch more comfortable by placing a blanket over it so that the chilly breeze won’t ruin the guinea pig’s sleep.
Also, here’s what you should not forget:
Add extra bedding because it will surely help your cavy have a snug and cozy space during the cold season.
In this article, we will discuss the steps you should take to keep guinea pigs warm.
You will also learn more facts and care tips to cavies for more efficient guinea pig parenting. Keep on scrolling!
What Temperature Is Too Cold For Guinea Pigs?
Cavies love the temperature between 18 and 23 degrees, and too high or too low in that range can be very cold or very hot for them.
Are you curious about what is the coldest temperature a guinea pig can live in?
Well, if it drops to 15 degrees, that is the time that your beloved pet will get the chills. You need to know this information because when a guinea pig gets cold, its body’s blood flow reduces.
Due to that, the skin tends to diminish in conserving heat, which will make your cavy all chilled out.
On the other hand, guinea pigs cannot sweat since they lack sweat glands.
As a pet owner, you must better understand these tiny details if you want to make your pet feel comfortable every time.
Steps To Keep A Guinea Pig Warm Inside The House
It is known that guinea pigs are inevitably susceptible to hot and cold temperatures.
So during the cold days, you have to expect that your pet will be very cold, and it is time for you to make a move!
I am a cavy owner, and I have an adorable guinea pig named Ginger. I have been with him for about nine months now, and I surely know that he hates the winter season.
The following are the steps I did to help him ease the chilly situation, and it was very beneficial for him:
Step #1. Bring your pet inside
The best thing that you can do on cold weather days is to bring your pet inside the house.
Since guinea pigs can get hypothermia, do not let them out in temperatures you think they can’t tolerate.
If you cannot put your pet indoors, you might as well take much effort to keep it warm even outside.
Step #2. Insulate
Block any spaces that can let the chilly breeze in.
Since I live in an old house, the drafts are sure to make some of the rooms cold enough to make me shiver. I used towels to block it.
I make sure that Ginger is fine and warm in her hutch.
Step #3. Make sure your pet is away from openings
Place your cavy away from windows and doors, and the best position would be the center of the house. Why?
Because exterior doors and windows will be much colder and being at the central part of the house would decrease the cold’s chances of giving your pet discomfort.
Step #4. Put additional towels and blankets
These things can help trap heat inside the cage. Your cavy will surely snug into these and will make itself comfortable.
Step #5. Use hay or shredded papers
It would be great if you add hay and shredded papers as its bedding.
The grass is an excellent choice that you can have because it reacts well with moisture and traps heat effectively.
Please do not use any beddings that contain chemicals because guinea pigs tend to eat their bedding (all the time).
Step #6. Put a box or hutch
You can have the option of putting a box or hutch in the cage of your beloved pet (like I did) so that it can curl itself inside.
Or maybe, try to have a warm sleep mat pad for guinea pigs.
Step #7. Place a heating pad
Another thing that you can add is a heating pad and you must put the pad in the microwave to heat it up.
Place it beside your pet and it will give at least 8 hours of adequate heat to your guinea pig.
Anyway, there are also electric heating pads for guinea pigs; they’re even more convenient to use (I mean, in your part).
If you are wondering where to buy them, these heating pads are widely available in pet stores and even online.
Steps To Make A Guinea Pig Warm Outside
Like I have said for a while, if there is a situation going on and you cannot let your guinea pig inside the house, here are the steps to give it heat:
Step #1. Get your pet a hutch
Since the wind will be too cold for your pet, you must have an excellent and well-insulated hutch for it.
Though it comes with quite an amount, you can consider it as a wise investment for more winter seasons to come.
Step #2. Move the cage
Here’s the next thing you should do:
Move the cage into your garage or even in a shade to avoid the danger of too much snow or rain. If you do not have either of these, try to put the cage in a shaded place outside of your house.
This action is better than the pet having no shade at all against the rain and snow.
Step #3. Insulate
Insulation is one of the essential things you must consider because it will determine your pet’s comfortability.
In the worst case, not having enough insulation will cause your cavy to fall sick and might be seen cold and dead the next day (and it is something you surely do not want to happen!).
Step #4. Elevate the hutch
If you have a good-quality hutch, you might as well place it in a more elevated manner because that action can trap more heat.
Moreover, the dampness won’t have any chance of dominating your pet’s cage.
You need to understand that cold can creep into the ground and decrease the heat, so it is much better to elevate the hutch.
Step #5. Put beddings
Lastly, two-three-inch bedding made of fresh hay and other viable beddings can make your guinea pig happy even on winter days.
With the nice bedding, body heat will be trapped effectively, and the coldness won’t be a big problem anymore.
All you have to do is follow these steps correctly so that you’ll know better how to keep guinea pigs warm.
Signs That A Guinea Pig Is Cold
Thankfully, the signs which can tell that your cavy is having chills are very straightforward.
As a pet owner, whether your guinea pig is indoors or outdoors, you have to be keen and observe well for the possible signs that your pet is cold.
Here are the following signs that you must be aware of:
It would be a super obvious sign that your cavy is feeling cold when you see your pet shivering.
Like us humans, these tailless rodents can also react to cold quickly and will shake and tremble due to the chilly breeze.
#2. Curling up
If you see that your cavy is huddling, that is another obvious sign that it is cold.
Imagine us all curled up in our blankets during a snowstorm, and that is exactly what your beloved pet is feeling. It would help if you immediately found something that will make it all warmed up, like blankets or heating pads.
#3. Cold ears
Once you are unsure if your guinea pig needs warmth or not, feel your cavy’s ears.
Though this method has not been scientifically proven, this method should do the trick.
I am sure that you are familiar with the temperature of its ear during regular days, so when you think it is a bit cold, your beloved pet is probably having discomfort due to the coldness of the weather.
Can Too Cold Temperature Kill Guinea Pig?
The tolerance limit for cold temperature of the guinea pigs is quite low as compared to other animals.
When the temperature falls below 15 degrees, the guinea pig will lose its body heat to its surroundings and cannot maintain a body temperature that can eventually freeze your cavy to death.
A large number of guinea pigs die in the winter and you need to take proper precautions to avoid hypothermia.
In conclusion, it is better to keep your guinea pigs inside during winter because it will be much warmer inside.
However, if you cannot do anything to place it in your house, try to do your best to warm your cavy even outside the home.
Be mindful that the cold will indeed cause danger and harm to your pet that can even be fatal.
As a pet owner, you also have to be vigilant about the signs of your pet being cold so that you can immediately take action about it. I hope that you now know how to keep guinea pigs warm.
Thank you for reading, and good luck!
Delbert Curtis is a senior writer at Petcosset, a leading online resource for pet care information. With over 10 years of experience in the pet industry, Delbert is passionate about helping pet owners provide the best care possible. He has written extensively on pet health, nutrition, training, and behavior. Delbert is dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the pet industry to provide the most accurate and helpful information to Petcosset’s readers. Delbert enjoys spending time with his pets and exploring the great outdoors when he’s not writing.