How To Keep Guinea Pigs Warm In Winter (Guide For Owners)

Since guinea pigs originate in Peru, where it was warm and dry, it’s not surprising that they are not equipped to handle the winters of other cooler countries. This being said, it’s important to keep your guinea pigs warm when the temperatures drop.

The only problem is figuring out how, exactly, to keep them warm enough to be comfortable and continue thriving during the winter. So, how do you keep guinea pigs warm during the winter?

How to keep guinea pigs warm in the winter

Here are a few great ways:

Move Hutch Indoors

If your guinea pig lives in a hutch, you should consider bringing the entire hutch inside once it starts to get cold. If, for some reason, you’re unable to bring the hutch indoors, moving it into a heated shed is another option.

Alternatively, you could store the hutch in a garage with a heater; but you’ll need to make sure that the garage isn’t used for cars because if a car is allowed to run in the garage with the guinea pigs, the creatures can inhale the fumes and become sick.

When moving them into a heated shed, you’ll need to monitor the temperatures inside of the shed, ensuring that it doesn’t get too hot or too cold. The best way to do this is by using a thermometer.

If you’re tempted to use a greenhouse instead of a shed for this purpose, we’d recommend that you ditch the idea. Greenhouses made of glass are great for plants but not so great for guinea pigs because they trap a lot of condensation, which makes humidity skyrocket.

Insulate Your Hutch

If you can’t bring the hut indoors or into a shed or garage, you need to make sure that it is well insulated and covered up — especially at night when temperatures drop particularly low.

There are products made specifically for protecting pets from the elements, they are most commonly known as “Hutch Huggers”. They are pieces of insulating material that were designed by NASA for insulating space shuttles. This material can be left on year-round, as during the winter it keeps heat in, and during the summer, it keeps heat out.

These products will keep warmth in as well as prevent rain from getting in.

If you can’t get your hands on a Hutch Hugger, you could insulate the hutch with thick blankets. Just keep in mind that if it rains or snows, these blankets will get wet and could freeze, so they need to be checked regularly. Using blankets is a good option, but if you do use them, be sure to leave a gap for ventilation.

Provide The Guinea Pigs With Extra Bedding

When it comes down to keeping your guinea pigs warm, adding extra bedding is a great way to give them just a bit of extra warmth. This method can be combined with other methods easily.

A thick layer of newspaper on the bottom of the hutch will help keep heat in but you can also fill the closed side of the hutch with an extra straw. The guinea pigs can use this extra bedding to burrow in and stay cozy.

You might also place a box in the hutch and fill it with straw. This will help generate extra heat for the guinea pigs as well as give them a place they can snuggle in and share body heat.

You must remember to regularly change the bedding for your Guinea pigs. Wet bedding can easily freeze.

Use Heat Pads

Heat pads can be a great way to keep pets warm. Of course, heat pads aren’t going to stay warm for hours on end but they are a good short-term solution and can be used in addition to other methods successfully.

Heat pads like the snuggle-safe heat pad are safe for use with pets, as they are made of durable plastic that is chew resistant. When you use them, all you have to do is throw them in the microwave and slip the fleece cover on.

Winter-Proof The Hutch

Before adding any products or insulation to your hutch, be sure to winter-proof it. Check the roof for leaks, drafts, and rot and make repairs as needed.

You might also add legs to the hutch, keeping it off the ground to prolong its life and prevent it from developing rot on its bottom. Giving its height will help air circulate and keep the hutch dry.

In addition, consider sealing it with a pet-safe sealant. This will help rainwater slide off and prevent rotting and damage.

Provide Enough Food And Fresh Water

During the winter period, guinea pig bodies tend to burn more calories. So it is very vital you keep your eye on the food and water supply during the winter period. Provide good quality hay, fresh vegetables, and fruit so as to keep your guinea pig healthy. Remember many diseases in guinea pigs occur as a result of poor feeding.

Since water is very important for the survival of your guinea pigs, it’s important you have a spare water bottle. You easily swap if the one in the hutch freezes. 

The best way to prevent freezing is to get your water bottle an insulation cover. You can purchase this on Amazon.

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Guinea Pigs?

Leaving your Guinea pig to adapt to the weather is very dangerous. it is important you monitor the temperature within your guinea pig’s hutch so you can take the necessary precaution to prevent your pet from being sick due to the cold. A temperature below 15 degrees celsius is too cold for guinea pigs living outside.

You should think of bringing your Guinea pig indoors. If that is not possible or somebody in your house is allergic to guinea pigs make sure your guinea pig is not too cold.

Get yourself a smart thermometer or normal thermometer so you can monitor the temperature on a regular basis.

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs find it hard to tolerate temperatures above 26 degrees Celsius. According to the Royal Veterinary College, the ideal temperature for guinea pigs is 20-22 degrees celsius. In addition, the humidity must range from 40 to 70%.

Final Thoughts

It is important you keep your Guinea pig warm in the winter months. Exposing your Guinea pig to cold can lead to fatal consequences. As humans, we keep warm when we are cold so you do the same for your guinea pigs.

So, there you have it! An easy-to-follow guide on how to keep guinea pigs warm in winter. By following the above tips and tricks (or combining a few of them), you can help ensure that your beloved pet stays warm, safe, and dry during the coldest time of the year.

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