You can keep guinea pigs both indoors and outside. That said, you must make a few measures before you leave them out.
The temperature and other weather conditions can significantly affect your guinea pigs’ health.
So, if you do plan to keep them outside, here’s what you should know.
Only Keep Your Guinea Pigs Outside in Certain Climates
It’s best if you only keep your guinea pigs outside in certain climates. So, a cool climate that doesn’t get too cold in the winter is best.
Avoid extreme heat or freezing climates.
One way to know if your climate is suitable is to know the range of temperatures guinea pigs can survive.
The ideal temperature for guinea pigs is between 65 F and 75 F.
Effects of Extreme Temperature on Guinea Pigs
If you leave your guinea pig outside at a temperature that exceeds 75 F, you may risk it getting a heatstroke.
The heatstroke can result in blot clotting problems and inflammation.
In some cases, a guinea pig may die from the effects of heatstroke.
Thus, it’s vital that you treat a guinea pig immediately if you suspect that it has had a heatstroke.
On the other hand, temperatures as low as 60 F can be dangerous for guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs typically generate heat from their bodies to keep warm.
However, that air temperature is too low and will cause the heat to be lost.
You must be confident that you can maintain this temperature range in the outdoors hutch for your guinea pigs in your climate.
Only then should you proceed to keep them outdoors.
If that is not possible, keep your guinea pigs indoors, where temperature management is much easier.
If you don’t have space inside your home, consider giving them up for adoption.
Create a Hutch That Can Keep Guinea Pigs Comfortable Outside
You will need to create a hutch that can keep guinea pigs comfortable outside regardless of where you live.
Temperature fluctuations are common, and you don’t want to risk your guinea pig’s health and safety.
In addition to that, a well-made hutch will keep your guinea pigs safe from other environmental conditions.
For example, you should be able to keep them safe from heavy rain or lurking predators.
Tips to Keep Your Guinea Pigs Comfortable Outside in Summer
In most cases, you may have to make certain adjustments to the hutch based on the time of year.
In some cases, you may only be able to keep your guinea pigs outside during certain seasons.
For example, you may live in a place where the temperature of the year is suitable, but the weather is too cold for the winter.
If that’s how the weather is in your city, you’ll need to keep your pet indoors for the winter.
With that said, here are some tips that you should keep in mind for summer.
Pick the Right Location
Its location is essential when creating an outdoor hutch for your guinea pig.
Therefore, you should pick a spot that will not give predators easy access to your guinea pigs.
Pick a Spot where You Can See Your Pets from Inside the House
In addition to a safe location, it’s best if you pick a spot that’s easily visible from inside your home.
That way, you can keep a consistent eye on your pets. It’s never a good idea to leave your pet unattended for long.
Keep the Hutch Out of Direct Sunlight
For the summer, you should place the hutch away from direct sunlight. You can help keep the temperature lower by doing so.
East or north-facing gardens typically don’t get much sunlight.
It’s best to monitor the sunlight during various parts of the day in your outdoor space.
Do this before you find a suitable position for your guinea pig hutch to avoid problems in the future.
Pick an Open Space with Good Air Circulation
A garden is ideal for keeping your guinea pigs outdoors—provided that there’s enough shade. Gardens are open and have enough air circulation.
Garages or sheds are not suitable locations.
The lack of air circulation in these areas can cause heat to stay trapped.
In turn, the temperature will rise and potentially become uncomfortable for your pet.
Check Up on Your Guinea Pigs
Whenever the temperature is higher than usual during the summer, check up on your guinea pigs.
It can help to use a reliable thermometer to check the temperature levels inside the hutch.
Place Them Indoors If the Temperature Is Too High
If the temperature is too high, you can bring your guinea pigs temporarily indoors. Place them in a room that has a consistent temperature.
That said, it’s best to turn off any fans that are near your guinea pigs. The draft can give your guinea pigs a chill.
Keep an Ice Pack or a Pan of Ice
You can help guinea pigs cool down by placing an ice pack or pan of ice in their hutch.
That said, it’s essential that no part of the ice is exposed. In addition to that, the material separating the ice and your pet is thick.
You don’t want your guinea pig to feel cold because of getting too close to the ice.
Hydrate Your Guinea Pigs
You must make sure that your guinea pigs have access to a steady supply of water. The risk of dehydration in your guinea pigs is higher during the summer than in other seasons.
Thus, constantly check their supply of water.
In addition to that, make sure that you’re feeding them food that is nutritious and helps keep them stay hydrated.
Groom Your Guinea Pig
An important point about caring for your guinea pigs in the summer is grooming them. Grooming a guinea pig allows its excess fur to fall off.
As a result, it can help stay cooler in the warm climate.
Tips to Keep Your Guinea Pigs Comfortable Outside In Winter
It can be challenging to keep your guinea pigs warm in the winter.
Thus, you will need to take certain measures to maintain the temperature and keep the hutch as dry as possible.
Here are some things that you should keep in mind.
Use a Large Wooden Hutch with a Solid Frame
The first thing you should do is create or buy a wooden hutch that’s solid and predator-proof.
The solid wooden frame can allow you to use blankets or carpets to insulate it.
Moreover, you should also make sure that it has solid bolts to keep the frame in place even if predators try to damage it.
Create a Secluded Space Within the Hutch to Keep Warm
It’s always a good idea to create a secluded space in your hutch where your guinea pigs can retreat.
This space can help keep your guinea pig warm.
This space can also give them some silence, allowing them to sleep well.
Insulate the Hutch
It’s a good idea to place blankets or carpets over the walls of the hutch to help prevent the cold from entering their home.
That said, keep some small pockets of open spaces to allow adequate air ventilation.
Make sure to tie the blankets or nail them to the hutch. This way, you’ll ensure they stay in place at all times.
In addition to it possibly falling due to strong winds, other animals or predators could drop the insulation.
Increase the Amount of Bedding Inside the Hutch
You can consider increasing the amount of bedding inside the hutch for the winter. This way, your guinea pigs can stay warm and dry.
Just make sure to consistently clean the bedding.
Replace them with clean bedding when you notice that it’s starting to get dirty.
Consider Using Pet-Safe Heat Mats
There are pet-safe heat mats that are designed specifically to keep guinea pigs warm. You can place this inside the hutch, and your guinea pig can sit on it.
Some are large enough for more than one guinea pig to sit on them. It’s important that you keep the cover over the heat pad.
It can also help to keep extra bedding over the pad. This way, your guinea pigs’ skin won’t have direct contact with the heat source.
Consider Bringing the Guinea Pigs Indoors
Just like in summer, be sure to read the weather forecasts in the winter.
Whenever extreme weather is forecasted, you could consider bringing your guinea pigs indoors.
Consider Changing the Hutch’s Location In the Winter
It could be a good idea to place your guinea pigs’ hutch in a shed in the winter. The indoor space can help make it easier to regulate the temperature.
Just make sure you choose a spot that has adequate ventilation.
It’s important to remember that a garage is a terrible place to keep a guinea pig hutch. The fumes from the vehicles can be fatal to small animals.
Last Few Words
When you place your guinea pigs outside, make sure that their hutch has enough exercise and entertainment features.
As a result, your pets can be physically and mentally healthy.
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