Do guinea pigs hibernate?
No, guinea pigs don’t hibernate, so if they show any change in behavior and signs of lethargy, please get them to a vet.
How cold is too cold for guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs simply do not handle cold well and can literally freeze to death.
Anything below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) is too cold for your guinea pig and extra precautions should be taken.
It’s best to keep your guinea pigs indoors in winter or at least in a shed or garage (garage must be car free, as the fumes can kill your guinea pig).
If you have no other option than to keep your guinea pig in an outside hutch, please take some extra steps to ensure that they are warm enough.
Here’s how to keep your guinea pig warm.
- You can line the bottom of the hutch with newspaper and fleece.
- Try to place their hutch next to a fence or wall to add some extra shelter from the elements.
- Extra hay is essential, so fill with as much hay as possible so your guinea pig can burrow into it.
- Great options for keeping your guinea pig warm include: Cardboard boxes filled with hay and fleecy tunnels or hideys.
- You can lay carpet or blankets over the hutch, but be sure not to block ventilation. This is not always the best option when your hutch is outside in the rain. Cover with a waterproof heavy duty tarp to keep the hutch dry.
- Raise your guinea pig’s hutch off the ground. Add legs or simply place hutch on bricks.
- Use pet safe heating pads.
Signs of hypothermia in guinea pigs:
Signs can be subtle and not easy to spot. It’s best to handle your guinea pigs regularly so you will notice any changes in their behavior or health.
Tiredness / lethargy
Shaking / Shivering
How to prevent hypothermia in guinea pigs
Bring your guinea pigs inside.
Check that water bottle’s haven’t frozen.
Insulate hutches with newspaper or fleece.
Check hutch covers and ventilation regularly.
Provide sufficient insulation with newspaper and fleecy blankets, hideys and tunnels.
Provide extra hay.
Our little guinea pals can’t talk, so being a good pet owner means paying attention and giving them what they need to keep them healthy and warm. It’s good to know what to expect and what you can do to ensure their health and safety.