Winter is coming!
As you’re all aware the British summer time is nothing to shout about, but the winter months are definitely colder than that, winter is coming so make sure your piggies are ready for it!
Hopefully, by now your guinea pigs will be safe and warm indoors, but If not, then please get them inside asap. As a general rule, if it’s too cold for you to be outside for prolonged periods (without jumpers or a coat on), then it is too cold for your guinea pigs.
If you can’t bring them into your home over the winter, then putting them in a shed or garage (without car fumes) is better than being outside, as they won’t be getting wet and cold from the wind and rain.
Our piggies enjoy the winter in our ‘guinea pig house’ (posh name for a shed!). We have a heater that keeps the temperature between 18-21 degrees. This is the ideal temperature for guinea pigs.
We also use Snugglesafe heat pads for our older guinea pigs. These are like little hot water bottles for piggies. They go in a microwave for 3 mins on each side, then into their fleece pouch and into the house so that our older piggy can snuggle down if he needs that extra bit of warmth. Adding another house is a good idea, just in case your piggies want to sit in a house but without the heat, you don’t want them overheating do you!
Extra hay is good over the cooler months too, they’ll generate heat from eating it and have lots to snuggle into. Also, guinea pigs use up their energy trying to keep warm, some piggies may lose weight over the cooler months so giving them extra hay is good for this too.
You can also line the inside of plastic houses with fleece blankets too so that they are not as cold to the touch.
If your guinea pigs need to stay outside over the winter, then please add more hay on a daily basis, maybe even twice daily. You can also put in a small cardboard box with hay in for extra warmth which works really well. Insulate your water bottle to stop it from freezing with either a sock or a snuggle cover that you can buy. Always pull a cover over the front of their cage at night to keep out the wind and make sure the hutch is in a position protected from wind and rain.