If you keep guinea pigs outdoors you will want to esnure you do everything you can to keep them warm during the winter weather, especially when night falls.
We’ve rounded up some top tips and advice to help keep your little ones safe and warm.
First, if you can, bring them indoors. If you can’t have them in the house, a porch, garage, shed or conservatory will help to keep the worse of the elements away from their hutch.
Don’t keep their hutch in a garage that is used to store a car as the fumes can be fatal.
If you are wondering how cold is too cold for guinea pigs, they prefer temperatures that humans tend to feel comfortable in. If you feel the chill, then so will your guinea pigs.
You want to weather proof the hutch as much as you can. If indoors isn’t an option, then is there a place that provides shelter from rain, snow and wind chill.
A rain cover will also provide some comfort from the winter elements.Under the cover and over the hutch, an old blanket or piece of tarpualin will hep to keep some of the cold out and heat in.
Inside, a hideaway that has only one entrance will help to reduce the amount of draughts getting in, while retaining heat generated by the guinea pigs and other sources.
If you can, try and attach foil bubble wrap to the inside of the hutch. Again, this will hep to retain warmth. Cardboard is another good insulator and makes a good liner. Always ensure that there is good air flow for the guinea pigs.
Provide extra bedding hay for them to snuggle into, keep it fresh and clean and make sure it is regulalry topped up.
This can be combined with a heat pad that is specially designed for small animals.
Keep an eye on water bottles as they are likely to freeze. Either wrap them in insulating material or by unblocking any ice that has formed each day.
Guinea pigs still need to exercise during the winter months so ensure they have access to an outdoor run. However, avoid putting them on damp grass as they will get cold very quickly.