Tag Archives: winter nights

Do guinea pigs go into hibernation in winter

Do guinea pigs go into hibernation in winter?

Guinea pigs enjoy a certain temperature that they encounter.

They really like living in temperatures between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is the ideal temperature range for piggies who are originally from warm South Amercian Andean countries such as Argentina and Chile.

They are used to living in warm to cool climates high up the Andean mountains where the weather is variable depending on how high up they go.

So if you have a guinea pig that is exposed temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit then this becomes not so comfortable for them.

Guinea pigs the great survivors of the Andes mountains.

They have to find ways of dealing with it to enable them to survive.

In fact, if the temperatures reach around freezing then a guinea pig can seize up under these circumstances.

They can appear that they have maybe dead if they haven’t covered themselves in hay.

This is especially the case if it gets very cold below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

If it gets the type of temperature where you wouldn’t need to wear a coat then this is usually a good guide as to whether the weather is too cold for a guinea pig.

So it is important to keep them warm and one way to do this is to give them plenty of hay and bedding to try and keep them warm.

Hay will also enable them to chew and keep their teeth ground down over the winter time.

Do guinea pigs go into hibernation in winter?

So if they have plentiful hay, they can snuggle themselves in it and it appears like they are going into some sort of hibernation.

This is not the case though.

Guinea pigs do not actually go into hibernation like other animals do.

What happens in these circumstances is that their bodies shut down to conserve energy and retain heat.

They may look lifeless but they are still alive.

It can be quite daunting to see a guinea pig like this though.

This happens more so with guinea pigs that are kept on their own.

Keeping guinea pigs together is important in extreme temperatures.

Guinea pigs that are kept together are more likely to snuggle together and keep each other warm from their bodies.

This is very effective for them and is potentially life-saving if they live outside of a human house.

They provide much needed social stimulation for each other and as social creatures, they provide much-needed company.

You can get some other ideas for keeping your guinea pig warm during cold seasons in this post.

What if your guinea pig is not themselves during cold temperatures?

If you see that your guinea pig is not themselves over a prolonged period then it would be worth contacting your local veterinary surgeon to get them checked out.

It is always worth doing this if you have any concerns about them.

If it gets very cold then it is easy for a guinea pig to contract hypothermia and so always keep a close watch on your guinea pig to make sure that they are okay.

A good test is to how they respond to their favorite treat bring put out for them.

If you don’t get the usual reaction then something will probably be wrong and it is time to get them checked out.

keep a guinea pig warm

18 Ways To Keep a Guinea Pig Warm

We in the northern hemisphere are waving goodbye to summer and although it is fairly warm over here in the UK at the moment, the nights are starting to draw in and you can feel a change in the temperature.

At times like these, guinea pigs start to feel the cold as well sand are not quite as happy in the cold.

So what can we do to keep them warm and in their optimum temperature?

Here are some ways we can keep a guinea pig warm during these months ahead.

  1. Bring the guinea pig inside. Pretty obvious right? But not everyone does it. If you are cold outside then they will be too. They will be much happier in the temperature you are happier in.
  2. Purchase a snuggle safe disk which looks like a Frisbee and can be heated in a microwave in a few minutes and then gives heat to a guinea pig for up to 8 hours.
  3. Put a small blanket in their cage. I have also used old t shirts and other clothing to make caves for them. Anything like this can help keep them warm and snug.
  4. Put lots of shredded paper in the cage which they can crawl under and hold their body heat in. Held in a box of some kind that they can crawl into would be best.
  5. Get a shoe box and cut a hole large enough for the guinea pig to crawl through and put bedding inside. The enclosed space inside will help to conserve their own body heat.
  6. Purchase a pigloo which can do a similar job.
  7. Put a blanket over the cage during the night and then take half of it off during the day time.
  8. Purchase a cozie or a cuddle cup. They’re a big hit with guinea pigs as they love to snuggle up inside them.
  9. Move the cage away from windows and any drafts. These can make the guinea pig very uncomfortable.
  10. Make sure they have another guinea pig to snuggle up to. They are naturally very good at keeping each other warm. If you only have one guinea pig, consider getting another to keep it company. If you have two consider getting three, and so on. The more of them there are, the more they can snuggle up to each other and keep warm.
  11. keep a guinea pig warmHave a rice sock. This is an alternative to the heat pad which is basically taking an old sock and filling it with rice. Put it in the microwave for one minute. The rice will warm making it very comfortable for the guinea pig to snuggle up to.
  12. Hot water bottles offer a terrific source of heat during the night. Just put hot water on it, put a cover on it and ensure the lid is tightly shut. Test it out before hand to ensure that it isn’t too hot and maybe add some extra layers of blanket to protect the guinea pig. Make sure that it is covered all the way round it to ensure that the guinea pig doesn’t chew it.
  13. Block any drafts from doors and windows with blankets.
  14. Create a cozy by taking a small box and lining it with fleece that are held by binder clips. Your guinea pig will love hopping into it to keep warm
  15. Create tunnels for them to hide in. These can be purchased or made and guinea pigs love to run in tunnels and will even stay in them and sleep.
  16. If your cage is against a wall then put a blanket between the wall and the cage. The wall is keeping in the heat but will be naturally quite cold if they are right close to it. The extra layer of insulation will help conserve heat.
  17. Consider having a heater in the room to give the piggies warmth. Do keep in mind safety and that it doesn’t get too hot though. Make sure they are also kept well away from it as well.
  18. Guinea pig sleeping bags can be purchased. These are fabulous inventions that can give the guinea pig warmth. They can also made like this below in the video

Keeping a guinea pig warm will ensure that they are happy and contented. You will notice the difference in their behaviour if you keep them in the temperature that they are happiest to be in which is 18-22 celcius/65-75 farenheit.

Hope you found this helpful.

There are probably some i’ve missed off.

Do you have any other useful tips that you could share? Drop them in the comments if you do 🙂