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Do Guinea Pigs Hibernate? – All You Need To Know

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: March 6, 2022

In this article, you’ll find out whether guinea pigs hibernate and what hibernation is.

While hamsters hibernate throughout the winter months (which means that their metabolic rate slows down), guinea pigs and chinchillas don’t hibernate; keeping them at temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit is not safe for these small animals.

As warm-blooded animals, to stay comfortable and healthy, guinea pigs require a temperature range between 65°F (18°C) to 75°F (24°C).

Therefore, before we explain why don’t guinea pigs hibernate, you can see that owning guinea pigs is a big responsibility.

You need time and patience as well as knowledge to take care of these small animals and keep your guinea pig warm during the cold weather.

Why Is My Guinea Pig Not Moving?

As you already know, guinea pigs are active animals.

So, it is unusual to see a guinea pig not moving.

When a guinea pig is unwell, the small animal may lie on its side.

However, when guinea pigs sleep, they do so by standing and not moving, usually with their eyes open

In this instance, a piggy may be unable to move and display other signs of disease.

Lethargy, trouble moving, heavy breathing, panting, runny nose, weepy eyes, diarrhea, vomiting, or anything else out of the ordinary for your guinea pig are all signs of disease; however, that doesn’t mean you’re dealing with a dying guinea pig.

A guinea pig indoors may be cold or even freezing.

A guinea pig’s hutch has to be in a draft-protected area; also, keep your guinea pig away from direct sources of heat or cold, such as an air conditioner or a heater.

If you think your pet is too cold, you can try to warm him or her up by using a heating pad on a low setting, placing a hot water bottle near the animal, or wrapping the guinea pig in a towel that has been heated in the dryer.

Place extra bedding in your guinea pig cage

If your pet is not eating or drinking, he or she may be sick.

Please, take your pet to a vet immediately your guinea pig is not eating or drinking and appears to be sick.

Besides, always provide pet guinea pigs with a warm place during the winter months.

What Temperature Is Cold for Guinea Pigs?

You should know that guinea pigs cannot tolerate freezing temperatures.

Even early fall can also be too cold for these small animals; they can get mild hypothermia even during that time of the year.

It is true that different pets withstand different temperatures.

However, guinea pigs are small rodents, native to South America, so they are not used to cold weather but to warmer temperature conditions.

They make popular house pets because they are generally docile, easy to care for, and inexpensive.

Like all animals, piggies need a comfortable environment to live in or they can become sick.

One important consideration for guinea pig owners is what temperature is too chilly for guinea pigs.

In general, piggies can tolerate temperatures down to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit before they start to get cold.

If the temperature falls below that, they may become lethargic and have trouble breathing.

However, not even then will guinea pigs hibernate.

Guinea pig owners should take steps to keep their pets warm during cold weather, especially during freezing 

The cold can be dangerous for these small animals and can lead to health problems, such as pneumonia.

It’s critical to provide your piggy with a warm place to reside in the winter months.

If the temperature outside is too cold for you, it’s likely too cold for your guinea pig.

How Do I Know if My Guinea Pig Is Cold?

There are a few ways to tell if your guinea pig is cold.

One way is to check the temperature of their environment.

If it is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, your guinea pigs may be cold.

When they feel cold, many guinea pigs will huddle together and stay inactive

If you touch your pet and notice it has cold ears, nose, or bottom, it may need a warmer environment or a sweater.

When your guinea pig is chilly and cold, it will spend more time in its shelter or burrowing in the hay, and you’ll see it shiver and curl up on itself to warm up; this usually happens when the temperature falls below 60/65°F (15°C).

Can Guinea Pigs Get Cold Easily?

Guinea pigs can get cold easily, so it is important to keep an eye on your pet to make sure they stay warm.

One way to tell if your guinea pig is cold is by checking their body temperature.

The normal body temperature for a guinea pig is around 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you notice that your guinea pig’s body temperature is below this, they may be cold and need some extra warmth.

What Is a Normal Temperature for a Guinea Pig?

A normal body heat for a guinea pig is around 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, like humans, piggies can have different body temperatures depending on their age, health, and activity level.

If your guinea pig’s temperature falls below 99 degrees or rises above 103 degrees, you should bring them to the veterinarian as soon as possible as they cannot preserve heat well during cold weather.

Guinea pigs are prey animals, which means that they are naturally scared of things that could potentially hurt them.

This can make it difficult to take their temperature.

You can try using an electronic ear thermometer or a digital infrared thermometer.

If your guinea pig won’t let you take their temperature, you can use an external rectal thermometer instead.

Just be sure to clean it well before and after use.

Normal body temperature for a guinea pig can vary depending on their age, health, and activity level.

A healthy guinea pig’s ideal temperature usually falls between 99 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your guinea pig’s body heat falls below 99 degrees or rises above 103 degrees, you should bring them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Can Guinea Pigs Die from Hypothermia?

Yes, guinea pigs can die from hypothermia.

In fact, in cold temperatures, below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, guinea pigs are at risk for hypothermia, which can be deadly.

Guinea pigs hypothermia occurs when these small animals start to lose body heat faster than they can produce it.

However, not even then do guinea pigs hibernate.

Instead, they experience signs of hypothermia such as quick and shallow breathing.

Also, your guinea pig’s hair standing on end while attempting to protect the body and conserve heat is among other symptoms of hypothermia.

If your home is too cold for your guinea pig, you should place your pet’s cage in a warm place, near a heat source, or provide your furry friend with extra bedding in its cage.

You can use shredded paper or wood shavings and fleece as the top layer.

Otherwise, make sure that your pet’s cage has a heated pad or proper insulation to prevent your piggy from 

If your guinea pigs inside appear to be shivering or have difficulty breathing, take them to the vet immediately.

If you’re going to be away from home and your guinea pig needs to stay in his or her cage, you can use a space heater, heating pads, and snuggle pads to keep the air temperature warm.

Regardless of the cold temperatures outdoors, be sure to keep the heater away from your guinea pig’s cage and monitor it constantly to make sure it doesn’t get too hot, especially if you live in small space apartments.

Make sure that there’s enough space between the heater and your guinea pig’s cage.

And never leave your guinea pig in a car on a cold day, as the temperature inside a car can quickly drop to dangerous levels.

It’s important to keep your piggies safe during the winter, but don’t forget about them during the summer either.

Change the water in their bottle regularly, provide them with enough fresh food, and shade, especially if they’re kept outside in a hutch or cage.

However, guinea pigs should never live outside and they shouldn’t spend any time outside during cold seasons.

And don’t forget to groom them regularly – long hair can become matted and full of dirt and debris in the summer heat.

How To Help a Guinea Pig Warm Up?

A guinea pig’s body temperature is important for their overall health.

When they get too cold, they can’t move around and digest their food properly.

If your pets seem like they’re too cold in their guinea pigs cage, make sure to take action right away to help them warm up!

Here are a few ways you can help your pets stay warm:

  • Put them in a room that isn’t too cold
  • Give them a place to hide where it will be warm
  • Make sure their cage has plenty of bedding to keep them warm
  • Put a hot water bottle in their cage
  • Give them some fresh food and lukewarm water to drink

There are several ways you can keep your guinea pig warm when it is cold outside and make sure that your guinea pig inside stays warm during the winter.

A guinea pig’s home has to be in a warm place and your guinea pig has to have enough space to feel comfortable.

Guinea pigs love to roam around at all times.

So, to keep your guinea pig warm, you can use heating pads.

By putting a heating pad under the bedding in your pet’s habitat, or by using a ceramic heat emitter, you will keep them warm and comfortable.

Another thing you can do is make sure they have plenty of bedding and a snuggle pad to keep them warm so they wouldn’t get cold.

Change the bedding frequently, as wet bedding does more harm to these small animals and can cause many health issues.

Additionally, you can place an extra-thick blanket in your guinea pig’s hutch.

You can also place a hot water bottle near their bedding to help keep them warm.

If you are going to be away from home for a while, make sure to leave your guinea pig in a warm environment with plenty of food and water.

What Temperature Is Warm for Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs are small, furry creatures that enjoy spending time in the sun.

However, like all animals, they need to be protected from the heat.

Guinea pigs are warm-blooded animals but their body temperature can get too high if exposed to excessive heat.

This can cause serious health problems and even death.

Native to South America and warmer climates, guinea pigs find an ideal range of temperature between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the temperatures exceed 85 degrees, it’s important to take steps to cool your guinea pig down.

This could include moving it to a cooler area or giving it cold water to drink.

It’s also important to keep in mind that humidity affects a guinea pig’s body temperature.

When the humidity is high, the temperature feels hotter to a guinea pig.

So if it’s hot and humid outside, make sure to keep your guinea pigs in an outdoor hutch, in a cooler area.

If you’re concerned that your guinea pig may be too hot, there are a few things you can do to cool it down:

  • Move the guinea pig to a cooler area
  • Give the guinea pig cold water to drink
  • Fan the guinea pig
  • Put ice packs on its body (underneath its fur)
  • Apply aloe vera or another cooling ointment to its skin.

It’s important to remember that just because the ambient temperature is within the safe range, it doesn’t mean that all areas are safe for your guinea pig.

For example, direct sunlight can cause a guinea pig to overheat quickly.

So make sure to provide plenty of shade for your guinea pig to relax in.

Can Guinea Pigs Live Outside?

No, guinea pigs should not live outside, regardless of the time of the year.

The cold can be dangerous for these small animals and can lead to health problems such as pneumonia.

In the winter months, it’s important to provide your guinea pig with a warm place to stay comfortable and healthy.

While hamsters hibernate throughout the winter, guinea pigs and chinchillas don’t hibernate; keeping them at temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit is not safe for these small animals.

Is It OK to Keep Guinea Pigs Outside?

Well, whether you can keep your guinea pigs outside for a short period depends on many factors.

First of all, guinea pigs cannot handle drastic temperature changes and can only tolerate temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, if you live in an area where the temperature regularly falls below 50 or rises above 80, it might not be safe to keep your piggy outside.

Also, if you live in a place with a lot of predators (like coyotes or raccoons), keeping your guinea pig outside might not be the best idea.

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you want to keep your pets outside.

Just do your research and make sure that you’ve considered all of the potential risks.

What Temperature Can Guinea Pigs Stay Outside?

Guinea pigs can stay outside if the temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

If it is below that, they should be brought inside.

Guinea pigs also need access to water and food, and they should be in a shaded area if they are outside.

Bringing them in at night is also important to keep them safe from predators.

Can Guinea Pigs Be Outside in Winter?

Yes, guinea pigs can be outside in winter as long as they have a warm place to go inside if they get too cold.

And of course, as long as it is not too cold outside.

You already know that guinea pigs cannot tolerate temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Therefore, if it’s colder than that, make sure your piggies are inside and warm.

Make sure to give them plenty of food and water, and check on them often to make sure they’re doing well.

Guinea pigs should not be allowed to run loose outdoors.

They are not designed to deal with the cold, and if they remain outside in the snow, they can become severely ill.

Make sure your piggy has a warm place and check on them often to make sure they’re doing well.

Final Thoughts

So, do guinea pigs hibernate?

No, guinea pigs don’t hibernate although, just like a hibernating animal, they may slow their metabolism when it’s cold for them, become lethargic, and slow, to conserve energy.

Never keep your guinea pigs under 60 and above 85 degrees Fahrenheit!

They can get cold very easily or suffer from heatstrokes when it’s hot.

Make sure they are warm during the winter and that they have a shady spot and plenty of fresh water during warmer months in the summer.

And finally, don’t forget to check in on your furry friends often!


Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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